I am a completely horizontal author. I cannot think unless I’m lying down.

– Truman Capote

I was mighty pleased, relieved and smiley to read in this weekend’s papers that Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies needs his desk to be “just so” before he feels he can write. He admits it’s just superstition, all in his mind, but it’s important to him; the tweaking of the papers, the feel of the angles, etc etc. I am, horribly, the same, and found this confession immensely reassuring.

So, what’s all that about? I need to be able to forget the world, to write successfully (definition of success here is that it all flows; I lose track of time; the other world completely absorbs me). And I can’t do that if (I allow) little things  start to bother me. A glimpse of the tax forms, the unsubmitted expenses, the albumless photographs, the empty ink cartridge longing for a refill. Oh, yes, all excuses, I know too well.

However, the Imp’s river of activity for this and next week has to take itself not only through the ugly urban landscape of Adminville Central but also must (on pain of death, or rather, of artistic embarrassment) dive into and feed the hillocks of Little Scribbling and trickle along the slopes of Great Mount Do-your-best. Yup, it’s workshop time for The Play’s script- London & elsewhere.

Having put it away for a fortnight, it’s time to review, unscrew my eyes, resist the temptations either to rewrite too much, or to plunge the thing in aspic before it reaches the table. It’ll be more than a week before all this is over, but then – ? Let’s fling all superstitions to the four winds, and off we go! Anyone have any weird work rituals they care to share?

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