Friday, 8 October 2010


By Richard Jay Parker

The rabid beast has been loose again. You know the animal – the one who takes large bites out of mornings, afternoons and evenings when you’re at the keyboard.

It’s been my unwanted guest since I was a teenager. Every time I move home I can’t leave it behind.

It’s lying in the corner at the moment looking sated. It should – it’s just eaten most of my morning. I never see it feed. One moment I’m looking at the clock in daylight and anticipating how much work I’m going to get done. The next moment a huge chunk of the day has been gobbled up and the cursor hasn’t made it anywhere near the page number I wanted it to.

I’m looking at it now and it’s just scratching itself. When I look away to my screen though…

It seems to get extra hungry during rewriting. Polishing paragraphs is like ringing one of Pavlov’s bells. It ran off with a whole week once but its ribs were still rattling on Monday.

Currently its menu comprises of:



Main Course

My Manuscript


Catching Up With Emails

Funnily enough, when I want it to feed, the beast is nowhere to be seen. When I have a glut of time and I’m waiting for the phone to ring about the project I’ve been working on it immediately loses its appetite and scavenges elsewhere.

But it really chows down, really gets its snout in the trough when I’m writing.

Doesn’t matter how its furtive feeding disgusts me, however. I hope I never slay it.

More info about Richard and his work at:


  1. I have a beast at home just like that.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. Ah! That very beast took a few bites out of me today! Where is my Sunday gone, I ask. Alas, the beast is ever more hungry during weekdays, so what I have not achieved this weekend will only have to wait till the next. (Sigh!)

    Li-zi @lizialexander

  3. Thanks for the comment, Adam. Yes - I think they breed rapidly as well. There seems to be one in every writer's household.

    Hope you catch up this week, Li-zi. It's already taken a chunk out of my morning.