Thursday, 15 January 2009

Confidence aka The Holy Grail?

It's that time of the year again. A new term and with it a major slump in confidence. It happens every time, right after a break during which I've managed to gain some confidence and as soon as I'm back it all shatters.

But I've realised its not ability-related as I do believe in myself and the work that I do is good. But its the social and societal aspect that just drains me and in turn depletes what self-confidence I do have to be able to overcome these low periods.

And during these low periods socialising (even in its simplest form) becomes even more of an uphill struggle and I tend to hideaway. But then that's not as easy as it sounds and just becomes another obstacle and worry that gets in the way of being able to focus on and do work.

And so in that struggle of complete self-awareness and selflessness, I'm compromising my creativity, drive and ultimately, my work and future.

However on a different note:

"What an incredible painting..."

But then again, the best work I've done (at uni) has been in extreme circumstances and never when I've been 'happy'. However, on those occasions I was able to hideaway like a hermit and had the freedom to reach a creative peak.

'Everyone suffers for their art.'

And so, I've come to realise or in my amateurish nature, that I can only do 'my best work' when I'm depressed and up against it and just as important, when I'm able to getaway and have the freedom to work in a comfortable place.

But what's changed now is I'm unable to just hideaway and get on with it and that's the problem. I don't have a comfort zone where I am now or the freedom to create one.

Nevertheless, I do think I should be embracing this low period, as somethings got to give and I really do need to gather some heat to be able to write and get through my feature. Not to mention the rest of the term and graduate.

'No one said it was going to be easy.'

Naturally, but one thing remains:

'Is there a way to capture confidence and bottle it, so when I get it, I can never lose it.'

Although, it may partly be a case of: 'What you want isn't what you need.'

Ps: Was the painting at all an obvious ploy to see you through the post?

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Coming Year & Previous in Review.

The year ahead, for me (and like many other people) is going to be the biggest challenge I've had to face so far. It will comprise of not only managing to complete my university work and graduating but also maintaining confidence in myself and work, and momentum in my career ambitions after returning home.

I've never particularly liked being at university (aside from the course) and so the prospect of returning home to begin 'year one' is an exciting one. I can't deny that the experience has helped me to develop as a writer and a person. But at 23 I went to uni later than the average age and so didn't benefit socially like the majority. But the way I saw it, is that at 17-19 you go and have a great social experience and maybe figure out what you want to do and make some great friends. At 23, I was already set on what I wanted to do and obviously wanted to enjoy myself, but soon realised that I didn't fit into it because I had grown out of that mentality and striving to be accepted. I will miss certain aspects of university life especially since the beginning of the third year;

1. The creative environment and having a small group to hang out and share work with.

2.Being involved collectively in something fresh and exciting, and helping each other to develop.

3. The opportunities for collaborating with students from other courses and neighbouring Arts Institute.

The past year has been a roller coaster for me and would be rather difficult to summarise. Overall it ended on a high note with many positive achievements and developments to look back on and feel proud of.

1. Year 2. May. The one big achievement and development has been completing 'Requiem', the one hour drama assignment. I reached a new level of writing and aftermath bliss with that script and its out of uni rewrite became something of a revelation. The script process and story has helped develop and change me more than any other, and I look back on it with extremely fond and proud memories. It was written during a difficult and miserable time at uni and it helped me get through that period in a way that I don't think any person could have done.

2. Year 3. Term 1. Moving house once again proved to be the right move, as it has opened me up to what I term 'the real uni experience' that i had missed in the first two years. So it's nice now to experience the benefits of the social side entwined with the working side and for the first time being able to enjoy being at university.

3. Year 3. Oct. Work Experience, with Zig Zag Productions in London. An incredible two weeks. It was my first time in London and combined with the life as a runner, changed my life and helped to put things into perspective. The position at Zig Zag helped me to identify the major weakness in myself (confidence) and what I need to do to maintain a confident and happy lifestyle wherever I work.

Some other notable achievements and developments;

1. Overcoming nerves and fear to deliver two effective presentations.
2. Writing my Episode Drama (after switching episodes) in six days and recieving a grade first for it.
3. Working with an MA Animation student on 'Book' and others. (An effective beginning in the art of animation writing).
4. Realising that 'Story and Character come first. Not me.'
5. Building on professional practice with colleagues.
6. Writing a BATV3 minor project without meeting the person.
7. Overcoming fear and lack of confidence in sharing ideas.
8. Writing a second BATV3 minor project that wasn't used (but became a personal and professional revelation).
9. Beginning collaboration on BAIMP3 major project.

I'd like to use this post as an opportunity to address the upcoming tasks, milestones and ideal things I'd like to accomplish in the coming year: (some by definition have begun)

-ZZZZZ: An Interactive Website - (BA IMP3 Collaboration)
-Have 'Vampire' or 'Book' produced by MA Animation students
-Minor Project Feature Film Pitch/Presentation - (Uni)
-The Unsuckessful Vampire - [Write the narration] - (AIB)
-WWII Drama Feature Screenplay - (Uni)
-Dissertation - (Uni)
-Carry out four weeks work experience with Big Wave Productions - (Uni)
-Successfully graduate with a 2/2 at least - (Uni)
-Get a full time job back home - (July)
-Write 'A&A' Television Drama Script -(June/July)
-Write 'N' or 'H' Television Pilot - (Summer)
-Continue fictional blog 'Black Sands'
-Write Television Proposal for 'BM' and send to S9 producer
-Write 'Undecided Project' or rewrite 'WWII Drama' - (Oct 09 to March 10)
-Maintain professional working relationships with colleagues
-Set up a few weeks work experience with a television company for 2010
-Have Credit Cards paid off by Christmas

The biggest challenge that has me worried is the Dissertation. Academic writing has never been my strong point and so I know I'm going to struggle with doing well on that. It's the reason I'll be happy with at least a 2/2 grade from the course because I know this assignment will bring my whole grade down. Alternatively, a 1st or 2/1 on my feature will take away any disappointment from an overall 3rd. As doing well in the feature script is more important to me than doing well in the dissertation, and in the long run.

I may not be able to achieve everything on the list and it may be a little ambitious, but as long as I graduate from uni then that's the biggest one out of the way and then the others will eventually fall into place.

Rock on 2009...