There are those days when I can stare alternately between a blank page and the world outside my window for ages with nothing flowing between brain and fingers. On other days the two parts will connect and words flow freely onto the screen, but with none of them making much sense.
The magic happens when the words just flow and a good story emerges. It may be fact or fiction, a blog, article or book; it doesn’t matter as long as it just pours out of me.
It is rare that any such good session is perfect. Almost always I will print a copy off to look at later and read off the page. That is where I will see the typos and redundant words and can correct them, making whatever it is that I have written tight and economic. Of course if any such piece is going before an editor they will improve it further; the fresh eyes always make a difference.
Nothing can compare though with that thrill of a good hour, part or full day at the keyboard. It makes up for all of the frustrating days when nothing worthwhile can be prised out. They always come; I just don’t know how, when or why and maybe that is why they are so special.
The odd thing is that, when faced with a deadline, something always does come. It’s just that not everything forced works as well and whilst I have never had a piece rejected, there have been many where I have taken my fee with no feeling that I have earned it.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though and just because I do not like one of my offerings does not mean that others will not enjoy it. The hard side of that truth is that something that I feel is magnificent may fall short of my reader’s expectations.
It doesn’t matter though because the pleasure that comes when the words fly onto the screen is such that it will keep me going for days.
I have merged my old johnjbowen.com website with this blog or, to look at it the other way around, this blog is now my website. It had ceased to make sense to have both a static web site and a blog so I have moved on.
This blog will evolve too as I settle into a new way of using it. It has been the frivolous companion to Monday Musings, but I think that it will take on a more serious tone whilst dealing with things that Monday Musings would not cover. The latter has always tried to stay above politics and I will keep it that way. Here I have usually treated political comment to sarcasm and humour; my letters to the editor and so on, but I may try to bring a more serious comment in from time to time.
I will also try to cover other things that interest me in more depth, but, as always, these things eat time and I will have to find a level that works for me. The important thing is to try and be more regular and consistent with my postings.
I was in a discussion with a fellow panellist last week on the subject of competition. My angle for the debate had been on purchasing and there were some striking differences between the approach a buyer would take to deciding who to appoint and the way my colleague on the panel would work in their specialism. Let me put it this way: Continue reading →
The song from which I borrow the title is a personal favourite, but true silence is hard to find and so, for me, quiet does very nicely. Continue reading →
You find yourself at a point where you have written something that is published and being read. It may only be a blog or possibly a self published book, but it has attracted an audience, even if just of one. Continue reading →
It being Father’s Day I have, perhaps unsurprisingly, been thinking about my own father, but he is something of a distant memory. Continue reading →
You know the sort of thing; social media and my email inbox are full of these screaming headlines: Continue reading →
The original blog title of John’s Jottings was a bit ordinary, but I had not been able to think of anything better for some time. However, Continue reading →
This piece is being written at 37000 feet over Russia which seems a little risky for a child of the cold war era with vivid memories of what befell Gary Powers when he tried it. I half expect a couple of MiGs to slide into position alongside us and fire warning shots. Continue reading →
I’m sitting in terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow just by gates A13/14. It’s a grey day outside, but the promised rain is holding off and the wind is from the west. Runway 27 left is the active take off runway this afternoon so the aircraft are coming towards me as they get airborne. Continue reading →