The curse of Wednesday night writing

Wednesday night is writing night. That’s the idea, anyway. The reality is rather different.

For the rest of the week, my brain is buzzing with ideas for things to write about – blogs, stories, scripts, all sorts. These all seem like good ideas, and things worth writing about, until Wednesday night.

It seems there’s a non-writer in my brain on a Wednesday night. Even as I prepare to sit at my tiny desk in the lounge, I can feel my writing powers seeping out of me. Lethargy, indecision and apathy take over, or perhaps – to be fair to myself – it’s just the inevitable midweek tiredness brought on by three days of staring at a screen and lurching from one meeting, task, place or deadline to the next. It might also be the kids’ uncanny knack of pratting about with extra glee and skill at bedtime on dad’s writing night.

Whatever it is, Wednesday night writing appears doomed. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t want to write. But I’m stubborn, and this would have been the second week in a row where I’ve sat down at the tiny desk and ancient, creaking laptop, opened a new Word document, stared at it, and given up. So I decided to write something – anything – just to spite the non-writer in my head.

So what would I write about?

The blank Word document stares at me, in a way that only a blank Word document can do. I close it.

“Why do you NEED to write?” asks non-writer. “You don’t HAVE to. Watch telly. Do a jigsaw. Relax.”

These are good suggestions. I don’t get much time to do those things either. “But,” says Mr Stubborn, the new player in the mind games, you SAID you were going to write tonight. You wrote it on the CALENDAR. Imagine how annoyed you’ll be if you let it go another week.”

Agh, Mr Stubborn speaks the truth! I DID do that. And he’s right – I will kick myself if I don’t write tonight.

So again I ask myself, what will I write about?

Maybe I could just write something about one of the nice photos I took on holiday. I look through loads of photos, and nothing inspires me. The non-writer mocks me. Mr Stubborn tuts and rolls his eyes.

How about something to do with birds?

Nah, can’t be bothered.

Something to do with mental health, then? “You’re always going on about how important it is, but it’s ages since you’ve written anything about it,” reasons Mr Stubborn.

But nothing is forthcoming in that area either.

Maybe I should give up blogging, or give it a rest for a while, ponders the non-writer. “WHAT?” bellows Mr Stubborn. “GIVE UP BLOGGING? What kind of talk is this?”

It’s that talk we have regularly, Mr Stubborn. Remember this? Then Mr Stubborn accuses me of neglecting my blog, and Mr Self Doubt steps in and berates me for losing readers and being past my best, and interrogates me on why I do this to myself.

“And this post is so self-indulgent,” he adds. “Who cares that you can’t write on a Wednesday night?”

But Mr Stubborn has the last laugh, because I have written something, just to spite the Wednesday night non-writer within me. And here’s a nice holiday photo to shut them both up.

To paraphrase Richard Ayoade’s catchphrase in the new series of the Crystal Maze, thanks for reading – if indeed you still are. Maybe one Wednesday night, I will write something more interesting…

Waves on Bamburgh Beach

Waves on Bamburgh Beach

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2 Comments on “The curse of Wednesday night writing”

  1. Jan Wolfe says:

    Bless you Paul – and thank you for writing this because it made me laugh! My own blog is currently slumbering – like you, I have ideas running in my head, but if I sit down to write, they disappear. And the business of a working week, of other commitments…. But don’t consider yourself as failing – the reality is that those other commitments are more important. Don’t beat yourself up. Jot down some notes as and when you can – and write when you feel like it rather than when you have dictated you will. I had two updates this morning and this really was the one to make me smile – there are so many out there who will identify with you. Keep well.


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