Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 150

The world is peopled by idiots. Sorry, that’s perhaps too much of a generalisation. But – I’m just home from taking A to work, and the number of people driving or walking like idiots with no spatial awareness or consideration for others was astounding. We talk about divided nations where the split is almost exactly 50/50 p this was more like 80/20, with the 80 being the idiots. Seriously.

One of those partially insomniac nights last night, so I didn’t go to bed till 1 a.m. And now I’ve just had my second espresso of the day, two and a half hours after typing the above, and four hours after my first. That will have to be enough. It is a glorious pleasure, though, I must admit. That bitter first mouthful of coffee unadulterated by milk or sugar is a luxury beyond compare.

It’s now six hours since I started this. It’s one of those days where the day job is of an over-riding priority (even in non day-job hours), and the harder I slog, the more emails come flooding in. I haven’t yet done any back stretches (partly perhaps because I fear I’ll fall asleep if I lie down on the bed to do them). I haven’t yet been for my daily minimum 2-mile walk. The weather is wearing in its extremes – one minute it’s warm enough for me to want to rip off my shirt and sit in the garden and pretend I’m Adonis and fabulously wealthy, the next it’s as cold as mid-winter, cold enough for me to want to wrap myself in even more layers of clothing even here in the study.

I have just finished Donna Leon’s 31st Guido Brunetti novel, and the sense of place (the place being Venice off the tourist routes) remains within me (and I miss it, having been there, off the beaten track, at least 4 times in my life, the most recent in February 2020 just before covid-19 decimated how we led our lives). And now I’ve just started Samantha Shannon’s The Priory Of The Orange Tree. I’m only 15 pages in, and I’m gripped already. I finished the Leon book just before I went to bed this morning (no screens when I can’t sleep; they make it worse), and started the Shannon book over 20-minute lunch, and both times I started comparing my writing to theirs (however different their styles might be from each other). But it doesn’t do, does it, to compare yourself to other writers. That way lies despair, in all honesty, because we all have unique styles. We just have the misfortune (if it is a misfortune) to be working in a very subjective medium. It doesn’t do either, like I did yesterday afternoon, to compare two of your own books. I spent a part of yesterday afternoon writing more of The Mortality Code, and spent too many seconds comparing it to Aggie which seems to be rumbling along almost of its own accord whereas TMC seems to require much more thinking by me. So I’ll teach myself my own lessons, which is to step away from comparisons, and just do.




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