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Thursday, 18 February 2010

peter morrison 2010

You’ll notice that i don’t call It by its right name. speaking its name might not actually bring it on but why take foolish chances. I’m talking about a certain sort of stoppage or ungoing, not infrequently an ongoing ungoing, that sometimes afflicts those whose trade is the writing of fiction. One of the strange truths about fiction is that practitioner writing with no difficulty on Monday may be utterly incapable of doing it on Tuesday. The poor blighter is suddenly rocked. ‘How’s it going?’ one’s friends ask cheerfully. ‘It’s not,’ one replied.

Can you pick it up from casual liaisons? Yes. From toilet seats? Yes. From reading the Sunday supplements? Watching The South Bank Show? Yes, yes. There are more ways of picking it up than not.

Various writers deal with it in various ways’ alcohol and frequent snacks, the traditional folk-remedies, do little to relieve the blankness of the page. Jogging has been known to result in the odd paragraph and a fair number of heart attacks. Hot baths and cold showers, travel and other forms of escape are unproductive.

One of the earliest symptoms is a growing dread of blank paper, and at this stage preventative action may still have some effect; certainly, in the mind-to-paper process, one’s choice of paper is important. I always use 80-gram yellow A4; it’s the kind of yellow the paper manufacturers call gold, and gold is what one is trying to refine the base metal of one’s thoughts into, isn’t It. While at the same time making a modest living if possible. Yellow paper definitely has less word resistance than blue; yellow-paper molecules are happier with blank-ink molecules than the blue paper ones are, and more susceptible to Brownian or even purpureal motion. I never use white paper - to intensity the blankness of a blank sheet by using white paper is to run to meet trouble considerably more than halfway.

from "Blighters Rock", The Moment under The Moment

the picture shows this year's quote on my work monitor, with post-it to prompt the sourcing of yellow paper.... the quote itself was then tweeted (in a chopped up, unfortunately messy fashion), though was one of those days where i went to work and had dinner at friends, so had little other option. and would help if twitter weren't blocked from work....and all the parts had actually gone in from my phone. so it goes.

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