New Year, New Media

This isn’t going to be one of those ‘review of the year’ type posts but I will say that 2014 has been a bit of a mixed one. There have been a couple of bereavements along the way, and I’m still feeling sad about those. I’ve moved jobs, which is mostly positive, but there were a number of complications that made this more difficult than it needed to be. I’ve also heard the disappointing news that the University of Nottingham will no longer be supporting the course I ran and built there, which I think is a terrible shame. However, I’m now working on a wonderful joint honours BA programme at De Montfort University, and enjoying being part of a larger team of creative writers. My new colleagues are just lovely, so I can only look forward to the next year and feel optimistic about it.

I was lucky in 2014 to be involved in some fantastic projects and meet some great new collaborators. I wrote my first ever comic, as part of James Walker’s Dawn of the Unread project, working with a wonderful artist called Judit Ferencz and fantastic script editor Adrian Reynolds. It was a pleasure from start to finish and I’m so proud of what we achieved with PSYCHOS. Then the fabulous Ash Morris asked me if I’d write a script for a short film for him to direct. It became very quickly clear that we had a similar vision for the kinds of stories we wanted to tell and I went for it. He not only successfully kickstarted funding last autumn but has already shot the film and is editing it. I’m thrilled and can’t wait for the first screening of STARCROSS.

Back in 2002, a bunch of other writing students and I made a silly mistake. We were offered a module in New Media Writing, and we turned it down flat. We were put off slightly by the tutor’s online projects about knitting and weaving, and our own preconceptions about hypertext stories, and we just couldn’t see through all that to the potential of the subject. And I look back now and I can only imagine how exciting it would have been to have started blogging back then with the first wave. In hindsight, not doing this module seems almost as silly a mistake as the deal I turned down of a docklands flat in 1996, £80,000 with the deposit paid for me, telling myself it was ‘such a lot of debt’. But no point dwelling on these things. The linear nature of time might well be an illusion, but our only route through life is forward, and so onwards I go.

I’m not one for huge statements and promises, so I’m not about to write a list of New Year’s resolutions. What I will say is that the branching out I’ve done in 2014 has made me realise just how exciting it is to try new forms of writing and see your work get out there to new audiences, and in different ways. I definitely want more of this experience in 2015 and so my plan is to seek it out, try new things, try to think differently about what it means to be a writer. I mean, my god, it’s 2015. It’s the future. I’ve decided that I’m ready for it now. Well, more or less 🙂

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