Hang out in writer circles on this interweb thing for long enough and you’ll hear all the classic reasons people write. Because they’re bursting with stories that are screaming to be told, because they have something to say to the world, because writing keeps them sane in insane times.
Reading these reasons, it’s easy to feel inadequate.
If I don’t write for the same reasons does it mean I’m not a real writer? I’m not filled with stories wriggling inside me like intestinal worms. Does that mean I’m just making stuff up?
I like to think it’s the writing that counts, not the reasons behind it. If you write a stunning story that people love it doesn’t matter if it was driven by a stormy-eyed muse in a flowing chiton or by industrial quantities of coffee and a hard chair.
Monday was my first day back in the office after two weeks of lying in the sun editing my book and keeping His Royal Fluffiness company.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my work (most days), but going back after time off is like falling through the ice on a pond.
Worse, His Royal Fluffiness gets lonely. And he still hasn’t figured out how to use his new cat flap since the lion cat incident, so when I go to work he’s locked in all day and I feel terrible. Is having to sit by the door for eight hours to let the cat in and out a good excuse for not going to work?
I think my subconscious wants to help, it really does, but it’s like a toddler that spends more time falling over than running, and it was headed in the wrong direction anyway.
Then I give up and make myself a comforting cup of tea, only to turn back and find the blocks are arranged in a tower that’s colour-coordinated, structurally sound enough to withstand a siege, and elegant enough for a Disney princess.
Okay, maybe it’s not that good. Disney princesses are really picky.
I always go to YouTube for good reasons. For example, I want to watch a person build an emergency shelter in the forest or forge a battleaxe.
Maybe I succeed. But then, inevitably, I click through to a few related videos and end up watching Russian contortionists jump motorbikes through burning hoops while juggling chainsaws. (If you find a video of this, please tell me because I really want to watch it.)
I don’t know how this happens. Maybe it’s the YouTube fairies or the wicked witch of YouTube.
But it’s not unknowable. I only don’t know because I’m not paying attention. I’ve therefore decided to map my progress through YouTube videos and see where I end up by clicking only on the suggested related videos.