I think Basic Instinct made me want to be a writer…

I always enjoyed creative writing at primary school, but I think it was Basic Instinct that made we want to be a writer for real. (That kinda sounds like we regularly watched soft porn/ murder flicks at school. We didn’t. It was only some of the time!)

For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, Catherine Trammal (Sharon Stone) was a writer. She drove a sports car and lived in a way cool house with way cool views over the Pacific Ocean. And damn it if I didn’t want that house. That sports car. That expert precision with an ice-pick. Hell, I was even willing to forego underwear to get it.

* you bet I just uncrossed my legs in the VLog edition of this post  (Okay, sorry. No-one wants that image in their head) *

Like most other writers, writing is a passion–I’d be doing it whether I got paid or not. But to get paid for doing something you love…that’s the golden ticket? It’s what you dream about…when you’re not dreaming about all the bad shit you can do to your characters. And save for winning the lottery it’s the only way I’ll ever get that dream house on the Pacific.

I fell in love with California the first time I saw the Lost Boys, but it was a million miles from the agricultural backwater I grew up in in England. Luckily I had a good imagination. Hell, I used to roll a fantasy number in my head that I was the younger brother of Corey Haim and Jason Patric, or occasionally the Frog brothers. I turned Skegness into San Diego on daytrips to the coast. But that didn’t stop me wanting it for real. I longed to skate down sun-drenched boulevards in La-La-land, drink up the sunsets on Malibu beach, hike among the giant redwood groves, and yes, I wanted Yasmin Bleeth to rub vinegar into my jellyfish-stung legs…Yasmin, with the running…always with the running.

But writing is hard. Writing well is even harder. It takes years and years of dedication and practice, years of frustration and self-doubt, and even then there’s no guarantee you’ll make it. I wrote a novel in my early twenties. Well, kinda. It had a start, middle and end and everything. I sent it off to a major publishing house and, in my naïveté, was incredulous to receive a form rejection. Oh, foolish youth!

Still, I didn’t let it put me off. I still had my dream…correction, I still have my dream. But as far as becoming a successful writer goes I’m only just reaching for the first branches of that Redwood, nowhere near the top and those views of the blue, blue Pacific. But I won’t give up. Not ever. I’ll keep working at it, try to get better, and one day I’ll get there, even if I’m a drooling incontinent man in his nineties when I do.

Until then I’ll keep listening to the Doors and Lana del Rey. I’ll revisit the Lost Boys from time to time, Basic Instinct and the Big Lebowski. I’ll keep on California Dreaming because for me it is El Dorado. The Golden State. Like Lana says:

“Baby, if you wanna leave

Come to California

Be a freak like me.”

 ~ (Lana del Rey)


I’d love to hear your reasons for writing, you dreams and goals, so please share in the comments 😀

18 thoughts on “I think Basic Instinct made me want to be a writer…

  1. Oh yeah I love how writers are always in big houses with flashy cars. You hardley see them going slightly insane over the placement of a comma or wondering how the hell are they going to buy food because no one has paid for their work in a couple of months. Anyhow, I’ve always written but life got in the way but the characters and stories were always in the back of my head. I’d love to be published but even if I’m not I still won’t stop writing. It an emotional release if nothing else. And I think your imagination from such a young age proves that you should write one way or another!

  2. I write purely for the love of it. Nothing about this business happens fast – that’s for darn certain, so the process itself has to be worthy of the effort. The rest is the sweet on the cake 😀

  3. Ah. We all wished (watching that movie) that is was us, one day, the writer living such a dream. But if I am correct, memory not failing me, Catherine Trammal didn’t achieve her status of wealthy woman via her writing: she was born rich, therefore could afford to do absolutely nothing all day. A good reason to start fantasising about stories and putting the labour’s fruit of our imagination on paper, because who cares, if we don’t succeed?
    I write because I like words. Sentences and their decors of adverbs, nouns and synonyms. Guess I have a fetish for words, and words well spoken. Or written.
    Alike many of us here, I have more than a story drilling holes to come out of my mind to end in black ink on paper; whether I’ll ever manage to pull it out of there, I cannot know. But I try, because if J.K.Rowling got where she is from being an unemployed, not so rich mother writing in her kitchen, then all of us can dream same for ourselves. If only to have a reason to keep going.

  4. What a great post Darren. I love your honesty and references to all your dreams. It sounds like I am at the same place as you. I have put the brakes on as far as my timeframe goes, but I am hoping in the next year to hear a yes on my latest manuscript. We will see lol. In the meantime, I suppose I will start another manuscript to keep my mind busy. Writing is who I am and I am not really sure if I would be sane without it.

    • Thanks Erika, and good luck for your manuscript. And while you’re waiting on that yes (positive thoughts only) get to work on something else. Like you say, writing is the only thing that keeps a writer sane…well, sort of… haha!!

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