Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Subject Of The Dream Is The Dreamer


There's that wonderful moment of half-sleep you can taste in your mouth, where the covers are soft against your warm body and the air outside is slightly chill. Not enough to be unpleasant, but a drop that makes you want to stay in bed, toasty warm.

This is not just a feeling I get on rare mornings, but it is the way my interior reacts when I am surrounded by literature. There is no place on Earth more pleasant to me than a bookstore or library. Creativity is pleasing to my ear, and this week I have felt completely immersed in the craft of writing by others. It has recharged me, washed over me like that tenderness of snuggled morning.

I had the pleasure of attending an evening with Joe Hill at Foyle's bookstore in Charing Cross Road. It is still a wonder to me to live in this city, to have such things at my doorstep. My parents inform me I was three years old when I learned to read. It is my first and most enduring love, it has given me everything. Not once have I attended an author's signing, and Joe Hill's fantastic work on Locke & Key inspired me to see him.

I can't say I'm one for having my book signed, for standing there and requesting that a writer sign a million books for the sake of vanity, or worshipping at the altar of celebrity. As much as there are many people I admire, respect and seek out for their work, I really do feel they are people and not objects of bizarre veneration. Would I love to sit and have a coffee with Joe Hill and discuss his craft? Absolutely. The notion of fandom, however, to turn up dressed up as a character and gush about my love for him is a little bit uncomfortable.

So this is the closest I was going to get to meeting the man and picking his brain a little. Above all, I wanted to hear him read from his work. He turned up in the room, all six foot plus of him completely at ease with the world, and under the guise of just being a big geek there is a man in control of a rapt audience, diffusing tensions with a deft wit and a relaxed tone. He read for about fifteen minutes, voices and all, enjoying the experience for what it was. He spoke about writing, and I felt the yearning inside me that this is what I want from life.

I had one resounding thought in my head the entire time. "This is going to be me one day". Not "I'd like to be there one day" but the constant feeling that all my life, the universe has conspired to push me towards a place where one day my profession will be that of a successful writer. I don't feel like this is me staring up at the stars from my bedroom window anymore, this is me putting into action and making it happen.

I've been listening to a lot of interviews with writers too, and reading a biography on Coco Chanel. I feel that opportunity comes and you grab it, then the rest is just a rollercoaster of right timing and hard work. Kevin Smith has a great Batman-centric podcast where he interviews some notable creative people around their involvement with Batman. The best part is the comfortable atmosphere inspires length and depth during these interviews, warm conversations that run for hours.

Grant Morrison's interview instilled me with the notion of higher purpose, of going out there and experiencing the world in all it's wonder, connecting with people and unplugging myself from the mundane bubble, that work/sleep cycle where you live for a job that pays the rent but ultimately nourishes you with little else.

Geoff Johns' interview reminded me that nothing should get in the way of your dreams and goals, that you create opportunity for yourself and above all you make it work. From being jobless in LA to chief creative officer of DC Entertainment in about fifteen years is quite the accomplishment.

Dreaming big, working hard.