When I step into the writing ring, I face 2 opponents.

Firstly, you. The Reader. You demand and deserve a rich diet of reading matter. Moral fibre, nutritious wit and raw effervescence as reward for your time and energy. You’re busy, tired, distracted. Why should you bother devoting the tiniest fraction of your life to what I, or any other writer writes?

This umbilically creates my second hurdle – words. Here is where the real fight exists. When I write, the words attack me. Dictate the pace and rhythm, Angelo Dundee whispers. Pick a lazy word and it’ll thump you, he warns. Try too hard and I’ll feel the full blooded force of a size 13 in the bollocks. Resort to cliche and the onslaught of upper cuts erupts. Any lapse in thought or conviction and the referee will step in and stop the bout.

Readers need writers need fighters, says the judge at the end of round 1.


The Pencil Pugilist