Last week something happened to me on the train home from London.
It was Friday the 13th.
I wasn't attacked with a machete, by a bloke in a hockey mask called Jason, or anything. I was on the 16.42 from St. Pancras to Margate. If there had been a bloke called Jason on the train (and the chances are there was), he would have been holding a hot beverage in one hand while juggling a KFC Twister and an iPhone in the other, not a machete. He'd have been wearing skinny jeans, a quilted jacket and too much hair gel, not a hockey mask. More likely to spill his Moccachoccochino and drip salsa and mayonnaise all over my shoes, than spill my blood.
Anyway, neither of those things happened.
What did happen wasn't a big deal at all really but at the time it did strike me as quite funny. So I tweeted about it on Twitter. I managed to describe the whole awkward incident in a single tweet. It struck a chord with other Twitterers and I received a few responses.
One caught my attention. It was from a sharp witted man who, amongst other things, writes an entertaining column for a newspaper. His response was this - "I'd get 700 words out of that tweet" and then - "#moneyforoldrope". It was a charming, funny response and it made me laugh but then typically made me think more seriously about myself.
I had just spent the last week or so wondering what to write for my next article for The Huffington Post. I'm new to this blogging thing and although I'm enjoying it immensely, I often struggle to decide what to write about. I've only got myself to blame. It's a not a lack of potential subject matter after all. There are a billion things I could write about every day. So the problem is clearly me. And I know why.
This isn't meant to make me sound deep or clever but the problem is - I think too much. I know this is true because Suggs out of Madness told me.
I was in Magaluf years ago, doing a TV show called Beach Fever, with my comedy partner Simon, and Suggs, the Madness man, said - "You know what your problem is? You think too much". I don't know why he said it. I don't know why he thought I even had a problem. There was probably a reason but we were drunk at the time and I can't remember the details - but he did say those words - and in my book, Suggs is a wise man.
He definitely hit the nail on the head for me. I do think too much. Not in a wise and clever way like Socrates or Plato or Suggs even but just in a hesitant, nervous, kind of way. It's been the same writing these articles. I spend too much time thinking about what I should write instead of trusting my own instinct and just writing.
Not being spontaneous can be a good thing. In polite situations or circumstances of a serious nature, I often get Mind Tourette's. All kinds of inappropriate thoughts enter my head and sometimes I literally clench my jaw through fear that I might say out loud the obscenities inside my brain. At those times I'm glad I hesitate.
I'm generally quite a guarded person I suppose. No idea why. Fearful of saying something too revealing perhaps? Frightened I might say something to offend? Always needing approval? Desperate to be liked? Who knows? Maybe all of those things. Maybe none. But I'm working on it. And I am trying to loosen up.
I'm not exactly prolific now but there was a time when I could barely bring myself to tweet at all. I suffered from Twitteralysis - a paralysed twit. I remember my first time on Twitter. After a few hours of typing inane nothingness, someone tweeted "You've not said anything real yet". That was a bit weird. But it had an impact. Even a year ago, for me, writing an article like this would have been unthinkable. I mainly write scripts. Characters. Sketches. Other people. Writing about myself or expressing my own opinions in print is a new challenge.
By the way, this is what I tweeted that day.
"Dropped pen on train. Cant find it. Young woman next to me lends pen. Then I'm unable to do crossword. Pen unnecessary. Bit embarrassing."
I haven't added to the story but I've written 763 ropey old words #whendoIgetpaid?