Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wanting to write (or how Tim Minchin and my wife helped me make a decision)


I believe that from time to time people encounter something new in their lives which cause them to pause for thought and wonder if they are actually a bit insecure.

Allow me to give you a personal example; I have recently discovered the work of a stand-up comedian/songwriter/pianist by the name of Tim Minchin. Many of you have probably heard of him. Channel 4 recently aired a live show and as I watched I was entranced by his wit and sheer ability.

He is an outstanding pianist, playing in a beautifully untethered way, he combines this with a fantastic singing voice, earthy, floating, soft and booming at once powerful and comic. With these tools he performs a range of well crafted and considered songs each with meaning and humour and an introduction that prepares you for laughter, despite an expectation of a serious subject matter.

I have long believed that serious, difficult messages are best delivered through the medium of humour. If someone is laughing, they are less likely to try to kill you! This is not a skill I particularly possess, but I admire it in others.

The point I'm getting to is that seeing such pleasantly crafted work made me feel as though I should be trying harder to be better at something meaningful, how I wish I could sing like Tim! I find myself feeling a bit rubbish, simply from exposure to real talent. Just by watching something good on TV, I feel a little worse about myself. I am insecure!


This insecurity gives me a desire for self improvement, so naturally the questions arise "What skills do I have?", "On what can I improve?".  Brief contemplation produces a shortlist; Mechanical/Hands-on aptitude, a brain full of opinions, computer literacy and an ordered approach to work.

Of these, I think the one that I work at least is the brain full of opinions. I tend to keep them inside, unless they are tempted out during conversation, or I decide to volunteer them in some unhelpful way, as a "solution" to anothers problems. What I don't do, is work them through in any meaningful way. I do not allow myself the opportunity to explore the limits and conclusions that could be reached when developing a simple premise.


For this reason, I see benefit in developing this area of "ME", so I decide to drift back into writing things, something I have always been drawn towards, but with which I have never persevered.

I believe the reason I have never pushed forward with writing is that I have previously looked upon it as something I can use to tell other people about me, a tool to push my persona onto others. This usually didn't evoke much of a response or often a response I didn't want to hear. I don't take critism well!

However, I have realised more recently that I can write to fulfill my own needs. I can be selfish and use this method of mental stimulation to develope my opinions into properly crafted plans and ideas. This can help make structure in a brain that is random. This process could help me understand the most confusing person I know, Me!

Now the decision must be made, how to implement this new course of action into my life. What should I do to ensure that this doesn't drift off into the ether, as before. Do I set myself a timetable? Do I target a certain number of words per day? Should I embark on a massive endeavour like a ficitional novel? Should I write small articles? Argh! Help, now I need to consider the way forward.

How to move forward

This was starting point of a discussion with my wonderful wife, and the decision she has helped me to reach is that I should blog on a regular basis. This will allow me the freedom to write about anything and everything that comes to mind. As infrequently as I desire, or as regularly as I need.

So it only remains to thank the larger of the influences that pointed me in the direction of something I have long considered.

Thanks to my environment; I know it sounds a little strange, but without the things that impacted on me throughout my life I would not be the person I am today. I learned to express myself because the family group I grew up in would not have listened to a subdued introvert and required verbal and emotional strength.

Thanks to Tim Minchin (as mentioned above). By being so good at what he does, he helped me to realise that my insecurity is a function of my desire to push myself in a direcition that I can take pleasure in. It is not neccesary to succeed in the eyes of other. The only person who can measure my success is me!

Finally, thanks to my beautiful wife; I have never felt anything but support from the most wonderful person I have ever met. Intelligence, wit, insight and understanding are only the beginning of a description of the joy she brings to me.

by Doug Miles

1 comment:

  1. Oh my!(blush)I do like the last bit! Am I allowed to remind you of it when I do something annoying? Welcome to blogland my love, it took long enough to get you here. xXx