Saturday, 3 May 2008

Computers and Cleaning

I am beginning to make the most of the Listen Again feature on most radio web sites but in particular Radio Four. In fact, I have managed to turn a friend onto Radio Four. Those who are unfamilar with it may make rather strange assumptions about what kind of radio station it is: but it's rather like a slice of life: comedy, debate, news, politics, drama, magazine programmes...oh yes and the shipping forecast (which often lulls me into sleep at night!) Yesterday I listened to two different programmes: one featuring the author Jonathan Coe and the other an interview with Will Self. The subject of using a computer in writing emerged. Coe said that it contributed to the creative process and made writing richer. Self decided that it it didn't do anything for the process and he has reverted to the traditional typewriter which means, he says, he has to do all his thinking and much of his writing before he actually writes.

I can see the sense in both those comments. The time of reflection and creativity happens away from the desk when there is space and time for the mind to wander. But often, there is something amazing when you sit down to write and things emerge that you had no idea were there in the first place. I'm sure it's the same for the many clergy (and others) who will are preparing to preach tomorrow. Some will think it through first. Others will sit at a blank screen and just see what happens! As for me, well I have no idea how this blog entry will end. I was just stimulated by this thought of two succesful and rather different authors valuing the different processes of writing: the computer is both in and out.

Perhaps I should have thought about what I was going to write before I decided to take a break from my cleaning, and pretending that writing a blog is more important than sweeping and mopping my hallway and hoovering the stairs. But I've never been one for housework. It's nice when it's completed, but the process of getting there is one that rather bores and tires me. Next week, the house will be back to the same state as it was two hours ago! Since I'm sat at my computer maybe I should have a little look to see if there is anything else I can listen to again. Or perhaps, the best thing to do would be to Listen Again and carry on with the sweeping at the same time. Or maybe, just maybe, this time away from the cleaning is giving me time to decide on how to creatively tackle the lounge. I think I like that idea the best!

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