Riding the Hamster Wheel

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After the success of my sitcom writing course (writing a 15 minute script and having it acted out by a Game of Thrones actress does count as success, right?) with the City Academy I have once again grasped the nettle and signed up for a 7 week summer course in crime writing, this time with the City Lit. This will run concurrently with the screenplay idea I’m working on with my amazing writing mentor, so I’ll have lots to keep me busy!

You see, what I’m coming to realise is that being busy is always best – or at least that’s the case with people like me, who are creatively minded and enthusiastic but tend towards laziness and phases of paranoid inactivity. Deadlines are key to productivity, and without concrete plans (submit essay by x, write plot outline by y) it’s all too easy to drift out with the tide, never to return to shore. So whilst I will quite often bitch and moan about not having enough hours in the day, I know deep down without these goals and targets I would lack the momentum to achieve anything at all.

Discipline, however, is a different beast entirely, and one that’s far more difficult to tame. You can set all the goals and targets that you like, but if you don’t ‘show up’ regularly, as a good friend recently said to me, the game is lost. And the fact remains that whilst I’m full of good intentions and prone to bursts of fervour, showing up regularly is still something I struggle with. That, and the idea that you don’t have to be in the ‘right’ mood to ‘write,’ nor even must you know where the writing will take you. You just have to sit down and do it. No but-I-have-to-hang-out-the-washing-then-go-to-the-gym-and-make-dinner excuses.

And on that note, I’m just off to the gym and to make dinner before I sit down with my laptop for the evening…..

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This evening I’ve offered to go and cook dinner for my best friend, who has been in plaster from her ankle to her thigh for the past few weeks with a hairline fracture (and who, as an aside, lives on the third floor of a building with no lift-bad enough without a heat wave, unimaginably horrible with one).

After a few post-work Pimm’s with colleagues the conversation turned to what I planned to cook for the aforementioned dinner. Clearly given that a) it’s already 7.10pm as I write this and b) my kitchen capability may be marginally impaired due to having imbibed several glasses of Pimm’s prior to the act of cooking, it needs o be something simple-most probably a stir fry almost identical to the one I’ve been eating for dinner every night so far this week.

This lack of culinary imagination leaves me feeling that I’ve let myself down. I wouldn’t say I’m a good cook but, provided I have a recipe in my hand I’d say I am at least a competent one. The problem is I’ve grown lazy, and at the end of a long day I tend to revert to type and cook whatever comes to mind most readily instead of taking time to consider a more exciting option.

I’m hoping beyond all hope that when I  move into my new pad next week I will take the time to reignite my passion for creativity in the kitchen, because once I start I often find it very therapeutic. As with so many other things in life it’s all about getting into a routine that after a while feels completely normal instead of feeling like an effort.

Put simply, it’s time to ditch the packet noodles and branch out into more exciting fare. Life may well be too short to stuff a mushroom, but it won’t kill me to stuff the odd pepper once in a while.