• Russell Cornhill

Writing on Demand

Don’t you hate those writing workshops where the presenter asks you to actually write?

Now, I don’t mind an activity when there’s a purpose. Yep, I get butterflies, particularly if they expect me to read it, but I believe all writing has a purpose. For some of us, understanding why we write isn’t an easy process Only when you understand why you’re writing can you really start to learn and experiment.

Even if it’s just to have a bit of fun.

No, it’s when you’re asked to just write that I really have a problem. Below is an example of what I produced quite a few years ago when I was put in such a situation.

I never understood why I kept this. Perhaps I should have thought about ‘purpose’.

The presenter stode to the front of the room. “You have three minutes. Write something, anything. See how much you can write in three minutes.”

Damn, what the bloody hell am I going to write about? I absolutely hate being told I have to write about something. No bloody ideas will come.

Well, no good ideas.

Well, no good ideas that I can write.

Well, no good ideas that I can write that won’t get me put in jail.

Oh, damn! Now I have to get that idea out of my head. Sorry, can’t tell you what it was.


Try thinking about nothing.

Yeah, we know where that gets you. Besides, I’m supposed to be writing.

Okay, goblins. Goblins are green.

Duh, I thought they were a greenie-grey.

Oh shit! Now I’ve got a voice in my head. Where the hell did you come from?

Duh, don’t know. Ma mum wouldn’t tell me.

Great! Don’t you belong in a computer game? Anyway, goblins are green. I said so.

Writing on Demand
Writing on Demand

Nah, I thought they had a red tinge.

Oh no, two voices. Listen, I’m trying to concentrate.

Duh, try counting sheep.

Hah, he’s trying to think, not go to sleep. Listen, why don’t you … you know?

Strewth, get out of my head!

It always works for me.

Get out of my head! Damn, what am I trying to do?

Houston, we have lift-off.

Bloody hell, where did that come from. Concentrate! What am I trying to do? Write. Yeah, I have to write something.

Damn it. I hate being told to write about something. No bloody ideas ever come.

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