My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is to write something original every day. This won’t mean writing in this blog each day – it could be an entry in my diary, or some fiction. I’m allowing myself all sorts of get-outs, so a (non-work-related) email counts, as does an interesting combination of two words.
In Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut classifies writers as either ‘swoopers’ or ‘bashers’, where swoopers write whole swathes of prose and then go back and edit, and bashers hone each sentence to completion before continuing. I realised that I fall into neither category because, although I think of myself as somebody who writes, I rarely do.
It’s been about six years since I wrote the last sentence that I was really proud of, while in San Francisco on business: ‘Californians in Alcatraz Swim Team T-shirts flap, then settle and perch to watch fishermen gut clams.’
Although I’m too lazy to search out the exact quote, Will Self once said that in order to do any writing at all, he had to become infinitely slothful and inert – then the writing would just happen as a reaction to the boredom he had created. After six years, I can no longer even fall back on this excuse.