I’ve had a lot going on over the past 18 months, both good and bad and it’s culminated in a huge swathe of doubt, bigger than I’ve had before. I’ve been getting this strike of fear that sits between my head and my chest and in the back of my throat. It creeps up on me at the most mundane of moments and swells until I don’t know what to do except embrace it and wallow for a few moments. Then it’s back to normal, back to emptying the dishwasher, cleaning my whiteboard, parking the car.
My fear is that I’ll get a few years down the line and wonder why the fuck I’m still attempting to do what I’m doing now. My future self will ridicule my present self and tell me I’ve been stupid chasing this dream and I should concentrate on other more important things.
I’m being honest. I pride myself on being honest because if I’m not honest with myself who else is going to be.
Here’s an insight into my life: it’s all writing. Scoff all you want, I do very little else. So when I get another rejection, get pipped to the post for another scheme, don’t place in an award it’s a large cavernous dent in my thinning armour. I do not know how to switch off and stop working, I have a fear that I’ll miss an opportunity. It hurts. It hurts a lot to know that my mountains of work, my paper children I’ve birthed, will sit and stack in the corner of my overcrowded room.
I’m running on the spot and I’m not sure if I’m learning anything new apart from years of experience of not being heard. I want to share my work, I do not have money to mount my own productions, I do not have a sponsor to kindly do it for me, I can’t even afford to move out of home. I sit here writing knowing that more people have probably read this blog than seen my stage work and that’s fairly minimal. Why do I do it? Why do I insist on carrying on knowing it’s a waste of time and that there’ll always be someone else who reaches that destination before me? Why the fuck do I think I’m different? And why the frilly heck do I feel the necessity to compare myself to others?
I don’t know. I simply don’t know. I’m tired. My heart aches at the thought of not writing, although I’m suffocated at the prospect of carrying on. I’ve lost the spark that I used to run towards, now I’m frantically searching around for it. Actually, I’ve passed that and I can’t be bothered to look around. This may seem bombastic, but all I do is write because I want to, it’s the only thing I’m good at. Maybe you’ll read this and think, “maybe no one’s paying you attention because you’re a shit writer?” And maybe you’d be right. Maybe that’s the thing, maybe I’m not being honest enough with myself to say that I cannot write well. I don’t know. That’s the worst thing, I do not know how to find this out.
I’m going to be quiet for a while (writing wise) because I’m a bit lost. And when you’re lost you don’t really make a lot of sense. This isn’t a cry for help or the cue for you to send me reassuring words, it’s an attempt at an explanation as to what’s going on, why I haven’t done anything, and to maybe quash the questions for a bit. I know people are only trying to be kind, and I love them for it, you are the people I’m writing for. Real life has meant that I’m putting writing on the back burner for a bit. I’ve lost the passion and I don’t want to force it. I’m pretty sure in a few months this post will be redundant, I would like to think so.
No doubt you’ll see me in real life or on the usual social platforms soon. If you do, let’s talk about anything but me writing. And bring gin.
Riddled With Niggles August 20, 2013
SPARKS and Shropshire November 2, 2009
First of all I’m going to be loving you, patting your head, whispering semi-sweet nothings in your earholes and then sodding off to Shropshire. But I thought I’d at least stop by here and tell you that I possibly love you and offer something in this awkward relationship we have going on. I know I keep flitting here, there and everywhere (else) but it’s the way it goes. Look, don’t cry… I bought you flowers. But the dog ate them. I bought you chocolates. I ate them. You can have my friendship for another year? Oh… you thought it was something else. Umm… I can still warrant hugs. Everyone likes and needs a good ol’ hug. Too tight you say? But you said you liked them tight. Right, I was doing them so tight that you couldn’t breathe let alone express that they were too tight. Maybe hugs aren’t universal as I first thought. Have a handshake.
That there was a small splice of my brain smothered on the computer screen, it’s slightly grey matter but from my world. So therefore ergo it’s a little warped. Anywho it’s true; I’m off to Shropshire tomorrow and yet again I’ve been too busy to even think of anything further than 4 hours ahead of what I have planned. I’ve just packed and I still haven’t read my own script. Therefore ergo I fail. I wish I was getting the train so I can read but I will be driving and listening to the Tom Tom yell at me that I should have turned some directions behind. But I come bearing good news! One of my pieces is going to be read out at the great night called SPARKS in Brighton. It’s a neat setup with photographers and writers being each others’ stimulus and I’m truly gutted that I’m not there to read my own work and be in the company of Lovely folk. The night is run by Jo Mortimer and more information can be found out for the event over yonder:
Other works on the bill that night include:
Katie McCullough (that’s moi)
Once again, I’m gutted that I can’t be there as I was well up for not only reading my own work but catching up on Brighton, it’s been too long.
(Brief Judo Interlude)
So yes Shropshire is next on the cards. As much as I’ll be in a Lovely part of En-ger-land I won’t have time to rest. It’s a week one-on-one intensive with Simon Stephens and from what I hear there’s nine of us mentees waiting to get elbow deep in our work. The script I’ve picked is a highly emotional piece and I really want to come out the other end clutching a strong next draft with the intention of it being what I send to agents. Pie in the sky stuff? I dunno, there’s only one way of seeing if it works.
The reason I picked this piece as opposed to my other one is because I feel it’s in the same vein as Simon’s work, in fact it has echoes of Harper Regan, but it’s not a carbon copy (I’d not read the play until after I’d concocted my own) and I’m hoping this’ll make me knuckle down to work. I’m feeling extremely lack-lustre after being so busy but not actually working on my own stuff that I know is just sitting around doing nothing. I’ve missed writing my theatre and it’s been nagging at me for such a long time that I can’t wait to fall out with it again spectacularly and then start a passionate affair with it all over again. In all honesty I just want something finished so I can actually pimp myself out. I spend so much time prepping others and dishing out advice that I’ve forgotten how to do it myself so come the end of the week I’ll have either lost several stones and gained a full theatre script or kick and scream at how I didn’t want to be a writer anyway.
Not that I’m heaping on the pressure or anything.
But it’ll be nice to have a concentrated wedge of time to put aside for one project because recently my head’s been swimming with lots of different ones and in different mediums which doesn’t exactly help the ol’ noggin.
Oh, and phone signal doesn’t work there (it’s like Kilcreggan all over again!) and they don’t have Internet either. So it’s radio silence from me and technology cleansing from her.
Fancy a hug? I won’t squeeze you too tight, I promise. Actually I can’t, I’m too busy to promise. Don’t run away, please… hallo?