While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Great White Page vs Dark Room

Earlier in the year of a million words (ahem) I wrote this poem:

The Great White Page

Were it another colour
Were it another shape
Maybe words would come

Those 16 words weren’t the biggest help for my word count, but they do capture the feeling I get when I look to the west, I mean, when I open a new word document at the end of an evening, still needing three hundred or eight hundred words to keep apace with my targets.

The fear of the Great White Page (almost as scary as being forced to read another book by Steven Hall, shudder…) has lead to this:

It’s called Dark Room. Free to download.

Simply by changing the colours and removing all the toolbars from sight, this wee program has tricked me several times this week into forgetting about everything but what I’m working on.

It reminds me of my youth, too. Of DOS and those IBM clones that schools could suddenly afford in 1990, and were finally junked in 1996 (me and five others were given the job of disposing of an entire classroom full of these cream-coloured wonders in third form… good times… perhaps there’s a story in this?).

I imagine it’s similar to how people of a (slightly) older generation feel about typewriters, or pen and paper.

Me, I can’t imagine writing fiction on anything that required you to type out everything again when you made any changes. I guess you’d chose your words more wisely in the first place. Labour over them. Not that I don’t labour over mine (the fiction words more than these bloggy words). Just that the labour comes in waves: birth, first examination, alteration, second examination, death, rebirth…

Anyway, just wanted to share my Dark Room discovery.


In looking for a good version of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ for the link above, I found this. Classic.

No comments: