I saw an interesting little programme on BBC1 this morning, on just after the Breakfast News: 'What I'd really like to do'. Each day, the presenter Adrian Chiles has tried his hand at one of ten dream jobs compiled from a poll commissioned by the BBC, from being a doctor to a professional footballer. Today's featured career was writing. In his task to write a picture book for children, he took advice from a diverse range of publishing professionals, illustrators, journalists and authors (though Jeffrey Archer was at pains to say that he was, in fact, a 'storyteller' - yeah, that's one way of putting it mate!).
It was reassuring to find out that most of the novelists and journalists interviewed had problems getting started on a piece of writing and needed the motivation of deadlines to get anything done. Frederick Forsyth, apparently, types at least ten pages of A4 everyday before his leaves his desk. That sounds like an awful lot, though I guess writing fiction is a very different kettle of fish to producing a PhD thesis. But I like the idea of setting targets, or at the very least getting into some sort of routine when I'm trying to write. But there are just so many distractions! I think I'm doing well if I manage about three-four hours work a day. Is that too little? Or, just about normal?
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.