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Writing Marathon

Writing Marathon – One thousand words on the hour for eight hours a day for a week (Day Three, Entry Four)

It is easy to succumb to distractions, easier still to succumb to a pattern of distractions once a few have become established

That is why an hourly challenge to post one thousand words works well for me. Not well enough. I get behind, I take breaks and in no time I find I have slipped half an hour. Half an hour I can catch up. I can write two thousand words an hour, what takes longer is sucking the stuff into a PC and doing a spell check.

This is where distractions are occurring, especially if I find myself ten minutes ahead of schedule, I think I have time to do something else, to read and respond to e-mails, to browse the wet-net for sex and be sucked into something else that can take me half an hour.

Hey. I’m getting the wordage.

Pushed beyond eight thousand words yesterday. A headache had me race into town for Solpadeine, I hadn’t intended to spend anything today. This I needed. Unless I need beer or a coffee. Not at 11.00 a.m. though. I killed a Jubilee Daisy this morning. It upsets me. The thing is a gift from TBT’s nursery. I had a flower from it last week and have another three buds coming through. It was wilting, just a little.

Perhaps i have over watered it, or the sun is too bright. I decide to support it with a wooden kebab skewer from the kitchen drawer. I must have rupture part of the main stem when I pushed it into the soil, the thing has collapsed on me. I do this to people. They go cool on me, I say something inappropriate and the relationship dies. I’ve taken to printing off the five day weather forecast each morning. It both amused and irritates me to see that the forecast for is altered constantly. It tends on the pessimistic side, never getting our hopes up about a sunny day. I am burning again, not warm, cooled by a sea-breeze by enough to warrant sun cream or a T -shirt. I’m bronzing nicely. I’ll look like the jet -setting owner of a yacht in the Med even if I’m not.

Time to reflect on the writing so far.

As I’ve said this hourly challenge works for me, though I ought to go for two and three hour spells too, it might lead to entire chapters getting written in a sitting rather that the current bouts of bits. The three jerk reaction to ‘Escorts’ needs to be brought to a conclusion. My problem is that I don’t see how it sits in JTW. Or rather I do, but in o doing I am moving further and further from the original concept.

It is becoming what someone at Grange Writers thought it was – an analogy for ‘life’s challenges’ O perhaps it is, perhaps it is my ‘journey to find work’ or ‘my life as a journey that requires working at’ or something. I shouldn’t let it bother me, not this week at least.

Steven Pressfield says sit down and write ’til you can write no more.

That’s what I’m doing and this is what it is producing. I have abandoned the 600 page print off of my Diaryland Diary. For now I don’t need to look for themes in there, I have a list of them here on the Psion and up on the blackboard in the kitchen. I pick one, sit down to develop that theme and find I’m drawn into something different.

Look at ‘flu.

It was an ‘essay’ on the difference between a cold and influenza that got me onto the escort, prostitute, massage parlour thing. Part of being a professional writer will require me to lay tracks before I sit down to write. It is one thing to say I will ‘get on with it’ but another to guide clumps of words towards a finish. My fear, is that I could fall in love with the process of writing not caring if I am spraying piss on a crowd.

For now I will keep things orientated towards ‘JTW’- I won’t dip into other ‘concepts’ or start writing up kids stories. I’ll continue to amble and race along in this vein ’til the end of the week, print off, let it sit – then make up my mind a month hence.


I fancy buying a medieval coastal tower in Malta. It would be the logical step from Appleby Castle in Cumbria. I’m bored with the place. Correction. I’m fed up with the weather. My dad sent me a ‘Weather Tree’ for the kids. This is a drawing of a tree on an A1 sheet of paper. It has a branch for each month and a leaf for each day of that month attached to twigs on that branch. Each day you colour in a leaf. Yellow for sun, Charcoal grey for cloud. Blue for rain and so on. We ‘animate’ the leaf if it has been windy. Six months into the year I can see four sunny days. Much of March April and May is blacked out with a fury of rain and wind. It need the sun. I crave the sun. I wanted to sit in it, garden in it, eat lunch under it, sail in it … be warmed by it. To do so I need to move the family abroad. I had thought about South Africa (my brother lives in Cape Town), but I couldn’t adjust to the violence. It’s too far from England, too distant from Europe.

The same applies for the States or Eastern Africa.

France was an option, somewhere down by Perpignan. Then I got a postcard from my sister who took her family to Malta for a couple of weeks. That’s what I’d like, a castle built by the knights Templar at around the same time as Appleby, Similar, pedigree too, a Norman Castle. What I do once I get there I don’t know, I like to look a little, then leap. School for the kids? Not so difficult, there’s an English School on the island, or we can home educate. We have a couple of tutors who come in already to teach art and maths and the music teachers come into a similar category.

We’ll not be lonely, I’ll lay down tickets for family and friends. Fly people out at my expense most weekend.

1,074 words

Of course, I’m getting it all wrong. A 500 good words, taking all day about it, would be better than unplishable ‘wordage.’


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