Unlikely writing techniques 9: a writing hat

I keep a bottle of brandy in my desk. Not to drink – I can’t write drunk, and, as it happens, it’s the Christmas pudding brandy – but because it makes me feel a bit like Raymond Chandler.

It doesn’t make me write like Raymond Chandler, but it does make me write. Playing at being a writer does result in actual, real-world, words. It’s something about ceremony and ritual, together with not taking any of it too seriously. It’s like putting on a designated writing hat, or socks with a pattern of pen-nibs; something that says to me, and to the world, ‘OK, I’m a writer now.’

It could be argued that this dressing up lark is a bit childish. To which I reply, firstly, that I don’t care; and secondly, that one of the few points with which I still agree wholeheartedly with C. S. Lewis is on childlike things.

Anyway, the brandy has to go somewhere.

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