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Archive for June, 2012

Do You Love Me Like I Love You? – my Nick Cave DVD contribution

O children, lift up your voice

I’m delighted to have received confirmation that I’m to appear on the DVD accompanying the reissue of Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsAbattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus album.

I was interviewed by Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth in August 2008, as I blogged here and here. During the interview I spoke about the wonderful O Children – a track that still gives me tingles. Also on the DVD are artists such as Martyn Casey, Dave Gahan, Mick Harvey, Beth Orton, and broadcaster Colin Murray. Having had a preview of the interviews, it’s clear that I’ve lost weight and had a haircut since filming!

The three films that complete the extensive Do You Love Me Like I Love You? series will be premiered at the East End Film Festival on Sunday 1 July, with Nocturama at 3pm, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus at 4pm and Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! at 5pm – all screenings are free and take place at the Vibe Bar at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1. There’s more info here.

To say I’m chuffed at being able to make a contribution to this DVD is an understatement: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have produced some of my favourite music. The reissue is provisionally scheduled for release on July 31st.

Click on “Nick Cave” in the tag cloud for more Cave-related posts.

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Breathing space – a blog about creativity

Inspiration is unpredictable.

This morning I was leaning into a wardrobe to hang up an item of clothing when an idea popped into my head. I had to dash to the computer to tap out this little gem before it faded. Good job, too, because it’s transformed the short story I’m working on. It wasn’t exactly a bolt from the blue, rather a distillation of several ideas and possibilities I’ve been mulling over. But it certainly highlights something about the creative process.

I used to believe that if I wasn’t sitting down at a computer or with a notepad, staring at the screen with my fingers poised above the keyboard or chewing the top of a pencil, then I wasn’t working. And being the kind of guy I am, I tend to feel guilty when I’m not working. Yet it’s often when I’m not consciously thinking about a project that the most important developments occur, when the subconscious mind has space to do its stuff.

This is something I’ve only recently come to fully appreciate and accept; and it’s a realisation that makes my creative endeavours somewhat less stressful. Sitting down with a pencil and paper/laptop/iPad/[insert your weapon of choice here] and staring through the window are undeniably important aspects of the game, but most good things need time to mature.

So if you’re struggling, just relax. Watch television, play a video game, go for a walk or a bike ride* – and don’t feel guilty. But carry a pencil and a scrap of paper with you. Just in case.

* Both forms of exercise which stimulate blood flow and oxygen intake – just right for boosting creativity.

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Writing and Me

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m a workaholic. I love writing, I love creating stuff, whether it’s working on a novel or a script or a short story or a blog post. If I could, I’d do this kind of thing all day, every day. When I’m not writing I feel somewhat guilty.

My day job work also involves sitting in front of this computer typing. Sometimes I put in too many hours and my head aches and my eyes hurt, but I still want to do my thing. I want to add content to a blog post, read an article, look over my Development folder and bring another piece a step closer to being the one that’s in focus. Occasioanlly my body tells me enough. Relax. Do something else. But I find this hard: even when I’ve had a productive day I want to do more.

The more I write, the more I know it’s what I want to do. Novels. Radio scripts. Short stories. It’s what I am. Even though it can be frustrating at times I love all aspects of the writing process – from the one-line seed of an idea that grows and eventually bears fruit, to the magical bits that come along at unexpected moments – and sometimes even work. I even like the look of text on the page and screen: well-balanced paragraphs, sections of dialogue. This post is a good example: small, but perfectly formed.

The bonus is that this never has to stop unless I choose to stop it. Some people just want to go to work and come home and sit in front of the telly, have weekends off and a holiday or two each year. If that’s the kind of person you are, then that’s great; good luck to you. But that’s not for me. I like the challenge of making the next thing I write better than the last thing, the potential of what it may become, and knowing that, hopefully, the best lies ahead.

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