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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Moment Of Malaise

I wish I could write.

That’s a tough admission for someone who writes for a living, and wants to do so for some time to come.

I am a journalist, for radio, and if you want a four-sentence, 100-word summary of a news story then I’m your man.  Short, punchy sentences are no problem, but eloquence, verbose paragraphs and general flair are beyond me.

I’m not looking to be Shakespeare, or Norman Mailer or Hunter S. Thompson or even Bill Simmons.  I just want to be good enough to do what I want to do, what I want to be, what I always thought I was good enough to do.

I’m lazy – this blog hasn’t been updated since Jesus was in shorts.  That’s a bad habit.  It’s so long since I visited here that Google Chrome doesn’t know the URL to my own blog.  For shame Gavin, for shame.  Writers write, they work on their craft, they practice and they improve.  They learn from mistakes by making them.  I shy away from those errors.

I’m reluctant – I self-disparage.  I want myself to be the best and become disheartened by the fact that I know I’m not, and that I’m not close.  As a journalist, I don’t ‘get the story’ and as a columnist or someone who adds opinion, I make few points of worth.  It also, I imagine, is not a good sign that my first post of note in months (I’ve had a few false starts in the last while) is one in which I slate myself.  Nonetheless, I go on.

I’m inarticulate, at times – my command of the English language is not as it should be.  Where I wrote ‘disparage’ in the last sentence, I initially wrote defecate which, let’s be frank, is a lot worse than the truth.  I know I was looking for another word, I just don’t know what it was.

I’m plain – as a writer I lack humour, or wit.  I don’t believe that I provoke discussion.  I make good points at time, on twitter for example, or in general conversation, but find it difficult to expand these beyond 140 characters or an initial sentence.

I get distracted – I’m off to play Football Manager now before continuing this article.  And in the middle of that I’ll watch a field goal attempt from the NFL in 2008. True story.

I’m a poor manager – I lost 3-1 at home to Wigan.  Then again, I am Banbury United, and it is the Championship, so I might give myself a pass there.

I have a horrible attitude – that much is obvious though, huh?

I have other negative qualities, I’m sure, but you get the idea.  I also have some strong points.  I type quickly.  I’m an above-average speller too.  I even have a strong knowledge of things I write about (mainly sports, but other things too) and I can spot a story.  I also have to acknowledge that unlike a lot of people who get into this business, I’m working in a job so I must have some other qualities I am unaware of.

Despite that, and despite a number of other reasons to be happy like a loving family and relative financial comfort and a woman who loves me and a woman that I love (thankfully they are the same person), recently I find myself at a low.  I’m negative.  I’m chirpy, but I don’t mean it mostly and I become downbeat far too regularly.  Part of my life,the professional side, I would describe as being in a rut, and I see no way out of it.  I have a reasonable existence at the moment but I want more, and have no idea of how to make that a reality.

Metaphorically, I have A and B and C, but I want D, E, F and a whole lot more too.  That’s not greed, it’s ambition.  It’s a drive for more, that I have, yet that drive is something on which I do not act.  Or can not act.  I’m not sure. 

I want to be better.  I want to be happy, and to have everything.  Everyone does, of course, but I’m at one of those points in my life where I don’t know if it will ever happen, when at the same stage I should believe that anything can happen.

I want to be the writer that I want to be; I want to cover the big events, and make the points that people discuss.  I want to express my passion, and get paid for it because I’m damn good at it and because I’m worth listening to.  I want that to be true.  I don’t know if it ever will be, and while I have something not a million miles away from that now, I don’t know if it’s enough to satisfy me, and I don’t have the confidence to be sure that more will come.

I wish I could write.


As this is a personal comments, I am disabling the comments section for this post only.  It will return.