Sunday, 29 May 2011

Things That Get In The Way of Writing

Summer. A bad time of year for me. Always has been. The Big Problem I have with Summer is that it brings too many distractions.

Brought up on Cricket I can't help but watch and listen to far too much of the great summer sport - and as someone who really only enjoys playing golf with the sun on my back that time of year is here again.

But it isn't just sport, a few weeks ago, with the sun shining, I picked up my paint brushes and started painting landscapes. Yesterday I had some pictures at a sale and four were bought. That gives me a kick. My mind shifts to a bohemian existence, walking a sun-drenched beach in rolled-up white linen trousers, listening to the cry of gulls and finding interesting pieces of driftwood. Wow those artist have it good don't they?

So, between the art and the sport and the garden - I didn't mention that but every year about this time the garden exerts its magnetic draw - this is a bad bad time for this writer.

And then there's Facebook.

And Twitter.

And This Blog (a little neglected as of the past twelve days! sorry)

And great new music to listen to.

And maybe doing a little more broadcasting...maybe.

When it comes to 'things that get in the way of writing'  the list is long. I'll sit down after I've had my second cup of earl Grey...and read the paper...and the magazine...and Empire magazine...and Broadcast...

I'll go for a walk, clear my mind.

I'll go for a walk and work out those plot points.

I'll sit on a bench and watch people pass by, making up stories for them.

Ill watch Mr Blackbird and his wife in the garden for just another minute - and then I'm going to sit down to write.

I'll take  a bath.

Take and shower.

Just listen to the end of this radio phone-in...

Make a few calls.

Harass my agent.

There are SO MANY movies I'm behind on my list - I'll watch this one now and then...

I know I'm not alone. If they ever do away with the word Writer 'Procrastinator' will do fine. And it's always worse for me in the summer. I try to get as much done in Autumn and Winter and Spring as possible because I know Summer will do its level best to lead me astray. Which is why I for years I couldn't understand how anyone ever wrote anything in Los Angeles. They should have put Hollywood in Manchester, all that rain, I'd be up there churning out screenplays.

Then I took my laptop to Portugal and finished a screenplay looking at a swimming pool. I told myself I was at last cured. I COULD write in the sunshine. Summer could be as productive as those other months.  But in my villa, by the pool, on the Algarve - with limited Internet access - I was protected from The Great Temptations. The sport, the paints, the garden, the golf - everything else.

Fact of the matter is - I have to lock myself away, stare at that little blinking cursor and forget that it's June, July or August and pretend it's October, November or December.

But it doesn't stop me making more cups of tea than I need...and watching that Blackbird...and making calls.

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