*Insert Blog Post Here*

So, I haven’t written anything consistent in the last few months and nor have I done a blog post in ages. Getting back onto the horse can be tricky once you’ve been off it for a while and it’s annoying and frustrating. I’ve been very good at not beating myself up for falling off it in the first place, I took a necessary break from quite a few things, including my social media accounts in order to sort out the mental health issues I was having (for those playing at home I had a major depressive episode earlier this year and it took me a while to get back onto some sort of even keel).

That being said, it doesn’t make it any less disheartening to look at the stats on the writing app I have on my phone (Writeometer if you’re wondering, tell them I mentioned them and they might send me money – *laughs*) and see that it is now 77 days since i last posted a solid word count and it’s only been dribs and drabs since then. Most of that in truth has been re-writing. The raw font of creativity has not ushered out its goodness for a while and I’m starting to feel a bit anxious about it if I’m being totally honest. It’s not that I haven’t had thoughts or ideas – I still have plenty of those – it is more about …

The slip ‘twixt brain and page.

AKA getting the damn things out of my head and onto a page or a screen or a clay tablet or literally anything at this point. Which is why i am doing this post now, it’s like doing stretches before exercises or something, mostly just a train of thought that I’m going to put out onto the interweb for… reasons.

AND FOR MY NEXT ACT!

An inspirational blog post in four parts:

  • *Heartfelt personal anecdote*
  • *Piercingly insightful realisation*
  • *Encourage others to do the same*
  • *Pithy motivational one-liner*

I’m off to open Scrivener now and do the thing with the alphabet for the wordforming and the storymaking.

 

In the company of #writers

About a year go i started using Twitter actively. I’ve had an account for ages, but my use before then was limited to logging in every few weeks or so and shouting some random stuff into the void. then I began to be active and actually interact with people and suddenly I understood why people liked this platform. The main area that I started connecting with people was via the #amwriting hashtag and through that I found the #1linewed game. Through that I met a whole bunch of other writers and found on Twitter a community that I have yet to find in my local community. That is a collection of awesome people who shared the same passion/madness for storytelling that I do. They have been a community that I felt encouraged and welcomed by. A collective group that has given me advice and helped me out when the words weren’t happening and I have done my best to pay this stuff forward.

Needless to say. finding a community of other writers has been beneficial for me. One of the biggest things that I have gotten out of having a group of other writers to talk to is the will to keep working on my dream of finishing and publishing my novel. Of getting my work out there. Which brings me to the point of why I started this post in the first place.

Early on the majority of the other writers that I knew were unpublished. I remember at times while reading snippets of countless peoples work thinking that it was like being in the middle of a heap of great novels while they were being written. In the last few months particularly I have seen quite a few of my writer friends cross the line to becoming published Authors. Some have gotten traditional publishing deals and some have taken the Independent publishing path, both of which have their own pros, cons and challenges. I don’t personally believe that either is better or worse, just different ways to get to the same goal. Having your book out there for people to read.

It is incredibly gratifying for me to see my friends take that next step. I get really excited when i see somebody post about it and I just want to share that love basically. Because one of the things that i really believe in is that as writers we should support each other and not see each other as competition or any kind of bullshit like that.

So, this is me taking a moment to say congratulations and thank you and to encourage all of you to keep on doing what you are doing.

 

 

What did classical literature ever do for you?

This is a follow on from a guest blog post by Mariella Hunt over on www.brettmichaelorr.com about Classical Literature. I had some subsequent conversation with the two of them on on the subject via Twitter and it got me thinking a few things.

Mainly, what is Classical Literature and what does it offer for readers?

For a lot of people the term seems to bring up writers of the western cannon like Bronte, Eyre & Dickens. A lot of those same people encountered those writers in school and found them dry and unrelatable. But for me Classical Literature encompasses so much more than just these 16th-17th century writers. I don’t myself find much interest in reading the above mentioned authors, although it is worth mentioning that most people will be a familiar with ‘A Christmas Tale’.

Which brings me to my wider point, if you look at Classical Literature not just as ‘grown-up’ works written before the 20th century many of our beloved children’s classics fall under this umbrella. The adventure stories of Robert Louis Stevenson were something that i read as a child as well as those of Jonathan Swift. These works were not considered children’s stories when they were published and Swift is a brilliant satirist if you read him again with an adult eye. His style can be found echoing through the works of writers like Terry Pratchett if you look for it. Probably one of the most well known children’s stories is ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Lewis Carroll was definitely not writing with children in mind. He was a mathematics professor and Alice was written as an allegory for his own views on “new” mathematical theories of the time (the string theory of his day) where he imagined the sort of crazy world it would be if it were run by the rules of these new theories. There are many, many other examples like these stories, just think back about the classic stories that you absorbed as a child and see how many of them have origins further back than the last hundred years or so. Just about every story that a Disney animated movie is based on for example.

Probably can’t get past this point without mentioning the Brothers Grimm, who’s works were read at the time of printing as sensational horror stories, which explains the amount of death, gore & awful things happening to people contained in their fairy tales.

Stepping away into more ‘grown-up’ works if you will, there is a wealth of other authors out there that go beyond. One of my personal favorites is Candide by the french satirist Voltaire, but it is far from all that is out there. Here is a list from Goodreads of some pre-1900 Authors that you may find some titles that interest you among.

The thing that i wanted to say the most of all when i started this post is that all of this literature can offer you so much as a reader and i urge anybody who hasn’t consciously picked up an old book to do so, because it is totally worth it. Classical Literature offers many things like a window into the world that existed before our modern one. But, most of all they offer you BLOODY GREAT STORIES! Stories that have stood the test of time and been read and loved over and over again by generations of human beings since they were written.  As a reader, don’t you want great stories?