I desperately need to get the writing ball rolling again. It’s been more than a year since my last post. I started my blog while in Cyprus, a counterweight to doing a job that I didn’t much see as a source of happiness, being in a place that I intermittently love with extreme intensity but fiercely wanted out of. It’s unseemly to dub writing an ‘interim fix’ but that’s how it started out, at least in terms of the blog.
Writing about Cypriot football in English was not met with criticism but with restrained apathy. I got the obligatory likes and shares by friends, but I’m certain only a handful of them read what I wrote at the time. It’s understable. Why read something they’re already informed about in a second language? A combination of personal flaws, lack of time and a prolonged feeling of despondency halted my writing endeavour. I had aimed to write an article per week. A short two months later I stopped meeting that target until the whole thing faded away altogether. I put everything creative on pause and focused on escaping the island.
Escape implies nasty things. Cyprus is far from a prison, it’s not a place of darkness. It’s a holiday destination. It’s connoted with sunny days and easily-accessible beaches and frequently going out for a cheap-ish drink or seven. I now feel comfortable in declaring that these things can be perfectly inadequate for certain Cypriots and that it’s not prison-worthy to be open about feeling this way.
I remember talking with a new but important friend about this. The feelings were very much mutual. On a rain-soaked day in mid-January we let our discomfort with our ostensibly-comfortable surroundings bounce against each other. The pavement felt ring-fenced. We stood there for damn near an hour. Simple statements were let loose and got repeated until we were both drenched in what they meant and what actions should follow.
A year and two resignations later we’re now seemingly aeons away from that day. I moved back to London in September and was lucky enough to quickly find a job helping me to get by and forge a new path. He’s doing a bunch of great things himself, including getting ready to move to Beijing for a few months. I raised a cheap can of beer to our respective moves on many occasions.
Being in London is neither glamorous nor an achievement in and of itself. It is inspiring though. Discomfort and variety always are. The rain and the cold, the extortionate cost of living, the congregation of intelligent and creative people (or stilted and soft - I still love you Manchester), the access to shows, they all add up to something greatly more driving than Cyprus’ warm, hypnotizing, placating embrace.
With all of this in mind I’ve started to sense guilt levels steadily rising. Guilt of a brand different to what my collection of chemicals is met with on a regular day. Excuses have dissipated. I could argue that excuses never should have been made to begin with but I can make a serious case for writing-killing priorities. Tasks have been completed, however, and writing did not take place.
This is what this excessively self-referential post is seeking to inadvertently address. I’m writing about not writing to get me writing. A convoluted pitch to a bad movie but an apt summary nonetheless. April will determine if the purpose of this piece has been realised.