Monday, 27 April 2009

Instead of Something Else

I think it was Flaubert who suggested that writers should live unexceptional and orderly lives so as to be able to focus their creative energies on their work. I’m not 100% on this reference; it only came to my attention because Martin Amis wrote something in which he said that JG Ballard agreed with the idea. Flaubert’s a Senegalese footballer, right? So what would he know about it?

My own life, the life of an indolent wannabe-writer without so much as a single completed piece of fiction to his name, suffers from being both uneventful and chaotic: I do nothing of interest and I do it erratically. By way of example, last week my primary achievements were 1) partially varnishing the kitchen floor of my parents’ house, 2) attending a dental check-up, 3) watching the final episode of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle on BBC iPlayer. And those really are the highlights; I can’t remember anything else. The times at which I got out of bed ran from eight am to three pm.

So I’m not exactly cultivating interesting life experiences, nor am I using the time to perfect my craft—I think that would involve actually completing something (although I could always pioneer a genre consisting entirely of opening paragraphs from implied stories ). In fact, much of my writing time is dedicated to the creation of nonsense, navel-gazing pieces like this. I have no useful conclusion to draw. Fin.

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