Thursday, January 17, 2013

On writing...

...or, being more accurate, things I do to avoid my lifelong ambition...

Housework

Socks are no longer my nemesis, they are no longer the fuel on which runs the washing machine, they go in and come out in pairs. Hers carefully folded, mine nonchalantly balled. I have come familiar with the principle of keeping... the whites... separate, a maxim I treated with slapdash around my Charleville Road days, and I now possess the ability to undress and dress the bed in fewer than nine minutes.

That first sentence, though. The terror.

Sky Sports News

What is its allure? Allure, surely, is the wrong word to describe the shouting behemoth that is recycled news features about pitch invaders and the going at Sandown. Yet my fingers move with swift grace over the buttons 4 and 0 and 8 at least 14 times a day, my eyes roboting through the on screen data and the red (not even the yellow!) ticker at the bottom.

That opening paragraph, mind you. Fuck.

Dublin City Centre or, y'know, 'Town'

Bus. Off at George's Street. Look at the menus of restaurants I'd like to try but probably never will. Down Exchequer Street. Tut as someone sneezes in close proximity to me. Scoff at the Casual Fridays. Cross the road to be wherever the nearest chugger won't 'dude' me. Sit at a window drinking passable coffee. Take out a notebook and find relief at no pen. Wonder what I'm missing on Sky Sports News. Check my phone (no texts, an endorsement on LinkedIn, a blanket mail from Trip Advisor that I never signed up for, somebody I've never met LOLing on a Facebook update and spam from a Jesus freak). Back up Exchequer Street. Into Dunnes Stores to buy some chewing gum. Ponder an apostrophe. Bus home. Relief.

How many chapters?

The Internet

That greatest thief of time. Today, for instance, I found myself Googling helicopter crashes alongside the filmography of Anne Bancroft, the careers of several Swindon Town footballers and job opportunities in HMV, just for the craic of it. I frowned at the fascination of people who think their cat is, like, "just the cutest" and the only feline in the world who has licked a nicely embroidered IKEA cushion.

I used to read the blogs of others as a safe stayaway from putting words in melancholic, heartbreaking order myself, but my favourite writers have been dormant, perhaps swallowed whole by the one-twist-and-you're-done knocking shop that is the Twitter.

Don't get me started on trying to cohere a narrative. 

5 comments:

Kath Lockett said...

And thus lies similar reasons for my own novel's incompletion....

But it's dogs that do it for me, not cats. And never on an IKEA cushion.

Radge said...

Quickest comment I've had on a post in many a year.

I sincerely hope that, should I ever get a pet, I don't advertise it on the Instagram.

Therese Cox said...

Radge, you can make a narrative about socks cohere.

Your public awaits, etc.

Radge said...

I am abashed.

Holemaster said...

I've been meaning to start thinking about writing a novel - about my flat dwelling years in post 90s apartment blocks.

I shall call it The Magnolia Years. I shall be nominated for a Booker prize, win it and then look down upon it because I'll feel I didn't deserve it, which it turn undermines my respect for the validity of the Booker Prize.

Maybe I shouldn't bother then.