I've always been able to console myself that despite lacking an agent or a (conventional) publisher I am still, at any rate, the most successful writer in my lone occupant household.
Sadly, even this turns out not to be true.
I got a letter last week addressed to "Paulo Coelho", who has given the Metropolitan Police my address in connection with an incident they would like to talk to him about. I'm not sure where in the flat he's been living but I guess it's a sign that I need to be a bit tidier around the place; clearly I'm providing too much habitat for writers. I cleaned out all the kitchen cupboards before the riots, but maybe he's been putting his head down in my wardrobe. Note to self: really must be more careful.
The morning pages experiment continues. On the face of it, this has been spectacularly unsuccessful. Today's session was spent getting ready for Barry The Tiler coming round at five to eight. Does getting my kitchen done count as procrastination?
I had an insight. I was listening to someone the other day struggling to describe in straightforward terms what they liked to read, other than chick lit. It shouldn't be this complicated; we all know instinctively what this other genre is, even if we can't quite define it. It's the section in Waterstones or on Amazon we would all home in on, if it existed. Kind of speaks for itself, really:
I had a routine of sorts. I called it the witching hour - that period of relative calm between about eleven in the evening and two in the morning when:
a) local people had stopped having daft accidents and requiring constant attention from paramedics from Europe's largest A&E department nearby,
b) the Napoleonic army of unfit, generally cow-like but nonetheless extremely noisy people popularly known as the Metropolitan police had finally gone to bed and were no longer using my street as their own personal Santa Pod, and
c) I used to have the stamina to still be awake to take advantage of the peace.
Magic happened in that witching hour, albeit not particularly publishable magic.
I must be getting older; for some reason I feel like more like sleeping when it gets late at night. So I am thinking of becoming an early morning person. If I can knuckle down to write before I go to work, I can be fresher and write before my mind has become distracted by all the nonsense of the average day. It's a good theory. So far it has worked only once in the two weeks since I decided to try it. Recent early mornings have been spent organising parking and, this last week, entertaining builders. Another morning's attempt failed on account of having already been woken four times at various small hours in the morning for call-outs. But what I did achieve in that much-abbreviated attempt at morning pages was the thought 'blog entry'. When life gives you lemons, hand them off to your readers I mean, make lemonade.