Not Everyone Likes You: Get Over It.

How do you deal with criticism?

We have to decide which opinions should be taken on board and which should be ignored. This isn’t easy. We usually need a reasonable understanding of ourselves. Sometimes we gain that understanding through removing ourselves from others, and sometimes it’s through spending time with others that we discover our ‘tribe’.

Some opinions should be listened to carefully. As a writer, I have a few people who I deem ‘ideal readers’. This is the audience I regularly connect with, admire, and know to be constructive in their comments. They understand where I’m coming from, like my style, and generally enjoy the content I produce.

If one of my ‘ideal readers’ thinks I’ve missed the mark, then I would give it serious consideration. There are three possibilities: Continue reading

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Be Bold and Wacky: Great Marks Vs Development

I’m frustrated with my second MA assignment. I’ve been labouring over the script for ages, trying to find the heart of the story, and trim-trim-trimming the excess words. Mum read it and said, gently, ‘It’s not your best work’. Unfortunately, she’s right.

‘What’s wrong with it?’ I keep asking myself. Most of it seems fine, but there’s something that isn’t, and I can’t locate the ‘fault’. I discussed this with Mum over lunch. She observed that my Continue reading

And Thus Endeth 2017

At this time two years ago, I started my blog. I had been thinking about it for a while, waiting for the ‘right’ time, and it basically came down to just do it. I’m so glad I did!

I started off not having a clue what I would write about, but I optimistically aimed to post twice a week. It quickly changed to once a week. Pretty soon, I struggled to do even that and went for the whole of June without posting anything. Still, I finished 2016 with forty blog posts, covering a variety of subjects.

I started 2017 knowing it would be a busy year. I didn’t want to make any goals for my blog schedule that would inevitably lead to failure. Instead, I decided to only post every two weeks. If I had the time or inclination to write more than that, then I would post them anyway, or hold them back for another time.

I surprised myself Continue reading

When She Wrote on a Whim…

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

The Psychology Thread

I have a broad range of interests. It used to bother me that I didn’t have time for them all and that I couldn’t settle on one for long. I discussed this in ‘Too Many Interests’. However, I’ve recently noticed that the ones I’ve stuck with have something in common: they have a strong psychological element.

At Crossfit, I often reflect on the thoughts behind a workout, the things we tell ourselves, the way we interact with each other, and the inextricable link between the physical and psychological parts of our being.

The musical side of band-conducting and one-to-one teaching is key (pun not intended!), and yet I’m probably more drawn-in by the Continue reading

Wrestling with Stories and Tissues

Tuesday 21.11.17

Things are difficult. I’ve fallen into the working week with less than my usual energy (which isn’t great at the best of times) and I’m coming down with a cold. Crossfit was out of the question today. Let’s focus on survival!

I had a great couple of days of brass-banding; conducting my Beginners to third place in the North Wales Competition, coming first with Seniors, and helping to support our local library with Intermediates on Sunday afternoon. Much as I loved it, it was draining to have a full-on weekend.

I’m lying in bed in my pyjamas, sipping coffee, and typing my assignment story; a story that is talking away at me constantly. Sometimes it’s in a good mood and gives me tingles up my back. Other times it yells and nags and complains Continue reading