Stop Being So Certain!

I’m tempted to trust people who don’t claim to know it all. I’m not encouraging people to be vague, or lack confidence, or sit on the fence, but isn’t there sometimes wisdom in uncertainty? How many creative activities and social issues are less certain than people pretend?

I’ve been reading a book called On Writing by A.L. Kennedy, which contains blogs and articles. One of the things that has struck me, aside from her often dark humour about the writing/publishing world, is her reluctance to tell young writers what to do. She does give advice, and is perfectly qualified to do so, but she seems to encourage distrust of her advice and everyone else’s. She suggests. It’s beautifully refreshing.

I love reading ‘how-to-write’ books. I have discovered several that have been incredibly helpful to me as a developing writer, and yet some make me nervous: the ones that lay down the law. They are professional, well-conceived, ‘true’ (or at least contain plausible information), heavily researched, backed by ‘names’ and titles and degrees…They scare the life out of me because they contain more than a sprinkling of ‘my way or the highway’. Last time I checked, Continue reading

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My Weird Habits – Part 2

It turns out that I have enough weird habits for a blog-post sequel – no surprise!

Eating strange food – I have been told in the past that some of the things I eat are weird, or even disgusting. I will often eat a tin of tuna on its own, mixed with mayonnaise and ketchup. I used to eat tins of sweetcorn on a regular basis, and still have bowls of cold baked beans with mayonnaise (yes, I love mayonnaise – it should have its own paragraph). There might be an element of laziness in this theme of cold tinned food, but I actually like it as well.

Standing up before I’ve uncrossed my legs – This is a recently-developed weird habit. If I’m sitting down at the computer with my legs crossed (I know I shouldn’t) I have started to uncross them only after I stand up, leaving me precariously balanced on one leg for a moment. I don’t recommend it – I’ve nearly landed on my face a couple of times! Continue reading

Reading and Writing Ban

I had an unusual Saturday. I decided to spend the whole day without reading or writing, which included a complete social media, emailing and texting ban. A lot of my life revolves around reading and writing, so I wanted to see what would happen if I removed them completely. I also banned television and Youtube – though not technically breaking my rules it didn’t seem in the spirit of the thing to have my eyes glued to a screen.

I knew it was going to be hard because my eyes are always drawn to words and I read things without a second thought. It got me thinking: What do our eyes latch on to as we look around us? Mine get drawn to words. Does everyone have that in the same way? Maybe some people are more aware of shapes, colours, numbers, or people… Continue reading

Birthday Books

Today is my birthday and most of my presents were books – if you saw my last blog post then you’ll know that’s a good thing! I asked specifically for some of them, and I also had a few ‘how-to-write’ books from Mum that look interesting. I was given a pile of books for Christmas as well…I’ve been reading one every couple of days! I’m trying to finish as many as possible before ‘normal life’ returns.

 

Here are the books I received today: Continue reading

Books are ‘Sacred’

A little while ago I had a realisation about my family. It was when I was getting ready to throw away a few trashy books, carefully selected in an effort to tidy my mind as well as my bedroom (The Twilight Saga being the main offender). Of course, I wouldn’t re-house them without running them past Mum first.

As she was checking the pile of rejects I looked around our living room, lined with book cases, packed tightly – and that’s before you take into account the piles of books which tend to develop on the floor and other surfaces.

When people walk into our house for the first time they often make comments like, ‘Wow, you have a lot of books!’ I never thought about it because it’s normal for us. We’ve always had books. They’re a huge part of our lives. Continue reading