So… this is a bit of a weird blog post.
The thing is, it might be that I’m doing exactly what I do all the time. No, I d0n’t mean wandering around in circles trying to remember what I was doing. I mean to announce something that I am “going to do” but that I never do.
This is a pattern in my life. Yes, my life is truly the paisley pattern of productivity (dull, repetitive and covered in weird bean shapes).
People say “announce your goals and plans, that way it’ll give you the accountability that means that you will actually follow through with it.”
I’ve tried announcing my plans. By shouting them from the roof through a megaphone, by sending a letter to a prominent politician, and by muttering them under my breath as I wander around in circles in the street — yeah, I’m that guy… the one who mutters to himself.
So many times in my life, I have announced projects to people…
* The book I was going to write on voice, that I did write a huge draft for but never published. I even sent paper versions to people so they could have something warm to burn during the cold months of the year.
* The thriving vegetable garden I was going to grow. It all died and was taken over by weeds. Gardening needs consistency and I’m just going to accept that I have all the consistency of an out of date can of evaporated milk.
* The comedy radio series I was writing. It was going to be the next Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I thought. Because, if there’s one thing I do have, it’s an overbelief in my own abilities… coupled with a dangerous lack of any sort of sustainable ability.
* The keynote speech and related business services I started creating, to help companies to create a unique voice for their tech business. I still claim to be doing this one, though I’ve actually made no real progress in about 2 years. So, if you compare my progress to that of the current government, I think I’m coming out on top.
* The epic fantasy novel I started writing as a child (I forget my age. 10 maybe?) I planned so much of it, then just wrote the first chapter. I then proceeded to do exactly the same thing with all other novels I started for the rest of my life. I reread that first chapter the other day, it isn’t bad… I mean, it isn’t good. But it isn’t bad.
… well, I need not go on listing things – although I do love listing things, you should see my impossibly long task list! – because it’s pretty much the same pattern for every fucking creative project that I’ve ever started.
I start things.
That’s what I do.
If my creative projects were chocolate bars… they’d be the bars with one bite taken out of them, then left lying around for months, open. Until the mice come and eat it in the night… I don’t know what the mice are in this analogy.
My process goes like this:
I have an intense interest (an obsession, even, like the new fragrance from Calvin Klein, except mine doesn’t smell good).
Fueled by this obsession, I start creative projects. (warning: never start a creative project when fueled by Obsession by Calvin Klein. It is not edible… as they told me in A&E).
Then, at some point, I fall off the rails, like Thomas the Tank Engine when he got drunk.
And I don’t carry on with those projects.
I always believe that “I am going to do it this time.” But evidence shows that I don’t.
Each creative project gets added to my ever growing list of “projects I’ll finished one day.”
I know I’m quite “talented” in a variety of areas. (Part of me wants to say something now to counterbalance that sentence and show that I am really humble and modest… but I think my overblown belief in my abilities has basically been the only thing that has kept me going — the belief that I could “Do it if I really applied myself.”
But I never “applied myself.”) — yeah, that’s right I just finished that parenthesis on another line. I’m a punctuation rebel!
I always felt a bit superior to those people who sit all their lives at the top of the first hill in the graph of The Dunning-Kruger Effect – the cognitive bias where you believe you know more than you do. (Oooh. See how smart I am. I know what the th Dunning-Kruger Effect is… oooh, get me! With knowledge like that, I’m surely eligible for the Nobel prize in intellectual wankery)
Until this year. (oh, yeah, I was actually trying to tell you something, wasn’t I? I got a bit distracted there)
Now, I realise that I am one of those people perpetually on the top of that Dunning-Kruger hill. My pattern in life is to get obsessed with something and learn a shit load of stuff very quickly. This accelerates me beyond the general population around that subject.
Then, at some point… I stop.
And I feel like I’m a genius. I don’t look like a genius, I look like a scruffier version of Jesus if he had had to suffer a childhood growing up in a Scottish high school.
But, in reality – despite my feelings of geniusness and progress – I’m failing again and again.
Shit. Sorry. I’ve just realised this blog post has gone off on so many tangents that I wasn’t expecting it to. If you are still following the throughline, you’re doing a better job than I am.
What was I talking about? Oh, yeah… my next creative project.
I am apprehensive about announcing this project here… even though I know that few, if any, people read this. (I mean, why would you read it when you could read something good, like a classic novel by Tolstoy or the Lidl weekly magazine?)
I am worried that announcing my new project here might mean that I just don’t do it.
But then if I don’t announce it, I might also not do it.
I am REALLY keen that my failure to follow-through with projects doesn’t happen with this project… but I’m also aware that, in all likelihood, I will fail to follow through with this one as I have with all the other projects I claim to be doing.
Okay, I’m just going to tell you about it…
I’m planning to create a one-person (or one-and-a-half person maybe, i.e. with rotating guests, I don’t know) show for the Fringe 2023.
The idea is that it will be a comedy show, with a mix of clowning, stand-up, storytelling, science, and teaching… and that it will be about…
My current journey into getting an ADHD diagnosis.
I know I’m not unique in trying to get a diagnosis (I feel like I have to say this because otherwise the gremlins in my head berate me, saying “Remember, you’re not special. Look lots of people are talking about ADHD right now. You’re just copying everyone else. So unoriginal! And you don’t even have a diagnosis, so you might not even have ADHD… etc… etc… Thanks, gremlins in my head. You’ve always been there for me.)
But part of me — the part of me that “runs” my business (for want of a better word. I don’t feel like I run it, I feel like I’m continually running to catch up with it) and has had extensive marketing training — feels that this “popularity” of ADHD as a topic is a good thing.
It is a potential for a show that people might actually come and watch even if I don’t have a following, which I don’t… because I am such a new comic and I fail so often to sign up for stage time “Because I can’t be bothered.”
And, by next year this time, December 2023, I almost certainly will have become “bored” by ADHD as a topic.
By this time next year, I’ll have moved onto another topic. I don’t know what it’ll be.
So my intention, for all the good it’ll do me, is to create a show that allows me to capture my obsession with ADHD and my own mental experience…
… before that interest disappears…
… as it always does.
Because the experience I’m talking about here – trying to get projects and tasks done and continually failing — is part of that ADHD symptom experience.
I have struggled with it my whole life… at least, I think I have… I have very sketchy memories of my childhood. By “sketchy” I mean I don’t remember my childhood very well… not sketchy like I was kidnapped by a Dickensian pickpocket to work for him in his army of children thieves.
With this “maybe show” (I’m hedging my language here because I know it will likely fail), I want to find out more about myself and my mind.
I want to let audiences learn more about themselves too.
I also really want them to experience what it’s actually like inside the mind of someone like me — I’d say “inside the mind of someone with ADHD”, but the scientist part of me says I can’t say that without a formal diagnosis.
And I want to do a Fringe show because I think that it’s maybe the only way I’m actually going to accelerate my comedy.
Because when I just do “comedy sets,” they are all over the place. Each time I do them, there is a wildly different type of comedy (the weird kind of comedy and the not-yet-funny kind) and vastly different topics because I just talk about whatever grabs my interest on that day. (Did I mention I get bored of things easily?)
So, I’m going to use this “maybe show” as a vehicle – this vehicle is a banged up Skoda from the 1970s, not a slick, stylish Maserati – to TRY to generate some material around a theme.
And I’m going to claim right now that I’m going to document the progress of this show on this blog…
… but, let’s be honest. I probably won’t.
In all likelihood, this is the last time you’ll ever hear about it.
No… now is the last time you hear about it.
Or maybe now.
I’m going to stop writing now.