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Life’s What You Make It…

… Don’t you just love cliches? Cliches may be easily disregarded – but I’ve always been of the opinion cliches become cliches because they’re actually true. Just like your mother offers advice you inevitably scoff at, there’s a part deep inside you where it resonates… Or it is at least filed away, for future ref: something will happen and then it clicks, “So THAT’S what she meant!”

You only need half an eye on the blogs to notice that 2008 has been a difficult year for many of us, including myself. My issues have not just been career-orientated, though it’s funny how rejections, disagreements, disappointments and general hassle to do with screenwriting seems to sometimes compound other life stuff: all the bad things seem to come at once, don’t they? And it’s easy to think the world is against you and *everyone else* should die or at least get some painful disease that involves suppurating sores and other oozing discomforts.

And it’s not over yet – because we’re not finished yet. Though I might have given up screenwriting no less than four times this year, not one of those times I quit lasted more than three days. Why? Because the tide turns so quickly.

I remember back at the beginning of the year being absolutely HYSTERICAL about one *thing*, I was so, so, so mad: I was literally breathing FIRE. I was going to kill everyone in this production company, never mind just the person who had been dealing with me and had pissed me off royally. My husband got home from work and I told him I was taking a job at a SCHOOL up the road; I was going to take a permanent position I had been offered. Sod this screenwriting lark! What the hell was I doing, anyway? I was writing for – what? No money, no respect, no security, NOTHING. I was going to quit scriptwriting, script reading; I was even going to pull the plug on this very blog as a symbol of how very serious I was. It’s thanks to Him Indoors that it’s still here! I really did have my finger on the mouse, the cursor hovering: he was urging me to STEP AWAY FROM THE DELETE BUTTON. As upset as I was at that very second, he advised, I would be even MORE upset in the long run if I went through with it.

And so I slept on it and he was right, of course. It even seems quite funny now that particular episode inspired SUCH an extreme reaction: as rude and obnoxious as the person was to me, I’ve actually had worse. I guess it was the straw that broke the camel’s back at the time. It’s why I married my Hub anyway: his inexplicable calm offsets what our Jase kindly called my “preposterous melodrama” only yesterday!

So, all in all a pants eight months or so has actually inspired a new way of thinking in me. Whilst I’ve always appreciated you have to change things if you don’t like the way something’s going, I guess I was always within the realm of “okay” enough to not want to really take the BIG RISKS. Swerving right into the realm of all-or-nothing and being hit with a truck-sized amount of obstacles was actually the best thing that could have happened, in retrospect. Yes, I was reeling for a bit but now I’m back on my feet. I’ve made my decision: if it’s a choice between all or nothing, I’m taking it all. And I know I have to do it myself. And I will.

What about you?

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8 thoughts on “Life’s What You Make It…”

  1. Good luck with it all. You write so much, so well – just on here – that there’s no way you could step away from the mouse button and go and do something else. The hard times make the good times sweeter, and all that.

  2. You’re right on the button, Helen (arf).

    Seriously, thanks – I’ve been looking at your novel pictures on the web and thinking, “I want to do that!” So hopefully I’ll follow in your footsteps soon… Though mine will have less balloons and more extreme violence, maybe? (I promise I will read one of your books one day, sorry I haven’t already – reading is just a bit of a busman’s hol for me!)

  3. It’s amazing how much you want something influences how painful it feels when that opportunity eludes you.

    I keep two handy post-its with observations on them from that dead American bloke English Dave linked to a while back.

    When the worst happens, I repeat these mantras:

    Brick walls let us prove how badly we want things.

    Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

    To the cynical these statements sound trite and cliched, but they also happen to be true.

    Alternatively, adopt the slightly more “I’m OK, Fuck You” philosophy:

    Success is the best revenge.

  4. I agree – pressing that button would be unthinkable. Glad you stepped away from the edge.

    I’m keeping an eye on your novel counter 😉

  5. Yay! Go Luce!

    i’ve had an up and down year myself but now feel very, and some might say unwisely, calm in the face of the next disaster…but adversity will do that for you.


  6. I don’t think any of us would be any good at what we have chosen to do if we hadn’t had the odd struggle or ten.

    Keep on going, Lucy, and don’t just aim to “get there” – enjoy the journey! x

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