I hate essays!


Being relentless is bloody hard work. Who knew? Well, probably every successful person in the world to start off with. I skipped writing a blog last week. I was just too busy. Not, wow look at me I am awesome at what I do kind of busy. Nope, just run of the mill, wife, kids, grandkids, full-time job and voiceover type of busy.


And it really affected me. Writing a blog is one of my weekly goals. It is something I know that I have to do every week. Throughout the week I am thinking about what to write and when I am going to write it. It’s actually like a storm cloud hanging over me sometimes. In truth, I am not a writer. Never have been. I can remember being in primary school. I think I was nine or ten. I was passing love notes to my girlfriend at the time. Joanne Henshaw. Unfortunately, my battle axe of a teacher, Miss Scott (Yes there is a very good reason why she was never married!) caught me and sent me to the headmaster’s office. My punishment? Write an essay. I can’t remember what it was about. Probably something like “why I shouldn’t pass love notes out in class!”.


Either the headmaster was an evil genius or with pure luck, had just stumbled upon the most gruesome punishment for my crime. A TWO PAGE ESSAY. I went home that night as if the world was ending. There was a knot in my stomach the size of the rope that tied the Titanic to the dock. Seriously. This had me in all kinds of psychological pain. I hated writing. I mean - I REALLY HATED it. Not because I wasn’t good at it, or my spelling was bad. No, I was actually very good at spelling. My mind just didn’t have the patience to sit down and write. I couldn’t comprehend the point of it. It was much easier just to tell people. Cut out the middleman so to speak. Looking back, I probably had some form of ADHD. I have never read a book from cover to cover either. I can’t do it. My brain doesn’t have the patience and I have accepted that. It wasn’t until Audible came along that I finally “read” a book from start to finish. Now I have listened to over 100 books in the last few years. Can’t get enough of them. This may be sacrilege to the scholarly literary genius’s out there, but hey - I am who I am.


I actually cried. I know it sounds stupid, but that is how much the idea of writing an essay messed with my head. I had more important things to do. Play football, hide and seek, kick the can. Doing things. Physical things. That’s what made me happy. I don’t think I was ever in the house growing up. I was always outside playing. Rain or shine. And that’s saying something considering I come from Scotland!


Sometimes we must do things that we don’t enjoy. It wasn’t until I became an Electrical Engineer that I finally understood that the written word played an important part in life. Sometimes I had to go to an offshore platform in the middle of the North Sea to troubleshoot an electrical issue on a piece of equipment. It was all well and good that I had the ability to fix the issue, it was another thing that this had to be documented in a way that people could understand. And I think my ego played a role too. I started to realize that I enjoyed technical report writing to explain what I had done to fix an issue. I was the knight in shining armour. I can only imagine that it is similar to writing a condensed “who dunnit” crime mystery. The twists and turns of troubleshooting an issue until finally you find what is wrong. It is quite exhilarating! Or maybe that’s just sad little me!


And, if anything, it proves that we are capable of anything we put our mind to. As long as you are passionate about what you do, you should be able to motivate yourself to do the most mundane of tasks. Marketing, accounting, managing the time in your week. Pick your poison. I have started to realize that for me to be able to enjoy what I do best in voice over – which is perform – then I must do all of the other things in order to make that a possibility. If I don’t book jobs, then I can’t use my voice to tell whatever story that needs to be told. And I now know that the work that needs done in the background lays the foundation for the actual work I love.


So, did I write that essay? My memory is a little vague. I think I wrote about half a page of nonsense on tear-stained sheet of ruled paper. I can remember the red margin line had lost its simple geometry from where my tears had dropped and caused the ink to run like a beautiful watercolour by J.M.W Turner. But more importantly……I wonder what ever happened to Joanne Henshaw? I would like to know if she remembers how much that simple love letter caused me so much pain!

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