Midshipman Frame

The computer I use for writing has (once more) disappeared from this mortal coil, so I’m left with a dilemma. Many dilemmas. By removing the setup you write with most, you also destroy a lot of virtual distractions in the process. “Eh, I can take a few days off from writing,” I thought. “It’s not like I’m going to break out of this lull now, of all times.”

How very wrong I was.

In a bid to entertain myself, I picked up my copy of Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale – The Final Chapter (talk about a dramatically long title) and sat down to read it. It’s thought-provoking. The book contains a series of e-mails between the head writer of the first four series of the revitalized Doctor Who, and a journalist seeking information for a magazine article, which eventually blew out into an entire book. It goes without saying that I think Russell T. Davies is an excellent writer, but a look into his mind, how he works when writing, is a little too close to home for comfort. He procrastinates. He gets stressed and stroppy when changes have to be made to his work. He’s too sincere to accept a co-writer’s credit for rewriting another writer’s entire episode. Sure, he’s gay, smokes and has entire legions of writing work to do (none of these three apply to me, FYI) but as a fellow writer, albeit one of less experience, you can’t help but relate.

Of course, Russell rants on about his crush on Russell Tovey sometimes and guys that he finds attractive but it’s all in good fun, I’m no homophobe. It’s preferable to have a writer let everything out when it comes to this sort of writing, and you can’t help but wonder, even with the e-mails edited, if he knew originally that they would be compiled into a book. He’s such a gossiper. You don’t even have to be a Doctor Fan to appreciate the effort he’s put into writing the show, fighting deadlines and his producer (although I don’t know why you’d read the book then). 

At least he doesn’t tell me off for opening never-ending streams of brackets like Stephen King does…

At one point, Benjamin Cook (the journalist) asks him if he enjoys writing. There’s a lot of dodging the question, but when he finally pins Russell down (figuratively) the answer is yes. He then goes on to detail the things he likes about writing, including the challenges and pitfalls and I sit there reading it, nodding my head and going “yes, me too”. That’s when it hits. The urge to write. The craving. Notepads conspicuously absent. I arrived at the local drama club I attend and practically clobbered my writing partner with ideas. 

What I’m trying to say is that sometimes an insight into one of your favourite writer’s minds can be just the spark you need to remind youself why you love writing and to get on with it.


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