Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Q: What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
A: Walk him and pitch to the rhino.

Childish, I know. But seeing as you read the title and immediately expected the worst - and, to be honest, with the track record of this blog I wouldn’t blame you - I thought I’d get the smut out of the way with a quick baseball joke. Job done.

So. Balls. Three of. Y’know, I didn’t sign up for this juggling business. I don’t do carny-arts for the life-impaired. Well, I didn’t. I had a simple life that went something like this:

1. Writing.
2. Friends.
(Granted, these change places on a regular basis.)
3. Work.

Three balls. Easy. Not so much juggled as Shell Gamed about each time I woke up. Simple: writing was whatever I was working on, friends was meeting up, cinema, Sherlock blu-ray nights, dinner now and again, and work was pretty much painting by numbers and ignoring how much I don’t want to be there.

And then comes Change. Something I’ve always had a problem with. Not in a fear kind of way - most people fear what they don’t know, and that’s natural. Stops you getting your head bitten off or your fingers being caught in machinery. I think my resistance to change - because that’s what it is, really - is more to do with an OCD regarding everything being where I can find and count it. So finding that I really want to drop one ball (but can’t; it's work) and inadvertently making another ball cosmically heavy (writing) hasn’t helped. On top of that I’ve gone and added a whole new ball: fitness.

The problems I have are, one, too many balls that are, two, getting so vast as to interfere with each other. Something will have to give - but which one? Well maybe this is the reason I haven’t had a fitness ball in over ten years. So what do I do about it? Changing the nature of the writing element was already a break from my comfort zone in a way I floundered over and tore strips off my logical thinking for. It hurt. Not in a good way. I’m struggling to keep that one going as it is: you’re reading the blog of someone who has I-can’t-write-anywhere-nearly-as-good-as-I-used-to issues, coupled with DON’T-INTERRUPT-ME-WHEN-I’M-ONTO-SOMETHING--ooh, squirrel! problems. My writing has always been the most important thing to me, and when I just can’t seem to pull a good, satisfying story out of the bag? I may as well jump in the harbour. It used to just come out of the characters’ mouths, it used to just be there. Now it’s harder and harder to find, like I’ve lived my whole bloody life in this city but suddenly I can’t find the library.

And now there's this whole new addition to get over. I had no idea what I was doing when I decided to take on this fitness thing: add a whole new thing to my life, a thing that hasn’t been there in so long that obviously I’ve never needed it? It may well die a death if I can’t break two levels of OCD at the same time.

Apparently, people will tell you, it comes down to personal choice and willpower. Really? Don’t accept the fact that I have a raging OCD about my routine and then act like I have a say in how I follow it. It’s basically on a switch - flick it one way on any day of the week and I can do it (as long as I can do it before I realise I have). Flick it the other way and I can’t change a single thing for the next 24 hours. And that’s just how it is.

So what have I learnt? That I’m intolerant of change? That I can’t juggle four balls?

Screw it. I’m going to struggle on with a fan-fic and cast around for something to do my writing assignment on - 1,500 words that I could send to a magazine of my choice, to be published, if you please. Not exactly hard, is it? It is if you can’t find a magazine that doesn’t make you want to burn down Hong Kong publishing houses.

That’s it. No peach and lube for anyone. I’m going to go pretend to write something.


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