I would like to write about…

Anything that doesn’t contain the word “customer” or “segmentation” or “retail” or any of those myriad of corporate non-words that I regurgitate every day. That language that is never taught but which everyone in an office learns to speak. Going forwards. On the same page. Outside the box. Out of our comfort zone. All utter nonsense.

Going forwards, to really get out of my comfort zone, to fully step change my thinking out of the box, I’d like to actually write about:

  • A story of grief and escape, Emily’s story as she comes to terms with the loss of her father and finds expression through their shared love of country music. A wise, sad, funny coming of age story I’d like them to say. I’d settle for less.
  • A knockabout comedy loosely based on The Wizard of Oz; a girl named Dorothy moves to London from Australia, landing in an upstairs flat as the woman in the flat beneath dies. She would meet, and date, three men lacking in brain and heart and courage before setting her faith in someone else; he, of course, would prove to be a fraud. There probably wouldn’t be winged monkeys.
  • Six stories, interlocking, set in and around Marylebone station. The conceit being that each story would start as a train arrived at each of Marylebone’s six platforms. The centre piece involves a chance meeting of a man and woman who, through a plot device yet to be established, end up killing a substantial amount of time together exploring the streets in that part of town. I guess it would be about falling in love, an exploration of those first moments as strangers realise a deep set connection. There’s a risk that this doesn’t so much tread as trample on Richard Linklater’s toes – if you haven’t seen “Before Sunrise” then don’t watch it, you will never need know my inspiration.
  • Me. Perhaps in a way that comes off as slightly less narcissistic than just “me”. I would like to tell my story, how I made some bad choices and ended up with a career I didn’t really want. How my body parts ganged up on me over a period of a few years and decided to fail, one by one. How my mind, previously relied upon as a trusted ally, joined the rebellion. How my so called career careered out of control (puns are non negotiable) and I spent a glorious six months out, re-evaluating, reconnecting, not thinking too much. How, during that time, I saw llamas in Amersham and, in that oddly incongrous moment, saw my life as mildly absurd but potentially wonderful. How the appearance of something out of the ordinary could help me see that everything might be seen fresh as out of the ordinary: family, friends, the school run, cleaning the bathroom even. I would write that as the happy ending, as the lesson learned, and then I would write the epilogue; that life’s not as neat as that, that sometimes when you return to where you saw the llamas it’s now just sheep and no matter how much you tell yourself that just sheep can be out of the ordinary too, it’s hard. It’s ordinary. It’s just sheep. Undoubtedly I would write using other metaphors and other analogies. Hopefully some of them would be better than that one….

……

My writing classes began again last week and, as promised, I’ve scrapped the old labelling of those posts in the title – I’ve even given these posts their very own category. The piece above was actually the homework for next week – write for 5 minutes or so from “I would like to write about…” as a trigger.

The bulk of the class was spent on an exercise in “show, don’t tell” (none of which I appear to have used above) which was surprisingly hard; finding means to reveal character or what someone is feeling through their actions. None of it was remotely in a shape to be shared here… so I won’t.

At some point I should possibly assert some kind of copyright on this blog in the unlikely event that I write something a) good b) that is read, and c) gets stolen. Whilst I investigate how I do that then take this sentence as an assertion that the work herein (herein sounds suitably legal) is mine and please don’t duplicate it or share it without appropriate acknowledgement of the source (i.e. me).

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5 thoughts on “I would like to write about…

    1. Phil Post author

      I’m beginning to wonder whether I imagined the whole thing… I was not at my most lucid at the time !

      Reply
  1. Vicky

    Dear Phil
    If I read on the blurb of a book any of those stories you’d like to write about, I’d buy the book. Regards your reassessment of your life have you read Tim Parks ‘How to sit still’? I presume you won’t be writing your blog for a while as you’re too busy writing all those stories that I want to read!!! Vicky

    Reply
    1. Phil Post author

      Thanks Vicky – I will try to maintain blog in parallel with cracking on with the other stories ! I haven’t read the Tim Parks book but, having now read about it, I will be checking it out.

      Reply

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