I’m in my pre-column-writing phase, meaning that I walk around hearing voices like some lesser Joan of Arc. Take the rubbish out – hear opening sentences in my head. Stand in line at the supermarket, stare at miniature bottles of Jägermeister and super-size packs of gum – hear possible closings, try to capture them and keep them until getting home again.
Not ready to write. Not yet. But soon. It’s like warming up for a race. Stoking the fire with words or images, feeling the writing muscles flexing and getting stronger. Writing is like running. Sitting down at your computer, opening a new page: it’s like lacing up your shoes and heading for the starting line. You’re ready to begin at last. A writer is a sprinter, a middle-distance or long-distance runner. A writer is an athlete. An athlete of the mind.