Maybe it’s the fact that I woke up with a headache, maybe it’s the pounding rain outside or maybe it’s the realisation that the summer, that long awaited haven, has only a few weeks left to run before the back to school buzz of September, but I’m feeling a little underwhelmed right now. Anyone else?
Summer is one of those times we really look forward to isn’t it, along with Christmas and birthdays. We have an emotional attachment to the summers we enjoyed as a child where the sun was always on our backs, our heads were always in the clouds and our feet paddling in the sea. The warm, playful days seamless slipped into clear bright evenings where the starts felt close enough to touch and it appeared that the magic of summer had no bounds.
But is that how it really was? And, looking back from a different perspective, is that how it was for my mother? Or was summer an even greater struggle than the...
Being a storyteller
Al Pacino said that actors become emotional athletes. I would extend his description to all storytellers, whether writers, film makers, musicians, theatre directors or actors. He describes this as a painful process that caused his personal life to suffer. But does that have to be the case?
I have been a storyteller by nature for as long as I can remember, acting and writing from early childhood. I have been a storyteller by profession for the past eight years, since leaving my City career to train as an actor and write my first novel. For me, this has been a huge boon to my personal life as I stepped into what I believe I am meant to be doing, living life as the main character in my life story rather than a bit part in someone else’s.
The storyteller’s truth
That is not to say that it isn’t without its challenges. There is a notion that a storyteller is a dissembler, someone who lies for a living, but the truth is...
Noise is everywhere. Noise wakes us from our rest. Noise accompanies us on our journeys to and from work. Noise bombards us on social media. It is everywhere. We take in the opinions of others constantly. There are those close to us who have ideas about what we “should” do. Then there are those further away, usually trying to sell us something, working hard to convince us they have the “answer” to all our problems, the one way we can achieve all we want.
Being decent human beings we listen politely then find ourselves full of anxiety about how we are to fulfil the expectations of who we ought to be and how we are to achieve our dream. Then we have time to create. We sit in front of our empty page or canvas, we arrive at our rehearsal, we pick up our instrument, ready to play. And we are stuck.
Instead of being a pleasurable, playful process where we explore what we have taken in around us in our lives and examine it with curiosity, wondering where it will...
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” So said Albert Einstein, one of history’s most creative thinkers who also seemed to really enjoy his explorations and discoveries. But sometimes when I’m trying to figure out a problem or staring at an empty page wondering what to write I don’t feel like it is a lot of fun.
Instead of ideas flowing through me like sunlight I am stuck, my mind on a loop, generally saying helpful things like: “This is tricky. How are you going to do this then? I’m definitely going to get found out now.” The problem then stops being the challenge I have set myself to plan out my next book, rearrange my room so it works better or choose which scarf to wear with which jumper for a photoshoot. Instead my problem is how to get away from the painful thoughts.
At this point I will do pretty much anything to distract myself. I’ll make tea, organise my dishwasher, do some washing,...