We’ve all been there. Found a range of increasingly thin excuses to avoid sitting down to do what we claim we love doing, and write. The house has never looked better, your fitness has peaked thanks to those spontaneous forty-five minute walks taken twice a day, the dog just wants to be left alone, and you have a new found respect for Dr Phil – and still the keyboard gathers dust.

Fear not, dear reader who is a writer. Your problem is most likely not laziness or incapacity to write, but a lack of readiness. All the while that you’re buffing spoons, wiping windows, rearranging libraries and guffawing at the gullibility of people who appear before Judge Judy, your mind is ticking away, turning raw ideas into finely crafted sentences, deeply rewarding paragraphs and surprisingly immersive chapters. It takes time, and greatness will not be rushed.

So let those distractions do what they are designed to do: occupy your conscious mind while your subconscious beavers away with feverish activity, producing your next literary gem without you having to think about it at all. Then, when they are good and ready, the words will come – often whether you want them to or not.

A word of caution, however, dear reader who is a writer. Nipping down to the pub to knock off half a dozen pints of brew, slipping out to the back shed to spark up a couple of blunts or popping out to see your local ice dealer, are not generally the kind of distractions in which you should indulge. Anything that interferes with the operation of your subconscious, especially if it leaves you comatose on the couch, unable to process the intellectual import of even an episode of The Flintstones, is not going to help your writing.

And if/when you get to the end of your lengthy To Do list you still are not ready to write, then just sit down and bloody well start. You’re not still mulling, you’re lazy.