Blog Archives

Need to clear the decks and type faster? Maybe get a parrot…

  • I need a whole week for solid reading, every week for the next year.
  • I need half the week for planning, most weeks.
  • I need a whole week, every week, for the next year, to write.
  • Plus which half my working week is already bought and paid for.

All of these demands on time will not dovetail into one neat package; the great fear is that there will be a short-circuit in the system before too long. Actually, that’s not my greatest fear (mine is to do with teeth), but I think it can be some ascribed to some of the people who have to put up with me. I understand why they worry about this, but I can’t subscribe to it. Things do get done, despite themselves. I don’t go mad, despite myself. Not everything gets done though: the fish need cleaning out, for instance, the garden is atrocious and the washing is breeding in corners all over the house. So the last thing you need, when you are trying to keep your head above water is to be informed that it’s perfectly doable to produce 2000 – 3000 words by 6 a.m. every morning as does Alexander McCall-Smith. Sorry but that’s just irritating. No disrespect to the writer in question, but, pfffftt.

Give me Flaubert and his five words a day, any day.

Shed Maxims

‘The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it.’ 

Roald Dahl


‘Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.’

Henry David Thoreau


‘If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.’

Virginia Woolf


‘We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.’

Harold Nicolson


‘All great truths begin as blasphemies.’

George Bernard Shaw


This is not my shed, but it is the height of my dream property ladder…