Blog Post #7

We all get stuck sometimes. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of).   If there was a race, the 100m, in which I was competing then I’d be disappointed if I didn’t run it in under 13 seconds. The world record is 9.58 seconds. I haven’t ran a competitive sprint race for 20 years, yet I’d still want to get sub 13 seconds (FYI, my PB was 12.1 seconds back in the day). If I’m cooking, I can’t just throw some stuff together, it’s got to be Michelin standard. If I’m painting a wall, it’s got to be immaculate else it’s just shite in my eyes. When I write anything all I can see are the mistakes or the ways in which it could be improved. I can barely finish a single line without re-writing it. It’s the same when I’m at work; everything has to be immaculate otherwise (in my head) it’s a mess. This makes finishing things difficult, because more often than not I’ve set ludicrous targets/standards in my head. My perception of what is ‘good enough’ is probably three-times higher than that of the ‘normal’ person. If I can’t get it absolutely perfect then I start to wonder exactly what the…

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Blog Entry #6

We’ll always be together. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of).   I’m very sorry that I haven’t posted for AGES!!! It’s been a shitty couple of weeks and I’ve had to take a step back and concentrate on my mental health. The first couple of weeks I was starting to fall into a bit of a dip, mentally, as my anxiety was building up which in turn meant my writing too a bit of a hit. I’d lost all inspiration but also I really struggle to concentrate when I’m like that, which is usually an early warning sign that I’m maybe on a downward spiral. As I felt that I might be ‘turning a corner’ I received a phone call that I had known for a while would come at some point but it still broke my heart. My Gran, in her early 90s, passed away after her health took a quick sharp downward turn. This came not much more than 18 months after her husband, my Grandad, also passed away. The previous day we’d been told that she wasn’t well and to prepare to say goodbye, but even when the next phone call arrived (from my Mum) it still shattered me. It’s…

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Blog Entry #5

Shoot the glass. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of).   “Hi. I didn’t come to last week’s group as I was in Berlin. By the way, Berlin is great, you should well go there. It’s sort of overwhelming and evocative, but really inspiring and interesting at the same time. I mean, when you think about what that country has been through. Anyway, I’ve done a one-page treatment. Honestly, I was writing this just a couple of hours ago and I’ve still been brainstorming it in the car on the way in. Right, so, I get inspired by lots of weird things. Like, this idea comes from listening to Rasputin by Boney M. You know the song? It came up on my Spotify suggestions weeks ago and I immediately thought it would be piss funny to have it playing over a really dark scene in a film, like a murder scene or something. Then from there I kicked it around a bit and have ended up with this story about a Neighbourhood Watch group at a seaside town, set against the backdrop of Euro 96. The chairman and main character is a guy called Willburry Mulligan. Oh yeah, that name just came to me…

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Blog Entry #4

Get the meat and potatoes right and the rest will be fine. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of). Act 1, Scene 1: Who is main character? What are their wants and needs? FYI – It’s me, this is my story. I really want to be a writer, I’d love to do it as a job. Ultimately, I simply need a creative outlet through which I can dump a load of things I’ve over analysed or use it to burn adrenaline. What next? Well, I need to have a trigger event that will spur me into action, whereupon I will be face with obstacles and a continued series of escalating events (Act 2) until I eventually overcome them and win (Act 3). I might fail, that a possibility too. Either way, I’ll then be faced with a new world in which my wants, my needs and my emotions will all have changed because of my experiences. See, I did remember something from my course!! The Three Act format is key to all good storytelling. It’s what the audience expects, it’s like a comfort blanket to wrap them in whilst immersing them into the world you’ve created. The course didn’t introduce me to this structure…

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Blog Entry #3

Decorators block should be a recognised medical condition. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of). GET IN!!!! I am posting for the second week in a row. I am celebrating that fact. GET IN!!!! *punches air in some sort of unnecessary over-the-top fashion* Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first; my mental health has been generally better, more stable, and I’m having a particularly good week. I’m a touch more focused, relaxed and generally pretty chilled (at least for the last two days). It’s always a good sign when I find myself laughing at my own jokes or daft little things at work. At one point this week I spent the best part of five minutes trying to convince my colleague to grow a moustache, I also chuckled uncontrollably when the person next to me was asked if another person was joining the meeting and their response was “he’s eating a sausage”. Innuendo bingo at its best. I’m excited because on Saturday I do my first ever writing course (thanks to Scriptwriting North). I’m not nervous, well, ok, maybe I’m slightly nervous but in an expected way. It’s a healthy combination of nerves and excitement; a feeling I’ve not…

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Blog Entry #2

It’s not about the fall, it’s about how you get back up. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of). I said I would “try” to post every week about what I had been doing on my journey to, hopefully, make my life less ordinary by forging a new career from writing. Well guess what? I fell at the first bloody step. Well guess what again? I am not going to let it get me down, nor am I going to beat myself up about having missed a couple of weeks early on. So, what happened? Mental health; that’s what happened. I said this wasn’t necessarily going to be a blog about mental health. Yeah, I might have to revise that statement slightly. I’ve had a tough few weeks, which started around the time of my very first post. At the zenith of an adrenaline fueled ‘high’ I had finally plucked up the courage to start this blog and commit to my five-year plan. However, once the adrenaline has chewed you up and spit you out, the ‘comedown’ is a fucking bastard. Seriously. There are no other words to describe it, at least none that I feel accurately articulate that feeling. It can be a…

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Blog Entry #1

People talk about “five-year plans”. Welcome to mine. A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of). It’s 2018. I’m 37 and I’m starting a blog. What on earth am I doing? I should have started this 10 years ago, perhaps better still 15 years ago when youthful exuberance would have pushed me through the hardest days when now anxiety, stress and depression take over. It’s funny, now that I’m not as young I’m not so self-assured. My life has changed in so many ways. Now is the time to change it for good though, it’s time to make my life less ordinary. It’s not 15 years ago though. I’m not 22 years old anymore. I’m approaching 40 and I’m either on the verge of a classic mid-life crisis or I’m at a mid-life renaissance. After two years of mental health difficulties (correction: to be honest with myself, it’s probably more like four years) the time has come to change it up; I’m setting out on a new path, a completely new direction. If I start to sail down this river now then I have the chance to live the next half of my life doing things that I want to do, not simply doing things…

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