Always carry one with you. That was my new mantra. In my youth it was always a condom in the back pocket when I went out clubbing at the weekend, but now I’ve replaced that symbol ( a long,long time ago) of hopeful expectation with a pen. Yes a pen because even though I hadn’t even started my first chapter, I had spent my time while working out my resignation scribbling down notes.
There I would be driving down the road, slagging off the other driver who had just swerved in front of me while he chatted on his mobile phone, and then suddenly out of thin air a puff of inspiration randomly shot into my brain like an arrow. Within seconds I would be using my knees to steer while trying to get the pen out my pocket, find any scrap of paper, and then trying to keep one eye on the road and other looking down as I wrote.
By the time I started on my manuscript I had a box full of random notes on all sorts of things, till receipts, parking tickets, sandwich packets, pieces of newspapers, and there is a whole host of bank notes in circulation that have been defaced with my scribbles. The main problem now was how to make sense of all these reminders that for a few brief seconds, at the time, seemed to be pure genius, but now resembled a pile of rubbish.
For any hopeful author I would recommend keeping a pen and pad near to hand, and if you are still lucky enough to enjoy clubbing, a condom in the back pocket.