This week, I have mostly been thinking about Patrick Swayze, weird but true. There has been a mantra going round in my head about fear versus love and his character in Donnie Darko (who turned out to be a raging paedo) was obsessed with this idea too – and had this to say about it: ‘You are a fear prisoner’ or something like that.
I’m inclined to disagree and would argue, as Donnie himself did that without fear we would be unable to love, and also to live. I have spent a lot of this week terrified, and I have never felt so alive – not since I went swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico (I was of course very scared then too). Writing about The Demons last week helped to dampen the fear a bit but they have been alive and well in the middle of most nights due to my idiocy in writing about and GETTING PUBLISHED something unbelievably personal and sharing it with friends (there are still people I won’t let read it, you know who you are).
The strange thing is it doesn’t stop there – I have so many stories to tell, some of them even more embarrassing secrets, that I can hardly justify going to sleep because it will waste valuable writing time. When did this happen? 14 months ago I was on a plane to New York in an absolute flap because I was supposed to be turning up for my screenwriting course, which had been planned for a million years, with at least one idea for a screenplay, preferably three. I couldn’t think of a single thought, let alone an idea for a whole film. I hadn’t written anything, except budgets and schedules for 12 years and I had absolutely no doubt that I was going to be a crappy writer – I had no imagination, I had no originality, I had no confidence in me, let alone sunshine or rain! (another Sound of Music reference, sorry). Anyway, a year later and I can’t write the ideas down fast enough – I am still working on that first script which started as a seed of an idea which I probably chose while drunk in Milady’s but grew into this mental romp of a rom com – and a few other hopefully mildly amusing concepts. I still think they are all crap but at least I have the confidence to finally write them down.
I guess what I am saying is even if you think you will be crap at your dreams, don’t give up, even if you’re the only one getting pleasure from it, that’s still better than not doing it. I am inclined to sympathise with 70’s feminists more than Swayze on my earlier point; Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, is going to be my new mantra, or, basically, suck it and see.
One of the things I have been told this week is how brave I am. It is an amazing compliment but I honestly don’t know what it means, I have never felt less brave (apart from maybe when that bug entered our tent while camping in Amarillo) but there is a definite freedom in doing something which makes you so effing scared.
On the day I got the email telling me my article was going to be published soon, I was just walking into the cinema to see new horror movie Silent House. I was a little bit excited by the news, but tried to calm down and get into the film, it was good but I wasn’t really scared, I’d faced much bigger fears recently. Anyway, about 15 minutes in I could hear this really annoying music coming from somewhere – I was certain the man in front of us was listening to ‘Simply The Best’ by Tina Turner and I kept giving him evils to get him to turn it off. It was only when my friend nudged me that I realised it seemed to be coming from my bag, which indeed it was – I’d left my phone on shuffle after I got the news so with a wry smile I shame-facedly turned it off. Sure I was feeling cocky, I was simply the best! But I was also, and will always be, a bit of a nob.
By the way, I have been in Portugal for 3 hours and have already had 3 beers and 3 Marlboro reds – you’ve gotta love Europe. I’m sure the high will dampen soon, but even when I get those much needed rejection letters, I’ll remember and be glad for what Patch said cos at the moment it’s true on a daily basis ‘I’ve had the time of my life.’