These last few weeks it seems I have been driven by the demands of e-publication:  the advent of the e-book, whilst a great new frontier for the aspiring writer, is a hard task-master.  So much time has to be devoted to chasing those little errors around the screen – a task which, in times gone by, was the province of the great unseen – those who held the grease-guns to the engine of the press.   It is an experience very like arriving for a meal at a fine restaurant, only to be told to assist in cooking it first. 

Is that arrogant?  Well yes, I suppose it is.  Wasn’t it Laurie Lee who extolled the virtues of writing by hand:  the flow and rhythm of the mind and the pen, etcetera?  And sometimes I truly wish I could write by hand, but I confess the keyboard has very much become my pen, and the flow and rhythm part has been replaced by RSI, or something of the like.  So now I am paying the price of ease.  Although I may not wish it, the engine room is still very much with us;  the skills required may differ – HTML does not respond particularly to a grease-gun – but ‘word processing’ is far from simple.  In fact the very term is a lie.

I am learning, though, and could learn so much more, if there were more time.  But writing is an obsession – even this – and each moment I sit before this screen is a moment lost if I am not saying something, telling a story to someone, trying to make life better! 

If I examine the changes of the years, that is the difference:  for so much of my life writing has been self-indulgent, a personal expression maybe to sensitive to be exposed to daylight.  Now, I need to share, need to relate, which is why so much of my ‘old stuff’ no longer works.  I have to begin anew; and as I draw dangerously close to December, a fortnight chasing dots is a long time.

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