Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Future Tense

2005 has started to give off a smell of boiled vegetables and urine, keeps forgetting to turn the stove off, and shits itself almost daily, whilst 2006 is nearing the end of its third trimester, and is kicking like Jackie Chan suffering from ADHD. Yes, I’m hovering in that uneasy purgatory where I look back over the last twelve months to make sense of it all, whilst trying to look forward to the next twelve to figure out what my next move should be.

2004 was full of changes and challenges. The birth of a daughter. Fighting for a new job. Life was big and scary and often wonderful.

But 2005 has been a year of mostly living inside myself. I think that comes mostly from the fact that the two jobs I’ve occupied this year have been very quiet, with a three month lump in the middle full of fear and anxiety. It wasn’t quiet in the sense of not being busy, but quiet in that I haven’t really formed any significant new bonds in the last year. I don’t meet like-minded individuals, so I live in my own head a lot. My brain keeps me company.

Fact is, I’m only really happy if I’m with my wife or my daughter or with a small group of close friends (which, thankfully, I’ll be doing next Monday evening. Cold beer, squinting through cigarette smoke, and running off at the mouth about everything and nothing). Apart from that, happiness is a good book or comic or movie or song. Or writing. Then, the silence is glorious, interrupted only by the scritch-scratch of pen and paper, or the taptaptapclack of a keyboard.

This was also the year that I decided to take a break from film journalism. I was spinning my wheels with that, writing primarily for a totally inappropriate website that was interested only in the snark. Snark is easy and boring. It’s just being a prick in print, and I’m not interested in that. I want to tell people things. Things that are bubbling away in my head, not just talking trash for the sake of a cheap putdown.

I needed to start putting a stress-test on my abilities again. So I walked away from that gig, and ever since I’ve been writing only for myself. Man, it’s liberating. Free to wallow in self-indulgence, and free to embrace insane high concepts to see where they take me, and free to ravish language for the sheer maddening joy of seeing what I can make words do.

More of that in 2006, I think. (Although if a decent writing gig falls in my lap, you just know I’m going to grab it with both hands and kiss it passionately). And then there’s the challenge of writing complete works that I don’t abandon. But that’s a challenge that only exists in my mind, and I haven’t figured out a way to beat that one yet.

I also need to sleep more, even though I also want more hours in the day for myself. A problem I’ll have to try and work around at a later date.

Lots to think about still. Developing…


Ssh! Bert at Work said...

`My brain keeps me company'
Frightening thought.

AKA said...

It's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.