How to survive the quiet times: A guide for writers, part 1

Curtain twitchingAlmost every freelance writer experience the occasional lull. In this series of guest posts, freelance journalist Deborah Willimott offers some favourite tips for surviving those quiet times.

There are times in the life of every flancer (ed: this appears to be Willimott-ese for Freelancer) when the Journo-world appears to have neatly stored all your ideas under B1N in the filing cabinet of doom. In attempt to help you to get your brain up and working, this is part one of my three-part guide to surviving the long, dark, “between commissions” times.

Survival tip 1: Become a ‘Curtain Twitcher’

Other people’s business is always interesting. But when you’re a flancer at home alone, it doesn’t even have to be a turgid affair-based argument or actual, front garden homicide to have your nose welded to the double-glazing.

When all you have for company is the postman and Radio 4, hearing anything go on outside your window becomes your body’s equivalent to being smacked with that small rubber hammer the doctor uses on your knee.

But beware: The feel of curtain between fingertips becomes so deliciously addictive, you may feel you wish to move your desk closer to the window.

This is borderline nuts and can quickly escalate into you turning the lights off on purpose when dusk falls and sitting like a member of the KGB in a straight-backed chair with a note-book in one hand and a shot-gun across your lap until sunrise.

But anything is more interesting than not having any work – even the landscape gardeners discussing Kelly Brook within earshot at 7.30am.