Mon 23rd Oct: My MA Forum Moderator posted about an opportunity for young people: Electric Read’s Young Writers’ Fiction Anthology 2017. They feature twenty-five of ‘the best young writers in Britain’. I saw that it was a free, email-entry competition, and within five minutes I had submitted a story – the final assignment of my degree Creative Writing module.
I told no one; not even Mum, who I would normally consult and call on for editing advice! I’d only entered one short story competition previously, and didn’t get anywhere – the judge’s comments showed that they weren’t interested in realist fiction. I had no expectations this time.
Tue 14th Nov: I was Continue reading
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
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
Okay, these are only some of my habits – I wouldn’t want to go on all day!
Hardback book dustcovers – When a hardback book reaches my hands I often look under the dustcover. I want to see whether it has the front cover design printed on it, or if it’s plain. Obviously it doesn’t make any difference; I just want to know. Continue reading
If you’ve read my previous blog post, ‘Reading and Writing Ban’, you’ll know that I recently spent a Saturday without either of those activities. I thought I would return to my writing with renewed enthusiasm, but it didn’t work out like that. Continue reading
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
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