Smart Is The New Sexy
The time has come to get out of my hibernation mode and start writing on the blog again. Since I wrote last, a lot has happened: I moved into a new house, I’m going to a ukulele course and I started to see Liverpool as my new home. I now know the route of the bus going home, how to get to the park, where to buy ripe fruit and cheap candles. Not even the weather disappoints me anymore, though I still like to complain about it for conversation’s sake.
What took me out of my hibernation was not the arrival of spring – the first day of snow in Liverpool was actually 3rd of March – but an interesting talk at The Brink, a “dry” restaurant (meaning they don’t serve alcohol) in Liverpool downtown. The big attraction for me that evening was that the meal was included in the ticket price (I love their fish and chips) and I didn’t know the name of the speaker nor cared too much about it. I did hear he was some kind of big name for the British television and that he wrote scripts.
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The event started with the speaker and the moderator sitting on the stage in two green velvet armchairs, a slideshow of boring pictures with soap opera actors, and a conversation with too many references I didn’t know. I started to doodle in my notebook while sipping rose lemonade and bringing my ear back to what was being said on the stage from time to time. The famous speaker had diamond rings which sparkled beautifully when he lifted the microphone to speak.
However, the people around me seemed very interested in what he had to say, a guy had read his book and the questions from the public seemed very well thought out. I found out that he wrote and produced “Brookside”, a soap opera set in Liverpool which lasted for 21 years! When my partner asked him if he ever struggled with writer’s block, my years immediately pricked up. “Writer’s block, that must be my affliction” I was thinking. To my surprise, he said he never had it. Now this was a guy who wrote thousands of pages of script! Instead he said “I stop writing when I know what’s going to happen next” and “I learnt to write and work anywhere, on the taxi, on the train, then on the taxi again”.
This contradicted what I had been taught about writing, that you need to have a mental plan about what is going to happen in your story and how your characters will react.
I went on Google and found out that Ernest Hemingway said the same thing: “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”
This woke me up and made me realise that as long as I decide that I’m going to write something and just get in front of the white page, whether it’s on paper or on the computer screen, I can write.