Creativity – me, George Clooney and asparagus


You can’t force creativity: as I sit to try and find something of interest and enlightenment for my first blog I find myself pretty much devoid of anything to say.

Anyone who’s big into “creative” writing will tell you that producing reams of fascinating text is not so much about sudden flashes of inspiration – even substance-induced ones, though there are of course plenty of historical precedents for that – as about willingness to sit, and graft, and tweak, and refine, for hours on end.

Which is why I’ve never finished the various “best-selling novels” I‘ve started over the years – because I am intrinsically rather lazy and am apt to wander off and potter in the kitchen rather than face the prospect of actual work. I suppose I’ve kind of hoped that novels write themselves: all I need to do is turn up at the keyboard and write down the words that spill from my fevered brain. Not true, as I’m sure Dickens, and Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Dostoevsky, and Enid Blyton and anyone else would tell you.

I have, however, rather to my surprise, recently found myself writing song lyrics. This is largely due to my having had some guitar lessons. The teacher encouraged us to “sing along” when we played the likes of Wild Thing (three chords, so ideal for dimwit beginners), saying that if you ever plan to sing and play guitar at the same time you need to start doing so from the outset. Apparently if you don’t, you will never manage to synchronise the two. Rather like those single-minded types who cannot conduct a phone conversation and apply their lip gloss at the same time.

Whether my lyrics are any good is, of course, a moot point, never mind the amateur four-chord melodies that accompany them, but I can’t help but be rather pleased with myself for having shoe-horned the words “asparagus”, “antagonising” and “George Clooney” into my first song. I couldn’t imagine ever doing that in a day’s paid work of journalistic prose. However, as we all know from the sort of trite words that accompany many best-selling songs, four-syllable words do not a hit record make.

In any event I’m too reticent about my rather reedy-sounding singing voice to feel able to perform my canon in public – there are one or two people I know who have the rare blend of musical literacy and diplomacy so I might have to fill them with alcohol, lock them in a small room, get out the guitar, close my eyes and hope for the best. More on that if it happens.

I was going to say that despite my recent lyrical adventures I could not think of any inspiration for my first blog but I appear to have produced 400-odd words by accident: as Private Eye might remark “That’s enough wittering on. Ed.” so I’ll be off for now.

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