There’s great pressure to approach January rested, relaxed, renascent, rejuvenated… And whatever other benign R-word you can think of. Retromingent, perhaps? No. Probably not. Many manage to achieve this, after a week or so away from the desk and the pressures of the nine to five and some are raring to get back to the routine. Huh. More R-words.
February was a bit of a damp month, both figuratively and literally. I found myself working only on bits and pieces; whilst I enjoy working on bits and pieces, I can’t say I enjoy having only worked on bits and pieces. I also enjoy both saying and typing ‘bits and pieces’.
Welcome to what I call the metablog. I started writing these posts on my personal blog to serve as a diary of sorts about my experiences writing it – hence the name. As the months went by, they became more of a general commentary on my creative activities and my creative processes as I was writing less often. I made the decision to move them to The Five to Nine as I started this project specifically to explore and interrogate creativity and creative practices – my own, as well as others’ – and so feel that these sit better here.
In my first post for The Five to Nine, I spoke a little about not being particularly certain about the direction I wanted to take as I worked towards building a portfolio career in the creative industries. Well, there was once a time when I had quite a good idea of what I wanted to do. I was certain that, if I managed it, I would be living The Dream – my dream. It became clear that this dream wasn’t going to come true quite quickly, but I held on to the smallest piece of hope for five years. I clutched it to myself with such ferocity that it exhausted me. It drained me. This piece of hope became corrupted, and I ended up miserable and afraid for what would become of me because this dream didn’t come true, but I didn’t want to let go of it because I was even more scared of what it would mean if I did. Well, on 26 June 2016, nearly five years to the day since the idea came to me in a burst of inspiration and excitement, I suddenly let go. I’d not planned it; it just happened. And it felt good. Actually, it felt great. No – even more: the whole experience was formidable.
I remember when I first thought about a career in the creative industries, and what shape that might take – and part of me thinks I should feel some modicum of embarrassment or shame in admitting this, but I can’t bring myself to feel either these days. Mind you, there’s no pride in it, either; it’s simply a fact, part of my history, and if I start rewriting that in order to present myself to people as the kind of person to whom I think they’ll respond, then there’s no point in, well… Anything. Starting with honesty, as accurate and complete as memory will allow, is really the only way to start this story.