I’m writing this blog post because I’m blocked. And I know that I’m blocked because I’ve spent fifteen minutes deciding whether to use ‘todger’ or ‘wanger’ as a reference to the male genitalia – and this mammoth decision, that no doubt will have a huge impact on the cannon of literature, is in a line of dialogue. After Googling ‘todger’ and trying to find the origins of the word, and whether an Australian character would say it, I decided to close the laptop.
So I picked up a book: Writers On Writing (collected essays from The New York Times). I started reading, thinking to myself that this is more constructive than deliberating over the word ‘wanger’.
And coincidentally, the essay I read stated that a writer should write every day. Well, I’d tried to write and had got stuck on a slang word for penis.
I don’t believe an author should write every day – but he should try to. And I did.
It seems that when attempting an art form we are encouraged to practice, whether it’s watercolour, the trombone, tap dancing or writing. Yes we should work as hard as possible, but the onus on writers to write everyday has become an obligation: once something becomes an act one ‘ought’ to do, the art will be lost.
I’ll try and write again tomorrow, and by then, maybe I’ll be able to decide on a suitable word: ‘wanger’ is definitely not working.