I have, since March, been working on a new novel.
As The Whisper That Rose Through Darkness ticks over in the background, this other book has somehow taken over. I feel immensely guilty.
Anyway, I thought I would start using this blog for more than just a few poems and the odd short story (let’s pretend it hasn’t been months since I uploaded either). Escape from Reality will also become a platform for me to just talk. About things. And stuff. You’ll see.
So, this new story.
It is boy meets girl, without the middle part. It is two young people in London, experiencing life. One is kind of famous, and the other is swallowed up in his own angst.
I want it to be funny and moving but, most importantly, truthful.
When I look back at being eighteen, I think of myself as a mess. I drank way too much way too frequently. I learned how to be selfish and put myself first in most situations. I made stupid decisions and shunned responsibility and somehow blagged my way through my first year at university.
I also remember how much I cared about, well, everything. Homesickness was a constant nag in my mind. Proving myself as intelligent was imperative to my happiness, to the point that I regretted studying French (foreign languages not a natural talent of mine) and almost resented having attended comprehensive school (although this was also a side-effect of studying alongside several privately educated peers). Most of all, though, I wanted everyone to like me. I wanted to please everyone and just fit in.
I even started speaking posh.
There was also a General Election during my first year at university and I was so passionate, so hell-bent on making sure all my friends and even some strangers in bars shared my political opinions, that the eventual result devastated me.
How times change.
Do I still care what people think of me? Hell no. Am I still passionate about the political party I support? Not really. Am I still selfish? Nope. Do I continue to resent the schools I attended? Not even a tiny bit.
I do still enjoy the occasional alcohol binge, though.
So writing in the perspective of eighteen-year-olds is challenging. It means I have to think back, dig into memory, and emulate those emotions. And there were a lot of those.
Remember how we all resented going to school and then, after one week of full-time employment, wished that we were back in the confines of educational institutions. The taunts of classmates, in hind-sight, more bearable than the mundanity of nine-to-five. The school holidays a distant memory after your first night shift. (I mean, some people miss it so much that they even grow up to be teachers!)
That’s how I feel right now. If I could be eighteen again, I probably would. Okay, I never could decide if I was ecstatic, content and happy, or miserable, lonely and desolate. But man, life was good.
So, the point of this blog post? I’m not sure there is one. Except, sometimes it’s healthy to remember how it was to be young. It’s even okay to wish you were back there, living it all again.
But also it’s important to appreciate that, and this will go for, like, 95% of people, you are a better person now than you were when you were eighteen. If nothing else, you are more you.
Anyway, after 600 words of procrastination, I’d better get back to writing this new novel.