Jeremy Clarke is suffering from writer's block, so he joins the anti-road protest at Fair Mileby Jeremy Clarke / March 20, 1997 / Leave a comment
Published in March 1997 issue of Prospect Magazine
It has been said of writers that there are those who can write, those who can think, and the blessed few who can both write and think. I am beginning to think that I can do neither. A very sad state of affairs indeed for someone who has set out in mid-life to master a word processor and earn a living from it.
I have been a professional freelance writer for exactly a year now. I have modified my appearance slightly by affecting rimless spectacles and by shaving less often. I have also bought some shiny blue filing cabinets and had some business cards printed which state (with a modesty that isn?t entirely false): “Jeremy Clarke?so-called writer.” But the actual process of writing is turning out to be a far trickier business than I imagined.
Of course, there are prose writers and journalists who seem to manage miracles of communication with little apparent effort. And there are poets who, with a felicitous phrase or two, can strum a chord that movingly resonates with our innermost feelings. But speaking for myself, I might as well forget it. My main problem is that with every sentence I write, there is always a fundamental aphasic dissonance between the vague schizoid abstractions that are occurring in my brain and the words I choose to commit to my computer. Pathological dishonesty may have something to do with it; but most of the problem, I am afraid, is down to sheer thick-headedness.
I sit at my desk to write an article. I bash the switch on my multi-media computer and that bloody cooling fan starts up. After reflecting for a moment, I begin a sentence intended to encapsulate and convey one…