A week off from the day job, I though optimistically, would give me the time to write a good 10,000 words. Hell, maybe even 15,000. When your productivity rate after a hard day's work is generally around 1000, writing 10,000 words when you've taken the time off specifically just to do that, should be a snip, right...? Right?
It's at these times that the writing malaise always strikes. Isn't it always the way that when you've specifically set aside the time to write, there's nothing you feel less like doing. Give me an hour in a productive meeting at work, an hour in the supermarket, an hour shopping for shoes that fit properly (spit) .... and all I can think is, "I'd rather be behind my desk right now". Yet now here I am, with a whole week to spend behind my desk, and I'm procrastinating. (See entry on "Bradley's foolproof 10-step procrastination method" if you want to know how my time is being wasted).
In times of writing malaise and laziness, I try to inspire myself by reading. I don't hold with this rubbish about not reading fiction when you're writing fiction. If, like me, you're continually writing fiction (ha, except for today, of course) then your reading list would be a dry mix of The Encyclopedia Britannica and The God Delusion. That's the literary equivalent of existing on a diet of dry shreddies and punishment muesli. With maybe a bit of brown rice for variety every now and again.
If you hold with this quite frankly ridiculous notion that writers shouldn't read fiction (IDIOTS), your writing is accordingly also going to take on the same dry texture, until you're turning out 'comedies' that read like academic textbooks, or pacey crime novels that read like nutritional information. There are enough rubbish books as it is, and I can do without funny books that read like the phone book, thanks.
Accordingly, I try and match my reading with the tone of whatever I'm writing. Writing dark, read dark. Writing light, read light. It's a formula that can't go wrong. (Maybe). The current book is a farce / comedy, so here's what I've got on the old bedside table at the moment.
Carry On, Jeeves P G Wodehouse
Persepolis, Marjane Sartrapi
Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis
How I Paid For College, Marc Acito
How do you get yourselves going on the dry days?