Psst buddy, can you spare a few hundred words?

Posted: February 1, 2010 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,
‘The desire to write grows with writing.’ Desiderius Erasmus

Is it a sin to love your blog? Somedays, more than your work-in-progress? Is it weak to fall into the arms of the less demanding taskmaster, the one that never asks more from you than you can give?

A stolen hour. A few hundred words. Just enough to catapult you out of that lonely writer’s chair and into cyberspace where the hit-o-metre confirms that someone, somewhere, is reading your words, and that, oh my giddy aunt, they actually care enough to respond…

Meanwhile the jilted w-i-p glowers at you from a dark corner of the desktop. Silent and resentful.

‘So. Expecting to curl up with me tonight?’ it asks coldly. ‘After ignoring me all day?”

‘Uh, yeah,’ you mutter, risking a quick glance at its stalled word count. ‘If that’s OK. Thought we could, you know, work on that scene. Uh, the one that’s not really going anywhere …’

‘And I suppose that’s my fault?’

‘No, of course not. Not at all,’ you stammer. ‘Look, it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been-‘

‘Wasting your time on that blog again?’ The snooty tone is a warning that things could get ugly.

‘-distracted,’ you finish carefully. ‘Honestly, I’ve hardly touched the blog in weeks. I’ve just had my hands full. What with the holidays, the kids. It’s just taking me a bit longer to get back in the groove than I’d hoped-‘


You sense a thaw, an opening. ‘Tonight-‘ You swallow, mouth suddenly dry. ‘Just the two of us. I promise. Internet off.’

The w-i-p squints, gimlet-eyed, then nods. Brace yourself Mary, for a gird-your-loins evening.

It’s enough to send you scurrying back into the comforting arms of your blog.

  1. Very amusing and true. When there is time to write it is all too easy to go for the quick and easy project rather than devote time to something you know isn’t going to be finished anytime soon. Thanks for sharing.

  2. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks for popping by, Cassandra. I just clicked on your link – nice work on the writerly issues! I’m adding you to my list of writer’s blogs. Cheers, Chris. 🙂

  3. Karen Brooks says:

    Hi Chris!
    Lovely blog and so true! I confess to blogging today as my novel glowered on a reduced dic behind! The guilt! Too tired to write tonight (did my column as well). I hope you have a very productive night and relax in the ‘zone’.
    PS. This is the first time I’ve responded to your blog, but I want you to know that I always read it and think it’s terrific!

  4. chrisbongers says:

    Hi Karen, it’s so good to hear from you. I read your blog too and your column and your books… so now I’m all excited to see you on my blog! Nix that guilt and rest easy tonight, you’ve done enough for one day. Love, Chris xx

  5. Oh oh, yes, Chris! Your blog sent a guilty little spasm up my spine – maybe blogging is such a rewarding thing that it engineers its own guilt. If it was arduous we wouldn’t do it.
    I’m thinking there has to be room for both! 🙂 After all, blogs and works-in-progress are both acts of writing.

  6. I loved this post. It was so….ME. Guilty as charged. Good to see you sharing the love! WIPs are such fickle beasts. So naggy and demanding. I don’t blame you for sidling blogside. But hey – when that WIP comes through with the goods – all shall be forgiven.

  7. chrisbongers says:

    Glad it struck a chord, Lynn. Me and WIPs make beautiful music during the rewrite, it’s during the first draft that we’re at each other’s throats!

  8. Trudie Trewin says:

    hmm, seems I’m out on my own here! It’s my blog that glowers at me from the corner. ‘Come on,’ it growls. ‘Other people write in theirs all the time – really clever stuff – write something…anything!’
    And I’m sure it mutters ‘idiot’ when I leave the room.

  9. leemcgowan says:

    The levels of guilt among the commenters are incredible. WE shouldn’t do it to ourselves. I have to say, though, reading about yours did make me feel better about my own.
    Smashin post chris bongers – you make me laugh. I’ll tell you what though, your w-i-p sounds like a saucy minx!

  10. chrisbongers says:

    Lee, you have no idea. My wip is one scary biarch. I been circling round her this week, planning my next big move. Then I spent a bit of quality time with her today and she was putty in my hands. Damn. Smitten again.

  11. leemcgowan says:

    Read your piece in WQ. And found a connection to your wip minx. The opening couple of paras lulled, no, seduced me into reading the rest thinking it was going to be full of your good patter and before I knew it I was like really learning stuff, great stuff, and nodding my head and all sorts. The Armano quote about writing for 20 years is a heartbreaker, but I think I agree. I really like Kirtsen Reed’s book too.
    Nice work all round then. Feckin clever int ye?

  12. chrisbongers says:

    Ah Lee, no wonder you’re one of my favourite correspondents. Jodi from WQ is sending me a PDF link to my article to put up on the blog at the end of the month. You should do the same on your blog – yours is such a fascinating piece (and what an inspired bit of commissioning on Jodi’s part – who better than you, you cheeky thing, to teach the rest of us about creating character through accent!)

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