Creative writing!

18 Jan

Rather ironically, given the title, I couldn’t for the moment think of anything to write about today.

I therefore resorted to the tried and tested method of dipping into the master list of subjects that I keep for just such an eventuality. I have mentioned this list in previous postings – on the last occasion (2nd July) I mentioned that there were still 30 headings listed and since that was over 30 posts ago you might expect that number to have gone down.

Not so! I just counted and, because some of the things I write not only come off the top of my head rather than off the list but also make me think of other things to put ON the list, there are, in fact, STILL 35 items there.

Fascinating insight into my way of working, I’m sure you’ll agree but you probably also want to know what the hell this piece is ABOUT!

Well, I have this problem!

I thank you for all of the remarks no doubt spilling from your lips right now advising me to get some ointment or to seek professional help but it’s not actually THAT big a deal! It only afflicts me when I’m on holiday and only for a tiny percentage of the time even then. My dear wife doesn’t suffer from it and is somewhat bemused by my finding it a problem.

It concerns something that’s been around all of my life but which presumably must, with the advent of holiday hotel internet cafés, be slowly dying out. To what do I refer?


One of the first things Faith and I do when we reach our holiday destination, be it in the UK or abroad is to buy a batch of these with an equal number of stamps. These will usually be for her Mum, my Mum, her Sister, my Sister, our two daughters and maybe a couple of friends. I think Faith sends one to work – I haven’t done THAT since about 1988 when I was at Barclays Bank Trust Company’s Cambridge Office and found that I didn’t want even to THINK about the team there! Not even for the time it took to write a postcard!

And it’s the TIME it takes me that is my problem!

Faith takes about 5 minutes to knock out cards to her Mum, her Sister, one of the girls and the people at work and there is a good reason why this is so. She writes EXACTLY the same on all of them!

This isn’t a problem because her Sister lives in Colchester (and rarely visits), her Mum lives just up the road from us (and doesn’t need to visit) so if her final family one is to the daughter who lives at home (who will keep it in her room) none of her recipients will ever see what has been sent to any of the others.

Similarly there is little chance that my Mother, Sister, other Daughter and friends would actually notice if I were to do the same thing. That’s not the point! The point IS that I would know.

And how can I, with pretensions of being a writer, possibly think that I can get away with something as amateurish as copying the same piece of text down three or four times? It feels like cheating and that isn’t something I want to do in this aspect of my life.

So, while Faith bangs off her four postcards in very short order and gets on with enjoying herself, I find myself stuck on a beach or in a hotel room struggling manfully with the production of four or more unique works of creative writing often concerning a holiday which has only just begun! This is because with overseas holidays, if you want your cards to have any chance of arriving before you get back to the UK you have to post them as soon as you get there!

It isn’t easy I can tell you – especially if I abide by my own rule that something mentioned in one card must not be mentioned in ANY of the others! What this means in essence is that if you receive a card from me when I’m on holiday it will either tell you about a)how we got here, b) what we’re doing now or c) what we are going to do later in the week. The recipient MAY, possibly, get a mention of any two of those but never all three.

Earlier I mentioned Internet Cafés doing away with postcards altogether. Oddly and inconsistently, in spite of all that I’ve said above, I do NOT have a problem with writing JUST ONE email and sending it to multiple recipients, probably because I’ve done that at work a good deal.

So, with any luck, all my friends and family will get in the future will be an email saying “We’re here! Attached please find our digital photos to date. Bye.” If that sounds a bit terse I may also throw in the old “Weather here, wish you were lovely!” just for fun!

Except for our respective Mothers that is! Neither of them would know one end of a computer from the other and would still have to receive cards the old-fashioned way. Writing ONE card (which can now mention a), b) and c) above all at the same time) is not a problem. And even if I did accidentally say the same thing as Faith neither of them are going to see what was in the other’s!

That way, most of them will know all they need to know and they’ll be able to look at some of the photos nearly a week in advance.

And me?

I’ll be able to get on with soaking up the sun, drinking the local beer and generally not bothering about being CREATIVE!


PS. If anyone is wondering why the hell I’m sticking in a holiday related post in January, there is a simple explanation! I actually wrote most of it last summer and FORGOT to finish it and post it!

Either I’m getting old or I really need a holiday!


Posted by on January 18, 2010 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Creative writing!

  1. Aspiring Novelist

    January 18, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I agree! Writing the same thing over and over does feel like cheating. Thank you notes are even worse!

    • littlealfie

      January 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you. It’s always good to know you’re not alone!
      I think my problem stems from the Thank you letter template my mother drew up for me when I was about 7 or 8 to send to relatives after Christmas.
      “Dear blank, Thank you for the blank you bought me……..etc. etc. I hated them!

  2. theworldaccordingtomorpheus

    January 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

    My best one was one I wrote, sitting in my car, during the rush-a-da-hour in Rome. Instead of “Wish you were here…” (I didn’t) I described the CRASHES, blow by blow. Sounds like a joke, but it’s true!


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