How many kids grow up to do for a living what they dreamt of?
Not many, I’d say. Certainly not the ones who planned on being astronauts. Like most little boys, I had fleeting aspirations of being a football player and to play for En-ger-land. I wasn’t a very clever child and yet I quickly grasped that my chances of this happening were nil.
Doing stand-up comedy soon became my secret ambition. For almost as long as I can remember, I was aware of being able to make people laugh. As a little boy, I did monologues on dog walks and wondered if I might be able to do them as a grown-up and for money.
Sitting here now in my solid middle age, things have worked out pretty well. I have spent my adulthood on stage, telling stories for my supper.
In to my fourth decade now of being professionally funny and yet my nerves and stage fright remains. Obviously, it has abated but not so that I ever take a gig for granted. I’m a better writer than performer, perhaps? Funnier on the way to the gig… and yet I have kept on treading the boards and risking my life. Needs must.
Until 2020 that is when stand-up comedy became illegal. A relief to some comics perhaps. Recently I met with a younger stand-up and I asked him how he was coping with lockdown.
“Yeah, great. I’m loving not having to shit myself all the time.”
This made me laugh. And he makes a good point.
With no gigs now and for the foreseeable, I am grateful that I began writing all those years ago. Perhaps when I realised that ‘shitting myself’ was always going to be a thing.
Tomorrow, I will publish my 7th book – and my 2nd book of lockdown.
Is there an adage; when things get quiet, it’s time to get busy?
Certainly there is much truth to this and wisdom. Tomorrow’s book has filled my time and is yet another bullet in the barrel of the hope shotgun.
Every Christmas we buy books as gifts and receive books in return and in my experience, a great many of these books remain unread. The success of a book is gauged by its sales but a more useful barometer is how well a book is read and enjoyed.
This is what I have in mind for my latest effort, Takes on Life.
Meaning, I hope to buck this trend. A gift book that will be read is my (cunning) plan…
This blog began fifteen years ago as Eclipsed. A comic story about a kid’s ascent in to show-biz and his dad’s clinging on – but it long since morphed in to musings on life; mine and yours. The blog is well read, thank you. It is popular across the world which is heartening as it is the spine of this new book. Takes on Life – borne out of lockdown, conceived as a gift book and cynically aimed at the Christmas market.
A compendium of some old blogs (ones worth re-telling and keeping) but mainly new ones written specifically for the book.
31 comic essays that read like stand-up, although not all are supposed to be funny. Some are thoughtful and occasionally, even wise.
The book is accessible; an easy read, I hope. Your search for a Christmas present for that difficult person might just be over.
Hardbacks are now available on this site (which I can sign and dedicate) – and paperbacks (cheaper) are available from tomorrow via your local book shops (by-order, I am not John Grisham) and on-line.
What follows is the back cover of this masterpiece. The book set to become a watershed in Christmas gift book publishing history…
During his career as an award winning comedian, Dominic Holland has fearlessly confronted thorny and controversial subjects. Posing hard questions such as;
When is an onion actually peeled?
When is the right time to wash a towel?
And how many of us can genuinely claim to have more than one dance?
Rest assured that his writing here is equally intrepid. In this important book, he demands answers to questions that other writers are too frightened to ask.
Why is health and safety so dangerous?
Where will the next Vivienne Westwood come from? And how can we ensure this happens?
Thirty one hard hitting essays on the peculiarities of his life and yours.
A provocative and unique work. It will make you smile. Make you think. It will cause you to reflect. It might even liberate you and allow you to move on with your life.
Written for the toilet. A daily place of refuge and me-time in our frenetic world. A time for us to reflect on our lives and try to understand where things went so wrong. This book will agitate and assist this process. A laxative then to purge any regrets and replace them with wisdom and laughter.
This is a self-help book masquerading in the humour section. An epistle to make you realise you are not alone. That you are enough. It might just be the most important book you ever read.
Every toilet needs: a lock, paper, soap and this book, although not necessarily in this order.
Dominic Holland takes no prescription drugs. He has never been diagnosed with a mental condition. But it is known by his family that he is highly delusional. Whilst it is important to assert he is not considered to be a danger to himself or to anyone else, it is worth keeping this in mind when considering whether or not to purchase this book.
In line with his delusions, even if his plans (hopes) to buck reading trends are a failure, he will continue on regardless with Takes on Life vol.2 available for Xmas ’21 and if this meets with a similar fate, you can expect Takes on Life vol.3 in…
10 thoughts on “Writing my way out…”
Can’t wait to get my book!
Lovely blog, Mr. H, I changed what I wanted to be 5 times, I wanted to be a Ballerina, but no luck there. Then I wanted to be a lawyer in high school, but the universe said no(as did my grades lol) Then I wanted to be a bookshop owner/Writer and to be surrounded by book, while writing my own; you know, a slow and simple life. And as of now I’m a librarian and slowly (very slowly) working on my book of poems and my Novel. So I believe I made the right choice and the universe agreed. I also believe, I will buy your book around January next year as a birthday present to myself, I just hope that there are still books then and you have not been sold out completely. But if you are (and I hope your books sell fast and plenty) I will just have to make sure I put money back for next Christmas for Vol. 2. Good luck with your sales and I hope it flys off the “shelves” fast than the PS5.
I really enjoyed today’s blog Dom. Having read so many of them I absolutely love your style of writing and tongue in cheek humour. I’m looking forward to reading Takes. I really hope it does well for you. Have a good week and maybe a rest from signing your autograph
that’s kind, thank you. Let’s see how it fares.
I enjoy reading your blogs. Might just have to get the book!
2020 will turn out to be when almost everything is illegal. Until normalcy returns, we need to continue to live in a delusional state of mind.
If I can convince my parents for it, I will buy your book, Mr. H
Wow, I am sure this book will help a ton of people. I am writing a book myself but I am sure it will not succeed as yours will. You did a great gob.
I cannot wait to get the book. Let’s hope my Mom will let me buy it because she doesn’t want me to waste my money and to save it for university but I want your book :). Lets hope I get for Christmas.
I have just ordered your new book for my gorgeous hubby of 43 years. Could you please sign it ‘Merry Christmas Kevan’ (with an ‘a’ – unusual spelling) from your good self.
We have enjoyed your humour over the years and were delighted to see you pop up on Mike Graham’s Talk Radio show the other morning. We really enjoyed your book about the football club, which we read many years ago, and always say could so easily have been about our local club! There are probably people in many towns across the country that think the same.
Thank you and all good wishes