Friday, 18 September 2009

Weirdest Place You've Done It

Like a lot of...er, people...I used to think there was only one place I could do it: in my bedroom with the curtains drawn, completely alone, with a cigarette on stand-by for afterwards.

But now I can do it almost anywhere.

I am of course talking about writing. Back in the days when I thought it was the surroundings and props (kind of wish I hadn't started this now) that would help The Muse to appear, I had the time and space to believe that was true. I needed total quiet. I needed black coffee and cigarettes. I needed a computer.

Now I think that those requirements were like an extra army of excuses for why I hadn't written that day. I didn't want to write badly enough.

Never was this more obvious to me than this Thursday, a non-stop rainy day during which I took my son to an indoor playcentre. I also took a notebook. The place was absolute bloody mayhem - kids screaming, mothers desperately trying to have an adult conversation while their little ones howled about being hit in the face by a plastic ball, and a very worrying smell drifting down the stairs from the loo. In three hours I wrote more than I'd have managed in three weeks with my former dark-silent-room scenario. When you want to write badly enough, you can do it anywhere.

Here are some poets who do it in strange places - including Benjamin Zephaniah who did it while stuck in a lift with a drag queen.

Please share your weirdest case scenarios.

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6 comments:

Sasch said...

You're just a big tease but hurrah! Excellent news... Other than the worrying smell.

sophiabennett said...

With my laptop balanced on the cooker, while 'making tea' for the kids. About an hour ago. xxx

Mabel Forsyth said...

Thanks for nothing!..I have now no excuse for not producing more work!
(I'm an illustrator, but the same avoidance tactics apply )
great post!

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thanks for the great tongue-in-cheek post.
:)
Weirdest place I've written?
I've jotted down descriptive passages at a wedding reception.
:)
All the best,
@RKCharron
xoxo

Anthony Sullivan said...

Nice post.

Strangest place I've done it? Hospital waiting room while my Mom was having open heart surgery. I knocked out 1000 words on my iPhone.

Anthony

Emily Gale said...

Sasch, indeed - other people's children's wee smells are always so much worse.

Sophia, gawd, don't burn your laptop!

Mabel, oh it's nice to know illustrators do the same. Thanks for visiting.

RK, I think I would be too "wobbly" at a wedding reception - well done!

Anthony, wow, that's pretty intense...and I assume the words that came out were intense too?

Thanks for your comments, everyone.