It’s the first of December. I know there’s still some time left until Christmas, but as everyone is already talking about it and the decorations (quite tasteful this year by the way) are already up in cities, airports and shops, well, I’m in an end-of-the-year-review mode. (And anyway, times goes so incredibly fast lately, that before you know it, it’s 2014!)
So, I started the year with the intention of writing three books:
1. I wanted to write a book which was part biography, part leadership textbook, using my experience with Forbidden Theatre Company and building its Ensemble as a blueprint for managers who want to strengthen their teams. I enlisted the help of Tomás (from Tomás in the kitchen. Recipes and secrets for beginners) who helped me to give the book some structure which would allow me to use my personal stories from making theatre to outline clear concepts about leadership principles applicable to organisations.
2. The other book I wanted to write was “Freelancers’ Café”, a book relating different aspects of freelancing to different types of coffee, in addition to the fact that my freelance life has always been full of wonderful moments of having coffee with others planning to change the world.
3. My final book was one on leading virtual teams.
So, where am I now?
- Well, idea one has completely disappeared. Funny that, as I thought that was THE book I had in me that no-one else could write. It was the book that made sense to me. The book that pulled everything I had learnt and presented it to the world in a useful way. Strange, I didn’t think about it all summer and until about a month ago when I said to myself, “Ah, I haven’t thought about that idea for a while”.
- Freelancers Café is still around. I’ve identified a few coffees to link to an aspect or a type of freelancing, I’ll post about this at some point. It’s still there, but I haven’t found the “voice”, structure or anything else yet. I think it will turn out to be short and a 99p read.
- Of the three ideas, the third one has ended up having the most potential, and is the one that has stayed with me all year. In a naive state of mind, I thought I would get most of the book down in April, when I spent the whole month in Amsterdam. But confusion as to what I had to say, who the book was for and why I was writing it meant I didn’t get much done. Well, I got lots of thinking done, and that’s something. I’m still writing and researching and now have a blog of the same name: Virtual not Distant, where I post stuff as I write it. I still haven’t cracked it, but I’m almost there and hope to have a first draft by April next year.
Having ditched one idea, put another one in the backburner and started to develop the third one, I’ve had three more ideas for a book, the last two of which I’m already tackling.
- Your Handy Companion to García Lorca (working title) is a book about just that. Lorca for performers, whether actors, students or teachers tackling his works. It’s a natural follow-up to Your Handy Companion To Devising And Physical Theatre. (If this book is of interest to you or you know of someone who might like to come on board in any capacity, let me know through the Contact Form.)
- The Butterfly’s Evil Spell. After getting a wonderful review on Amazon for my translation of When Five Years Pass and receiving a really nice email from the reviewer, I looked for two other plays I had translated, but which I thought had been lost in the transfer from computer to computer. I got in touch with Silvina from Pencilory and what started off as a “let’s just dig out the script, format it and publish it” has turned into a much bigger project, but also a much more satisfactory one: an illustrated bilingual edition of Lorca’s “The Butterfly’s Evil Spell”. Watch this space.
- Finally, the book I never saw myself writing but which came to me one day and has been pouring out:“I’m Here for a Recording.” The mundane life of a voiceover. With over 15 years of being part of a profession which is part of many people’s lives but remains quite unknown , I have decided to write something that, as well as providing an insight into this world, will also entertain through stories and snippets of quite a non-glamorous lifestyle. All being well, out in March 2014 with a book cover by Silvina coming soon to this blog.
So, that’s it. As lately I’m into giving advice (must be middle age!) here are some final words: allow ideas to come to you; ditch some; explore some and then see which ones stick. And every time you start to think through an idea, you’re making room for things to happen, for other ideas to emerge, however mundane, however small, however personal to you.
Let me be one of the first to wish you a Happy 2014!