I was taking a rather gloomy look at my bank statement yesterday when a friend rang me up and said that creative writing is terribly therapeutic, even when you don’t get paid for it. Really? What about when you’re half way through a story and nothing is working and your main character is as lively as Scott Tracey on Thunderbird One when all the puppeteers break for lunch?
Writing can be the absolute pits. You can get to a point where your brain is blank, and everything you’ve done seems rubbish and forced, and then you go and have a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive, and you know that you’d rather clean the drains than attempt any more messing about with the English language, thank you very much.
And then I flicked through a book and read this piece by George Gissing from New Grub Street (written in 1891):
There were floating in his mind five or six possible subjects for a book, all dating back to the time when he first began novel writing, when ideas came freshly to him. If he grasped desperately at one of these, and did his best to develop it, for a day or two he could almost content himself […] But scarcely had he done a chapter or two when all the structure fell into flatness.
Oh George, I know how you feel, mate.