Writers are a big bunch of moaners. And I count myself in this number. A quick rifle through a few blogs and websites, books and documentaries will reveal that since ancient times writers have come in myriad shapes and forms – from Plato (who I imagine to be slightly ratty-faced for some reason) to the domed head of Shakespeare, to the comfortable features of George Eliot to the squinting George Orwell and the shattered visage of Will Self. All great writers, all from wide and divergent worlds and contexts but you can be sure (even though this is utter and reckless supposition) all of them were capable of moaning for England. Or Greece.
It is really hard being a writer. Oh the solitude. Oh the pain. Oh the feelings of self-loathing and debasement when failing to produce anything more than “It was a really pissy morning and George had forgotten his handbag” in a day’s desk-bound toil. (You can’t nick that by the way, it’s mine. It might seem like a dreadful sentence now but in the context of my as-yet-unwritten prose tetralogy “George Forgets” it is going to blow you away).
And you know what, it is hard. It is really hard. But complaining about, particularly publicly, puts you in a Venn diagram with Rio Ferdinand – which is not somewhere most would choose to be, save from those big-boobed-beauties that hang around expensive nightclubs in search of footballers to fellate. Not that I have the slightest idea if such women actually exist. I assume they do simply because everyone else assumes they do. Which is an utterly terrifying way of reaching an opinion.
The point of this Rio-shaped avenue of analogy is that he tweeted on New Year’s Eve that he was in his hotel room ahead of Manchester United’s fixture against Wigan Athletic the next day. Apparently his legions of followers (presumably dressed as Roman soldiers) should feel sorry for him because he was not out having fun welcoming the new year with big-boobed-beauties in expensive nightclubs.
Cue a flock of tweets in response calling him all manner of amusing names and suggesting that for £80,000 a week he should, quite rightly, be a little more humble and maybe his “problems” were a little less deserving of heart-wrenching pity than say, I don’t know, people in the UK slipping into poverty as the cost of living continues its inexorable march upwards or, you know, famine, genocide and the like.
Where was I going with all this? Oh yes, amusingly, or pitiably, I was going to write about how hard it is to write when you have itunes on your computer! Ha! I am an idiot.
I think my point was going to be that having thousands of songs stashed on the hard-drive means that, for a music lover like, me you are simply one click away from leaping up to your feet and doing a sort of experimental jive that must, never, ever be seen in public. Not even when trying to woo big-boobed-beauties. Yeah, like that is what would put them off!
Take this afternoon for example. I had a chat with Jimmy earlier and there have been some exciting developments on the as-yet-unannounced project that we may well un-unannounce in the near future. And I had some work to do. Some work with the very real deadline of BEDTIME TONIGHT. So what happened? Well firstly I made a cup of tea and then rediscovered Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s timeless 1992 classic “The Only Living Boy in New Cross” in my itunes library.
And then I had a dance. And then I just had to listen to the Wonder Stuff. And then Teenage Fanclub and then James. All with their very specific accompanying variations of the classic early 90s dance move of shuffling around and staring at your feet.
And then I wrote on the internet about doing all of this.
I recently saw that someone had made a motivational picture to stick up in their writing room -not the predictable “Keep Calm and Don’t Write Shit Words” but rather a photograph of Neil Gaiman with the slogan: “Neil Gaiman wants you to write stuff” (or something). Anyway, this was meant to banish early 90s indie music digression and focus the writer in question on the task of creating whatever it was she was creating. Maybe it worked. I should probably get one of Bill Oddie saying “Knob!” or Michael Haneke saying “Wo ist das Schwimmbad bitte?”.
Anything to get me down to work. Proper work. Oh you don’t know how hard it is. It is painful. Teasing out creative works, syllable by syllable. Pity me! Pity me!
Oh before I do, here’s Carter USM. Whatever happened to Carter USM? Just listen to that early 90s synth sound. God, it’s good. The two blokes were called Jimbob and Fruitbat. Oh the memories, the memories . . .