xvi

Write quickly, write out what’s in my head – new tactic today. Writing at work today was good, but at the same time I feel totally disconnected from my own. Even this feels unfamiliar and I’ve been doing it for nearly two weeks straight, though of course I missed last night with total unexplicable energy loss.

Energy loss. I don’t think I can write effectively at work while expressing myself at home. When I was a journalist I was forcing my brain to create word after word, sentence after sentence about one thing and one thing only, for really one purpose only which was to increase coverage about stuff you buy from a shelf in WHSmith. Which, unnervingly, is really beginning to look like Woolworths nowadays.

I tried to write at home but it was just angry, directionless stuff. I wrote some pretty good videogames stuff, but that too was angry stuff, casting about in the wilderness looking for answers, turning over stones and just finding stuff to get angry about, or feel depressed about. I’ve written about this before. Eventually the nonstop invasion of my work writing into my home writing just burnt out any desire I had to actually be writing.

Right now I still want to be writing, which is a mercy. And there’s very, very little chance of my work writing invading my home writing given the vast differences – one is about supermassive new buildings and 25-foot drills, the other is epic heroic poetry about the unavoidable flaws of men and the unstoppable train you ride when making the wrong decision. So that’s safe.

But the effort I’m putting into it, well, that’s really pushing its way in. I’m thinking about the brochure I’m writing at work while I’m trying to read or sleep, take a shower or write this. And if I’m not thinking about the brochure (the design, the page devices, how we’re going to feed in the messages) I’m attempting to recover from a whole day spent writing the brochure.

The only thing I can say is at least my deadline for work is more pressing. Once I’ve written this damn thing I can start cutting out work from my home life again, go back to my more comfortable way of walking home, forgetting about work and sitting down, getting on to the writing I care about. The writing that will make me my living. This brochure is just words.

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About Ben Catley-Richardson

Writer, reader, husband. Father!
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