Definitely non-fiction

I realised something today: I'm shit at fiction.

Give me an autobiographical topic, and I can whittle on seemingly endlessly about the weird, wonderful, wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful aspects of people I've met, situations I've found myself in and the ova I inadvertently yet almost invariably got on my facade. The words, lines, paragraphs spill out onto the page cathartically and I will lose myself in the minutiae and absurdity of my predicament and the inevitability of my embarrassment.

True, my mind will wander and my thoughts go off at a tangent, drifting along in their crazy, unhinged way. But sooner or later they will return to the original path: the thread, the spark that fuelled my electronic outpouring in the first place.

It will feel right. It will feel good. It will amuse me and so I hope it will amuse others.

But set me something imaginary - an object, a subject, a person, an idea, a place I have not seen, witnessed, felt or otherwise been cogniscent of - and my literary output will grind to a virtual halt, my expression so laboured, stilted, ultimately execrable and eye outgougingly appalling as to warrant immediate censure and even swifter deletion.

It feels bad. It sounds and reads badly. It doesn't amuse me and would, I assume, at best bore those souls unfortunate enough to have wasted their previous time ploughing through it.

So don't ask me about the moons of Jupiter or the Second World War, ginger-flavoured strawberries or your favourite pet. Don’t ask me to wax lyrical about a gunfight, yellow violets or the witches of Swansea. Ask me about that nice guy with the shocking tattoo in the underground, my last-ever massage or my trip to the urologist. Ask me how I got that scar or about my grandmother's foibles, why I despise rules or why we put away our Christmas decorations on 20 December.

Believe me: you won't regret it.

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