A Slippery Slope

I have just installed the free trial of Scrivener. I’m using it to write this. I don’t know how long I’m allowed to use it for before I have to pay for it. Let’s hope something new and shiny comes along to distract me before the trial period ends.

We know that’s not going to happen though, don’t we. I’ve been writing a blog for over twenty years now. I like writing. It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m writing most of the time – it’s just something I like to do. Some people do sudoku puzzles, some do crosswords. I write.

I’ve written for as long as I can remember.

Back when I worked in London I wrote in a paper notebook each day, and transcribed it into the blog in the evening. I remember sitting in cafes and parks watching people go about their lives. I often wondered where people were coming from and going to – what their lives were like. I wondered if you could tell much about a person from their appearance, or they way they presented themselves.

I’ve often dreamed of writing something bigger – something greater – than a journal. I’ve experimented with essay writing, and an autobiography. I discovered very quickly that most essays look a lot like mansplaining – so much so that I grew quite allergic to them.

I have something of an aversion to anything even vaguely preachy – which probably explains my rejection of organised religion in a strange sort of way. I suppose at heart I like the idea of presenting somebody with as much information or argument as you sensibly can, and letting them make their own mind up about things.

I do like stories.

I like that stories take you on a journey, and don’t tell you what you should or should not believe. I think a good story shows without telling – inviting interpretation, opinion, attachment, and investment.

Can I write a story that anybody might become invested in though?

The most natural route would be to reference my own world – the people I know, the situations I face, and so on. I think it might be too obvious though. Those that know me well enough would see straight through the story.

I think it was Hemingway that insisted you must have lived before you can write – without life experience you have no bedrock to anchor a story to. A relatable character or situation won’t come entirely from your imagination – it will be a pastiche of people you know, or events that came to pass.


I installed Scrivener. I guess that’s a first step. Now I need to shut the door, turn the music off, and start writing. Maybe it will become my morning thing. On weekends I’m invariably up and about several hours before the rest of the household. That’s got to be prime writing time, hasn’t it?

Of course writing time will be curtailed by chores, errands, and the trail of destruction caused by the rest of the family – but that must be the same for everybody, right?

Maybe there’s a story in that. In the daily struggle. The frustrations.

I need to start writing ideas down.

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