What'd you do today?

Ever notice how, if you're a writer, everyone thinks you don't actually have a job? 'So, what'd you do today?' they ask, like your average day consists of a bit of shoe shopping followed by lunch at the Wolseley, an hour or two at the nail bar, Countdown, and a nap.


Or, 'wanna meet for lunch?'

Yes. Well. Lunch is great for people who work in offices because they have to eat anyway and they get an hour off. But for your average writer, lunch means dropping everything just when you're getting started, heading into town, and returning home in time to start dinner.

'Come on up for the day!' is another one.  Tempting in the extreme to jump on a train and visit, but not really practical when three out of the week's five days are already interrupted by school visits, articles to write, e-mails to answer, talks to give, books to read -- plus the usual bills, housework and procrastinations.

Add a little bit of teaching, a few Q&As....and poof!  Another week gone.

Like most writers, I fantasise about lovely empty stretches of time with nothing written in the diary so I can do some work, get into a rhythm, and best of all, think.

A week in which nothing at all happens.

Which is, of course, much worse.