The shower is where I currently have my best ideas.
Drying off is where I forget them.
I've always written. As long as I can remember. When I was seven, I wrote a play for my class to do at school. It was written on two sides of paper, it was laid out as "he says, she says" and pretty much all on one line. It was about Robin Hood, and the only reason that it was "he says, she says" was that I couldn't remember the word "said". Sadly.
Since then, I've been through ups and downs, and the current spell is definitely a down on a number of fronts. But that's a good thing.
Honestly, it really is. Because when I'm happy I have nothing to write about, nothing to rant about. And when I've got something that's niggling at me, it makes it easier to find something to write about. Although it does make it harder to find the time to write.
Interesting, as I say. Inspiring, hopefully.
It's our "local" here, just opened on the corner next to the tram stop, great site and somewhere I pass what - two, three times a day. And as a caffeine addict, yeah, I buy some, even though it's that bit pricier than the stuff from the shop five minutes further away. That'll change in the summer when the weather's better. Probably.
There's a guy that works there, though, that might change that.
I hate calling these people "Barista". It sounds too much like "Barrister" and suggests that what they do is so much more than making coffee. This is not just coffee, this is a super duper Venti creamy frothy doppio latte. With an extra shot. Of something.
Guy in Starbucks. Too young for me. Can't be more than 23. He's got a shaven head, a little goatee beard. His hands are hands that have known hard work, real work, not like mine. But they're clean, the nails are manicured, and a simple transaction of passing him the money and getting change lets him brush them against mine. Twice. And his eyes are soft and hazel and when you look in to them you don't want to pull yourself away. But of course you do. Because he's the Starbucks Guy. He meets thousands of people a day, and he makes more of an impression on them than they do on him. It's just the way things are.
There was a woman complaining about the chilled cabinet. I didn't fancy her anything like as much.
The idea with Writer's Block is to write through it. Start with a blank page, something like that. Pull out an old notebook, find something that resonates. I've got a few of those, and they used to excite me. Now they just depress me because nothing in them is new.
Maybe I am looking for "the new new thing". It's not Web 2.0 for me. I mean, I like Web 2.0 and all, although it's all heading mainstreamwards, but to me it's all about collaboration, about organisation and democratisation. They're all good things, but none of them are creative in and of themselves.
My desire, my true heart's desire, is for an easy life. But on a second level, I want to write. Or I want to have written. But at the moment there's nothing new out there. It didn't used to be this way.
Everything used to set me off on a new train of thought. One thought would trigger another and the two would transform in my head in to something else. I'd sit on a train with abook in one hand and my trusty Psion 3 beside me - and by the end of the trip I would have a half a dozen new ideas written down. Some would only be a couple of words, but they'd trigger something later. But recently, nothing.
I have theories why.
Wind up, ready to go, opinions at the ready, let's launch Freedom of Speech.
It's fantastic. Let's get that out of the way to start with. Freedom of speech is fantastic, but in the same sense that Unicorns are fantastic and the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow is fantastic. It's a complete myth.
I'm writing this from the very heartland of a society that claims to have freedom of speech, and indeed does have a susbtantial amount of freedom of speech, but in practice it's restrained and constrained in almost every way. It doesn't stop the freedom that we have from being important, and necessary. But it's not total freedom. Remember that, boys and girls.
The limits on our freedom are many. Some are simple and self-imposed. In the world of blogs, for instance, it is usually considered prudent not to mention too much about our personal lives. For example, my partner might not want to be named on this site. So I don't. In theory, I could, but in practice I don't because of the little thing known as "consequences". In this case, a thick ear and a cold shoulder. Some are enshrined in law. I couldn't legitimately use my site to incite racial hatred. Just as well I have no intention of doing any such thing.
Libel laws are a huge impediment to freedom of speech. If I were a newspaper I couldn't publish a front page story about Tony Blair cheating on his wife with Gordon Brown unless there was some evidence to back it up - not without risking legal action anyway. It may be true, although it probably isn't. Regardless, a newspaper doesn't have the freedom to present it as fact, and nor do I.
But we have substantial freedom. We will never have full freedom in our society, because our society is about restricting our own freedoms in order to benefit society as a collective, and I'll write about that another time. We have freedom as long as we use that freedom in a responsible manner, and it is that debatable word "responsible" where the battle for freedom is constantly fought.