As an author I often get asked what I consider to be something of an odd question…..or questions. “Who is your favourite author or authors & what are your favourite books?
My response is double-barreled so bear with me.’
Firstly I’m an author, poet & blogger. I’m also a recording artist.. The vast majority of most days are spent writing. The last thing that I want to do is read somebody elses material. Ignorant? Possibly. Practical? Definitely.
I’ve tried reading between writing & find it extremely confusing. Parts of what I read ‘can’ accidentally creep into my latest work. Worse still it may creep into an idea for a future work. I find reading to be an obstacle.
The only books that I am able to read without losing my mind are biographies & autobiographies. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that George Best, Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton are hardly likely to get inside of my head. Then again Bob Dylan might…..Goodness knows there are plenty of ideas in there already .& in no particular order .except when you get those annoying moments of clarity at 2am…..which is why I keep a pen & paper by my bed because getting out of bed, as much as I enjoy writing, I’m not going to get out of bed at 2am for it.
The last book that I read was ‘A Brief History Of Almost Everything’ by Bill Bryson. The only reason that I read it was that I had no access to a word processor for 4 months. That was in the mid-90s. I was in rehab for alcohol abuse(!). It was a great read. Prior to this the only book that I had read was ‘1984’ by George Orwell. I actually read it in college in 1984. How about that? Shame on me.
So apart from starting on the road to sobriety, rehab served as nothing more than an obstacle to my writing which was not outweighed by 1 good book.
The telephone. If I didn’t have 2 teenage children I wouldn’t answer the phone whilst writing. Firstly it’s a loud phone with no volume switch so if I’m engrossed in a project & the phone rings I jump through the roof, get to the phone withe high blood pressure only to find it’s a telemarketer or somebody who’s on for a lengthy chat. I always use the excuse, “Oh! There’s somebody at the door. I’d better go.” I don’t mind lying in the name of literature.
If it does happen to be one of my children, they either want a lift somewhere or to be taken on a driving lesson. Too easy. My son & I talk & I’ll put petrol in so that they can go as far as they like. I do like to take them through town each time, however.. My daughter & I are different. She has a mobile phone thingie that hooks up to your cigarette lighter & plays music. She’ll ask me for a song & within seconds it’s playing through the car speakers. She is making me a playlist, adding a new song every trip. I’ve got a few from Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Dave Stewart & The Beatles. The Stones will be next on there.
Either way, the kids are proficient learners & it’s a relaxing (if not unexpected) break, giving my mind the time & environment to refresh itself.
The TV is an obvious distraction. I’ve found myself typing out what I hear on the TV or CD player so I have the volume down ti ‘1.’ I can’t hear it but it may save me from dying of sensory deprivation. Once I’ve finished writing the headphones come out & either a CD or (more likely) Youtube turned up to ’10’ as I dance around the house like an idiot (Yes, I’m divorced in case you couldn’t tell).
Then there are the well presented young chaps with identical haircuts wielding…..BIBLES!!! I’m an Atheist so waste as little time as possible on them. I can’t help but patronise these kids. “Look boys. I’m an Atheist. You won’t change your mind & I find it quite rude of you to attempt the same.” As I close the door on them I yell, “I’m a sinner & shall not repent!!!”….as I hear their footsteps break into a run away from my house.
What is it with these people? I don’t feel the need to knock on strangers doors & attempt to convince them to think like me or believe what they believe.
In closing, there’s writers block. Word of advice. Don”t sit there staring at the half full page. Move to another project. It always pays to have more than one project on the go. More projects means that there are more triggers at the ready.
Failing this you could have a cigarette & think about your project.
The entry is NOT sponsored by a tobacco company.