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!

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5 Mistakes We Make as Aspiring Writers

Friday Fiction: Morning Coffee

Hi Dear Reader,

This is the first in a series aimed at forcing me to write at least once a week. Every Friday I will make every attempt to write something fictional for you to endureenjoy. This is something a little different.


The 90’s has a lot to answer for Luke thought as he fumbled for £3.50 in change to pay for his daily coffee. The shop was strangely empty for a Tuesday morning, in fact as he continued to fumble in his pocket hopping towards the till like some demented antelope on ice, he noticed that he, Luke Russell, was the only customer. His train of thought stopped dead when she spoke.
“Hello Sir.” She said “What can I get you?”
Luke froze, hand still in his pocket. He opened his mouth to reply but no words could be found. She was quite stunning, he thought. She had long dark hair, blue eyes that had Luke mesmerised. He fell in love easily and with alarming regularity. It was happening again.
“Sir?” she repeated, “Are you OK?”
Luke looked down at his pocketed hand, and withdrew it faster than a catholic on honeymoon. He felt his face redden and he was suddenly glad for the apparent decline in Starbucks business.
“I wasn’t…” he began. “….My change.”
She smiled a wide perfect smile which caused Luke to fall in Love all over again.
“What can I get you?”
“Medium Americano” he said amazed finally managed to order.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
“…Luke” he said, pausing before remembering why she asked. For the cup.
“Sugar Luke?”
“No. You are sweet enough.” The very moment he felt the words leave his mouth he tried to reach out to stop them, now he was sure his face was crimson with embarrassment, if the floor wasn’t kind enough to open and swallow him he would take his coffee and sit far away, preferably outside. In fact he would never visit the store again yes….. She laughed ending his torment.
“Thank you Luke.” She said brushing a stray strand of hair away from her face. “Sugar for your coffee?”
“No thank you.”
“Take a seat, I’ll bring it over.”

Luke scurried away a corner table. He sat down and watched his coffee being prepared. The shop was still empty and very quiet. Aside from the grind of coffee beans and the gentle pan-pipe musak nothing was to be heard. The beautiful barista delivered Luke’s coffee as promised.
“Thanks.” He said. “Why is it so quiet today?”
“No idea. But it’s good for me. It’s my first day.”
“Oh, I thought I hadn’t seen you before. I come here most days. I’m Luke.”
She laughed again.
“I know I wrote on your cup. I’m Aubrey.”
Luke laughed.
“Pleased to meet you.” He said, extending his hand. “Feel free to sit down with me. I would offer to buy you coffee but..”
“You are silly.” She said as she pulled out a chair and sat down. “But that’s a good thing.” She added noticing the wounded look on Luke’s face.
He took a sip of coffee, remembering too late that, as the lid of his cup warned, contents were indeed hot. The Americano took the consistency of broken glass in his mouth. He felt it burn all the way down. Yet another stupid move, but one he felt he got away with.
“Hot?” she said.
He hadn’t.

“Than holy hell.” He replied with a pained smile.
“96 degrees. Just how they showed me.” She said, again pushing another stray strand of hair away from her face. “But my Mother told me when I was tiny to wait for drinks to cool down before drinking.”
“Smart woman. But then she will have never experienced the thrill and searing pain.”
“True.” Aubrey said and smiled. “Is it always this quiet here?”
“No, never seen it like this before. Usually full of suits with laptops.”
“Looking busy.”
“Yes exactly. “Luke replied, nodding and moving his hand tentatively towards his coffee. “Maybe they are all working from home or something”
“I’d love to do that, you could never be late then.”
Luke nodded and risked another try at drinking his coffee, a sudden dawn of realisation crept over his face.
“Late! Oh crap” he exclaimed and stood up from his chair. “Thank you so much for the coffee, but I am late for a meeting. Will I see you again?”
“Depends if you want coffee. Or if they fire me.”

He was about to reply, but his morning alarm went off in his ear. 6:30am, way too early but plenty of time for morning coffee.

Coffe time

Friday Fiction: Morning Coffee

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

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

(WMB4X) The Dangers of Writing

I have successfully tossed out some old piece of something which you, dear reader, have been kind enough to read for the past few weeks. Don’t worry the month is nearly up! But blogging/writing is a dangerous business. Here’s why!

  1. On odd occasion I like to go old school and write. Actually write with pen and paper. It makes me feel more alive, more inspired, more pretentious. So two paper related dangers to begin. Paper cuts and poking yourself in the eye with either paper or pen. Writing happily then the paper cut. Hurts more than writing a bad sentence. On rare occasions it may even bleed making those murder mysteries more authentic. The poke in the eye can also occur, often when pondering a stories climax. At your most concentrated then, blinded.
  2. Alcohol. You are a writer. Everyone expects you to be pissed. There is however huge temptation to drink in order to to find inspiration. Whilst there are exceptions (Stephen King has books he can’t even remember as he was so drunk) almost always everything drunken you writes will be shit, leading to re-writes in the sober light of day. Often nursing the wonder excuse for not writing, the hangover.
  3. Boring others. You write, big whoop. Generally unless you are JK Rowling no-one gives a shit. However in the world in which you live, your project, your blog, your novel is your world. It fills your life. However your nearest and dearest could well be bored shitless by the plight of your protagonist. Something to bear in mind whilst down the pub.
  4. Technical issues. The creative wind is blowing in your sails, you have the idea of a lifetime. It is now that your pen runs dry or your computer crashes losing your idea forever. Thanks a bunch. You will care not a jot that Word has encountered a unexpected error.
  5. Distractions. Unless you are old schooling it up armed with your eye removing biro, you probably write on something that has access to your twitter feed or porn or LOL Cats. The distraction is very dangerous because it stops your flow and makes what you write when you return make no sense. Armadillos…
  6. Disappearing up your own arse. You are a writer, an artist, a visionary, a moulder of hearts and minds. With your pen or trusty laptop you can change the world forever. At least you could if you weren’t in your pants at 11:30am having not written anything and only just worked out how to get the lid off the marmalade. Yet you may fall into the trap of loving yourself, no not like that. You write, you are king. The postman is beneath you, as are your friends. You are a god in your own pants. You will never write any believable characters.
  7. Writing advice lists. You will write on the dangers of being a writer, ending with the last danger being writing lists, thinking how wonderfully droll you are being. You will end the list with a undeserved sense of wellbeing almost stopping mid.


Go and visit a man with a thirst for danger the Resident Weeble

(WMB4X) The Dangers of Writing

(WMB4X) Takin Care of Business

This is the first piece of WMB4X I’ve not really planned, off the cuff seat of the pants time here. You see I have always written at work in part, this is because my job involves a lot of waiting around for MS Access queries to run (yes Mac boy has to use a PC), tables to import. So I would fire up Pages on my iPhone to cleanse my soul, and appease the masses that read my blog. (Well at least the one man and his dog Hi Chili)

However that has been curtailed apparently the powers that be would much rather us just sit and look into space (the PC can’t multitask) rather than do anything creative. It did get me thinking though. How much time does the average office worker actually spend doing anything bordering on meaningful? Now before we get into this, two things. I do, and I make no secret of this, hate my job. However I do also have high standards of my work, so I am in the strange position of caring about what I do, but not really seeing the point of it. Anyway time waits for no man…

Lets say you work an 8hr day.. altogether now “You work an 8hr day”

Of that 8hrs you have to take a 30 min lunch break by law, although lots don’t. I mean why would you not. Unless you are one of the very small percentage of folks who do actually love what you do. There is legislation that says it’s ok to break, so go ahead and break already.

So we are already down to 7hrs 30 mins.

If you work on a computer (PC my sympathy, Mac you lucky shit) you are supposed to take a 10 minute break away from the screen every two hours. So to make my maths easier lets say you work on the computer for 6hrs that gives you 30 mins break away from the screen, it’s not all in a lump though so that probably means you’ll go for a wander so thats us down to 7hrs.

Of those 7hrs 20 mins of every day is spent walking up stairs, removing jackets and logging on to networks. So thats 6hrs 40. They say to keep optimally hydrated you should drink 8 pints (not beer, awwh) of water a day so lets say you spend 15 mins a day drinking. Thats 6hrs 25 mins maybe even a further 25 mins walking to and from the kitchen to fetch your beverage. 6hrs.

Then because you have drunk all that water you are gonna need to pee. Also lets to be frank here, you are also gonna wanna take advantage of the free bog roll and getting paid to crap bonus, which everyone loves. So lets be conservative here 30mins per day. 5:30.

So 5:30. Well offices all have notice boards or intranet pages you are supposed to read but never do. 30 mins for that 5hrs. If your office is like all the others there is that one person who wanders around talking to anyone who’ll listen about anything. Either you are that person (take those five remaining hours) or you will occasionally talk to them, take at least an hour. Or you will spend an hour trying to work unsuccessfully because of the inane prattle.

4hrs. Team meeting. 2hrs of sitting nodding, agreeing.

2hrs. Well it used to be researching and preparing the blog one hour each. But I guess I’ll have to do some actual work now.

(To any potential employers, I have held down a job since 2000, this is not a true representation of my work output…. I barely even go in)


Check out the fine work of the Resident Weeble who is always in work by the crack of Noon

(WMB4X) Takin Care of Business

“What you reading for?”

The title of this piece is of course stolen from the below Bill Hicks bit . But it is appropriate, what are you reading this for? My blog. Is it because you are my friend and you feel obliged to or do you just like the cut of my jib. Did you search for “Kelly Brook Fat” again and are frustrated you find yourself here instead of looking at a photoshopped Miss Brook. Kelly is lot of things, fat is not one of them.

I write this following the news that one of the bloggers I “follow” (I hate that wordpress changed it from subscribe) is to quit writing because amongst other things his readership has dwindled. Mine has never been high, my Status Quo gig review has been my biggest hit, largely because no-one else wrote one but 108 hits in a day in my career high. As I have been sporadic in updating averages of 20 views have fallen to 3 or 4. All folks looking for strange things.

When I first started this, I was consumed by viewing stats and I still am up to a point. After all this is not a diary, it is an opinion piece and I’d like my world view to be seen and discussed, even if it is “What a misguided arse SudoOne is.” What I don’t want to do however is write things to try and get hits, a thing that I have caught myself doing on occasion. I need to write well and more often for the 3 or 4 who might read it and that’s it.

I would love to write professionally. But due to my inability to deal with rejection I will never send any of the bits I write to be published. So this blog is a halfway house. It gets me writing, its allows me to express my (messed up) opinions to the anonymous masses (up to 20 of them at a time)

So I am writing for me. Not to be popular, not for money (I get no money from any ads that appear) I am writing for me, and for you dear reader my sincere thanks, but don’t expect to like or enjoy everything.

I just hope it doesn’t suck. I continue to be surprised, what the hell are you reading for!

“What you reading for?”