Tag Archives: creative writing

Learning to box and writing a story are poles apart

Despite the ongoing pain endured from being punched in the chest a couple of weeks ago I’m still training consistently.  It’s pretty damaging being punched in the chest.  You think of the chest as being a pretty solid part of your body but there’s a lot of organs underneath including your lungs.  It’s been two weeks now and I still have small pains from simple things like blowing my nose or just breathing in deeply.  At one point it hurt if I laughed too much.

The diet wasn’t going too badly for the last week and a half.  I’d actually been sticking to the fish and vegetables but Torribio cooked this amazing curry yesterday along with some pork with crackling and some plum sauce.  It was incredible.  I didn’t regret wolfing down two plates but I felt pretty heavy trying to shadow box it all away in the evening.

I haven’t done any creative writing since I’ve been away but it’s not like training physically.  I can train two hours a day, everyday no problem but writing… that’s a different kettle of fish.  Things like willpower and determination don’t count for anything.  Sure you can make yourself sit at a desk but that doesn’t mean that ideas, a storyline and characters are going to spring to life.  You can’t will yourself to finish a piece of writing – or perhaps you can but I doubt anything of quality is going to come out of it.  You need your imagination to be working and your mind has to be in a healthy place free from distraction.

I’ve wanted to write and publish something since I was fifteen years old.  My dad ruled out a career in that direction gambling on science and engineering being a surer thing than anything creative or artistic.  Maybe he was correct to some extent.  I don’t think I’m a natural storyteller and I’m in no way prolific when it comes to writing.  The only thing that’s kept me going all these years is that I truly think there’s a good story inside me waiting to be told.  Sooner or later, I’ll realize what that is and I’ll be able to translate it onto mauscript and get it out.  At the moment it’s all just half efforts and recently the odd short story.

Then again, having thought about it just now, maybe that’s just an excuse.  What people see as “natural ability” or “talent” is often just practice.  Repeated practice.  If I don’t keep writing then how is any of my work going to get better so maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot there.  I need to get my finger out.  Watch some more movies and read some more books to get some inspiration, read some more books, that kind of thing?

The last short story I wrote The Journeyman was inspired by two real life people I’d read about and the characters were appealing – everything seemed to flow nicely from one scene to the next. I barely had to think and I liked that.  I was so absorbed in writing that short story that unfortunately I was ignoring my wife for large portions of the day which is pretty bad.  Writing a bigger story is more difficult!  I have difficulties making everything tie in nicely but whenever I read someone else’s story that I’ve enjoyed, their ideas and plot are actually pretty simple.  So then, am I trying to over-complicate things when I write?  It’s a conundrum and art that I’ve yet to master.

One day readers…  one day! 🙂

Wrapping my hands

Back at home

Hmm what can I write about?  You ever get that?

Well I’ve been training away and that’s a normal part of my life now so nothing really new there.  Went to Lusby’s during the open mat slot around 16:00 and I was pretty much on my own but that was fine. I lent my iPod to one of the Filipinos, Sherwin, back on the boat.   Sherwin’s iPod broke down and he’s away at sea for three months at a time and I felt bad for him so that was my good deed but I could have done with having my iPod with me, today.

I always get a touch nervous going to my own gym.  Maybe because my trainer is in there and I don’t want to look like a moron.  I needn’t have worried on this occasion.  I was pretty much alone but I managed to get a decent workout and I needed to get a feel for the place again before I come in again this Thursday.  Different gyms have different atmospheres and vibes.  I need to acclimatize a little.

I’ve done a lot of bag work while I was offshore.  To be honest, this time round I’m hoping to learn more ring craft stuff but I’ll speak to Gary and ultimately he’ll determine when I’m ready to learn more. But like the guy said in the movie Creed…

– Kid’s hungry, you gotta feed him sometimes.

I’m enjoying my writing too, just now.  I sent a manuscript for a short story to a couple of publications for some feedback so I’m waiting on that.  Could be a couple of months though. I find it’s quite an anti-social thing being a writer.  I zone out because I’m concentrating a lot on what I’m writing but that’s not good for Emma because it’s bad enough my work takes me away for half the year.  It’s like the boxing though – I just don’t want to waste any more time because suddenly I’m aware that I’m not getting any younger.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not all that old either but I don’t have so much time I can casually piss away.  Procrastination is a terrible thing.

Certain topics are easier to write than others.  The boxing stories like The Journeyman I wrote just seem to flow – it’s easier than writing something like a Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings style fantasy.  You don’t have to imagine whole worlds and  create stuff in your head from scratch.  I was thinking of maybe writing a larger fictional story.  Boxing themed again.  Something cathartic, on the theme of redemption – the stuff I wanted the movie Southpaw to be but (for me) didn’t quite manage.

We’ll see. I’m starting to build up a list of writing projects.  Some of them are more ambitious than others.  I’m not such a prolific writer that I can just crap out works of fiction.  My friend Vicki (a writer) was right… It’s important to finish something.  So many ideas never see the light of day – or the light at the end of the tunnel.  I needed to write some shorter stories so that I could know what finishing a story felt like.

The boxing training’s important to me, too.  I can’t always explain it so gracefully but I want to be good in a ring. I don’t want to go in there and look like I’ve just been taken out of a pub brawl.  It’d be nice to look back on all of this some day and say: Yeah, I could box a little bit.

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