Often when I take a break from writing it can be a bit of a struggle getting back into it. This is why, as much as possible, I try to avoid taking that break.
Now I’m not talking the kind of writing tasks that one does on a daily basis – my day job involves doing said activity to a fairly decent quality and so to ‘take a break from writing’, for me, is not to take a break from the entirely necessary technical and creative aspects of it that are required for everyday living (in my case at least).
Rather, what I mean when I say ‘break’ is really just referring to a break from the amount of in-depth thought and all-round work I put into the ideas, reviews and articles formulated for this blog on a regular basis, or likewise the creative writing I may do in my own time to further my personal interests away from prying eyes.
That’s what I’ve taken an impromptu break from in the past month and a half. In the time since my last film review, Christmas and New Year have passed, the first full month of 2016 has passed… and Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still performing strong at the box office a full seven weeks after its release.
This break wasn’t exactly planned. It just kind of happened, and that’s just the way I work. If I did schedule a “break” into my writing plan, followed by a brief period of feeling good about myself for doing so, then I’d likely spend that break wishing I was writing instead. While I often try to fight whatever my body or mind is telling me when it comes to this, if it wants a break there’s usually not much I can do to combat that.
But of course there comes a point when one must forcefully attempt to kick back into gear, and I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas that I’m planning to catch up on imminently. The first of which is an in-depth look at my favourite film of 2014 (The Babadook) that I started last October and have continually put on the back-burner for one reason or another.
Once I put the finishing touches on that piece, I’ll finally get around to posting a roundup of my favourite films from last year, which will tie in nicely with awards season. While most people like to post these kind of lists at the end of every calendar year, I actually find February to be more appropriate timing, as it gives me a chance not only to catch up on any films I may have missed at the cinema last year, but also to check out some foreign releases that may have only recently arrived here in the UK.
I’m a sucker for little details like release dates, as I’m sure some of you know, though I’ll set out and explain my own rules pertaining to this when we get to my list (which won’t be limited to the typical ‘top 10’ either). Needless to say I don’t strictly stick to films ‘released in the UK during the calendar year’ – if I did, as some do, then at least two or three that make the list would actually be from last year’s awards season; the very point of which was to award the best films of the previous year.
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash was first screened at the very beginning of 2014 at Sundance, before being released in the US and Canada later that year; therefore for it to appear on a list at the end of 2015 doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. From my point of view it is certainly not a 2015 film (coincidentally it was one of my top three films of 2014, so it’s not that I have anything against this amazing movie).
There is another subtle detail that makes the timing of my own personal list seem almost planned to perfection; that being the upcoming UK release of a film screened at London Film Festival in October last year and one that quickly shot into my top three. I’ll hold you in suspense for exactly one more week on that.
And… I think that wraps things up for now.