I didn't get where I am today without poking things with a stick.
As I get older and bits of me fall off, it takes more effort to stop myself permanently going to seed and dribbling hopelessly in my cot all day whilst watching reruns of Hippies.
And so I poke things with a stick to see if they go squeak, to see if I have any hidden talents or unused opportunities I should be making the most of.
I tried stand-up, which was brutal and scary and strangely refreshing. It didn't go squeak: it was more of a yelp and it gave me the horrors when it came to treading the boards.
So when I did my comedy lecture Gospel According To Aphex Twin earlier this year at Bright Club, I was still recovering from the stage fright and I shook like a leaf. It did squeak quite pleasingly, though. It looked serene on the surface, but believe me, my inner swan was like a firework with tourettes.
My confidence has grown. Since I did a Titanic and garnered way more praise than I thought I deserved at the Manchester Blog Awards, giving me that useful tag of "award-winning" to wave in people's startled faces, my squeaks have increased in frequency to a sort of high-pitched jabber.
On Wednesday, this accumulated in me reading a short story at an open mic session for the first time in my life. It was for the launch of an anthology by Bad Language (I hope to nudge myself a page or two in the next one) and I read a story called Sandra Sue about teenage ultraviolence.
I must say a massive thanks to Socrates Adams for his advice before the event (read something funny, read it slowly). That man is to literary readings what ducks are to deviant sexual practices, and I mean that in a good way.
Because of a mixture of extensive preparation, confidence in my material and sheer bloody mindedness, it went down really well. I wanted it to be a performance rather than someone just muttering into a mic (note the pretentious italics), and I was pleased with what I achieved.
I then went mad. "I know," I thought, "I can do this twice in one week." I found myself reading for a second time on Saturday at Waterstone's Deansgate branch in Manchester, this time with a weird horror tale The People Vs The Tooth Fairies and a comedy piece about Beyonce.
And that's it. I have the lit-reading bug. Hundreds, if not, millions of plans are afoot thanks to my Beatoff Generation chums. We've had a lovely mention in Bournemouth Runner's The Art Of Fiction, we've got fridge magnets thanks to Benjamin Judge and people keep calling me a scenester.
Because of the prep for this week's readings and a nasty little throat / eyes / braincells gremlin that has laid me flat tonight (I can't look at this screen for much longer), this blog has suffered slightly. Less of the usual James Blunt-bashing and more new poked beasties that have little to do with the musical side of Fat Roland On Electronica.
Be patient with me, dear reader: I need to keep poking things with sticks. An arrogant bit of me feels that anything is possible right now, especially if I put the work in. This is, after all, the month in which David Lynch (THE David Lynch) released a dance track. Now, that's some brilliant poking.
David Lynch's Good Day Today by threeminutesthirtyseconds