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26 Jan 2013

Post 380: A questionnaire about being a writer





I was going to try and avoid starting this with the usual ‘Isn’t January sh*t’ fodder but I don’t shy away from the truth. I probably haven’t helped the cause of trying to cheer myself up by filling in any gaps I had watching the Soprano’s,

a series I have often talked about on this blog. Oh, good idea Dom, trying to make myself less depressed by absorbing yourself in a series which is basically about depression. That makes as much sense as watching ‘Titanic when you’re about to go on a cruise,

or ‘Jaws’ when you’re about to go a beach holiday.

I’m sure if I had the energy to keep going I could come up with loads of these.
On the Soprano’s I often wonder how a bunch of Hollywood Sociopath writers get the depth of bastard that characterises the shower of bastards that the Mafia are just right and not forgetting anyone associated with them. I really do not have a good word to say about any of them. I’ve thought out loud the outcome on this blog before but the best outcome would actually be if they were all on the Titanic and then perhaps were picked off one by one by ‘Jaws’
I am still adhering to my no booze in January plan, and I subscribe to the view of former Blur Bassist Alex James that being off booze is a good thing but ‘nothing much exciting happens when you’re off it. My GP thinks I’m mad with words to the effect of ‘isn’t this time of year bad enough? Why make it worse?’I had also virtually been cutting out caffeine but it yielded no good results so I’ve retaliated and ordered myself a nespresso machine,

what else? Big thanks to my friends on facebook for helping me overcome my choice paralysis! I’ve managed to lose a kilo in January so I’m looking forward to firing up a hip flask with cherry brandy in February

along with drinking some fine red wine on February 1st. Not all of my January plans have been about how to fall off the wagon in February. On Wednesday last week it was about going to a charity comedy gig in aid of ‘Save the Children’ at the Bloomsbury theatre in London, funnily enough in Bloomsbury. These were my thoughts when someone asked me on facebook:

Pretty ok - these things with multiple comedians are never quite as good as they look on paper. Lloyd Langford stole it by saying when some Granny said she wanted her grand-daughter dug up from being buried in the same cemetery as Jimmy Saville - what did she think? That the dead Jimmy Saville was some underground truffle fuckpig that was going to molest her bones. I laughed a lot. I thought Lock was disappointing. Evans as compere was pretty good


Big thanks to my mate, the far better than Derren Brown, magician Chris Dugdale and his show director, Sonic (yes that’s what he goes by) and Sonic’s girlfriend Grace for accompanying me.

Chris has saved the day by doing his unbelievable close up magic at my last few birthdays and he’s agreed to do it this year. My job for next week is to try and sort that out –I’m pretty sure we’ve solidified Sunday 24th March as the Date, so anyone who’s usually involved, save the date. I’ve also volunteered myself into trying to sort out an excursion and dinner at my old college in April
Unfortunately, my writing course isn’t happening this term as the Esher Green learning centre hasn’t got enough enrolments which is a real pity as I think the tutor Anna, is ace. We have been staying in touch over email and she has sent out a questionnaire on writing to a lot of her past and present learners so typically I completed the questionnaire and I thought I’d include it in this post. What a creature of habit I am.
How long have you been a writer?
Well, I don’t really consider myself a writer – rather a person with a surplus of time to realise how unwell I feel, I’ve arrived at the conclusion I have to be a writer by default as it’s the only creative outlet I can physically manage to do since I had my stroke in 2005. I don’t really feel like a writer because it’s not a decision I have freely made. Since January 2008 (probably the time I could first meaningfully have the co-ordination to control my right index finger on a special high-contrast keyboard with big keys (imaginatively titled ‘Bigkeys’) I have stretched what pathetic energy this brain insult has left me with to write a public Blog which is~1000 words a week and has about 1000 readers a week. Even though I am glad I have done it as it gives me something to think about, I also think it is horribly self indulgent and presumptuous. I mean, why the f*ck should anybody care about the inane (probably insane sounding) ramblings of a guy who used to be happy, but whose path is barred to all the good things that living supposedly offers. I don’t want to die, but working this hard to live is not fucking on. I can appreciate that I have digressed from the original question. That happens a lot! Something to do with no Energy and no concentration span. I always was a fidget! Now, I waste energy I don’t have on things that no-one cares about. A lose/lose that is an allegory for the pisspoor thing that now passes for life, so cut a long story short ‘about 5 years’.


Where is your favourite place to write?
Favourite?! You mean only – right here in front of my computer – it’s the only place where I am used to the keyboard and screen position. Normal Humans can adapt. I can’t.

What piece of writing are you most proud of?
Bits of my blog are apparently ok. Most of it is self indulgent, depressing, moaning, narcissistic sh*t


Where do you get your ideas from?
Events I go to, people I have seen, audiobooks, decent tv, news, facebook banter –I have some manners and take no-one for granted – so I always believe in saying thankyou to people and sorry to those who deserve an apology. I hate making people wait. A certain family member gets so angry waiting for anything! I’m pretty sure this is where I get a little anger and impatience from, although I like to think I’ve developed into a more patient person who doesn’t get angry about things I’ll never have control over.


What makes you different from all other writers?
Well, apart from the obvious, I hope I have an engaging and readable writing style and a uniquely cynical, sarcastic, realistic, logical, irreverent perception of the world. I believe we all have an inate mechanism for behaving decently towards other people. It is simply ‘don’t be a dick’




What is your favourite creative work by someone else?
Probably Game of Thrones (or ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’)

. I can appreciate the books by George R R Martin – I didn’t initially appreciate the R R significance (Durr!), most of which I listened to and the tv series

has been one of the few things I have eagerly anticipated since my stroke. They are both genius. To write something that detailed he had to of immersed himself in another world of his creation in his imagination which is an all-encompassing energy I’ll never achieve in my condition ever.
Oh well, February is traditionally a shit month too. At least my guts will be warmed by alcohol and caffeine!
While I’m here thanks to my mate Isabel for her great guest cheffing this month not that there’s anything wrong with the slop that Gary gives me. I’m just grateful to eat! The gig I’m most excited about in the next month is seeing the Australian Pink Floyd

at the Dome on the 25th. There will hopefully be a big gang of us. I last saw them in March this year and they are as outstanding as Muse


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