I have always written. I composed my first (and my last) poem when I was six. It was about a stone with a hole. I was very proud of it, but quickly bored of poetry.
I then began filling red Silvine notebooks with stories of rabbits, princesses and other fairy tales to amuse my younger sisters.
And when I reached my dangerous teenage years I filled Collins’ diaries with line after line of angst. I destroyed them all, thank god.
I have made my living writing every day. As chief writer for the Edinburgh Evening News I started writing at 7.00 am and kept going until around 4.30 pm, five days a week. After three years, I was ready for a change.
I wrote for seven months while on my mid-life gap year. I enjoyed that.
I have even toyed with writing a novel. There is half of one lying in a cupboard somewhere. I no longer have it on a memory stick. I may go back to it one day, but I am not a novelist. Andy Nicoll, author and political hack is a novelist, a damn fine one too. I am a hack.
I need prompts to get my creative juices flowing. A column deadline. A last minute request for an article on…well anything really. I have an opinion on everything. And anything.
It shows, some of the prompts are a bit trite, banal even. I am sure there are better ways to get my “creative juices flowing”, but as I said, I am a hack. This will do.
I have added a couple of my own rules. No post, here, or in the journal (such an American term) should be more than 400 words. And I must try and complete one a week. Hardly an onerous deadline, though one I am sure I will miss, more than once.
And my first piece of homework…How your cat sees the world.