If I’m going to do this every day, I need to be more disciplined. Hard to do when for four days out of seven you’re looking after a two-year-old force of nature called Zac. So I’m going to get up (usually around 6am) when he gets up and forego the lie in I usually have until Rhonda takes the boys to school. This morning I wrote a thousand words in two hours before Zac demanded my presence to watch his favourite TV programme, Show Me, Show Me. I got another couple of hundred words done in the John Lewis car park while Zac had his mid-morning nap. For anybody who is into the fetishism of writing, I write longhand in one of these, with one of these. When I’m working directly on to the screen I use this. Word, or Microsoft Fossil as I like to refer to it, is finished in my eyes.
Elsewhere, the estimable fantasy writer Steph Swainston warned me against blogging about word counts. ‘That’s not writing, that’s typing,’ she Capoted at me. I appreciate her concern, but counting words is something all writers do. The important thing, I think, is to do it when you’ve come out of the zone. I don’t go the Graham Greene route, for example. Here was a man who hated the physical toil of writing to the extent that his manuscripts are dotted with little numbers where he had totted up his output so that he could put the damned thing aside once he’d reached his daily total of 500 words. Cracking writer, though, that Graham.
As is Graham Joyce, by the way, whose blog was the inspiration for this mad little exercise…