Jason Reed tells us what it’s like to be halfway there

Words by Jason Reed

Published on August 31, 2011

In high school, I was super horny. I had lots of friends who were girls, but no girlfriends. I was interested in a lot of girls in my grade, except for the one who was stalking me, but that’s a story for another time. I was shy and withdrawn and found it hard to string two words together in front of a girl. Oh, but I did enjoy writing short stories. In fact, that was my favourite part of school and the thing I performed best at. Stringing words together wasn’t so hard if I could put them on a page. So, at the end of year twelve, when it came time to sit the exam for an OP, even though they advised against writing short stories, I did it anyway and did well. But I still didn’t have a girlfriend.

Straight out of school I went into a performing arts course and met a lot of other creative people, some of whom I became good friends with… some of whom were girls, but none of them slept with me. Oh, and I still enjoyed writing. Then the guy who would become my best friend mentioned that he wanted to be a
writer. I got the strangest thought in my head that if he was a writer, I couldn’t possibly be one too. Maybe I thought I would be copying him.

So I attempted other things. I tried to be unconventional and sought out exciting and unusual experiences.

I joined a circus, learned how to walk on stilts, walk on a tightrope, juggle, ride a unicycle; I learned flying trapeze and some tumbling.

Eventually I went to Hong Kong with the circus and did shows at a new shopping complex. It was great fun and a good conversation starter, but it didn’t get me laid. Oh, and I wasn’t writing.

Next I thought I’d give stand-up comedy a try. A friend had performed recently in a competition and I figured it couldn’t be that hard. So I got up and started out with jokes about bums and penises and maybe even farting… all highbrow stuff. I did it for a while with moderate success, but like my other pursuits, it never seemed to fit. And despite my keen sense of comedic timing and observational wit, I wasn’t getting laid… Oh, and I still didn’t realise what it was that I really wanted to be doing.

In between all of this, my best friend (the writer) and I would hang out at night watching copious amounts of videos, with a good dose of B Grade horror. We’d cruise the video stores like the film geeks we were and spur each other on to try and chat up the girls behind the counter, then gauge our performance on the drive home.

Needless to say, neither of us got laid.

Then I thought I would give university a try. I liked to read and so I thought that studying literature would be something I could do well at. I did plenty of academic writing, with essays and group assignments. Eventually I tried out a screenwriting course, just for fun. Now this was something that I enjoyed. I was in a class of people that loved the same films as me, and who wanted to learn how to write those kinds of films. So for a few months I wrote the beginning of a screenplay. But this was just temporary and even though I felt the desire to write more, I sat idle.

Over the next few years I came to realise that what I had loved doing so much when I was young, writing, was something that I still yearned to do over ten years later. I rediscovered all of the books I used to love reading and lost count of the number of times I felt like slapping my forehead for not seeing what was right in front of me the whole time.

Now with work and uni, I have little spare time to write. I manage to pump out film reviews and pieces like this, but I still struggle to find (or make) the time to write the kind of material that I’d really like to write. But at least now I’m getting laid.