“Every aspiring writer should have a blog.” This idea has been drummed into me over the years. I have read articles recommending it, many of my Creative Writing tutors suggested we did it, and there were even a few courses that had us make one as a requirement. I did not take those, and so never did. Whilst sitting in my MA class the other day, the lecturer asked if any of us kept a blog. No one did. Stupidly this did not galvanise me into action. I thought, as well I might have, “Aha! Here are all these talented and aspiring writers, and none of them do it. Obviously I am in good company.” I felt if not validated, at least relieved.
No, it was my parents that finally pushed me into doing this one night in a post-dinner heart to heart. Unsurprisingly, given that they’re thirty years older than me, they know quite a bit more about the world, and that if you’re ever going to achieve something you need to stop contemplating your experimental novel, get off your haunches, and put yourself out there. Fortunately these days you can get yourself out there from the comfort of your own desk. Handy that.
Still, exploring the world from the safety of a swivel chair is not really exploring. I put off starting this blog for lots of reasons. I was too busy, too tired or too (insert excuse here) to ever do it, and we all put things off for the same sorts of reasons. We’re all too scared of putting ourselves out there in case we’re rejected, afraid to try something new in case we fail. I thought of all the things I hadn’t done while sitting at my desk, on my little island of safety, in my nation of procrastination, and I realised something.
I was being a complete pillock.
I’d never even seen The Lion King for gods sake. What was wrong with me. I’d always joked when people found out and their jaws hit the floor that it was a good conversation starter, and to be fair, it was. I had a lot of conversations over the period of my undergrad about just that. I would point out that The Lion King was ubiquitous, so omnipresent that even if I’d never seen it I could still sing most of the songs, and more to the point, wasn’t it basically Hamlet with lions? I’d seen Hamlet. Despite all that, I was undoubtedly missing out on something, even if it was only the sight of a drug peddling hippie duo of a meerkat and a warthog.
Something had to be done, and this blog was that something. As the opening song says, “there is more to be seen than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done,” and I was missing it. (No, I still haven’t seen the Lion King, that song just gets around a lot.) So, every week I’ll see a new film, or read a new book. I’ll go to a new place or try something different. Then I’ll write about it.
And if the Lion King is right and there really is “more to be seen than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done”, then I won’t be running out of material anytime soon.
And yes. I will be watching The Lion King.