Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last updated this blog! I’ve been very busy in the last month. Here’s what I’ve done (and experienced) in a handy list format:
1) I’ve started writing for two websites – reviews and features and stuff. One is the music site MTTM and the other is a culture website that is yet to go live.
2) I’ve been applying for jobs, lots of them. I’m looking, as I’ve said before, for a writing job. This means my actual day job can be based around doing something I enjoy. I’m hoping to become a copywriter or editorial assistant, or who knows, maybe this music journalism thing will take off and three years down the line I’ll be drinking tea with Kasabian in a hotel in Kensington. Who knows?
3) I’ve joined a running club! Yes, who can Adam and Eve it? I have joined a running club for beginners. I do it on my lunch break at work twice a week. I’m usually found trotting along at the back but at least I’m doing it, and I always feel great afterwards. Although running in this muggy weather is really tiring!
4) I’ve started selling stuff on EBay – another thing that’s keeping me busy, and earning a little extra money on the side.
5) I’ve bought an iPhone! And the little beauty is paying for itself already. As I expected, it has integrated itself into my life effortlessly. It’s great for checking and responding to emails on the go, and I love the apps. I’m finding the Astrid app, where you can create to-do lists in various areas of your life, very useful too. I’ve think I’ve already established that I have an obsession with writing lists?
So that’s what I’ve been doing. My writing commitments for the two websites, as well as my growing desperation to find a new job, are what have mainly been keeping me from updating my blogs. But I want to change that. I’ve just got to settle into a new routine of doing things.
I haven’t written much fiction as such for this last month – it’s been on the back-burner. But I do have a couple of ideas knocking around in the back of my mind.
Thought I’d reblog this interesting post and I have to say I agree with the general sentiment.
As part of my current drive to streamline my life, I’ve been trying to finish the backlog of games I’ve generated in the years I’ve owned my PS3. I buy them, I play them for a while, I usually never complete them. When I realised I didn’t have the space on the machine to load up any new games, I decided it was time to revisit a few of the older ones and finish them once and for all. Games like Assassin’s Creed 2, Tomb Raider Underworld, and Unchartered: Drake’s Fortune, which embarrassingly, I got with the Playstation, and have never bothered to finish it.
I was doing well until I completed all the aforementioned games. After that I ran headlong into my collection of Sandboxes – Oblivion, Fallout 3, Rage – and the momentum went out of me. It’s difficult to get motivated to finish a game when you…
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My brother graduated today. It’s a milestone, not just in his life but also mine, my mum’s and my dad’s lives. It means we’re all adults now, all living in the real grown up world. My parents have also recently reached a milestone in the sense that they’ve paid off their mortgage. This means that they can now just relax a little bit. They don’t have to worry about paying for the house now. Maybe they can cut down on their work hours and start to do more things with their time that they actually enjoy. My dad, for example, seems to know everything about planes, and is considering writing a book about them. My mum, on the other hand, likes the idea of having a smallholding, with some animals.
I think these are both great ideas, but then, it doesn’t matter what I think because the point is, it’s their lives. They don’t have to look after me and my brother anymore. It really is like a new chapter. Soon, my brother and me will have places of our own, and, hopefully, jobs we enjoy.
This is the point where, happily, I feel inspired again in the sense of knowing what I want from life, or at least from a job. I’m looking for jobs in communications at the moment, writing-oriented jobs, like producing copy for brochures and websites. I believe I would enjoy this more than what I’m currently doing (finance-oriented administration work). It would certainly play to my strengths and interests more – after all, I have an English degree, and am allergic to typos.
Anyway, I felt a need to say that. It feels great to have a ray of inspiration again; a sense of direction.
So this post is about social media and it’s impact on society.
Okay, I lied. It’s about writing for money, of course. Now, I’ve started up a reviews blog and my ultimate intention is to somehow make money out of writing reviews in the future, which I’m totally comfortable with, because I believe that it doesn’t take any particular talent to be a reviewer – you just need to be reasonably articulate.
As for writing fiction on the other hand, well, I’m starting to have some doubts about my dedication AND my capability. I have written a few short stories. I’m currently editing a novella. But the problem is I’m no longer sure I feel a passion for writing fiction – in fact, I’m not sure I ever did. It was just like because I wanted to write, I presumed I’d have to write fiction, because I could make a living out of it this way, right?
But I’m not sure that a) I can, and b) I should. I think I’m going to have to improve A LOT if I want anything published, and this is going to take dedication – maybe even years. Do I want to be published that much?
Now it could be argued I should write merely for love, and not money. Well I can’t (or rarely can) actually complete a story for the love of it. I tend to start for the love of it but then actually completing the story, depending on how long it is, can start to feel like, well, work. So I was thinking that maybe I should use my time doing something I love more.
Maybe I don’t have to write fiction at all. After all, no-one is making me do it. Am I putting myself under unnecessary pressure? It would be a shame not to see The City Of Omalas through to the end though, since I have invested so much time in it. After that, who knows? Maybe I’ll never write fiction again.
I’m feeling a little disgusted and annoyed at the moment. I realise quite poignantly at the moment that the world of publishing is a dog eat dog world. Even if I could pretend that my writing is even up to publishing standard, what would give me the right to be published over many other talented writers?
Thinking of publishing just makes me a little angry. I want to write because I have to to truly live, to feel; I guess I can see that you could get sucked into the commercial side of it when you finally get published and write only what you think will sell, instead of what you love.
This is why I have to be realistic with myself and say that’s it’s probably for the best that I don’t make money out of my fiction writing.
And I think some writing should only be for youself, for your eyes only. I’ve kept a journal for the past two years, but I’d never post anything from it on here. You’d probably be bored half to death by the stuff I write about anyway. Keeping a journal is almost like a spiritual thing; it’s a place where you can explore your innermost feelings without the fear of prying eyes trying to tell you who you are and what you should or shouldn’t be writing.
It’s a true kind of freedom. The world seems so fast at times, that a multitude of emotions can wash over us without us having time to truly register their significance and what they might mean. I keep a journal so at the end of each day I can reconnect with my humanity and feel myself fully again; I believe it gives me insight and stops me from making some poor choices in my life. I want to be a happy human being, and not some kind of dolled-up robot which is what I sometimes feel girls (and boys) of my generation are aspiring to be. There is a difference between self-obsession and self-knowledge, or at least I believe there is.
I would recommend it to anyone (journal writing, that is).
Yep, I’m still alive, I think. I’ve just returned from a short holiday to the Isle of Wight (it was nothing special to be honest, or at least the bits I saw weren’t), and normality will now resume. As you may know, I’ve recently started a reviews blog, and so far I’ve posted one review on there. My aim is to post one review a week, for now. But I will still be continuing with this blog. This blog is for my creative writing, and my musings on the practice of creative writing.
So what are my writing plans for the coming weeks? Well, apart from reviewing, I will be focusing on editing some of my short stories. I’ve also got about three stories on the go at the moment – three different sets of characters and situations I’m playing with. Part of me wonders if I could combine them all into a novel.
In August I will be doing NaNoWriMo, i.e. writing a 50,000 word novel-length piece in a month. The idea is, if I make it through alive, I will learn an awful lot about perseverance and discipline when it comes to writing, and learn to write even when I’m not in the mood. I want to see if this method is a good one. It could well make me more productive, but will the quality of my writing differ? This is what I’m curious to know.
Anyway, I’ll leave it at that tonight because I’m rather tired. Bye-bye!
I’ve just started up a new reviews blog, in which I review books, films and music. My very first review on the site is of Marina and the Diamonds’ new ‘Electra Heart’ album. Click here to see it. Will be updating soon!
I’m experiencing writer’s block at the moment – I have little inspiration or inclination to do anything but brief descriptive passages. My recent novella has been cut off completely – I just ran out of juice at 15, 000 words. It is almost finished, but there are gaps to fill in. Looking at my computers hard-drive (and folder of stuff in my drawer), I clearly want to be a writer because I have written lots of things over the years, but I ask myself, do I have the dedication to become a published writer, when, if writing on a particular piece gets difficult, all I want to do is clock off and do something else? I have so many unedited drafts of stories I’m not sure where to plunge in, and I’m struggling to come up with something new at the moment.
Just now I was looking through my folder of short stories and other pieces that are in several stages of completion/redemption. I found a short piece of flash fiction I’d written last summer while doing my week-long creative writing summer school at the University of Warwick. Being amongst other writers must have energised me because I still think this short piece is one of the best things I’ve written and it required no revision at all.
It’s unexpected macabre-ness still makes me smile. Go on, read it — it’s really short!
The Woman And The White Tower
She picked her way over the rocky hillside in her stiletto heels, as agile as a mountain goat despite her unsuitable attire. It was quiet up here; the only sound was the sound of the gentle breeze as it rustled through the grass and rippled its invisible fingers over her silver fox-fur coat. The terrain was strange, alien almost. All she could see were the huge hulking shapes of grey rocks on the sun-bleached grass, before they gave way on the horizon to turbulent blue sky. She kept walking. She did not know fear. She had no knowledge of self-doubt. She followed her nose, she trusted her instincts. To anyone who saw her she would have looked a strange sight, walking over the rocky hillside alone, in her dress and high heels and matching coat and fur hat . But she was not some silly woman lost. She knew exactly where she was, and she knew exactly what she was doing.
At last she found what she was looking for – a single white building on the top of the hill. It was tall and cylindrical in shape – it was an observation tower for hikers so they could admire the view. There were two people inside it, she knew. Her blood-red lips twitched upwards at the corners into a smile. Good, she thought. She was so hungry.
Hi everyone, I have a question for you all. Well, three. Here they are.
1 – Are there any good writing mags, online or paper, that you subscribe to, and would recommend to me? Genre-based ones are fine. I usually write stuff that has a fantasy/magical realism edge, but I am also interested in literary fiction/general fiction.
2 – Are there any good writing blogs/websites that you can recommend? As above, but I’m particularly interested in sites that focus on up-and-coming writers of a younger generation.
3 – Have you done a creative writing course, like an undergraduate or Masters course? Did you find it useful? Would you recommend it?
I would love to hear others people’s opinions on these things. Please feel free to share!