(The Self-Obsessed Biography of TIM WOODALL)
Tim Woodall is a writer.
No, I can't start like that. Not in the third person, anyway.
Let's start again...
I'm a writer.
Well, I say that (actually, I write that) but what I really mean is this:
I sometimes write words down. Often, I edit them (this usually takes as long as actually thinking about which words to use in the first place). Then I present them - as stories, or articles, or self-involved essays about things like ‘being tall’ and The Smiths. Not really a writer then. Not when it’s put like that, without the Rain and the Romance and the ‘Oh, well, I can’t write so much as a single word before midnight, and I have to smoke exactly twenty three cigarettes, and if I get stuck for ideas I just hang upside down listening to Abbey Road on repeat until I figure something out…’ Still, I’ve strung a few words together for we are young and we are trying. It’s not Amis, or McEwan, or Rushdie, or Zadie Smith, but it’s probably a lot better than my attempts at making art. So, swings and roundabouts really… I mean, I’m still relatively young. And I ain’t half trying.
AN EXTRACT FROM
Time was he’d have torn himself apart, pondering desperately the identity of the ill-fated human being he would soon be writing about until he had battered, bruised and beaten himself into submission. Then he would call them back and start work. Just like his desire for the company of others, that nagging feeling seldom knocks anymore.
He is thirty-eight, and he worries about his health. Every headache is a belated hangover, each chest pain a testament to the atrocities of having once been an over zealous smoker. He does not miss cigarettes. They are a youthful, not quite so innocent habit, just one of the many perks of being young. Even with a fag clamped between his teeth he had known that one day he would quit. Now he finds solace in writing angst-ridden, should-know-better poetry; tea leaves have replaced tobacco in his life and he relishes each variation on the form in the same way he had once relished each blissful inhalation.