The Encampment Diaries – A Year-Or-So Onwards

A Year-Or-So Onwards


I haven’t come back round here for a while have I?

Dealing with things took a long time, then managed to curve away, and then come back again, like waves upon the shore, as recently as this past weekend I’ve found myself still succumbing to the gravitational force of the bed, the singular haven to avoid all things, only to exacerbate the noises in the head in place of the world at large.

But, beyond that, this past year was one for getting back out there. Which I did. Two more trips to Norway (Oslo and Bergen, including a film festival where I got to meet the producer of a short I co-wrote over lockdowns) and finding time to see the faces of friends in the big city, and some around the South-East. Returned to film quizzes, returned to karaoke venues, even ventured to many a theatre of late too.

And part of that is in the big push of the last year.

Between January and March 2022 I was commissioned to write a few drafts of a screenplay, I had to take the steps that have been a struggle during the lockdowns and their destructive imprisonment of the mind and the body and find the long-lost creative groove in such a way that wasn’t just for kicks, for practice, but actively for people who wanted to have the blueprints to a movie that they intended to produce. Compared to all other things, this was the big time. And I managed to deliver ahead of time, reports were they were happy with the direction of the project, and I was happy to be represented through the words on the page.

As yet there’s not been much movement on the project, but you don’t go into something expecting it to work out immediately, in fact for peace of mind one has to anticipate nothing beyond a finished screenplay at the end of the day, it is the cheapest thing to do in films, usually only a few people required at the most.

But the dam was opened, thank goodness.

I binged a lot of books, fiction and non, as I looked for further inspiration, and found myself drawn to the impact of live performance (Something that was sorely missing in the past 2 years) more than film. In that, I found myself starting a project in August that morphed quickly into a play that, hopefully, I’ll be able to see at least stage-read by the end of this coming year as I try and fine-tune and explore deeper what it is.

It felt good, to try something different and yet so naturally in the way I write, but I had many other ideas that were fermenting and decided by November to take heed of the years of emptiness and the sudden bout of creation. By December I had an outline for a body horror, by Christmas I had an Act 1 written. By 2022’s end I had a slow-building 50 pages. Soon after I was aflutter with more creativity again, going out in January to hang out with a friend every week, emboldening both our creative spirits, and also multiple visits to the theatre that has given me concepts and helped me understand what not to do as well. Two weeks back I discovered a script contest’s earliest (cheapest) entry deadline was coming up fast, but I could if I put my foot down turnaround the script and finesse it in time. The deadline is the day of publishing this post. I had 65 pages two weeks ago. I finished the screenplay on the 22nd of January. 116 pages. Speed-writing? Maybe. Vomit-drafting? Not at all.

I have major plans for every month now, to push myself out of the constant waves of anxiety, depression and crippling panic that seem to set in every few weeks, as soon as I seem to take the foot off the pedal, so hopefully will be able to offer more updates about more projects down the line, including whatever Encampment becomes as I struggle to seem to find any takers, readers, or visitors to the world.


Jesus fucking christ.

How’d we get here already?

And where the hell are we going with it?


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