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Friday 23rd May 2003

I’ve had so much on this week that it has been very difficult to get on with the book. The pressure is beginning to tell. However great a job this is the times when it gets stressful are truly, horrifically, nervous breakdown-inducingly awful.
I know I make it appear that I sit around all day wondering what my own skull looks like and prevaricating (and there is a fair amount of that, I have to say) but I do actually work quite hard. If all goes to plan I will have written a book and a film in the first half of this year (as well as having done quite an extensive tour and being on one episode of the News Quiz! Oh and I’ve also written this bloody, bastard thing you’re reading now as well). That’s not bad going really is it?
I am a comedian. It is in my interest to pretend my life is easy (partly because my job is to give all you poor fuckers a respite from the drudgery of your own jobs and humdrum lives. You don’t want to go out on a weekend and hear me complaining as well–which I’m not incidentally) and that I sit around in my pants all day watching daytime TV.
Again there is quite a lot of that. In fact if I did less of that then I wouldn’t end up facing these near-impossible deadlines. But nothing’s going to change. I am old enough to realise that the prevarication is all part of it.

I think maybe writing is similar to giving birth – now calm down, I’m not saying it’s as painful or difficult or indeed as amazing.
I was talking to one of my many friends who have recently spawned progeny and he was affectionately recalling how his girlfriend had been screaming blue murder and vowing she’d never have any more children as she was giving birth (an understandable reaction from all accounts. God bless all the mothers of this world). Yet a few hours later as she held her tiny boy in her arms she was already cooing that it would be nice to have another one. Somehow the brain manages to blank out the memory of the pain and terror (and when you see what you get out of it, many women would think it was all worth it anyway).
So what is similar here (on a much lesser level. I told you calm down) is that I always go through this mini-Hell producing a piece of work and while I do it, wail and moan and decide that I’m going to get a job in a chapeau shop (like Nigel Tufnell). Yet once it’s all over, my body floods my brain with that same serum that makes the mothers forget and I look at what I’ve created and think. “Ah, isn’t it cute? I must have another.”
So I have written this entry solely for the me of the future. In July I want me to read back over this and remember how unhappy I was on the morning of 23rd May and go to the job centre and see what they’ve got going in the hat industry. You are happy to start low down and work your way up. Remember how alone and depressed you were, how throwing yourself in front of a tube seemed a valid option…. No stop looking at the mock up of the book and thinking it’s cool. It isn’t. The stress has taken five years off your life and it’s caused damage to all your human relationships. No don’t look at the cheque either. No, you don’t want to do another one. Stop it. Will you never learn, you twat?
At least promise me Rich, that you won’t write anything else about cocks. Just that. That’s all I want.

My problem now is that my brain is bound to make me forget about this entry as well. I am doomed to a life of doing anything I want, sleeping in late and getting well paid for it. Literature’s gain (well probably loss actually) is the hat shop’s loss (actually probably a gain too).

On a positive note I imagined I was still about 25,000 words from the end, but on counting it all up this evening I find I only have 18,000 words to do.
Although the words “only” and “18,000” are somewhat relative.

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