So where do you begin?
Sadly, it’s taken the best part of a month to decide this alone and a further month to eventually put it down on paper, so to speak. But where writing and me are concerned, long painful silences are common bedfellows. Something of a problem for someone who wants to write a blog you’d imagine. The facts are these; unless there’s a deadline looming large and the promise of hard cash awaits, the thought of writing can usually be beaten into submission by the more alluring proposal of watching the third series of The Sopranos. Again. On some days even watching Cash in the Attic can seem the lesser of two evils.
I’ve tried adopting the common philosophy preached by so many writing experts to always write something whenever the opportunity arises, even if it’s just a solitary sentence. This worked wonders initially as I unleashed a short story’s worth of stream-of-consciousness literary wonder, only to find days later when I attempted to re-read it that some sixth-former had somehow hacked into my computer, deleted all my piercing insights on modern life that would eventually hear the name Sighbury mentioned in the same breath as such great minds as Nietzsche, Sartre and Nick Hornby, and replaced them with excruciating tales of unrequited love and self-loathing. So with another best seller mysteriously lost I’m once again left staring at a blank page.
You couldn’t even pass it off as writer’s block. It’s more a case of the writing equivalent of irritable bowel syndrome. You know you want to let it all out, but whenever you sit down to try nothing happens. Then the urge to unleash returns the exact moment you stand up again. And on and on it goes through countless wasted hours of frustration. Whenever that all too rare occasion arises where you have all day alone in comfortable surroundings to carry out your business then nothing comes. But the moment you are in a situation where it is impossible to capture a single thought – like under the glare of a dentist’s light or waiting for a self-checkout assistant to turn off the flashing red light on a machine that is supposed to speed up your life, but is somehow incapable of recognising that bloody great big 4-pint carton of milk you’ve placed in the packing area – ideas begin to leak from your mind faster than…erm…diarrhoea.
Then by the time you finally manage to record these inspired musings into actual art you’ve forgotten two thirds of what you were positive was on a par with the collective works of Thomas Hardy and the bits you do remember are hastily scribbled down in your “ideas” pad only to be looked at the very next day with the same set of eyes and met with the response, “I haven’t a clue what I’m going on about here. Must have been pissed.” So you take Edwyn Collins’ advice and rip it up and start again.
Yet in amongst all this inertia and HBO reruns it occurred to me that instead of waiting for inspiration to knock on the front door, invite themselves in and slap me across the face with a hardback edition of ‘Great ideas for people with blogs that have no theme’, I should stick to what I know. And before you all shout “this shouldn’t take long”, what I know is everything that’s great in the world – music, travel, football, film, TV, books, beer, pubs, food, restaurants, art, museums, history, sport, idling and the comforting whiff of nostalgia. Plus, I’ll probably bang on a bit about my wife and kids because it would be somewhat remiss of me to exclude them when I’m talking about the things that are most important in my life.
So that’s what I’m gonna write about – all the stuff that makes up my world. And to get the ball rolling I’m starting with the band who made the greatest album ever and a tiny town in northern Spain. I just need to watch the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire first and then I’ll get straight on to it…
*Those of you with a particular fondness for Mancunian indie rock bands from the early 1990’s may have noticed that I have borrowed the title of my first post from a song. I am particularly partial to stealing a quote from songs, films, books and various people of interest on an unhealthily regular basis. I like to consider it an exhibition of my immense cultural knowledge…but grudgingly accept it shows a dramatic lack of originality.
But as I often like to say; “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation”. Or was that Voltaire…