Monthly Archives: December 2015

You are in real danger of being absolutely useless

Dear fellow writer,

I am crap and lethargic and full of self-doubt.

So are you.

I am talented and capable and confident.

So are you.

So how do you feel today?  Are you the first you or the second?  Will you be held back by all your hang-ups and insecurities, or will you be urging yourself on because you know you can do whatever you set your mind to?

I have a way of ensuring that you never have a day where you are entirely unproductive and negative about yourself.

Well, I have a way that works for me.

It’s very simple.

You’re sitting at your desk, pen in hand/fingers on keyboard.  And you are all set to start writing.  But there is a kettle, and there are teabags, and a radio with all sorts of stations, and there’s twitter and Facebook and Wikipedia and ‘ooh look a cat that looks like Peter Crouch’.

What have we become?

Examine these pictures carefully.

You want one of these things.  You want it badly, so badly that you will do literally anything to get it.  Or rather, you will do anything literary to get it.

Here’s the thing: Bribe yourself.  And be prepared to punish yourself too.

So, let’s say you want to produce five hundred words.  Until you do, you cannot have a cup of tea, or a cigarette, or a glass of wine, or the new book you wanted.  If you do not produce the five hundred words, then you cannot have the thing you crave, not at all, until you have written those words.

For the purposes of this rant I shall be using this as an example:


If you do not like what you see in the above picture then I seriously doubt you have enough intelligence or feeling to be a writer.


So, it’s an hour later, a painful chocolate-free hour, and you’ve written the words, and their absolute bilge-water.

So what?

You now have a thousand words where you previously had a blank page.  AND you have a face full of  Kit-Kat Chunky.  Feels good right?

You may not be impressed with this approach.  You may have tried it and are now sitting there mid sugar-rush looking at the word ‘pillow’ typed five hundred times.

Stick with me.

Now you must up your game.  What do you crave now?  Another Kit-Kat?  A glass of vin rouge?  A trip to the cinema?  It matters not.  YOU CANNOT HAVE IT.  Because you are about to set your next goal.  You must now turn the absolute rot you spewed onto the paper into something that wouldn’t have you sectioned where your house to be raided and your laptop/notebook to be examined by the authorities.

This is my method.

I told you it was simple.

Follow it like I do and you will never get writers’ block.  Instead, you can tell your writer friends ‘I’ve written something crap today’.  And they will realise how great an achievement this is.  Because, like you, they know the agony of staring at a blank page.

But the agony of waiting for a Kit-Kat Chunky has no equal.