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You Only Live Twice

by on May 6, 2012

Runs the proverb.  Once when you are awake, and once in your dreams.  It’s no wonder that I’m developing some difficulties with reality is it?  I’m supposed to be running a small business as a day job, and also developing what (for the sake of argument) we will call my career as a writer.  And now  I can’t decide if I’m asleep or awake, half the time.

And what time of day it is has stopped being a useful guide.  As I work from home anyway, I’m as likely to pick up a client’s accounts at 2 in the morning as I am to get up and  start writing jokes.  Well, maybe not, but it has been known.  The first girl who blinked (and so ended up with me) once found me doing accounts at 4.30 in the morning.  The next one complained that I get up in the middle of the night to write down plot lines.  Not that I think that there’s anything wrong in that.  It would be criminal to lose them in swinish slumber.  I’ve lost so many great jokes by not getting up and writing them down in the middle f the night.  Can’t be so wasteful now.  It just has to be a different me that wants to wake up at 2 in the morning to write.

You see this is what I’m pondering this week.  I think that I’ve had more than two lives already.  The first life I had in my late teens, early twenties, when my whole existence revolved around hang-gliding.  I lived, breathed, dreamt (yes and nearly died)that sport.  Remind me to tell you some stories, some time when you’ve got serious insomnia and need help in getting to sleep. Then, a second life with a family.  Being an accou…nt…a..n..t…(sorry, fell asleep there myself.  For twenty years, I think).  But now I reckon that I’m wide awake again.  and the prospect of a third life is opening up ahead of me.  Probably with death by starvation at the end of it, alone in a cold attick, shunned by the neighbours,  chewing a straw mattress for some relics of that would be a cliche.  Can’t do that.  Have to find something more original.

Truthfully, I feel rather blessed.  I might be ageing disgracefully, but the prospect of a whole new life has made me feel like a teenager.  Don’t suppose I’ll get one though. (Thanks, Les. Couldn’t resist nicking that one.) So often it is easier to accept what we know, stick to what is safe and back away from excitement, danger and risk.  I’ve done that, too.  Yawn. Only looking back do you realise that you backed away from a whole load of life-affirming fun as well.  So easily do we build walls around ourselves, make our own little prisons for the sake of some security, or sticking with what is known.

But now I’m on life number three.  And damn lucky I feel to be here.  I’m not too sure where it’s going to take me,but I’m absolutely sure that I’m going there at full throttle.  Even if it’s only taking me to starve in a dingy attick room, it has got to be better than being half dead for years.


Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve been rather serious this week, haven’t I?  Apart from the gag I borrowed from Les Dawson.  Better do a sales pitch, quick then, for my books.  Hang on, don’t go away. I’ll just write down this plot strand first…..


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  1. A wonderful, perfect post, Will. For those of who are embarking upon a writing career in the ‘middle’ of our lives, you’ve summed it up perfectly. My day job is in the dreaded accounting field and ‘half-dead’ is a good way to describe how I’ve felt for years. Writing has given me a new life and though I don’t know where it will take me, I’m hoping it will take me somewhere (hopefully not starving in the dingy attic room). Life isn’t really living unless there’s an element of risk. Thank God I’ve got a bunch of crazy writing friends like you who are willing to take a risk as well. Now I don’t feel so alone. Good luck to you. You deserve every success.

  2. M T McGuire permalink

    Great post. Once again I find parts of your world view chime with my own.

    I have a notebook and torch by my bed and usually end up writing a couple of pages of notes the minute I turn the light out. I suppose my brain dumps all extraneous material just before sleep. I have always felt slightly disconnected from reality but what I find truly incredible is that after about 39 years of being my own personal secret world suddenly K’Barth is in the public domain. It’s kind of wierd and kind of cool even if it makes me feel a little bit schitzo.



  3. It’s scary when readers intrude into your own secret world, isn’t it?

    • M T McGuire permalink

      But kind of cool. So long as they don’t pick up any ideas about what’s inside my head, I don’t mind. I’m always worried they’ll realise how completely warped I am though.



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