People often say to me: “It must be a great life being a writer. You can get up when you want; start work when you want, take extended lunch-breaks, watch daytime tv, even take a notebook and sit in the pub all day and pretend you’re doing important research.”
And I always reply: “Yeah, that’s pretty much it – apart from my aversion to daytime tv.”
But it’s not all fun…
The problem with telling people in pubs that you’re a writer is they then always say “Oh, you should write about this…”
Well, no. It’s your story. You write it.
If I were to say I was a builder they wouldn’t say “Oh, you should build this…”
Or, if I was a cleaner, they wouldn’t ask me to wipe their table.
What’s up with people?
And don’t keep buying me pens for Christmas either.
What, you think I haven’t got a pen?
Buy me a laptop, it’s the 21st century. No editor wants something handwritten. What they gonna buy me next, a quill and an ink-pot?
Another problem is “Night-time Inspirations.”
I have to write my thoughts and ideas out in full which takes ages. I can’t just write down key words and hope I remember what they mean when I revisit them in the morning.
I once wrote down the words “Dad,” “bath-tub” and “two-bar electric fire” and couldn’t remember how it seemed hilariously funny when I wrote it at 2am. Hopefully, they weren’t connected.
It’s even worse when I stay over at my girlfriends’ place because I don’t know where she keeps a notepad, so I wake up and write on her back instead and, in the morning, she looks like she’s been tattooed by Hans Christian Andersen.
I don’t mean I write in Danish, that’d be mad.
So, next time you meet a writer, remember these three rules…
Don’t ask them to write your story.
Don’t buy them pens because they may stick them somewhere unpleasant.
And on no account sleep with them because ink is a nightmare to wash off.