As you may, or may not, already know, I used to be the chairman of my old university’s juggling club. A well known fact, really. First year of college, myself and my buddy decided to try out a few different sports (activities?) that we never did before. Ended up signing up for the juggling club. Went along to the first meeting. Only five of us showed up. Somehow, when it came to decide who would be in charge, I ended up as chairman, and my buddy was the treasurer. Just like that. Tenure lasted for about an hour. We all had to fill out a form with our names and addresses. And it turned out that two other guys there had no addresses. Homeless dudes, it seemed. One French guy. And one unknown nationality. Saw flyers for the juggling club, somehow, and came along to the first meeting. Funnily enough, they were the only two people who could actually juggle. Unfortunately, I don’t think the club ever had another meeting after that.
Struggling With My Juggling
Anyways, that story always comes into my head when I think of juggling. Chairman of the juggling club. Yet unable to juggle myself. The same is true to this day. Proper juggling, I can barely manage two oranges. Figuratively speaking, multi-tasking is not a strong point. Another aspect which I struggle to juggle, is writing in L.A while living there. At least writing defined projects. Like a sitcom spec episode. Or chunks of my book. See, one thing about L.A is that there is always, always, always something going on. Always. Every night. Plenty of options. Plenty of invites. All too hard to turn down. Juggling writing, let’s call that work, along with the inability to say no to invites, can be tough. Not that I’m complaining. It’s heaven. Although I imagine heaven is serene and peaceful. Maybe it’s more like hell. Well, probably a combination of the two. Heaven but the devil is in charge. Now and again though, breathers are needed. To get some work done.
Which is basically my long-winded way of saying that is why I came to San Francisco for a week. To write a nice big chunk of my book. So I can then go back to L-Hey and accept all and every appealing offer put in front of me. Without having the book deadline monkey on my back, suddenly appearing and making me look for a bottle of gin. That is the plan at least. Good plan really. Great plan. It’d be an even better plan if a) I just stayed in L.A and wrote the chunk, and b) I stuck to it.
Settle Down Now!
A problem I’m finding is that the constant moving around at the moment is giving me far too many excuses not to write. Someone mentioned that it might be a mental block. Don’t think it is though. An mental issue, maybe so. Mental problems, getting warmer. Same as when I had to study for an exam. Telling myself before in college that I can only study at home. Can’t do it in the library. Have to go home. Settled there. That wasn’t study block. That was me looking for every way possible of putting things off until the last minute.
Now that I keep chopping and changing all over the place, I am constantly giving myself leeway for a day or two to settle in, then get down to business. Oh but I’m after telling one group of buddies that I’m back in town, they want to meet up, it would be rude not to meet them at least once. And then there’s that group. Or that group. From now on I’m going to do one of two things: 1. Not tell anyone that I have arrived in a place until I first get my stuff done and can then relax. Instead of the other way around. Or, 2. Pretend it’s my birthday and I’m throwing a party. Then just get all the different groups to come to me. Seeing as it is my birthday. Less guilt on my side. I can’t be the one going out to three different areas on my birthday. Easier if ye all come to me.
Start of the week I focused on getting as much small annoying things out of the way. Before I got down to writing. (Although in my defence, I did forget about the mountain of things that you must take care of when you move to a new country for a long period of time. New life and all that!) After I managed to tick off a few of them, I seemed to start a cleaning buzz. Cleaning, dusting, washing, scrubbing. Anything and everything. Again, trying to pretend to myself I was doing stuff that needed to be done. Until it was time for lunch. Then making enough of a mess that I would have to do it all over again. Great work really. Eventually I managed to make a writing plan for myself. A good one too. Targets. Realistic.
Wednesday was the first day of the plan. Big day. First just watch the big Irish match against France. Then plough into the writing. All part of the plan. Two small chapters! Big day!!! C’mon Ireland!!! Match took place. Pride pouring in as we took the game to the French. Goal. Delighted. Plough on. Extra time. Should’ve been over before then. Nerves took a beaten. Hand ball. Surely not? Injustice! Final whistle. Glorious losers. What, did that really happen? No World Cup?! No, no, NO!!!! And my plan went out the window. Deflated, dejected, disbelief. Scrummaging through different sources online to find post match reaction. Cursing the online channels I used to watch the match for cutting off. Head in hands. Down. Out. Gutted. Sad.
How Could You?!
There was no way I could write anything after that. In fact, there was no way I could do much after sitting through all that. My day was ruined. So close, yet so far. One goal away. Robbed. Cheated. With that, I sulked around all day like a brooding French man. Feeling sorry for myself. Feeling sorry for Ireland. For everyone back home. For every single American person who has at some point claimed to be Irish. I felt sorry for the lot. This was not our fault. So what if we had missed enough chances to have finished the game of in 90 minutes. We were robbed. This was France’s fault. Or the referee’s fault. Linesman? Platini? I needed to be sure, who was to blame here?! (Ref/Linesman!) Whose fault was it for me not being able to start my writing?!
Soon after the match I tried to get going with a chapter. No joy. I started to mull over whether or not to just punch myself in the face, in the hope that it would cop me on. And make me write. In fear of another. And stop looking for ways out. I mentioned this to my friend online at the time, he laughed, and suggested I start up a Facebook group with the same name. People would join within minutes. It was then that I saw who I could blame. There were already a flurry of new groups cropping up. Now I knew. It was his fault. He was to blame. Thierry Henry! It was Henry’s fault for us not getting to the World Cup. It was Henry’s fault for me not being able to stick to my writing plan. Thierry Henry, how could you?!!
Let’s be clear, I dont actually blame Henry. Not his fault. Not like it was planned. He didn’t mean to ruin my day of writing. Well, I hope he didn’t at least. However, he has helped me out. Firstly, he has made me realize how dumb I was being. And pathetic. I was one step away from blaming the weather for everything. Too cold to write. Shut up and write. Which I did. Straight after all the furore settled down. Managed to churn out an article for an Irish magazine I kind of had forgotten about/thought I was too gutted after the match to do. And the writing has continued on today. Good start. Ball is rolling. Finger out. Head down. Plough on.
More importantly, Henry has given me a scape goat. Microwave broke somehow the other day? Thierry Henry’s fault! Sorry I didn’t get to meet up with you while I was in San Francisco? Yeah, I know, can you believe that. Henry’s fault. Again. What a cheat! Tut! So, for that Terry, I thank you. You are my new fall guy! The reason for all and every problem I may have or ever had. How could you?!
Brow Beaten (Joe Goddard Remix) – Silver Columns