A few weeks ago I told you I would share a surprise my gorgeous genius husband had made for me.
Well, here it is – lottelane.com’s first ever guest post: a motivational love note from one writer to another. I’m kind of embarrassed to share it with you as it feels so personal, but this is RIDICULOUS given the subject matter of this blog. So going ahead and posting anyway. Hope you enjoy…
By David Lane
On a Friday night about seven years ago, I came home from a twice-weekly commute to Exeter University from Peckham in London (seriously) to a table laden with Turkish meze, and a fridge door creaking under the weight of sparkling fizzy goodness and extra meze (for the weekend).
There were also many IKEA tea-lights. And, like, proper napkins and everything.
It was gorgeous.
This was our dingy, soot-marked, smelly Peckham kitchen-dining-room, temporarily transformed into a nom-some taste sensation to welcome me home from work that really mattered to me.
Other girlfriends would go out with the girls, maybe.
Or sulk that their partner was never there (and even when I was there, I was usually in my head dreaming about work and not listening to her properly – which still continues today).
But no. Lotte had prepared something amazing for me at the end of the week when she could have done something for herself. And this wasn’t a one-off. This was for some time a regular Friday night occurrence.
But in retrospect it wasn’t about food (although the food was bloody good, natch).
It was about being supported to do something that I loved, by my girlfriend and wife-to-be: and though neither of us knew we’d get wed at the time, I suspect this period of time was only shortly before she made sure she’d bagged a ‘Lotte Lane’ gmail account as a ‘security’ measure, if we were ever, y’know, potentially going to get hitched and that.
As I said, it was about being supported – about being shown that even though I was on a crazy journey (actually and metaphorically) trying to make a living in the theatre as a playwright via teaching it, and that even though teaching it involved me taking an eight-hour round trip, four trains and 30minutes of cycling (often in sideways wintery rain) twice a week, that a show of love and support was always at the other end of it.
It was about being respected and taken seriously.
It was about being positive for somebody else’s benefit.
It was about this thing I was attempting to achieve in the world being accepted as part of who we both were, and treated as normal, not indulgent or weird.
It was about somebody believing in what you were doing, and showing that they cared even though you were crap at properly listening to them and that, even after the ridiculous journey of stupidness and being greeted by a makeshift Turkish restaurant just for you, you chose to quack on about drama and how amazing the students were.
For hours, rather than asking about their day.
It was about somebody saying ‘I respect that your world is like this and I want to share it with you.’
Seven years later, I don’t teach anymore (well, hardly).
But I do write. I am a playwright now. A professional, proper one. I wasn’t then.
I am writing this guest post to thank Lotte.
As those of you who follow Lotte’s blog will know, she has recently moved into the world she wants.
She has spent the best part of our 8 years, 1 month and 10 days together supporting me to be in my world. This is why she deserves the title ‘awesomiser’.
Now Lotte, because I have become who I am, and because I love you, I have these requests:
1. Write blogs and do your internet-web-amazingness whilst I cook for you. Even when I’ve had Maya all day
2. Me having Maya all day is lovely. I like it. Use this time to be who you need to be apart from Mum, and don’t apologise for it when I get back
3. Get lost in your head. Ignore me. Forget I’ve asked you to do things because you’re working on your next blog, especially important things like getting travel Visas to China
4. Tell me about your blog ceaselessly, until I want to chew my hands off, and I will smile and say keep going
5. Come back late from things when you’ve told me you’ll be back an hour earlier than that, and I’ve cooked. Be drunk and tell me how amazing your industry is whilst I fume
6. Miss weddings – importantly, from your own family – for your more-important industry events, and Maya and I will represent you
7. Ignore me when I come to your events, so that you can hobnob and talk to important people even when I don’t know anybody and feel nervous and am left in a corner on my own
8. Let me publicise what you’re doing to my whole family because I want them to see how great you are
9. Let me organise an incredible birthday party for you, around a computer, where we all read your blog and celebrate your creativity (NB to readers: Lotte organised a huge secret 30th for me when everybody came to see a play I wrote)
10. Go to bed after me to keep writing. Say you’ll be ‘two minutes’ and clamber in an hour later. I’ll miss you but I won’t tell you that obviously, because your work is important to you
11. Tell me it’s pointless and that you should go and get a proper job because there’s too much competition, you’ll never be good enough and nobody takes you seriously, and I’ll tell you why you’ll beat them all, that you will be and that I believe and that’s a start
12. Know that I’ll be doing everything in my power to understand why what you do is important to you, and how it fits in with how you want the world to be, and that even if you kick my leg in bed when I quite rationally suggest NHS funding is more important than arts funding, that I will stand by you
13. Finally, when we have another new mouth to feed and all the new financial pressure that comes with it, let me tell you to quit the only secure employment the family has in four months’ time so that you can finally make space to be the ‘real’ writer you’ve always wanted to be and I know you can be
I could go on.
There are hundreds of things Lotte has done to help me be who I’ve become and be happy. Even as she now works on her blog in this same room as me, I know that if she puts as much energy and time into supporting herself as she has done with me, she will feel better about herself and what she’s doing and be CHUFFING AMAZING AT IT. Then she is equipped to Fight The World.
Right now, I’m sitting behind her and she thinks I’m doing my playwriting work.
MWAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH.
This is about your work now. And I believe in you.
Go get ‘em.