Updating my website this week – an activity which generally throws up two questions for me: 1) What is the website doing, really?, and 2) Is this the best I can do?
The first I can answer reasonably well enough, so I do and I move on to the second question – which is where the interest and energy and… bile reside. Is this really, really the best I can do? I know that it’s not, and I am mad at myself.
Safe, cop-out, samey, boring – all of these come in the evening when I’ve had time to look a little more objectively at the thing, and have shared it around a couple of people for some quick evaluation (responses, incidentally, being wholly supportive and kind, and notably, fittingly, void of Wow) – with none of this being really about the website at all, but about how I feel at what I’m not achieving elsewhere and otherwise. The website is whipping boy, scapegoat, the fish on a bicycle. It’s me I’m describing.
I begin to list what I’ve done in these years of my new working situation, intrigued as to how I’ll feel about it – and what I’ll do with that feeling.
Since January 2012 I have, amongst other stuff and in no particular order:
Got my comic novel, Nothing But Time and Love, the Eponymous Life of Tony Macaroon, to severally-drafted-manuscript stage and submitted to agencies (rejections to date)
Produced the Tony Macaroon illustrated blog post series
Completed the writing, illustrations and book design for the first volume of Stories from Scrambili Egg (dithering around self-publishing)
Written two further Scrambili Egg stories
Created and developed my illustration series on village life
Begun and abandoned (I think) the historical novel / screenplay, The Brewery
Written material for stand-up comedy
Recorded and put to Soundcloud several songs under the name Sanary Men’s Club
Created four cartoon / comic strip concepts, including Particular Fox and Who Do You Think You Are?
Drawn the co-produced comic strip mini-series, Peace Horse, published by Sabotage Times
Painted on canvas
Written and extensively re-drafted a pilot episode for a sitcom serial (currently with a writer’s agent)
Begun the first draft of a second sitcom serial episode
Produced over 30 portraits to individual commissions
Created my ‘Cut-out Poetry’ series
Completed the 2015 Poem-a-Day Writer’s Digest challenge
Written a short story / radio play for one voice, called Understand Me
Taken landscape photographs
Drawn and/or written something every single day
Published over 270 blog posts here on Fisher Lane
Baked a lot of pies
Set up the business, making it work
So what the hell is this all about? Drawing, writing, painting, music: poetry, comedy, long-form fiction, short stories, screenplays and blogging; cartoons, portraits, landscapes and illustrations… Is this kissing frogs? Or the output of an indecisive, uncommitted mind? Childlessness redressed?
My being mad-at-me comes, I know, from the fact I do not allow myself to be open about the above – whilst publicly presenting myself with a website I don’t think is creative enough. The same feeling I felt when in the other world of work. A peevish greed to be noticed, recognised, made all the more ridiculous by my constantly not taking risks.
Mad at me is good, though. It means that things will change. The website will do what it needs to do – it’s my relationship with the stuff on the list that needs my attention… and energies; bile.