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Introduction

This may look like a daily diary, but it isn't exactly that.

The idea sprung up because of writer's block. I have been working hard this year and not really had a break and have been finding it hard to apply myself. This annoys me, because I know that if I just wrote solidly for three or four hours a day then I would never have to get into the mad rushes that I always do whenever a dead-line approaches.

It also makes me wonder about the stuff I could have written if I hadn't been playing Scrabble on my Gameboy

I sort of figured that if I could spend a half an hour at the beginning of each day writing about something that had happened to me on the previous day, then at least I would have done something constructive, and also it might get me in a writing frame of mind and help with the work I actually have to do.

I have made many attempts to keep a diary, but always lose interest, and yet, reading the attempted diaries back years later is a wonderful thing for a writer. It reminds you of great stuff that you've forgotten and is also a window to your emotions at the time. Even when the stuff is quite banal there is usually something worthwhile for the author. I found this particularly when writing "Excavating Rita", as I kept diaries during both my digs as an 18 year old, and I was a total twit. The bit in the play about me and Mahatma Ghandi having a lot to share comes straight out of that diary. Embarrassingly.

And although Warming Up might be a similar inspiration to the 50 year old me, that isn't the intention. It is a writing exercise first and foremost. I take one incident, thought or encounter from the previous day and then write about it. I am trying to improve my writing and to force myself to think about how things have made me feel. But it is something I am doing quickly, half an hour tops, and something that I am not going back and editing. So there will be mistakes and things that are frankly rubbish and embarrassing. Hopefully not as embarrassing as the Ghandi thing.

I also like the idea of recording the day to day minutia that usually gets forgotten. The odd characters. The bizarre happenings. The normal happenings.

Given the speed and the lack of editing I will undoubtedly reveal stuff about my mental state. That's OK. But I'm not going to go into anything too personal. It's just an exercise.

It was going to be just for me. Because I am well aware that there is going to be a lot of crud in it. But I thought that if I put it up on the internet and had even three or four people waiting to read it each day, then that would encourage me to get on with it.

I guess if I am really under pressure that some days I won't make it. And it's not going up at any regular time (because I don't work at regular times). Occasionally I might write up two days worth at a time. But I'll do my best to eventually have something from every day.

Sometimes it is quite hard to think of anything. Especially as much of my day is spent sitting in my house writing, or failing to write. But I figure that there has to be one interesting thing in every 24 hours.

Often I will however ignore a major event to go for something smaller. It's not going to record everything about my day.

It's primarily an exercise.

We'll see how it goes.

And why not try setting up your own web page and doing it yourself? I have enjoyed it so far!


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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be on at the George Sq Theatre at 10.45pm every night of the Edinburgh Fringe Buy tickets here.
My new play, I Killed Rasputin will on at the George Square Theatre at 3.35pm every day of the Edinburgh Fringe. Buy tickets here
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