There are only twenty four hours in a day, and for eight of them, I’m asleep. When I then have to squeeze in a full-time job, my writing, my general film/tv/music/videogames/news obsessions and socialising with my friends, something has to give. More often, in trying to keep elements of all of the above intact, I don’t do very well with any of them.
Maybe what I write about is a response to that. In both the novel I’m trying to sell and the teleplay I’m currently writing, time is a key factor in the story. In Certainty, the character of Sebastian has a digital display in the corner of his vision that’s counting down from eight hours to his inevitable death. In Jump!, my main protagonist, Mark, has to solve a dilemma in each reality he travels to before he fall asleep, or he’ll be trapped there forever. So it’s fair to say that the concept of deadlines with rather nasty consequences are a recurring theme in my work. In real life, I always feel like I’m in an against-the-clock struggle against something – I can’t remember the last time that I woke up and wasn’t worrying about an upcoming situation. And as I wrote in my piece a few weeks ago about deadlines, I’m often my own worst enemy by seemingly deliberately taking things to the wire.
And speaking of The Wire (segue of the year!), I’m quite a way behind the times in many TV shows I want to watch. I haven’t seen past Episode 2 of Caprica, for example, despite Battlestar Galactica being one of my favourite shows ever. I’m only on Season 1 of Dexter, Season 3 of The Wire, Season 4 of The West Wing, Season 2 of The Sopranos and Season 3 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That’s a lot of telly to catch up on.
But getting up to date with TV series that either ran or have been running for years, is a medium-to-long-term commitment. As far as my day to day existence goes, my increased focus on writing has meant that videogaming has gone by the wayside recently. Aside from playing on my iPhone (and that has a lot to do with the convenience factor), I haven’t really sat down for a long videogames session in ages. Games like Red Dead Redemption and Battlefield Bad Company 2 remain half-completed.
There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do, and I figure that during the relatively fallow period for videogame releases over the summer months, it’s the perfect opportunity to get on and really hammer all the writing stuff that I both want and need to accomplish. And while my One A Days have doubtless helped to reinforce my writing habit throughout the year, the time taken to write them is another half an hour where I’m not doing something else – not that I regret being part of this endeavour for a second, you understand.
So it’s just a question of priorities, really, and at the moment the writing is winning. Anyone who knows me will be aware that’s a very good thing indeed.