On Writing: Once Upon A Time…

…every cool idea I had would find its way into an article, blog, tweet or Facebook post. Now I’m writing a book and it seems to mostly end up there. I’ve read close to 100 books this year, but because they are mostly on topics relating to my book, I haven’t yet put all the cool ideas I’m having out there in public. So, oddly, writing for printed publication is undermining all my other writing. This book is a parasite. But some parasites can be quite beautiful when they eventually flower:

The other strange thing about writing is that it’s hard work. I mean REALLY HARD WORK. Who knew?
I probably should have known. I’ve been writing for publication and academic study for years. It’s always taken a lot of effort for me to produce anything written. Yet, still, in some corner of my mind, there hovers an assumption that creative endeavors are all about spark and inspiration which flows like water from a tap. The idea that writing a book might sometimes feel like doing a shift in a factory feels counter-intuitive. But believe me, like every arts graduate I did my few years of doing every job under the sun, and this is as much hard work and effort as any other.
I still need inspiration, of course, but the tricky part is getting the flashes of unexpected thought in my head to even sound mildly comprehensible when I convert them into Calibri-fonted pixels on my laptop screen.
We’ll get there, though… 38 percent of the book is now written, according to my calculations. As a taster, here is the title page of the chapter I am working on right now:

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