Dead Writers in Rehab

By Paul Bassett Davies

The only thing worse than waking up with the hangover from hell is waking up with a hangover in hell

Wednesday, 24 February 2016



Here is ANOTHER extract from the as-yet unpublished book by The Writertype:

"How To Do Writing - the only writing advice you'll never not need"

This extract is a useful guide to getting started at doing writing. It covers WHAT YOU WILL  NEED.


1. Somewhere to write.

Try to find a large, quiet space with natural light and a nice view. If you do, sell it immediately. Forget writing, go into property. Make some real money. Otherwise, settle  for somewhere reasonably quiet, comfortable and clean. So, obviously not your place. Maybe a friend with a nice house has a spare room. However, having friends is a sign you may not be a serious writer. Don't worry, you'll soon lose them. Meanwhile, try at least to position your desk near a window. But don't look out of the window in the morning, or you'll have nothing to do in the afternoon.


2. Something to write with.

E.g., pencil, paper, computer, £400 Mont Blanc fountain pen you bought with a tax rebate as an "investment" that would "make you a better writer". Personally, I need to have a seven freshly sharpened pencils beside me before I can begin work. I don't write in pencil, I use a computer like everyone else. I just need to have those seven pencils beside me. Seven. No more, no less. 2HB. Freshly sharpened. And they must all be precisely the same length, otherwise I become enraged. Some people say this is a little obsessive, and a sign that I may have some kind of problem. These are the same people who say I'm vindictive. But I know who those people are, and I know where they live.


3. Something to write.

See: 'How to Have an Idea'; 'How to Have the Same Idea Again and Make it Look Like Another Idea', and 'How to Have Someone Else's Idea.'


4. Someone to help.

One famous author employed a butler whose job was to leave the house before the author woke up, taking all his trousers with him. This cut down the author's scope for displacement activities like "popping out to buy some milk" for several hours. If you can't afford a butler, throw your trousers out of the window yourself. If you haven't got the willpower to throw your own trousers out of the window, most writers find it takes very little to provoke a spouse or partner to throw all their clothes out of the house. Remarks like, "Actually, creative thinking is far more exhausting work than your teaching job, even when I do it lying here on the couch," usually do the trick. If you can't afford a window, hide your trousers and get drunk, so that in the morning you can't remember where they are. If you can't afford trousers, congratulations; you're already on the way to becoming a truly committed writer.


5. Time.

Writing is a full time job, even when you're not actually writing. Much of your most valuable work is done when it looks as if you're just taking a nap, or lying in a bath. But it's important to be disciplined about all this. It's easy to let those precious hours slip away without noticing. So, organise your day, and waste time according to a strict schedule.


6. Money.

All writers deserve to have an independent income. My income is so fiercely independent that I very rarely see it.


7. Coffee.

Yes. Plenty of coffee.

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John Crawford
 John Crawford says:

Excellent insights! Keep them coming! I would add wine tasting to number 5...I can lose days that way...

posted 24th February 2016

Cara Usher
 Cara Usher says:

enjoying this primer into how to become an author so much!! how about reading books ABOUT writing - you can convince yourself that it's research, and that you might discover a new method for getting your own thing happening, when you really know it's just another way of "popping out for some milk" without actually having to leave your armchair (and/or put on those elusive trousers!!)

posted 25th February 2016

paul bassett davies
 paul bassett davies says:

Thanks for the comments; I would reply to them, but it would distract me from the important task of re-arranging my pencils. Although I see I am, in fact, replying to them. Well, that's it. There's the whole day ruined. No point trying to do any writing now. I'd better go to the shops.

posted 25th February 2016

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