Those lovely people at The Hay Festival have kindly asked if I’d like to write a guest blog post for them. Well I say lovely. I’m assuming they’re lovely. It’s a bit of a sweeping generalisation but booky types do tend to be lovely, although there are obvious exceptions. Anyway – those (on the whole) lovely people at The Hay Festival have kindly asked if I’d like to write a guest blog post for them. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Well I mean I did. But only long enough for me to get in touch with Rebecca – my publicity person of no specific gender – and ask what it should be about? “About 500 words,” she quipped merrily. How we laughed. Once we’d finished laughing I said no but seriously – what should it be about? Should it be something to do with Hay itself, or perhaps Norm? (As in The World of Norm – the series of books that I write.) Why not a bit of both? replied Rebecca. Sounded reasonable. Still does. Anyway – long story ever so slightly shorter – it kind of helped, but didn’t help if you know what I mean? I mean it helped narrow it down a bit. Well, a lot actually. I now knew I couldn’t just pick any old random subject. I knew I at least had to mention Hay and Norm at some point. This was a good thing. It was a start. But only a start. I did what I usually do when I know I have to sit down and write something. I got up and put a wash on. Then I put the kettle on. Then I did some staring out the window. I’ve just made a pond. (A real pond – not one of those instant ‘just add water’ jobs.) Anyway it’s right in my eye line as I look out my office and write this sentence. I’m really pleased with it. The pond, I mean – not that sentence. As sentences go, it was okay, but certainly nothing exceptional. It was functional. It served a purpose. I’ve written better. Anyway staring at the pond wasn’t working. I still couldn’t think what to write. So I did the next thing on my list of ‘Things to do when I can’t think what to write.’ I went for a run. I don’t know what it is about running. I’m not particularly good at it. I’m not very fast. I frequently ache afterwards. But it seems to do me a power of good. Mentally at least. Whatever it is, it worked. No sooner had I set off than ideas started to flow, like…like…flowy things. The blog post which at least had to mention The Hay Festival and The World Of Norm: May Cause Irritation (available at all good bookshops) was beginning to take shape. And what shape was that? I hear you ask. Roughly this shape. Well, precisely this shape as it happens. And the best part? It’s exactly five hundred words. Sorted.
Catch Jonathan at the festival on Saturday 9 June, 1pm.