It has been a little while since the last Weeknote. In its absence, and as a catch-up, I want to summarise what has been going on in the gap and what, if anything, has been learned.
The first (let’s call it a) lesson I have encountered is that there are good writers in the world and that I am not of their number. Christopher Hitchens is teaching me this on a sentence by sentence basis in his autobiography “Hitch 22”, which is by turns an English lesson, a History lesson, a Politics lesson and generally an all-round education. He writes beautifully and expertly. As someone who thinks quickly and well, but when I am called upon to set those thoughts down on paper (of course I mean screen) have lost the plot or changed my mind before the words are made permanent, I can only imagine the mental muscle that is required to hold on to the good stuff until it is typed out. And this book is the good stuff.
I continue to visit the brain gym nonetheless in the hope of improvement. As I do so, it is heartening to read Hitchens description of Martin Amis (an occasional hero of mine) calling him out for weary phrases and “pepper-shaker punctuation”.
I have also encountered a listlessness, an invigoration, a frustration and an inspiration these weeks. I anticipated the vacuum that would be caused following the close of the film production but was not prepared for it to hit so hard. Previously, and this dates back to the days when I would act in plays, I would run out and buy a notebook and pen and start scribbling whatever filled the gap. This time however I became occupied with more existential issues. I have been questioning my enthusiasms, grand plans, endeavours for their value. I am used to being changeable – particularly under those conditions – but generally these changes manifest in positivity and creativity. This time there was ‘owt but doubt both in my ability to choose and to execute the ideas I have been having and also in the validity of those ideas outright. The result was a low-down week or so. Not fun.
It took a dinner with @taigmcnab and @manxmidge, both of whom had outstanding energy over their own exciting ongoings, to break the spell. I anticipate a regularly prescribed dose of something like this as necessary to maintain balanced mental wellbeing. I was forced to remind myself how much I continue to enjoy the projects I have laid out and that enthusiasm was reflected. I found myself the next day looking at problems as opportunities and goals to achieve rather than obstacles and barriers. A new business plan is beginning to form. I will keep you posted, but as a taster I will put out that one result of the evening is that I am looking into setting up a conference in London that will roundtable new models for independent content makers that looks beyond refactoring existing financing/distribution for the web and brainstorms new media (not ‘new media’).
Alas, the enthusiasm of the week was blown away by a lack of focus and an excess of unfinished business of the kind that requires small, time consuming jobs. It is not even as though these jobs are not enjoyable or educational in and of themselves but the disorder gives me a headache just to look at it.
The crappy little jobs remain and continue to suck time and energy, but let this post demonstrate a renewed energy and direction that I shall maintain. Sometimes, it seems, I need a reminder that I have it in me.