Who Let the Dogs Out?

It’s noisy – no I am not in the middle of a market right now.

Inside my head characters are talking, ideas are jumping up and down like over-excited dogs and characters are talking, arguing, laughing and making jokes inside my head.


Am I going crazy? Hold your horses, chief. I’m not going crazy.

This happens frequently.

What? Frequently? That means it is symptom of crazy!

Hmm, not really! At least not clinically insane. I’m  bit crazy by many definitions anyway.

My head gets noisy when I don’t get sufficient time to spend on my writing. It could be because my day job is busier than normal or when I have too many external engagements or when I’m busy with family commitments and often watch TV instead of having a quiet evening.

It always happens when I don’t get 3-4 hours in the morning just for myself.

Usually I don’t write much in the afternoon – the afternoon hours are dead for my writing. My mind is too lazy and sluggish and sleepy. Evenings are too distracting – for one, I get very hungry by 6 pm and I am focussed on cooking dinner and eating.

I’m a morning person in all sense of the word. I prefer doing most of my important tasks in the morning. Whether it is going to the gym, writing a letter, preparing for my workshops, packing a suitcase. That means the time before 11 am is very expensive – too many things compete with my writing.

I prefer to write in the mornings – when I worked full-time  I had to get up at 4 am and wrote until 7 am. Even now, on the days when I don’t go into work or the days when I don’t have school visits, I prefer to be up before 6 am to get the maximum out of my mornings.

But I digress from my critical condition – the noise in my head. The noise comes from cramming up a lot – like reading, little ideas into my phone app, scribbling notes, reading my plotting cards – but not having the time to ponder, thing, mulch and mince the words.

Sometimes I get an idea and would scratch it up in a notebook or type it into my favourite app  into my phone – Evernote. That idea would start running around inside my head like a little dog chasing a squirrel. The only way the idea would quieten down is to try and write down some thoughts – not the story itself – but usually a storyboard or some plot diagrams or some scribbles.

When I don’t get the time to sit down and think through the idea, then of course the dog starts whining and then barking and like any dog that is cooped up inside for long, wants to be let out.

Sometimes when dogs are barking inside my head, and I am stuck in work meetings, this is what I do to quieten them – they calm down for a bit – but not for long.


Then as the days go by, more dogs join and then it turn into a hullaballoo. Then I start singing this song.

Another big reason for the noise in the head is reading other books. Reading is so important for every writer – I read all sorts of fiction and non-fiction and of course my friends’ books and books on the award list and so on.

When I read something that touches me or when I read a wonderful page of prose or characterisation or a poem that strikes a chord, I’m inspired to write a piece in response. So the more I read, the more my desire to try a new piece of writing. That adds more barking dogs to the mayhem in my head.


So what do I do now? Well I need to find a few mornings soon and start as early as I can (that normally means I am not sociable after 8 pm at night – I need to hit the bed by 9:30 pm) and during summer – getting up in the morning is a joy. But going to bed at night while the sunlight is still fighting the dark forces of the night is not so easy.


I’ll be at the Shoutsouth Creative Writing Festival with other CWISL authors this coming week (Find out more at http://www.shoutsouth.org.uk/) and my first day of uninterrupted writing is at least 10 days away.

Let’s hope I can quieten the dogs and dabble in some ideas, play with stories and rearrange words before being carted off to a loony bin.