5 Mistakes We Make as Aspiring Writers

If you look at the date of my last posting you will see that my once quite regular postings here have dwindled. Number of reasons for this. 1. I’ve started a new course and don’t have so much time and 2. The main one I start and go “Nah this is crappy” so this is where I think I’m going wrong.

1.Comparisons to our bestselling favourites

If you are an aspiring sportsman whilst you are aware of Lionel Messi you are also aware that although you might make the team, Lionel will always be a class apart, because he is a “once in a generation” type talent.

Why then do we (or me at least) compare ourselves to the masters of the art, Stephen King’s of the world. I have read numerous articles and books on how so and so Mr Bestseller wrote by candle light inside a cardboard Pringles tube, whilst his family lighted their own farts for warmth before his big break. He still writes in the pringles tube by the way, his family is a lot warmer and less smelly.

Whilst Mr Bestsellers approach obviously worked for him, he’s not you so cut yourself some slack. Otherwise it’ll put you off writing anything.

2. Devotion to the craft

Similar point, but… some are able to be “devoted to writing” writing 8-12 hours a day everyday. Some of us have families and bills to pay. Granted to write an 1800 page opus you are going to need time. But you have a lifetime. Write when you can, enjoy it. Enjoy life

3. Forgotten why we do it

I have always written. It’s been for me always, for fun. I would hope that even at the very top with contracts and book deals and movie screenplays it’s still fun. I started this blog to show people what I write, I welcome comments but I don’t really care what anyone thinks. It’s for me if anyone else likes it it’s a bonus. If they like it so much they’ll pay me to write it, happy days.

4.Meh, It’s been done

Everything has been done. Everything. That brand new fresh original is a copy at least in part of something else. There is even a very similar list to this somewhere in the world. As long as you don’t rip it off entirely, copy, rewrite, rephrase. Do it better, make the starcrossed lovers divorce, kill the good guy. “It’s your world” to quote Bob Ross, so write about a happy little tree.

5. The search for perfection

We all have standards for ourselves. Whilst these can encourage us to reach for the stars and be the best it can also encourage us to throw away a potential masterpiece. The beauty of being a blogger or “amateur” writer is that it doesn’t matter overly what you write. Get it done, get it out. You can always amend it later or it can serve as an inspiration for someone elses number 4!

5 Mistakes We Make as Aspiring Writers

Fiction: Because of What the Leprechaun Said

This story is part of the Irish themed Absolute Write Forum blog chain for this month. It is a companion tale to that that I wrote for the last years March blog chain. Hopefully it stands up as a work all by itself but you might like to read the other story here to get maximum enjoyment.

Please also check out the work of the others in the chain.

Angyl78 jelyzabeth.com (link to post)
BBBurke http://awritersprogression.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Syrup http://asimplesyrup.com (link to post)
Springs2 Www.jozebwrites.blogspot.com (link to post)
Layla Lawlor http://www.laylalawlor.com (link to post)
Sudo_One https://sudoone.wordpress.com (link to post)
RAstarligh www.improveomatic.com (link to post)
WerbyG wrgingell.com (link to post)
Aheila https://thewriteaholicblog.wordpress.com (link to post)
LeighAnderson http://leighandersonromance.com/ (link to post)



To anyone who might be able to help me,

My name is Maria Starr, I am worried about my husband. He has been acting very strangely at home. Although no-one at church seems to have noticed. He used to be such a kind, attentive and gentle soul. That all changed one overcast night in March last year. I recount these events in the vain hope someone out there might help me make sense of all this and bring back the man I married.

We were watching the St Paddys day parade through the village, my husband never much of a drinker, turned up, three sheets to the wind. I suppose given the day he blended into the crowd, to everyone else but me. I asked him where he had been, he snapped at me cursing, telling me it was none of my… none of my business. Right there in the street. Normal drunken behaviour for some of you no doubt, but not for my man. He never spoke to me that way.

I took him home, dragging him past the Constables house, and with a struggle onto our sofa where he slept, for almost a day. When he awoke I told him what had happened. He said he couldn’t remember anything and that he was very sorry. I was annoyed for a few days until my friends convinced me that he was “just a man” and this behaviour after years of marriage was to be expected.Nothing out of the ordinary happened for 6 months after that. I thought that I was being silly and my friends were right. I was lucky to have such a man.

This view changed once again last September. I came home early from work one day, I found my husband sat in our bedroom in the gloom, rocking back and forth, sweating from every pore. I had heard loud voices so I thought my husband must have been talking on the phone, but the phone was on the cradle in the hallway as usual. He seemed to be in some kind of trance. He didn’t notice me enter the room and he kept rocking, slowly back and forth murmuring something about a girl. Lorna.
“Lorna?” I said.
When her name left my lips my husband let out a sobbing wail. I asked him again to tell me why he was talking about her. No-one had seen her since she walked out on Chris years ago. Even Chris was surprised she cut off all contact.

The morning after this episode, my husband was again fine. He said he was feeling the pressure at work and he was sorry if I’d been upset. It’s been pretty much normal now for two weeks, but its always on my mind. What am I going to find him doing next, its scary.

I have suggested we take a holiday get away from it all. But he says a bit of time alone in the garden will do him the world of good. He has brought some new tools to keep the garden tidy which has to be positive. I am still worried however as I have heard him talking to himself when he thinks I’m asleep. He has been saying some godless things, I pray for him each night and urge you to as well. I don’t know where I will send this letter, maybe I won’t need to God willing. My husband has been very happy today cutting back some trees in the garden with the chainsaw, it’s very loud and at times I could have sworn it was right outside the door.

DOOR KNOB TO SECOND FLOOR BEDROOM DOOR - Fort Sheridan, Lieutenants' Quarters, 165 Scott Loop, Lake Forest, Lake County, IL HABS ILL,49-FTSH,1-4-8

Fiction: Because of What the Leprechaun Said

Lets Twist Again

Hello dear reader it’s been a long time for which I again apologise (to all 5 of you!) Worry not my desire to write has not decreased, hence this piece. Merely my motivation and inner quality control has intervened

My fictional ideas, well my real ideas about fictional things, have been poor or similar to things I have done before, or both. So the little starts on bits I made have remained just starts, under developed characters in unrealistic situations. “That never stopped Russell T Davies” I hear you shout. Whilst I agree with this self heckle Russell TD is an award winning writer (mostly about his love for the “D” but still) and I am blogger, so he wins.

My opinion pieces, so pant wettingly well put together in the past have suffered over the last year. Why? Well 2014 was such an event packed year, generally speaking all of it horrid. Personally I got my shit together, but the world was busy going crazy. Lots to write about you may think. Well no, not really. There are many things I can’t write about because of work, of things I can speak of I don’t really add anything new to the party, in that I agree, because who wouldn’t, with the common consensus. Gunmen in cafes and the offices of paris satirists are bad. People protesting over everything, from “corrupt police” to “Jeremy Clarkson” None of it really interests me. There is no contrast, no grey area. If you think your God is offended by a cartoon, not a very strong willed God by the way.

So that leaves poetry. Seems my type of whimsy is well suited for the web, being that it’s short and easily forgettable, much like me! I like writing it, and some of you enjoy reading it, but I never intended this whole thing to be a tribute to Pam Ayres (much maligned as she is, name 5 poets, she’ll be in most peoples lists)

I always have enjoyed writing, like most things, I’ll never be the best or the most popular but I will always try to write things I like in the hope that anyone who reads it might like them too. Hopefully I’ll hop back on the fiction wagon soon, with a twist so devious even Chubby Checker would be jealous. Who knows when motivation strikes.

Lets Twist Again

Work? Optional!

So todays prompt from the lovely folks at WordPress asks the question would you work if money was out of equation.

Well regular readers will know I love my current job and all of my colleagues are an absolute delight to be around for 6 hours every day. If had no monetary reward I’d still want to be with them every second that was available to me. My work is the reason I live. It’s as important to me as my solid grasp of sarcasm.

If money was out of the equation I would still work, for less time and for a vastly different company in a vastly different field. You see I do have quite high standards for myself, I want to do a good job, be the go-to guy. Be trusted to do a excellent job and leave the customer feeling more satisfied than someone who has had a 48hr free pass to a high end brothel. But where I currently work I am not trusted to order so much as tea and biscuits without managerial approval.

It is like being at school. We are treated like kids, some respond in such a way. Some like me dream rather sadistically (and this is the piece that will be quoted on the news when I finally snap) of disembowelling the vast majority of my co-workers with only a paperclip. (It can be done I have blueprints)

Weapon of Choice
Weapon of Choice

In any given year there are approximately 253 working days for me. 1518 hours a year if I work until I’m 65 (I’ll be dead by then) 45 years working that’s 68310 hours in total.

68310 hours surrounded by people who I have nothing in common with other than a shared work place.
68310 hours surrounded by people who know nothing of what I like (nor me of them)
68310 of dancing to someone elses tune.

I’m tempted to leave right now. But it’s the money that keeps me here or rather the need to have a roof over my fair bonce. I would love to throw this away and do something that helps people, makes me feel good too. Use my 68310 hours for good instead of evil. So wordpress if you want to take money out of the equation and pay my bills I’ll gladly accept your offer of work.. I await your confirmation.

Work? Optional!

Rama-ramama-argh

I am far from being a professional writer. Some people actually like what I write, which continues to amaze me. I do favour the macabre, my stories often featuring a gruesome end for one of many of my characters. I am no good at fantasy, story wise of course give me a beautiful american, Karen Gillan a Nun’s outfit and a stick of Celery and I can fantasise all day!

Rollerblading nuns
Sex on wheels.. no?
I digress I have been challenged to write different genres, sci-fi and more recently romance. Now I class myself as a romantic kinda guy, the candles, moonlight, diamonds and poetic serenades have all played a part in my life. But writing romance for me is proving very difficult.

OK so it’s going to be published here. So I try therefore to keep it under 1000 words, otherwise no-one will read it. So that gives me a thousand words to establish at least two likeable (a stretch for me) characters who you dear reader will be championing, wondering will they, won’t they, but knowing that they will for it is a Romance after all. Believable dialog is also required along with  some kind of tension that allows me to twist and turn.

Trouble is, everything I have tried so far is cliché central. “She looked deep into his steely grey eyes and trembled” OK not quite but close. I don’t want trembling in my story, not lips or knees (I have enough trouble standing as it is) I want strong characters. It’s too easy to write about a bewildered woman who cannot exist without a man. I don’t believe these women actually exist (if they do my email is in the about section.. just saying)

I know these stories are supposed to pander to a fantasy. A fantasy where the dragons and wizards are replaced with perfect men who’s farts smell of roses and has baby soft skin with the talent for fucking, sorry “making love” that rivals Neymars skills with a football. The rose tinted quest continues.

Rama-ramama-argh

The Wow Factor

A jaw dropper, someone that makes you have to catch your breath. In the movies, the romantic ones, this is supposed to be an everyday occurrence. Both girl and boy next door are drop dead gorgeous even though they are supposed to be your average Joe and Jane. In real life though, how many of you non single folks went “wow” upon catching a glance at your partner. Not many I would hazard a guess. Of course there will be some physical attraction but this grows usually over time, but “wow” is different, “wow” is almost primal. For women it’s “Please make my babies. Right here, right now” For men, well me at least, it’s staring dumbfounded, slack jawed with drool down my face.

Most of all the wow is fun, for everyone. The married, the gay, the straight, the single, the priest and the rabbi all can appreciate a good “Wow, oh my God” (that one true god obviously) It raises the heart rate, dilates the pupils and if it’s really “Wow” make you walk funny for a few minutes trying to think of Kathy Bates in About Schmitt. The sermon in church was really awkward that weekend.

Now of course you, want to take this amazing guy or girl (or both) and do unspeakable things to them (Even in church). Like I said it’s almost primal, but you don’t, not always. You could be married to someone else, or your “wow” person could live far away from you, or it could just be a fleeting glance. However it happens it brightens your day and if you ever get to talk to the person you are going fruit loops over, done right it can brighten their day too.

Regular readers to this blog.. do I have regular readers? Thank you! May have noticed I’ve been a little more US centric than when I first set out. I wrote a piece about Baseball for christs sake. Well because I like a challenge, the US is where my wow factor resides. She makes me feel like I am in a Warner Bros cartoon, heart beating out of my chest, whacking myself on the head with a big mallet. So my wow factor has been my muse for several pieces here this one included (well duh)

I am aware I’m not the first guy to be motivated by my drooling libido, and I sure as hell won’t be the last. It’s pushed the boundaries of art and creativity more than anything else. Hendrix didn’t learn to play guitar with his teeth to impress “the guys” you know.

In closing, it’s great to look for deep meaningful stuff, common ground, soulmate things. But we all need a bit of a “Wow, oh my” every now and again, to make us feel alive. If you have both they are in the same time zone as you. Cherish every single second.

A doe eyed individual.. geddit

The Wow Factor

More Than Words

Tabloid journos get a lot of stick, sometimes quite rightly for listening in to voicemails and generally making up stories, even misquoting to fit a stories narrative. But it must be quite difficult, especially when you are a correspondent for one particular subject matter like the Royals, Finance or Football.

I mean there are only so many words. If you are writing about the same topics day in day out, the words tend to blend into one another and lose their impact. It doesn’t however make the words any less true. I consider myself to have a wide vocabulary but in my writing and communication I get frustrated at times that the “right” words are words I use a lot and their impact is sometimes lost.

A quick look at thesaurus.com tells me for example, that there are 50 synonyms for the word “Beautiful”. So thats 50 times you describe a sunset or a dog or a woman or a bridge. But you can’t exactly say “My thats a foxy bridge” and if you said it 50 times it would get same-y.. and thats just me who writes a blog piece once in the blue moon (not one about a bridge). I guess I’ll have to start writing about pig-ugly women instead. But where is the fun in that!!

I choose my words carefully, and vocally in conversation I am not ever in the habit of saying things that I don’t mean. That’s a waste of time and it serves no purpose. So if I say your writing is good or you have a cute arse I mean it. Equally the same applies if I say you write with all the believability of Russell T Davies and your tits are saggy. I didn’t say I was nice all the time!!

Little wonder then that Shakespeare made up his own words, a load of which are in regular use today. Indeed without the bard we could neither be aroused or amazed by the sight of someones undressed radiance. I do have a concern that due to technology our language is losing it’s lyrical nature. “LOL” is now in the dictionary and now is uttered in real life, instead of actually laughing or in the reserved English nature, smiling politely.

I am interested to know peoples opinions on this. As most folks who read this will write in some shape or another. Do you get miffed by the lack of impact words? Or is my vocabulary very small needing some work.. Please comment, if you like!

Bridging the East River
A Foxy Bridge
More Than Words