I should be writing.
Since going back to university in September, that statement has been stuck in the back of my mind and, two months later, I’ve still found myself unable to write a great comedy script for my masters project. Sure, I have rough notes for half a script, some half baked jokes about politics, a few decent ideas and a pile of writing guides gathering dust beside my bed. I’ve also been blessed with a sick, cynical and often fatalistic sense of humour. I kind of thought that would be enough. But the more I stare at the lame jokes I’m trying to make on a screen, the more painfully aware I am that I’m not exactly reaching, what I like to call, ‘peak funny.’
It’s a fickle thing. I’ll have an idea, mostly based on the Great Orange Dictator across the pond and his shenanigans, and it’ll be hilarious in my head, but as soon as I write the gag, it loses it. And it’s disheartening. And it’s making me not want to write right now. It’s actually making me fear writing and fear putting my work into the world. That’s just my theory about why I’ve found myself not being able to write. It could be any number of things from being unhappy with where my life’s been heading for a while, my general lack of concentration, all my irrational worries. Maybe I’ve lost my funny?
Now that’s a terrifying thought to get my head around.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The handful of you who actually know me will be aware of how much I’ve hated the last six months from messed up shoulders to not doing anything with my degree(s) or not earning enough. Well, I’m fairly confident that that’s changed recently. Completely out of the blue, I managed get myself a grad job… that doesn’t involve (much) writing. Instead, it involves a fair amount of videography, which is equal parts exciting and giving me the fear at the same time. But I’m just stupidly thankful that I haven’t spent five years at university to not be able to work in the arts.
I haven’t even started my new job, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve experienced the biggest shift in outlook than at any other time in my life. I’ve never been an optimistic person, ever, and at this point, it’s all feeling kind of foreign that I have nothing to whine about. Suddenly I am feeling far more creative and suddenly I’m feeling it necessary to broaden the collection of work I engage with and draw influence from.
I usually round off these posts with exactly that, so I’m just going to quickly give you a run-down of what I’m listening to or watching and how those are impacting how I’m viewing my creative practice at the moment. There are a few of the usual suspects in there but what’s really grabbing me about this list is that there are just as many musical aspects in there as there are cinematic or televisual; I don’t know why that is, but I’m sure I’ll find the answers soon.
- Biffy Clyro: So my masters project is set in Scotland. I don’t know why I chose to do that, if I’m completely honest, because all my life, I’ve had this kind of resentment towards being Scottish (I know, I’m sorry), and I’ve always had a really blinkered view of what the Scottish arts scene looks like. Some people call it the ‘Scottish Cringe’. I can’t really explain it, but when I listen to this band’s back catalogue, I begin to feel that whole notion dissipate, giving way to a huge swell of pride that a band from my wee country could write music that is equally as poetic as it is brash and abrasive. That, and I’ve been listening to them on the bus to work a lot recently.
- Thor: Ragnarok: Possibly the finest addition to the MCU and the movie our favourite Asgardian deserved. There are so many things I could say about this film, but I’ll keep it short. I loved the way this film struck the balance between being outrageously funny (thanks, in large to director, Taika Waititi’s portrayal of Korg, along with his sidekick Meik) and having a villain in Cate Blanchett’s Hela that the audience believed could end the film’s protagonist. I also feel that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and the space-age score from Mark Mothersbaugh deserve honourable mentions, both of which just gave me chills.
- All These Countless Nights: Reworked – Deaf Havana: I’ve blogged enough about the original version of this album for you all to know just how much of a special place it has in my heart, but I have to say that these guys have outdone themselves with this understated, classy offering. Skip to ‘Like A Ghost‘, ‘St. Paul’s‘, ‘L.O.V.E‘ and ‘Pensacola, 2013.’
- Stranger Things: Normally I like to steer clear of anything with such an obvious amount of hype until it’s died down a bit, but the lure of an 80’s sci-fi period drama completely sucked me in. Everything from the gripping writing to the true-to-time score had me completely hooked. The Duffer Brothers completely nailed the nuances of the era and I’ve found myself itching for season three.
- Forget Me Not – Brian Fallon: It’s been a while since I’ve listened to Fallon or Gaslight, but this track captivated me from the get-go, after being released at the end of a particularly crap week for me. That bouncy, 60’s-esque vibe instantly smacked a smile across my face, lending heavily from my favourite track from Fallon’s first foray into solo albums, ‘Mojo Hand‘. If this is any indication of what Fallon’s sophomore offering will sound like, I reckon I’m going to be one happy girl.
That’s it, folks. Time for me to lop all my hair off on Friday and get on with my real, proper big girl job. IT’S A NEW ME!