Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


The Last Ditch 6: Fewer F*cks

I have no words.


A week has gone by, the sixth of this Last Ditch thing, and I have literally no new words.

Monday was a mess. I should have got things done on Monday, but I did not. I moped. I packed for a couple of days in that London, I got to the end of the day, realised I had to get to bed early for a 4am start, and gave up. Not a problem. Plenty of travel time to come. Loads of opportunities to make up a few words here and there.

Didn’t happen. Slept badly, then up at 4am, into a taxi, then on to various queues at the airport. A flight, straight into dayjobbery, finally finished work, and then… nothing. A hotel room and a brain of mush. Not a problem. I could sleep later Wednesday, and put the return trip to better use…

Didn’t happen. I didn’t even realise it hadn’t happened until I got back home on Wednesday night with nothing done.

On Thursday I started to panic, and spent the time I would have spent writing feeling stressed about not having written. I could catch up. Surely I could catch up. I had to catch up, but suddenly it felt like I was so far behind myself that there was no catching up, and I began to despair.

“Sadie!” I cried. “Sadie, how can I possibly catch up! Sadie, what do I do!”

Sadie gazed wisely out of the window from her spot at the back of the car, and grinned. If she could have taken a slow drag on a french cigarette, she would have done so then.

“Far be it for me to advise you on such matters, man of foods and playsing, for I am a Labrador with a limited skillset dedicated for the most part to chasing the tennis balls of the world, for they have done me wrong. I am not a writer of dreams. With that said, oh man of foods and playsing, you might consider giving SUBSTANTIALLY fewer f*cks.

“Look at my big goonball face. Look how happy I am. Consider how very few f*cks I must give.”

And it was true. “Thank you Sadie,” I said.

“Thing nothing of it man,” she replied. “Now get me out this goddam car and make the tennis balls fly for me, bitch.” 

And I did that too.

That conversation didn’t happen, because who has conversations with their dog when they’re sitting in a car? Mad people, that’s who*. However on Thursday I decided not only to give no f*cks about the previous days, but to blow the rest of the week off too.

It’s tremendously liberating, and another way that writing and running mirror each other for me. When I’m training for something and have to miss a session, I have to fight the urge to double up the distance next time, or triple up the time after that. It’s a shortcut to misery and turns something challenging into something impossible in no time at all. The same is true for writing.

Sometimes you just need to remember to cut yourself a break.

Back at it next week. Stay tuned.

Total projects complete:

Novelettes: 0

Novellas: 0

Short stories: 0

*I do this all the time. I can’t help it.

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