Archive for February, 2014

Inspired

Posted: February 25, 2014 in writing
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I have not posted for a little while, the reason being I was ill last week and could not bear the thought of looking at anything electronic. Even looking at a book made me feel nauseous. Not a good week for productivity. But, I am back feel well again and I want to crack on! One problem though, I don’t feel very inspired. I have a novel in progress and I really need to get moving on it, yet the past few days I don’t seem to have a single idea in my head. Normally I can think and dismiss several ideas a day but at this moment I can’t think of a single thing, the slate is blank! The brain has shut down!

So I look to my inspirations. I search the depths and recesses of my mind for ideas. As I search I realise that my writing capability is directly related to environmental factors. The more worry I have the less I can focus. I wonder, is this the same for everyone? I, for many years, have used fiction to escape reality, to run away from my problems. Whether I am reading or writing I escape the rigours of daily life. Something has changed, I think I have finally grown up! Now that is scary. I am tackling the problems head on rather than brush them aside.

So what problems do I have? Well the biggest worry I have is my job. I have often complained that I dislike my job, but I do like having the money. Over the weekend it was announced that the company I am seconded to is seeking to end their contract, that being said the company I work for have other sites, which are all fully staffed. This means I could well find myself unemployed in the not so distant future. I spoke in an earlier post about tough choices, different jobs, pay cuts and less hours. However, job security is paramount and right now, I don’t have any.

I will be honest, I am frightened, worried half to death, I am not sleeping, I am not looking after myself because I am just too worried. I have a permanent headache! I must feed my family, keep the roof over my families head. But I am worried I can’t do this. I have a deep feeling I am failing them and that is very upsetting. Writing seems the last thing to think about. Even though I would love to do it as a permanent full time occupation the immediate concerns are too prominent in my mind and inspiration has left me.

I am also in a nervous state. The competition I entered to win a publishing contract will shortly announce the short list. And I wonder whether I will feature. Less than a week and I will find out. Maybe if I am short listed I will regain my inspiration. We shall see.

Do other writers have similar issues? Is concentration linked with environmental factors or is it just me?

Finally, farewell to a great writer, director and actor. Harold Ramis! Ghostbusters was very influential on me growing up and has remained one of my favourite films!

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Targets!

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have been very lax in writing my major project of late. It has been put on the back burner so I could focus on short stories. This was a mistake, a huge mistake. I am struggling to get back into the swing of the story, struggling to get back the flow I had before I set it aside. So why did I set aside this major project? I got 28000 words and stalled, majorly stalled, I lost the rhythm the flow and the story! What I was writing was waffling, babbling garbage and detracted from the story rather than adding to it. So I thought if I focused on something else I could get my mojo back. I was wrong!

I have such a clear idea of how I want the story to progress, how the characters develop and I know what I want to happen at every step of the way, for some reason I cannot describe on paper fluently, what that is! My frustration runneth over! I have read and heard from other writers and they have given me advice like, “It doesn’t matter what you write, just write! It all can be edited later!” So I tried this and as I read what I had written I discarded everything. It was trash! Do I need a decent break? Probably! I write everyday, I work 12 hours a day, at weekends I spend time with my family, and I won’t give that time up for anything. So what do I do?

I have set targets. Achievable ones! I have said I will write 1500 words a day, regardless if it is good, bad or indifferent! But I lost the mojo on part one. As I had a good idea what I want part two to be like, read like, feel like I started on that. So far I have been pretty successful. I have reached my targets and developed the story further. The format is a bit different I just hope that once it is it printed it will work as I imagine it to.

My mind has really been elsewhere the past week. I have seen a lovely job advertised that I would love to do but I am torn as it is a pay cut, not great guaranteed hours and could, in all possibility, severely harm my finances. Normally I would dismiss it, stay in the job I hate because it keeps the money coming in. But, this is just so tempting and it would be a job I would bounce out of bed to go do!

In all honesty I think my head will overrule my heart and I will do the responsible thing. But it is nice to have that dream, even for a short time! I still have my targets and my writing, if I work hard enough maybe that will get me out of the hellhole I call an office. Don’t get me wrong, I write because I love to, I love the feeling of someone enjoying something that has come from my imagination and that is why I write, maybe one day it will pay the bills too!

Well back to the daily grind. Hopefully I will continue to meet targets and produce work I am happy with. This dry spell can’t last forever!

Works in progress

Posted: February 6, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I think this weeks entry will be brief. I am focusing on works in progress. So much to do and I am led to distraction by things around me. As I have said in previous posts I feel I am a writer but at the moment it does not pay the bills and with two small mouths to fed I am required to work full time. My job is horrible! For the most part the people I work with are great, but there is one that makes my life a misery. I am not your normal security guard, (I will go on to why security in a bit), I have an undergraduate degree in History and a Masters by research (MReS) in Jewish History and Culture. I studied ancient languages, Hebrew, Aramaic,Demotic,Coptic and Syriac, and various variations thereof. Unfortunately, real world applications of this unique skill set mean that I struggle to find suitable employment. Security offers a high(ish) turnover without being too demanding on time. Although I am at work a lot it is easy to sit and write.

This is where my works in progress come in. I have put down my novel in favour of short stories, this is only temporary as the novel is playing on my mind and I must get back to it soon. However, I want some critique on my work. Entering short story competitions, I feel, is a good way to see how my writing is progressing. I have entries for the Writing Magazine and the Bridport Prize completed and I am going to fill my diary with closing dates for as many others I can.

Write down the closing date! I must do that so I don’t miss any, like I did last month. As some of you would have seen I posted a short story here last week. Which was great as I had one like and no comments at all! Many would see that as a negative, but not me! I think if people don’t say anything they like it, they are more likely to moan, badger and berate if it was bad. So taking a positive view. Anyway, I can hear my novel screaming at me, “please, please, finish me!” So that is what I must do, back to the grind!

Before I do go! It has been bought to my attention that it is National Storytelling Week in the UK. A fact that has gone remarkably unrecognised, so I leave you with this thought. We all tell stories, whether they are true accounts we tell our friends, whether we make up lies and a back story to reinforce the lie. Whatever story you tell this week, tell it well!