Now? Really?

So you have time to write. The door is shut, the house empty, the phone switched off. There are no chores to do. The house is clean, the shopping done, the laundry basket empty. You have nothing to do but write.

And this is the moment your head completely empties. You sit there, pen in hand or hands on computer keyboard or finger on the record button and you cannot think of a single thing. Even The Cat Sat On The Mat has gone out of your head. (Although, worryingly, you keep on repeating All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy).

It happens to all of us. All the time. The minute you’re ready to write, your inspiration runs dry.

The joy is, it comes back. When you’re at your day job. When you’re trying to feed the kids. When you’re on the bus. When you’re anywhere, doing anything that can’t be interrupted. Your brain only wants to write when you can’t.

I think there’s some reason for this. Something to do with having to busy your mind to get your subconscious working. This is why so many writers procrastinate, and talk and write about procrastination, and whether it’s a good thing or not. But I do know it’s very irritating.

People have been known to tell me that being a writer must be a wonderful, calming, peaceful profession. It is, in fact, deeply irritating at times. But only we writers know that.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

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