When The Shit Comes Down

Whenever I sit here and I’ve already decided to write something but I can’t think what to write, and I think and I think and I just wonder if I have anything to say about anything, it’s not uncommon for me to try to come up with a phrase, or at least a fragment of a sentence, and the idea is – or was: the impulse for these phrases just comes instinctively now – that with the right selection of words, just a few, all in a row typed out, you have started and you will keep typing, and somehow the thing will really write itself, and be about something. The phrase which most commonly pops into my head now is “When the shit comes down …” – and the regularity with which this arrangement of words arises does seem to suggest that something in my brain thinks there is a killer story or essay or meditation which will be unlocked if I would only follow my instincts and go with this form of words. But buggered if I’d know what it would be and would be about.

It could start like: “When the shit comes down, you’d better be ready. This isn’t going to be easy, Smith. There’s no room for amateurs here.” A blokey dialogue type of opening then; the start of a story which might not probably interest me enough to read, let alone take the trouble to write.

Another way it could be used would be something like: “When the shit comes down it is always best to take cover. I pondered this thought as I strode uphill, clutching my notebook.” An opening that sounds much more me, but the question lingers: what the hell would this thing be about? I don’t know, is the short answer. And I have no idea why some spring-loaded part of my brain snaps and this thought is formed, pretty much every day, only to be dismissed as not very helpful or useful or about anything.

But maybe that’s the point. It’s a challenge. Do something with this phrase. Make something out of it.

I’m not convinced though.

Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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