Friday, March 23, 2007


Oh dear. I usually pooh pooh the concept of writer's block because I've never had it, but here I am a week out from deadline for my Grumpy column and I've had three false starts today. Usually the editor reminds me about my deadline on the day and half an hour later he has something that by all accounts is reasonably funny. But he's totally cocked it up by reminding me a full week ahead of time and I've stalled.

An emo kid came into the shop today with shaved eyebrows and I thought there's my column. I mean, have you ever seen how freaky eyebrowless people look? Anyway it just didn't work. Just wasn't funny.

Then I started on about the time I was drunk and decided that my eyebrows were long overdue for a trim, and by the time I'd finished trying to even up my pruning, I was damn near eyebrowless.

That wasn't really working either. Move on from eyebrows, I decided. Eyebrows are not The Thing. There's just nowhere to go with eyebrows. And fuck it if I don't have a strange urge to shave my own eyebrows off now. Just to see how freaky I would look. Anyone dare me to shave my eyebrows off?

Anyway, my third aborted attempt is below. I dunno. Maybe I'll keep going with it, but it kind of feels like it's going nowhere either.


One of the things I love about being a writer is that people tell you what you should write about. It’s a crack up. There’s an Irish guy I work with who seems to think that his Irishness means that by default, he is a funny guy, a raconteur and expert on all that is funny. Erm... sorry Paddy, but the only thing that’s funny about you is your tweedlie doodlie doo leprechaun accent that’s so hard to resist taking the piss out of all the time. “Ah – so yer a wroiter are ya?” he tweedlie doodlie dooed the other day. “What sorta tings do yer wroit about den? You know what ya orta wroit about? You orta wroit about bein’ a chef, dat’s what ya should be wroitin’about.” It was extraordinary. He was absolutely dead sure he knew better than I did what I should be writing about. He hadn’t even asked to be sure (to be sure) that I wasn’t already writing about being a chef. Thing is, he's not the first to do this and I doubt he’ll be the last, but he is the easiest to rip the piss out of with some pretty cheap shots...

What do you think? Keep going or back to the drawing board?


EmmaK said...

It's kind of funny, but doesn't quite hit the mark. It almost sounds surreal...i've never met an irish man who wasn't funny.

Quick said...

Fuck off. Who asked you?

Oh I did :)

Yeah, I agree. It's rubbish. Making fun of someone's accent is hardly comedy genius. Had another false start this morning. Clearly I have to leave it until right before deadline.

Birdy said...

Aaah I get that all the time and I REALLY hate it. My mother is chronic for it:
"Hi darling, I was just thinking, you know my ex-husband? Well after ten years of being divorced I'm still bitter and have decided he was passive aggressive. You should write an article about passive aggressive people."
Yes mother. Except I am an environmental journalist. Which mean I write pretty much exclusively about the environment. And you seem to have overlooked that such a broad topic would make a crap article. And who fucking asked you anyway?
It is weird, I don't think there is another job where people jump in and decide to tell you what to do. If I met a doctor I wouldn't immediately tell them how to diagnose a patient. Why? Because I don't fucking know how, I'm a writer not a fucking doctor.


Seriously tho - I think people think being a writer/ journo is glamourous and want a piece of the action, trilby, press pass and all. Good luck with the thing x

Quick said...

That's where I was going to go with the column. What other job is there where people think it's perfectly normal to tell you what or how to do it?

Nailed the column yesterday. Will post it later. I think it works. Very silly. Still ain't no such thing as writer's block.

(Word verification: tilyeeto).

Anonymous said...

I reckon there is a column in writing about all the times people tell you what you should write about, or tell you these absolutely "amazing" ideas that you should write about. The last time I had it happen I was past pretending to be polite. At one point the woman said: "you don't think it's a good idea." I said: "I have enough of my own ideas about what to write." Fuckwits.