That’s a bit of shit title in fairness. *Quick Google*
“Crack the whip”: An expression for using one’s authority to urge subordinates to work harder or behave better…
So it doesn’t really fit does it? Unless I assume my brain is the subordinate, or my motivation, or self-discipline perhaps. Take your pick. The point I am trying to make is that I’ve been here before, trying to resurrect my writing mojo so many times that its become a bit of a joke.
What’s kicked it off this time? A few things, but chiefly, events in my life have forced some inward reflection on what really matters. I won’t bore you with the details of what my introspection revealed other than to say materialism seems to be a constant and vacuous part of my life. Such thoughts push one to want to change and grasp those things that mean something, create memories, affect oneself and those around us. One quick and easy way I have found that shines a brilliant light on areas of my life that are quite possibly a bit pointless, is to look closely at the outgoings from my bank. I have no mortgage, and yet £800 a month leaves my bank that is not connected to any necessary household bill, food (of which I mean food for the family) or fuel. £800 is attached to various subscriptions, gadgets, toys, or takeaways. That’s a lot of money. A quick scroll back through my banking app reveals that this is a near constant monthly expenditure with variations of plus or minus £100. I tested this by going through each transaction and asking myself if I really needed to spend that, and worryingly the answer was no.
This made me wonder if I could live on a significantly lower income, and if so, could that mean I could drop hours at work or even go part-time? It’s a reasonable assumption but the reality is, probably not. There is a saying in my family I’ve come to accept and believe. It something like “no mon, no fun.” Basically, no money = no fun.
I know I could live on significantly less. I know it. But would I enjoy it? Well, I’d have to find a completely different way of living. I’d have to give up a lot of things I spend money on now. A very quick search of my spending history shows that my top two expenditures are on takeaways/alcohol (family/friends/socialising) and then gadgets/toys – bits for my computer, my motorcycle, clothes. I spend a lot on other people too, at least a few hundred each month and I think that stems from not really caring a great deal about money. Sounds easy to say, and if I’m honest I probably only feel that way because I have money to spare and don’t miss it. I’m pretty sure I would feel different if I was on a lower income and struggling to put food on the table or fuel in the car.
Another constant and reoccurring feeling is that I never joined the army, or any of the forces. I think I believed that was my path from when I was barely old enough to understand what the army was, right up until I was in my twenties and received a fateful letter. That letter informed me I was not eligible on medical grounds. I can recite every word of that letter. To this day I wish I’d appealed, but instead I got on with life. I went for uniform, perhaps stupidly thinking it would be the same existence as one might hope for in the military, and joined the ambulance service. Anyone who has worked in the ambulance service will tell you that of the three services (fire, police, ambulance), the ambulance is perhaps the furthest from any semblance of military life. The sheer lack of discipline make those who decide to join more akin to pirates of the road. I enjoyed my time with them anyway and made some good friends, so its not all bad.
What’s the point of all this? Well, I love writing. I’d love to do it more often and very occasionally I have a real crack at it. At my peak I was cranking out two or three short stories a month and even had some small success in selling them. It is, to me, extremely enjoyable. I love to try and write the stories that I want to read. Unfortunately, I have a full time job and (happily) a family and so my time is limited. I’ve often wondered if I can go part-time and therefore spend more time reading and writing, but the reality is that I don’t think I could. Sure, I might enjoy it for a while, but I’d soon miss all those comforts I obviously take for granted now. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe it will just remain a hobby forever and I’ll never write my Legend, as David Gemmell did, coincidentally becoming one himself, I might add.
That will do for tonight anyway, or knowing me, this year, if my output on here is anything to go by.
Let me know your thoughts on this if you can spare a few minutes and jot a few sentences. I know I’m not the only one with aspirations to write and no time to do it.
Love to you all,
One thought on “Another crack of the whip…”
Nice bit of navel gazing there, Mark, wondering if you’re having a burning Bush experience on where you’re going with your life.
Don’t sweat it about not getting into the mob, you might have made it then got your bollocks shot off in Afghanistan. You’ve made it on in life in another direction, by any way of totting up plus and minus I think you’ve got a positive balance. So well done so far.
I’ve often said we all live to our income, earn more, spend more, and if the money coming in goes down then we can still manage. Don’t buy as many shiny things.
Keep up the writing… When you’re a doddery old fart you can pick it up and reread it…. And if you’re lucky say “dam, that was good”
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