Saudade

I’ve noticed there’s a recent trend in people making resolutions at this time of year as much for the purpose of looking back and seeing what they did as they seem for the intention of fulfilling that resolution.

It’s a curious thing, because it then becomes about nostalgia and not about change. Rocky Balboa (the sixth film in the series, not the character) perhaps isn’t the most memorable but it features some of the most memorable quotes. You’ll all know that ‘it ain’t about how hard you hit…’ line that has been repeated ad infinitum on adverts, commercials and other shows. There’s a line earlier in the movie where Rocky is on the grounds of a demolished ice rink where he went on a date with his now late wife. He is there with his brother-in-law, Paulie, who remarks, ‘You’re living backwards! Change the channel from yesterday – yesterday wasn’t so great!’

This of course refers to wallowing in nostalgia with rose-tinted glasses; you look back at fond memories and become blind to the bad parts. In the movie it refers directly to Paulie’s guilt over how he treated his sister when she was around but I think the general feeling is relatable to all. (Saudade, the title of this blog which you may query, is the Portuguese term for daydreaming/melancholic longing. It’s perfect, a more definitely-romanticised version of the term.)

Logging into Facebook I saw an ‘on this day’ notification for this blog post and thought it was worth revisiting.

The two autobiographies which were concluded? Those were Gordon Jago’s and Charles Baker’s. Gordon’s is due to be released next month and Charles’ is with one of the most prestigious literary agents in the world, so that they weren’t released in 2016 is not the worst thing.

I had meetings, most of which were at least significant, some of which saw actual physical work conducted, on biographies which I am unable to discuss, because red lights were put on. Stop signs.

I worked extensively on just one project that I am certain will have a completion, and that is the autobiography of Clayton Blackmore. I have done some notes and transcribing; we just finished most of our interviewing and discussions so a lot of transcribing and editing is to follow.

My interesting soccer project that was on the table? Still on the table. I like to think I’m hopeful, but I was similarly hopeful this time last year, and I’m at the point where I think it will be nice if it happens but I am not counting on it.

My trilogy of fiction books – well, that’s Peach, and Green, and the third in the trilogy yet to be written. I have hopes and ambitions – I now have more than one production company interested in Peach and it feels like things are getting somewhere but that’s some days.

So, have I done enough? Well, the things that came up last year which I wasn’t expecting included the Blackmore book and also writing ‘Mablethorpe’ which saw a really quick turnaround. I don’t think that represents a particularly strong 2016, regardless of the meetings I had about possible screen developments. 2016 was a rotten year, without getting into specifics, as far as health and family went. It was a reason for why my anxiety was at worryingly high levels for worryingly long times and a reason why my productivity plummeted.

In 2014 and 2015 I was so enriched by the work I did, it’s almost impossible to compare last year. My hope for this year isn’t so much a professional sense of progression – it’s there, of course, but I should say it isn’t my priority. My priority is to get back to how I was in late 2014 and early 2015 because I was arguably the ‘best’ me I’ve ever felt. I am fortunate enough to be able to do that with work and I hope this time next year I’m looking back and feeling much more accomplished. Because let’s face it, as much as we try not to, we can’t help but be a little nostalgic.

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2 Comments

  1. Just to let you know that the word is “Saudade”, not “Saudede”…

    Good luck for your upcoming projects.

    • Thanks Ana! I took the term from a lexicography compiled by Dr Tim Lomas and it was spelled that way!

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