Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Writer

“So you didn’t win again? Not even bloody shortlisted! Give it up for God’s sake!”

He logged off and headed downstairs, but her demanding rant followed - drilled into his brain.

“How much have you chucked away this month on these bloody stupid competitions? “

“Not that much, a fiver here a fiver there,” he switched the radio on to drown her out.

It didn’t work.

“Yes but it all adds up doesn’t it eh? Have you seen those bills piling up over there since you decided to go part-time so you could swan about pretending to be a writer? ’I must follow my dream’ you say, all shiny eyed. You’re hardly sodding Martin Luther King are you?
And all the time you chuck good money after bad, month after month on these scribbling you call stories. They must see you coming and laugh all the way to the bank!”

“OK, I’ll cut back a bit, perhaps just enter two next month,” he poured a good glug of red and dived into it.

“Oh and when have we heard that one before huh? You can’t help yourself. It’s like you’re addicted, telling yourself you have a good feeling about a ‘story’...yup, this is the one. You’re like a broken record. What’s the old song by Tony Bennett? How’s it go now? Oh yeah, ‘maybe this time I’ll be lucky , maybe this time I’ll win’...well you don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance, so quit it.”

He ran his fingers through his hair and poured another.

“And you can forget buying that stuff soon as well. Wallowing in booze and self-pity is too expensive. In fact, go to see the boss on Monday, ask him if you can have the extra hours back. It’s time you came to your senses before we end up living under the bloody viaduct in a cardboard box!”

“There’s still the novels...I’m waiting on a couple of agents.”

“Oh please! If you can’t make it with the scribblings what chance do you have with novels?”

“For God’s sake shut up!” he threw the glass against the wall and fled back upstairs.

“Oh that’s mature. Artistic temperament is it? More like a bloody kid’s tantrum if you ask...”

He slammed the door cutting off his nagging conscience in mid rant.
At last a bit of quiet.

He took a deep breath and started typing.


  1. Oh, no, he needs a divorce, what a horrible partner. I felt so sorry for him, just wanted to tell her to shut up.

  2. Thanks Sarah :0)

    The voice was intended to be his own conscience, but I can see why you thought it was a real person.Perhaps I shouldn't have used 'she'.

  3. Ah what a great story! The characters are so well drawn and i live that it's the writing that's the problem addiction while the fact that he's clearly heading towards being an alcoholic is just skimmed over. And the hopeful ending too!

    Makes me grateful for my own very understanding husband!

  4. Ah just read your comment to Sarah, that's really clever!

  5. Yes, that mean-spirited nasty internal editor does tend to have a loud speaking voice!

    All a writer can do is write, write, and write some more. :)

  6. BUT if you take yourself seriously as a writer those competition entries are a business expense!

  7. If that's his conscience, he's got some serious negative self-talk issues!

  8. Well done, it really drew me in. At first I felt sorry for both of them but then 'she' just got worse! Neat twist at the end and, sadly, a little true; sometimes we can be our own worst critics.
    I like that you used 'she', adds to the twist and perhaps reflects that at some point in his life he did have a female nagging at him - so that's what his own conscience manifested as?

  9. Thanks S May. Yes we have all been there. A thoughtful comment about the female nagging manifestation :0)

  10. A lot of niggling "voice in the head" stories this week. Is there a prompt I missed, or is everyone getting haunted by their doubts lately?

    Of course most writers should be able to relate. I mull these things over daily. It'd be scarier if I was the only one...

  11. Such is a writer's tormemt, self doubt, negative feedback.... bugger it. just keep writing, and the odd glass doesn't harm either. :)

  12. Yes Steve, that's what I think! Thanks for your comment :)

  13. This made me think of NaNoWriMo- only a couple of weeks away - probably because so many people struggle against their inner editor while they're trying to write a novel!
    Kari @ The Best Place By The Fire

  14. I picked up he was wrestling with his own self doubt rather than with his spouse. You wrote that. I got it. You must be a writer.

  15. If we could only shut off our inner nag as easily as he shuts the door.
    You write this with style and good humour - if he wrote as well as you, his doubts would be unfounded!

  16. ahh i have argued more than once with my own nagging voice of conscience about my writing.....

  17. I enjoyed that. I am glad he managed to ignore his nagging conscience. Sometimes a bit of nagging only serves to make the person being moaned at more determined. Well done.

  18. That inner voice can be pretty hard to take sometimes. He's lucky that the other voice, the creative one comes to drown it out. Great job!

  19. I'm scared now: I went part time last year and have spent money entering competitions (although did win £50 recently). And I like red wine. Mandy, is this me? Enjoyed this one.