In my other life as a training consultant I often find myself writing and re-writing training materials to meet the needs of specific clients, yet no matter how familiar I am with the content it often takes me a while to get started.  The laptop, a necessary tool in the creation of slides, workbooks and trainer notes, becomes a distraction through emails, BBC News, and photographs.

Once I get started and build momentum all is well, but getting started so often proves a real challenge, so I was interested to hear a radio discussion this week on the demise of the art of handwriting; the premise of the programme being that with email and texting on the rise, so few of us ever put pen to paper, and when we do occasionally write letters they are predominantly produced on word-processing software.

With so little emphasis on writing some of us are becoming self-conscious about revealing our script to the wider public.

Whilst I didn’t have time for the entire debate, I did notice that some of the contributors shared a need to begin any creative writing with pen and paper rather than keyboard, regardless of the technologies they used to create the finished work, that initial creativity had to come from scribbling ideas out on paper.  I think it was Diana Athill who said something along the lines of

“If you type the letter A, you just press a button, if you write it, you’re making it”

I loved this as it seemed to gel with my own experience where the need to hold a pen affects my creativity.

Today’s challenge though was photographer’s block.  I travelled the coast in vain looking for a face or a view that would inspire me, but despite the strong swell creating impressive rollers breaking over the Blockyard (ironic!), nothing took my fancy to develop further.

I was nearly home when I parked up in Whitburn and looked around.  It seemed that the high winds that whipped the waves were keeping people away until I rounded a corner and met Stephen who agreed to be photographed and the block was lifted.

Is it just coincidence that my favourite tipple at Newcastle’s Broad Chare is this?

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