Writing. And Douglas Adams

Writing is so damn difficult. Every single stage of it. You start off fine, feeling rather excited about putting down your thoughts to paper...umm, your blog, feeling rather self-important. Then you hit the first hurdle - what exactly are you going to write about? Just jotting down every single random thought that comes to you make for rather poor reading fare, a wretched collection of words and phrases that should be locked up and kept away from the unsuspecting public, particularly since not everyone wants to know about how your toe was feeling a little itchy about an hour after lunch. You need to pick something that would interest a wide demographic, something that is worthwhile and something that you should hopefully have some knowledge about.

That done, you now need to start with the actual writing itself. And that, of course, is easier said than done. As someone said, the easiest way to stop your thoughts flowing, is to sit down and get ready to put them to paper. And that is precisely what happens. It gets harder as time goes by because you know you want to write, you should write, but as you sit there trying to force the thoughts, which till so recently were bounding about, waiting to be unleashed upon a world that was starved of your excellent opinions, out of you, they go and hide further down in your subconsciousness, teasingly out of reach, resolutely refusing to reappear.

However, despite it all, you finally do get some work done and despite yourself, have a decent set of paragraphs. Though, I've noticed, that once you get past the first one and a half paragraphs, it gets much easier. The words seem to flow a little better. After a re-read, however, the whole article still seems very forced, amateurish and unimpressive. And you can only fix so much of it. You put in big words here and there to make it seem better, but the overall quality remains much the same. Finally, you give up on the whole idea and resign yourself to your fate as an unknown who will never get to see his name on a 'Collected Works of' compilation.

Which brings me to Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Universe trilogy ( consisting of, incredibly, 5 books, a radio series, a TV series, a computer game, stage adaptations, comic book, bath towel, and most recently a motion picture (which I didn't appreciate so much) ), The Dirk Gently novels, The Meaning, and The Deeper Meaning, of Liff, Last Chance to See. He also helped develop the Starship Titanic game. Last, but not least, he gave us the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. It is, definitely, 42. ( A cryptic clue to the same was in My first ever blog :D )

He was just brilliant. He had a flair for the language that most people can only stare at with slack-jawed astonishment. The way he wove his sentences left you breathless. They would range from single words to titanic philological constructions that told a whole story in themselves. Add to this a never ending supply of incredible, unique, zany ideas and you get prose that is breathtakingly, incredibly excellent. Magnificent specimens of English literature.
Apart from being a good (!) writer, he was also a programmer and had a solid interest in technology. He was a patron of Apple products and the Beatles' music and I'm sure he would have loved the coming together of the two with the iPod.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Douglas Adams passed away on 11 May 2001. Never again will we get to read his unconventional writings, never get to see the world from his unconventional perspective.

You can visit his websites at:

Before he died, he was working on the Salmon of Doubt, which is left, frustratingly, mostly incomplete.

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