220 of these down and you’d think I’d have it pat by now. You’d imagine I’d just be able to lick the tip of my index finger and carve blazing patterns of words into the phone screen before dumping it smoking on the grass, fixing myself a whisky and punching a cow. But nope. Some days it just won’t come.

It’s not like I haven’t been busy today. I live in constant terror of that day where I’m so hungover I do nothing but watch Antiques Roadshow and pick the lint out of my belly and then have to write about it. Today was a day-job day. I went and worked at Imperial College, meeting the new generation of “business leaders”, telling them what “amortise” means. For the day, I was “Amortise Man.” Amortise Man makes sure YOU haven’t forgotten your pencil! Amortise Man will notice when you are nervous and take a moment to help you calm down. But if you cheat, Amortise Man will see, for he sees all. Good old Imperial, they’ve been injecting small amounts of money into my account for years, and they’re walking distance from my home. It’s quite striking, as I’ve touched on in a previous blog, how some of the people taking “management skills” for a degree have the common sense of a baked clam. But it’s a good little temporary gig.

It’s these little jobs that keep me ticking over in the yawning chasms that sometimes open up between jobs. But invigilating days – they’re not event filled, action packed days. They’re just … days. I often use the exam conditions to learn lines. You can get quite a lot into your head over the two hours of concentration, while keeping an eye out. But I didn’t bring anything today. I just sat there and watched and thought. I’ve been playing with a few things to write outside of this, and was shaping some of that as they all worked around me. When I hit the year of blog, I’m damned if I’m going to stop writing daily. It just might be different forms, and for different purposes.

If i had only written the minimum word count daily, I’d have written 110,000 words. That’s a sodding novel. And I’ve written more than that. Sure it’s mostly unedited, usually unplanned, often unadvised. I enjoy the game of framing thoughts, even if the daily imperative means I sometimes spew something out when I get home at two in the morning and have to race my eyelids to the publish button.

I’d benefit from the discipline involved in having to keep a consistent story, with pace and colour. Sometimes the drunken raving, edited, will make the cut. I could of course experiment with a serialised daily novel on the same lines as this blog. That would be brave, ultimately foolish and almost certainly doomed to hideous failure and universal mockery. On that basis I find it very tempting. But it’s also quite tempting to edit and snip and cut and slice and boil and then proudly present something that has been manicured and powdered for months with an offhand “Oh this just slipped out one night after I had a spot too much absinthe.”

We shall see


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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