Couch to 80k Week 4 Day 1

Yay! Made it to week 4. Now it gets real. I think.

Couch to 80k podcast is a writer’s bootcamp with daily exercises by Tim Clare and is part of his Death by 1000 paper cuts blog.

So week 4 is titled “Elements of Style” (from the William Strunk, jnr, book – as recommend by Steven King in On Writing)

Day 1 though I think is more about getting a start point. Write a list of memories tied to a sense, then write a paragraph of notes about that. And, I assume the rest of the week will be about tidying this up and applying stylistic choices to it.

So, you know, not much to report. It was short podcast. I wrote a bunch of memories/senses (for whatever reason it was hard to pull out single strong memories, I mean, the smell of bread is incredibly strong – and I miss the taste of it being gluten free – but it’s not tied to a single moment) in the end, the list contained a bunch of general memories, and a couple of stand out strong memories. The strong memory I went with was the time I had a gastroscopy (camera down the throat) without anaesthetic, so it left an impression.

Now, the paragraph I wrote is a bit shonky, but that’s ok, I think it’s gonna be used for playing with later on (like getting out the right lego bricks so you can make a house) but so you can see where I start and where I end, for the scientific value of it, here’s the full paragraph.


I was in my thirties. Not worried, not even apprehensive. Actually a little excited. A biopsy of my stomach. “Other people get knocked out”. Slightly annoyed I had to drive myself, everyone else can rely on me for a lift, but I can rely on no-one. Lay down on my side, still not worried. The tube goes in my throat. I can feel the ribbing as it travels down my throat then… then it just sort of sits there for the next 45 minutes. It’s horrible. Horrible. I gag several times, in fact I never seem to stop gagging through the whole experience, the doctor is talking and I feel like I should answer, but it’s impossible. Even in the dentist you can talk, here, with a tube down your throat I can barely nod or shake my head, and the ribbing and feeling intruded is horrible. And yet I feel like I should talk. After who-knows-how-long the camera starts withdrawing, I’m aware, I think I can see the camera at the side of me. There’s relief that it’s over, there’s tears streaming down my face. Well done, doctor will get the results. And off I go, there’s no pain or general discomfort, I think, more than anything I’m annoyed that I was so unaware of what was going to happen. I’d disconnected myself from it before it had happened, but once the tube was done I was intimately connected in the worst way possible. Around me there are a few people, it’s all a bit of a blur. I’m conscious they’re not focusing on me but on the TV