Thursday, 22 July 2010

Writer's block

I have recently begun writing my memoirs. As Harpenden's premier celebrity cat I felt it was only right and proper, and I have made at least 3 advance book sales to Facebook friends alone.

However, I have discovered that the path to literary greatness is not an easy one. It's a lot more challenging than writing a status update, or even a blog (about 70,000 words more challenging, to be precise). The good news is that my agent tells me that what my book needs is 'a journey'. You've come to the right cat, I told her, journeys are my speciality. One time I even got as far as Wheathampstead. Turns out this wasn't quite the sort of journey she had in mind, but it's a start.

The main problem I'm facing at the moment is the perennial scourge of the author: writer's block. It's not so much that I don't know what to write, it's just that there are so many - dare I say it - more exciting things I could be doing with my time (all in the name of research, of course).

For instance, I started writing a chapter about my favourite Harpenden pub, when I suddenly realised I couldn't remember the exact layout of seating options there, and nor could I recall precisely the cupboard in the kitchen where the chef keeps the tuna. Among writers this is known as the 'tyranny of detail', and of course it meant that I had to pop down to aforesaid pub and sample both the seating and the tuna in order to be able to continue writing the chapter. If you can imagine this scene multiplied by a thousand, you will have some understanding of my current dilemma.

There are also the numerous distractions of writing at home to be overcome. My desk overlooks the back garden, which at this time of year is positively buzzing with activity: cats passing through, wildlife taunting me, sunbeams just waiting to be napped in. Plus I have to cope with the added distraction of the little people in the house who, when they are not trying to distract me with their toys, are pestering to use my computer themselves.

I am trying to console myself with the fact that JK Rowling managed to write Harry Potter during her baby daughter's naps. Clearly, where there's a will there's a way (although did JK also have a facebook page and a blog to maintain at the same time? I doubt it). But if JK can do it, so can I.

First, though, I think it's time for a nap.

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