Friday, 22 November 2013

One Is a Prime Number

This week, I ponder on the number one.  I’m rubbish at maths but I do know that a prime number is only divisible by one and itself.  So that’s an ideal number for when you’re writing …

I was talking to someone the other day and they mentioned they wanted to go and see the new Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, at the cinema but that they didn't have anyone to go with.  ‘Well just go by yourself then,’ I said.  The look of horror on their face as I made this shocking suggestion meant that I was going to throw the cat amongst the pigeons.

‘But I can’t!’ they said, ‘what would people think?’
‘Err, nothing?’ I said.
‘But people will think I’m sad that I have to go to the cinema on my own!’
‘I don’t think they’ll give a toss,’ I said, ‘because they’ll probably be watching the film.’

Of course, it didn't occur to said person to invite me along but judging by their clingy neediness, I probably had a lucky escape.  They’d probably expect me to chat to them or give a rat’s bottom while I’m trying to watch the bloody film.

This person would probably have been gob-smacked to hear that on Monday, I went to see a band I like, Public Service Broadcasting, play in Cambridge, on my own.  Not only that but as I went straight from work in my car, which I managed to drive all by myself, I ate dinner in Nandos, on my own.  And you know what?  I survived the experience.  If I want to see a band I like, then I won’t wait for anyone else’s validation or permission, I’ll just buy a ticket and go.  I’m secure enough to go into a restaurant I like and eat some dinner; not because I’m lonely or sad but because I’m hungry.  And judging by my tightening waist on my jeans that’s most of the time.

Some people may call me selfish but I would use the word independent, which is something I think you have to be when you’re a writer.  Writing is a solitary experience and if you want to succeed, then you have to get used to your own company.  That’s not to say that you have to be alone all the time, just when you’re doing your thinking or during your designated writing time.  So while I’m sitting in Nandos, enjoying my mango and lime chicken at a table for one, I’m not lonely.  I’m not even alone because I've got my characters in my head to keep me company and a plot to think about.  Just be careful to not talk to them out loud, otherwise people will really think you’re odd.

Incidentally, if you get a chance to see Public ServiceBroadcasting live, then do because they put on the most original and entertaining gig that I've seen for some time.  Their songs are a fusion of clips from old films and documentaries, guitars, banjos and electronica and J. Willgoose Esq,’s use of sampled voices to talk to the audience was clever and very funny.  The visual show was stunning as well, with old films being projected onto the shells of old televisions that tied in with the songs.  Well it made my evening.

Next week, an interview with best selling indie author Rosen Trevithick.


  1. There's a lot to be said for being on your own. I have a theory that one reason so many marriages fail is because the couple feels obliged to do everything together, and they end up getting heartily sick of each other and longing for a new person with a bit of mystery.

    1. I completely agree, most of my friends are either divorced or separated but the ones with successful marriages appear to have their own space.

  2. Good for you, LK! I've never understood people who are afraid to be alone; I love solitude, which of course makes me a right weirdo in many people's eyes. But of course, it may be a writer thing - how could I ever feel lonely, with my imaginary friends to keep me company?

  3. Lucky you! I crave solitude. I'm starting to think I'll have to kill to get some ... :D

  4. And I have another theory, should hell freeze over and I were to get married and have children - then I'm doing the supermarket shopping on my own. Kids and an annoying husband bugging me while I'm doing the shopping - agh!