Clearly because I have nothing better to do with my time, I have decided to launch a brand-new series on my YouTube channel called ‘How Do You Write?’ In each episode I will be sharing some thoughts on how I write. I will also be joined from time to time by special guests who will be talking about how they write. I currently have two episodes uploaded to YouTube and if you are interested here they are.
If you sit through them both you’ll see that Episode 2 is a bit slicker than Episode 1. That’s fine, I like to think it says something about the writing journey. In any case, you can’t upload newer, revised versions of videos on YouTube, only delete them, so I took the decision to leave Episode 1 as it is. I might review that decision in the future, depending on how the series goes.
My daughter watches a lot of YouTubers and the one thing I have learned from watching them with her is that it is really necessary to ask people to like your videos and subscribe to your channel so please could you like my videos and subscribe to my channel.
Thanks for reading and for (hopefully) watching.
See you soon.
I spent three years writing a doctoral dissertation and used to love the hours I spent fussing over commas and colons. I could while away a whole afternoon formatting a single footnote and then be satisfied that this was all I had done for the day.
I worked in an enormous university library somewhere in the south east of England – it was the size of a decent shopping centre – and had a small perch/nest (room) overlooking a large reading room. With the exception of the occasional undergraduate who was happier talking than actually reading, the sense of silence was awe-inspiring.
I treated my doctorate like a job and wrote between 9 and 12 everyday Monday to Friday. Then I would stop for lunch.
After lunch I would return to my perch and not write.
I would do anything else I felt was necessary dissertation-wise, but I avoided writing anything new.
Once I left the library for the day it was as if my doctorate didn’t exist. I was lucky to be able to forget all about it and not lay awake at night worrying whether I would finish it or not.
The next morning I would be on the bus at 8am and spend the hour it took to get to my perch reading two newspapers.
I didn’t always feel like writing but I did always feel like sitting in my perch.
I’m no longer sitting in that library but I do still eat my lunch at 12 Monday to Friday.
I hope you have a productive day whatever you are doing.
P.S. How do you work?
Happy New Year Everyone
It is that wonderful time of year when all things are reset and everything begins back at the beginning.
Or does it?
The Viro project is still up and running and perhaps it is due to my years of academic training but I still need to have something printed before I can truly get to grips with it.
Like everyone else, words accumulate on-screen on a daily basis and whilst I know that they are there in front of me it also feels like they are somehow far away.
I can keep adding words (and I do keep adding words) – one of the many values of completing a PhD is the daily discipline it forces you to adhere to – but the profoundly intimate relationship I have developed with every single one of my millions of words is also simultaneously extremely impersonal.
This is not to say that they are not my words. They most certainly are – each and every one. Perhaps I am simply acknowledging the digital distance that can now exist between oneself and one’s work.
Nor do I yearn for anything older or more intensive.
I love writing by hand but couldn’t contemplate accumulating as many words as I have managed to do over the years if I had to keep turning a page.
I save the pleasure of handwriting for cards, letters and the occasional note to school.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I have printed a draft of Book One in the Viro series and am now copy-editing it.
I’m not going to lie; this is not my favourite part of the whole process but it does mean that I get to use my favourite pen.
Have a great day everyone.