To work, or not to work

Sunday September 11, 2005

I’d forgotten just how painful it is to write a short story when you’ve not an idea in your head.

Went through my massive collection of lists of ideas, starter lines, titles… all good stuff but nothing to spark me off. It’s so easy when I wake in the morning, or the afternoon, with a story line all there in the forefront of my mind, fresh from dreamland. One mug of coffee, perhaps two, and I have the thing fleshed out. A stroll up the lane to catch the air and, when I get back to my desk, I have a mental checklist of the corrections and amendments I need to make and then it’s downhill all the way. It’s fun, it’s a pleasure, and it’s another entry in the database entitled ‘Stories Wot I Have Writ’.

Yes, I know that’s a coy name for a database but perhaps I was feeling coy when I filled in the title box.

You can tell how desperate I am. I looked ‘coy’ up, just in case:

coy adj. 1 affectedly shy. 2 irritatingly reticent. — coyly adv. coyness n. [French: related to *quiet]

That didn’t help, either. Sometimes a dictionary search will lead to an idea.

It’s against the rules of the challenge to use an old story. Has to be a new story. No-one would know, of course, if I cheated. I’d know, though, and it’d irk and niggle at me.

I’ve sat down several times today and written out a starting paragraph, only to come to a grinding halt, and file it in my ideas lists, just in case. Shame to waste a starting paragraph, and you never know…

If nothing comes to me by the end of play tomorrow I shall stick a random cyber-pin into my ideas lists, fish out a starter and, filled with grim determination, sit down on Wednesday morning to write a story from it. Which is fine, except that it turns a pleasurable activity into that fat toad, work

And that really isn’t what I’m about. I’ve no clear idea of what it is I am about, but it ceased to be work a long time back.



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