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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Creating a Text – Bill Liversidge

What phases are involved in the creation of a text?

For me the creation of a text begins with a bloodbath and usually ends in a dazed, resentful silence.

Texts are merely the literal expression of the ideas we generate. My head is usually full of ideas, of wild notions and fantastic tales I am desperate to broadcast to the outside world. I get these ideas anywhere, often when I am half way through my hour-long drive into work, but mostly when I am about to fall asleep – much to the exasperation of my long-suffering wife.

When inspiration strikes at night I usually lie in bed tossing and turning for several hours as I wrestle with my latest brilliant insight. I don’t know how other peoples’ brains work but mine is almost entirely verbal. I begin to form protean sentences as I develop the new idea. I’m constantly re-writing in my head which means continually going back to the beginning and re-formulating the unborn text. If the idea takes off I quickly begin to get excited, frequently pulling the sheets off the bed or driving through red lights in my distracted state. If the idea is really amusing I’ll frequently suffer hysterics, forcing me to pull over into a lay-by gasping for breath, or stuff a pillow into my mouth to stifle the convulsive laughter. At times like those there is nothing more exhilarating than surfing the tidal wave of my own genius..

When I eventually get into work or, conversely, wake up in the morning I am exhausted. Unfortunately so is the idea. Invariably I have worried it to death. Ferociously strangled it at birth. What seemed so amusing or original such a short time before, in the cold light of day, now seems stale and vapid. There is infant blood on my hands as I wearily inter yet another half-assed notion deep within the dark recesses of my brain.

I nearly added this piece to the graveyard until I thought you might like to hear what it feels like to be suffering from writer’s block.

Bill Liversidge is the author of A Half Life of One; he blogs at View From The Pundy House.

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