Starter for 10 – Monday 17/6/19

All great athletes warm up. Modern athletes have taken this to boring extremes, such that there are exercise bikes on touchlines and plungebins full of ice to ensure peak performance. Writers are no different. As you can see by this rather clunky paragraph, I’m just starting to get my brain in thingy. Gear, that’s it.

So, the idea of a Starter for 10 is to spend 10 minutes at the start of each writing day just splurging words from your brain into a blank document. The key is that there’s no real thought involved, it’s not quite automatic writing but an equivalent might be an artist’s sketches. I’ve done this off and on for a number of years and it’s amazing how many times something useful will come from it. A non-cliche phrase, a plot idea, a character who takes the opportunity to leap into being.

My guess is that approximately 50% of them are valuable for bits of content, but even the other half still have value from the point of view of limbering up, to ensure that when I start writing I’ve shrugged off some of the weirdness that comes with putting words on a page. I’m also yet to snap a tendon while writing so draw your own conclusions.

I’m going to be sharing all of these 10 minute blurps starting….NOW!


“Draw the energy through your feet and let it pulse, through the bones of the toes, rising through the calves, the quads, strengthening through the core, breathe in deeply as the energy expands the consciousness of the chest and finally bring the energy into an awakening of the mind – an expansion of the brain and a capturing of the possible permutations of the day. The power of life that yoga gives us access to is just as present here on a building site as it is on an Instagram-worthy beach, remember…”

“Miss? I don’t think I’m doing it right.”

“Sorry, I should have said – you will need to take your boots off first. The ley power of the earth might struggle to penetrate work boots.”

“Do we all have to take our boots off?”

“Well, it depends if you want to achieve your full human potential. Do you want to achieve your full human potential Gary? Do you think HR want you to achieve your full human potential Gary?”

“No, I do. They do. It’s just my socks are a bit ripe.”

“Ha! Yoga is about nothing more or less than nature itself, Gary. Take your boots off and let me tell you – during yoga sessions it’s very common that people will fart! I’m often asked if I’m embarrassed by this simple human function. You may as well ask if I’d be embarrassed by an arm – or the view of a meadow, or the sound of a baby crying – yoga is life, life is sometimes less than what we might consider to be perfect – life and yoga can some- AK SWEET FUCKING CHRIST – URK IS THAT YOUR FEET? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? IS THAT CANCER? DO YOU HAVE FOOT CANCER? OH JESUS – URPH – PUT THEM BACK ON. BURN THEM WITH FIRE.”


Well, that was fun. I didn’t know that was in there somewhere. Right, off to work for the day. Today marks the first day of actual writing of the first draft. The last couple of weeks I’ve been balancing my time between having my gallbladder fall apart (which in itself has been a useful form of research) and researching all manner of topics relevant to the book:

  • I went and met some Manchester Terriers and now my life won’t be complete until I adopt one, they’re beautiful, clever and loyal and my huge thanks to Ann and Chris for letting me meet their pack.
  • I spoke to a drone expert about how drones work and some of the technical questions I had which will become apparent as I start to post sections of the book.
  • I’ve been fortunate to speak with a number of experts who deal with Toxoplasma Gondii, a parasite which infects over 6 billion people on this here planet (stop itching).
  • I had a very productive conversation with my very good friend Kerry who took me through the process of how to amputate the lower portion of a leg. Apparently the patella is nicely placed that you could flip it over and close off the artery much like closing the lid on a Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle.

Off to write, wish me luck x

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