Persistent, Continuous, Repetitive Graft

Persistent, Continuous, Repetitive Graft

(And other lies we tell ourselves)

A good colleague and esteemed member of our little writing community has recently admitted albeit, in a blog, that his daily writing habits aren’t always consistent.

That’s a big admission; very brave and very honest – but ultimately human.

This level of personal integrity sets him above the norm and makes him the true professional he is. He could have insisted in well worn tones to the rest of the world that he rose at six-thirty every day in Thackarian style, showered in cold water then sat writing for four hours before breakfast and then wrote for another four hours before venturing out into the world every 24:7 + 365. He didn’t. 

He was honest with us all and himself that mundane things like life get in the way of producing solid robust prose that we are all supposed to churn out ever day.

I know of another in our group who was involved in a terrible car accident that was part of a criminal enterprise perpetrated by a dangerous individual. She suffered some injury and survived. She could have given up and let the darkness take her but she persevered and is still writing every waking moment she can and is the most enthusiastic person I know – albeit chicken-bonkers.

Another writer conquered a brain tumour and could have retreated into a quiet recuperation living delicately in the arms of the medical and nursing profession but has worked hard and gone on to produce two history books so far and has others in the pipeline. Not for her the excuse of non-production by way of a sick-note – just steady graft.

Yet another of our group cares devotedly for a disabled wife and whose only respite I suspect is in writing as well as his beloved drawing and painting.

All of these heroes and fellow writers demonstrate in spades that core willingness and drive to get things down on paper.

That we writers are all slaves to that unquantifiable force that drives and compels creative people is true. 

We struggle and strain; shed tears and sweat blood to produce good art or simply good prose that illuminates some aspect of the human condition. (sic. Very Churchillian – must use that again) We all face the daily challenge of that blank piece of paper and to this litany of brave souls I can only add a few final comments based on my own thoughts and observations and are briefly these. 

I believe that we are all here for a purpose and to contribute what we can to the sum of humanity. If you don’t write that verse, history book , travel-guide, animal tome or short story no one else will. And we’ll all be the poorer for that.

Remember – If two friends had not gone to a printer in 1623 AD and paid for a book of plays to be published that were the collective writings of a treasured friend and colleague, the world would never have heard of William Shakespeare. And we would not be commemorating his life and 

works in this special anniversary week of weeks. This towering genius would have been lost to us – for all time.

Sadly, we are not all Shakespeares – but we do contribute to a growing list of English Literature. The space between fame and obscurity is but a hair’s breadth. 

And always remember: ‘where there’s hair, there’s comfort.’

(apologies to Barry Humphries and his book: The Traveller’s Tool)

So don’t just sit there- keep writing – you idle bunch of feckless work-shy B*****ds!

Thank You and goodnight sweet princes and princesses!


Chris Owen