Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Steady Progress

I have a tendency to get carried away with things I'm passionate or excited about.

So when I first heard about TYSIC I was scared to look forward too far ahead, in case it slowly petered out and came to a disappointingly premature conclusion.

However, I feel at the start I may have totally underestimated Mark Watson's drive and ability to pull together such a jolly group of enthusiastic strangers. The amount of blogs and posts available must give Mark a very warm feeling, and as a "lifer" myself, I feel really relieved that people are taking the bull by the horns and getting stuck in.

I was one of the lucky 8 to have been short-listed for the iPod competition this week (Well Done Anna!) and I although I now have to find another way to get my girlfriend a new mp3 player I couldn't stop smiling at the concept of the competition. For non-TSYICers, Mark basically posted a blog a while back about the loss of BBC6 Music and how an iPod can actually be more entertaining as it's like being in control of your own radio station. The blog ended with Mark challenging everyone reading to leave a comment explaining why they feel they deserve a new iPod and the most convincing argument would win themselves said mp3 player.

I didn't win, but the fun isn't going to stop there. We now have to get the iPod from Mark to Anna, via all 8 finalists and as many TSYICers, in both Britain and wider Europe, using any mode of transport possible. Amazing.

Anyway, as we're now in week two it's time for an update. Like last week, and hopefully the many more to follow, I have been attempting to continue progressing through the five steps/challenges I've set myself.

Unfortunately the first (and ultimately most challenging) one, writing a book, has suffered a bit this week. Writer's block has kicked in, but rather than completely avoiding the subject, I've merely placed the pen down and formed some ideas in my head. Lulls at work provide the perfect thinking space. Plus, in a way, I'm getting paid to think about my novel!

The next step was sending a letter, and although I started off with an ambitious one to David James (England goalkeeper) I've chosen someone closer to home. Without bringing the mood down, a friend of mine past away when we were 16 (8 years ago). I stay in touch with the family on the anniversary and his birthday and they say they appreciate we still think about him. But I was thinking the other day, why do we only say nice things on predetermined dates? There's now a letter in the post to let them know he's always on my mind.

Number three on the list was smiling more. Some people have read previous posts and if they see me not smiling, they tell me I must. So that's a helpful motivational tool!

I also told myself to enjoy things I don't like so on Saturday evening I forced a glass of red wine down my throat. I managed to keep the vomit down, but I think I'm going to have to keep plugging away at that one. Hopefully in 9 years and 11 months time I can celebrate a successful decade (or drown my sorrows) with a whole bottle. Vomit or no vomit.

And finally this week's music discovery is Fat Freddy's Drop. I recommend Flashback It has a relatively slow start but his voice just makes me want to be in a Hollywood BBQ montage. See what I mean?

Hope everyone is happy and if you're reading this as a non-TYSICer I implore you to check out Mark's blog at


Anna said...

Thank you for your congratulations, and sorry you didn't win. Even though I'm really happy that I won, I'm feeling guilty that there's now people who have been disappointed. If I win the lottery sometime in the next 10 years, I'll buy you an iPod, ok?

Keep on trying with the red wine, I've gone from thinking it's foul to finding it quite nice, actually. It helped that I took 2 boxes of wine to Glastonbury a few years ago, and found that the box of warm red wine was far preferable to the box of warm white wine.

Sounds like you've had a better week with your goals than I have with mine, well done! I'm going to add your recommendation at number 5 to my list of bands/albums to listen to.

Lisa D said...

I'm another TYSIC writer--my word there's a lot of us! Course we're all hanging out in the blogosphere so I suppose I shouldn't be to surprised--I hope you won't think me rude but I have 2 cents worth of free advice on the subject of writer's block, meant entirely in the friendly take it or leave it way. Keep writing. I used to be plagued by writer's block all the time, but I haven't had a full on bout of it in about 7 years. It really just come down to the fear of sucking, so I embrace the suck. Mental shift: I assume it's going to be crap and then the bits that aren't are a pleasant reminder that I have talent. It isn't 100% (if you're reading my blog as well that comes up) but by and large it feels better to keep working, even if nearly everything I do today gets crossed out tomorrow there's usually something worth keeping even if it's just a new character name.

Ben Carroll said...

persevere with the wine, i think it's worth it. then again, some people say that about thr Kings Of Leon, so that just goes to show.

i'm really not one to talk, but Terry Pratchett says there is no such thing as writer's block; it is something invented by people in California who can't write. I mean this in the same spirit as Lisa... of course you'll have good writing days and bad ones, but keeping doing it is a good principle.

your letter sounds like probably the sweetest, most kind-hearted gesture i've come across in TYSIC so far, and thats saying a lot: TYSICers are a loving lot. good work!

Carl Burkitt said...

Cheers guys.

I'll tell the truth though, I fully believe their is no such thing as writer's block too, it's just, well, makes me sound better than "I am a lazy little fellow".

I think my main problem I need to conquer is having a little belief in myself, but I'm sure it will come.

Had a sip of a an expensive red wine last the other day... can totally tell the difference between that and the cheap plonk consumed during uni!

I appreciate your comment Ben. I didn't want to come across all Hollywood when writing about that letter, so I'm glad it didn't appear that way.

Hope you're all doing well.

Carl Burkitt said...

there* Silly Carl.