Cutting Loose

As you might have noticed from my posts, I’ve been able to work through a bit more of my “to watch” list over the lockdown weeks. Not too much; home-schooling and maintaining key entertainment roles, all whilst trying to put Milton through the wringer, have left me pretty wiped. Even with much of the entertainment industry grinding to a halt there are still an almost never-ending queue of films or shows lined up for me to check out.


I’ve always wanted to know what happens at the end of every story. I’ll still persist with a book that I might not be enjoying. There’s always the chance that the ending might still see the story surprise me, or wrap things up in a way that I find rewarding. I think it’s a hangover from the narrower opportunities I had growing up – there simply wasn’t the variety of choice that we have today, and so every bit of culture that I bought, or borrowed, needed to be fully appreciated. Now, though, it’s different. If anything, there’s too much choice – a paralysing variety of options, with commentators or friends all shouting the odds for their particular favourite, and FOMO a real and present feeling.


I was a fan of THE WALKING DEAD. I watched season after season, even sticking with it through the troubled second season, until, years (and seasons) later, I realised that I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. The plots seemed circular, the characters became increasingly one-note, and it just became a relentless trudge of misery porn that simply took up too much of my time. So I stopped watching.  No shade on anyone who is still enjoying the show – each to their own, after all – but it just wasn’t for me anymore. Maybe it was like a break-up?  “It’s not you, it’s me.” But I went to find something else, and I’ll keep on doing that with things, remaining patient during lulls, but not patient without limit.


Similarly, as you know, I like a good bottle of gin. Like lots of people, I have a few bottles of “special”, at the back of the cabinet, with that special occasion always moved further away, and the bottles gathering dust as I stick with something a little cheaper. Well, these days – especially these days – I’m going to have the “special” first, and then after that, I’ll see where we are. I thoroughly recommend this as a design for life.


On the other hand, as a writer, I’m aware of the pressure that that approach places on me. Be it Milton, or Beatrix, or Atticus, every single story needs to be as good as it possibly can be.


I’ll do my best.