Monday 4 April 2011

Everything a writer does - except writing!

Back from a night in the countryside last week, I sat at this computer fully intending to do some work, but first made the mistake of checking my email.

The first message came from my Israeli friend and writing teacher, who wants me to do some research for her novel. I try to explain that I don't know any better than she does who her character might be hanging out with in London in 2004, because at that time I was living in a field by a river in Co. Mayo, writing about birds and donkeys for the Irish Examiner. I could not have had my finger further from the urban pulse, but I agree to help, because she is my teacher, my friend and in some bizarre way it's an honour to help out; a mitzvah, noch.

Another email awaits in my inbox, from a lifetime friend in London who has just started a blog which is feeling lost and unvisited. 'What should he do to encourage traffic?' he asks, so I try to concentrate on reading his material, while casting my eye to my mobile phone, which has just peeped after receiving a text.

Another friend, this one in Galway, has written some splendid poems over the years, and now he's texting me to ask if I would like to proof-read them when I have the time. I told him weeks ago that I'd love to, it'd be a privilege, but now I’m not sure when I can get round to it. Ah well, any time, really.

Another email awaits, this time from Ryan who works for Lonely Planet guide books. Two years ago he contacted me after finding this colyoom online, to say he was coming to Galway to work on the new Ireland edition. We had a great day out, divilment and debauchery aplenty while I showed him around Galway, and then I basked in the glow of all the newspaper reports that said Galway had received such good reviews in the new Lonely Planet Ireland book.

'All my own work!' I thought quietly to myself.

Sometimes I do just think quietly to myself. Hard to believe, but I’m not all blog and bluster.

Anyway, Ryan's email is letting me know he’s coming back to town and wants to hook up and see what's changed in Galway. I tell him I'll get back to him after sorting out my teacher's novel, my mate's blog, my friend's poems and - hang on, wasn't I meant to be doing some writing of my own?

I adore being a scribbler, and love helping others, but sometimes it becomes difficult to know when to draw the line. Ah Pooey McShooey, to be honest, there are no lines. There’s just humanity, and the old ‘what goes around comes around’ maxim. I am lucky that people come to me for advice, and know that when I need help, there will be somebody there for me.

Now, I think I’ll do some work. Ah sure well, first I need to pop into town to get some A4 white envelopes, and then...maybe tea and buns at me old mate Dalooney's...


Charlie Adley said...

Since posting this I've been reliably informed by a colyoomista that I'm just the 'Go to guy for Galway.'

Well that sounds splendid, and you'd think after living in the States for 4 years I'd have picked up that phrase - mind you, when I was out there I was far from being anything approaching a go-to guy.

David Rainger said...

Hanging in London 2004?
Couple of dodgy A&R men (record company since bought up - vanished), proudly dodgy ex-advertising drug dealer (still bobbing and weaving), occasionally with visiting Galway colyoomista (not dodgy at all - honest), electro/techno DJ...
At least that was it for me...

Charlie Adley said...

...sounds great David! A lovely assortment of fringe and meedja types, just as we like it. You want to watch those Galwegian colyoomists though, they can be more trouble than you think!

Is there any other kind of A&R man?

Proudly dodgy adman? See above....!

...oh and one redheaded musical virtuoso inventor and his phenomenal polyartisitc partner!

Paz said...

Galway types can be a shifty bunch, even the go to guys who have gone native even after seing the foibles of the locals and still choose to stay and write

Charlie Adley said...

Too right Paz, those 'go to guys' are the worst. Self-deluded and pretentious types, although this one's not gone completely native, more of an English Yiddish Atheist lemon pip floating around than an out and out ice cube melted into the drink.