A question -
What doesn't look like work, but actually is? And very important work, too.
The answer - thinking.
I was sitting in a pub over the weekend (surprise, surprise), doing some of that very thing. I know this, not because I remember it well, but because someone said to me today "I saw you sitting around, doing nothing".
Hence I feel stung into writing this little blog-rant to refute the charge. Because for me, thinking is one of the most important things a writer can do. Thinking time is never wasted time.
And it's certainly not doing nothing!
In fact, I'd go further. I'd argue that the art of thinking is easy to avoid, or overlook. You watch people when they're sat on their own for a minute (as I often do when in observing mode.)
Most will immediately get out their phone and start playing with it. It's as if the danger of stopping for a moment, to look around, truly see the world surrounding you and think a little, is too dangerous to possibly contemplate.
Me, I just like to sit and think.
Every day that goes past, I try to make worthwhile in some small way. It's hard to measure the value of a day, but generally if I've had an original thought or two, and translated them into writing, either on the TV or in my books, or even one of my strange Tweets, then I'll be passably content.
Thinking is where all creativity stems from. It doesn't just fall from the sky (some days I wish it did), but has to be imagined. And that can be a hard-won battle.
In the episode in question here, I was thinking about some careers teaching I'm doing in a week's time. It was a way to try to give the students a brief insight into the kind of dilemmas a journalist can face, and how to resolve them.
It took a while, but with some thinking (that's not just "doing nothing", but thinking) I reckon I managed to get there.
So that's thinking; one of the most important pastimes any of us can partake of, in my humble view, and certainly a Hall favourite.
(But I will remember not to leave my mouth ajar the next time I drift off into dreamworld. On that score my protagonist had a point.)
Yours, thoughtfully. Or, at least I think so...