I had a couple of less good days this week.
Nothing particularly terrible in the grand scheme of things, just a few days where I really wanted to abandon everything, curl up in bed, read a good book and ignore the world outside until I felt better. Tea would be optional in this situation, of course.
Sadly, I live in the world where there are responsibilities to be met and bills to be paid. So, I could not just abandon my life in favour of my bed, no matter how much the urge came upon me or how crummy my mood became.
Naturally, I tried looking for a solution that did not involve hiding under the covers.
Bit of a personal blog today.
For the first time in my writing life I’m hitting a real block.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had writers block before, at least the kind of writer’s block where I sit down of an evening and can’t churn out the words. But this block is different, I am well able to sit here and churn out words, this blog wouldn’t exist otherwise. I’m also having very little trouble writing my non-fiction articles.
This block seems to be entirely related to fiction.
I’ve been gone for the majority of August!
While there was some time off planned for August (for me to spend time visiting my family in the west country), it was not supposed to be quite as much as it turned out being.
I feel like I’ve been gone a full month when in reality it’s not even been a full three weeks, but so much has happened!
As I said at the end of last month, to stop myself losing momentum on my ‘goals’ for the year I am writing a little review of my progress at the end of each month. This report is supposed to show that I’m on track and (hopefully) stop me from getting fed up and grumpy that things never seem to happen as fast as I would like.
But while this might be beneficial to me, it’s annoying as hell to read.
So, I’ve had a rethink and have decided to post a thoughtful little something-or-other based on something that has happened during the month.
This month’s topic …. Nonfiction and editing.
I have Good News!
My Short Story Sobriety Test will soon be published!
It will appear in Danse Macabre An Online Literary Magazine, Issue 106 Mamuralia, on 3rd March 2017.
Protecting your writing time
I want to talk about something that I have been noticing more and more lately.
That is people’s attitudes when I refer to writing as work and how to start protecting your writing time.
When drafting this blog, I hummed and hawed about calling my writing work. This is because whenever I refer to it as work, or as my second job, people either openly disagree with me or give me a ‘look,’ the type of look that says “I don’t believe what you’re saying, but I am humouring you.”
And to be frank, I’m rapidly losing patience with the whole situation.
When I mention I write books or that I run a legal advice blog (with full guides coming soon) the usual response is one of support. “Oh, well done you” and “That sounds great.” But what I have noticed is that when my writing, fiction or nonfiction, interferes with what people want or expect me to do then suddenly, they stop being great and become hobbies.
Harper Lee has passed away
This got me thinking about one of the best characters in literature. Atticus Finch.
Polite and charming Atticus Finch, a lawyer who used his words instead of his fists. A fictional character who had a bigger impact on the legal profession than a living man could. I’m not exaggerating with this claim, Atticus has become something of a folk hero in the legal profession, so said by Alice Petry. He has been cited in cases as being an influence on the final judgement and has been credited with being the inspiration for hundred of young people to enter the legal profession.
“No real-life lawyer has done more for the self-image or public perception of the legal profession.” Michigan Law Review in May 1999.
What are the quarter life crisis and three tips on how to cope?
In this blog, I want to talk about something that has affected me personally. This last week I’ve been working on my latest idea. It is still titleless I’m afraid, but revolves around Arthur, who I mentioned in my blog The Benefits of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone.
Arthur has a particular kind of dementia, and to portray that well, I’ve been doing a lot of research into mental health issues. As well as dementia, I’ve been looking into depression, bipolar and low mood. During this little excursion, I have found something that, up until now, I was unaware of.
I got rejected today and so decided to blog about it.
It’s not the first time and probably won’t be the last time.
Rejection is just part of the business
I tend not to get very upset when I send stuff to publishers/agents/magazines and receive a politely worded, but generic, letter back saying that what I write isn’t quiet for them. Or even when I send something in and never hear from them again. It doesn’t feel personal because it isn’t. I’m aware there are probably hundreds of writers submitting to that agent/publisher/magazine and can appreciate that there will be a high level of competition. I also understand that a lot of it comes down to personal taste. So I can, hand on heart, say that this kind of rejection doesn’t upset me too much. I usually just feel disappointed.
To be honest, I’ve often struggled to understand why writers take rejection so hard. My attitude has always been, get up, be proud that you had the guts to submit something in the first place, that took a lot of confidence. Now is the time to either find somewhere else to send to or write something new and shiny. I’m a big fan of the quote “Success is 99% failure”, and the idea that successful people are not the ones who got accepted first go, they are the people who got rejected and rejected and rejected, but they kept going. Even Stephen King and J.K.Rowling got rejected.
I’ve always been quite pleased with my realistic take on rejection.
Then I woke up this morning to a different kind of rejection.
The world has lost one of its brightest stars.
This man, although I did not have the pleasure of knowing him personally, has influenced my life more times than I can count.
I grew up with the stories of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat, it was Sam Vimes and Carrot that pulled me through college and university, and it was Moist Von Lipwig who shoved me head first through those first few months of working in the real world.
But more than that, it was while reading the Fifth Elephant that I said to myself “I wish I could do something like this.” And so I did.
His influence on me was great, and I will miss him.
His influence on the world was greater.