Talking to the Creative Winch Buddies I mentioned in my last post has caused me to reflect increasingly on how and when we refine our techniques as writers. Whilst most of it is surely done in front of the keyboard or the blank sheet of paper, at least a small fraction of our creative development must be attributable to subconscious external influences. When I was pondering this, I focused on one such influence in particular – childhood. More specifically, inspiration blossoms in its most carefree manner when we are most carefree, letting off steam in the school playground. I was one of those children who never quite got into the traditional lunchtime games, such as Tag or Manhunt, since I preferred to make them up on the spot instead.

Anything went in my friendship group. If you wanted a spaceship as big as Planet Earth itself, you could have one. If you longed to become an immortal, all-powerful being, all you needed to do was assume the right persona. You’ll notice a sci-fi theme in our games! At the time, I only saw these improvisations as an effective way of killing the lunch hour, but I was perhaps also unknowingly nurturing myself through leisure. Experimentation was rife – as we were fans of multiple franchises, it wasn’t uncommon to find a Dalek facing off against Darth Vader in the same story, and the rules and parameters were just as fluid. It didn’t matter how many times somebody’s character had been killed off in the space of ten minutes, as they could simply devise increasingly contrived recoveries allowing them to be miraculously resurrected. Like I said, anything was possible, and it could all unfold in pretty much any space, regardless of whether it was the wide open expanse of the field or the tighter confines of one of the quads. When the space was smaller, it forced us to adapt what we created, and in hindsight this must also have been beneficial to my future endeavours.

Children do, of course, use their imaginations for things other than play or escapism – one notable example can be found in how they tell little white lies. I know from childhood experience how these can take the form of long-winded anecdotes, as I went to school with a boy who insisted to his classmates that he’d once defused a bomb to save a town, and that he’d been to the Monaco Grand Prix multiple times. Looking back on these now that I am older and somewhat wiser, they obviously seem ridiculous, but he told them so convincingly that we blindly believed him without question. Depending on who you ask, fibs can be good or bad for children, but these were just harmless fun – and if they encouraged my friend to use his very vivid imagination, they really can’t have done any harm. For some people, such conduct might just pay dividends somewhere down the line.




Half Time Oranges

I like to keep this blog as open as I can in terms of the subject matter it covers, but recently I’ve still felt pressure to write a “mission statement” or objective of sorts for Third Time Enabled. If I’m going to take it seriously and make it some kind of living, what do I want it to be? It was while pondering this question recently that I decided to take stock and compose a post that addressed it directly. In an ideal world, I want this project to grow into an outlet where myself and all other contributors have the opportunity to express respectful “opinion”, stories and thoughts from all corners of the “imagination”, and various items of interesting “information” from different areas of popular culture. I like to call these key words “the three ions”.

If I want to reach these as objectives, I’ve decided that we’ll first need some new voices. With that in mind, if you’d like to bring the three ions to life in a warm, humorous, imaginative and polite manner, please feel free to get in touch. You can email me at, tweet me – I’m @HawkerMason – or message me on Facebook. I won’t bite, I promise; in fact, I’ll be delighted to discuss any ideas you might have floating around. Hopefully I’ll hear from you soon!

I know this post is much shorter than most of the others, but normal service will resume with the next one.  Anyway, sometimes the brief job advertisements are amongst the best, don’t you think?