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A Light Hearted Piece, A Writers Frustrations
I have not been able to call myself a writer as I have not succeeded in making a live-able income from it. However, what is in a label? I write and love to do so, therefore I am, dare I say it... a writer. Have a keen fondness for letter writing- particularly handwritten, the act of writing by hand in itself is wonderful.
I remember loathing English in later secondary school by being forced into the curriculum and quite poor books that one had to write about and memorise quotes from when sitting exams. Thus, having had a clear-out I did come across a file of my old school work and childhood diaries- proof to myself that I have actually always written! The most interesting find was probably a play I had written, secretly in class whilst studying Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. The lack of flow a play has means it is not something I can read like a novel.
Reading, now there can be no greater escapism. To be able to travel in time, to new lands and to periods in history in your mind is just incredible. It is good for the soul and the imagination. There are those books which make you laugh out loud, cry in pain or encourage dreams as you close it before sleep. Reading and writing go hand in hand. If my writing could make anyone who reads it feel any emotion or be inspired, I certainly can count that as a success. My ambition and a work in progress is to publish a series of novels to inspire modern young people in many ways, most importanly to socialise outside, partake in sport and so on.
What shall follow is a succinct list of some of the minor hurdles and inconsequential issues which arise when writing.
Not Sharing Thoughts With Others
My Mum, her saying that upon reading she hugs a book close to her chest after finishing a good one and thanks the author. Talking and listening are so important. Socialisation is good, everyone has a story. I do not mind to say now as it is a long dropped habit, that I used to shut myself away when tough situations arose eg redundancy. There is no shame in liking what you like, nor any wrong answer. Opinions are words, a friend said they are like arseholes we all have them. Way, way too many people fit that description, people can be offensive, backward, rude and so forth. You do not have to agree, but being original and having confidence in your own views enough to not bow to such things as peer pressure is important, it helps in being true to self. By default it helps ones writing.
Moving and Organising Your Personal Library
Hands up at being quite a walking contradiction. I marvel at the advancements of technology, minds that think of these things and build them; closer to home a friend who can fix anything- have another who social media aided a reconnection with after eleven years. He is this August cycling around Europe by bike. I am old fashioned, I like my books in their physical form. Kindles and Tablets: all of these things are so convenient, however work, winter leisure and so on is very screen orientated and find to recharge I need occassional technology blackouts.
So, books. These weigh a great deal, can take up space if you like to hold onto and re-read them. Later today my plan is to scavenge the local second hand shops for a suitable shelving unit to accomodate my currently overflowing shelves. Really wished to custom build it but time and inconvenience have made that an impossibility, pity. My dear friend in Aberdeen, her and her partners flat was all the encouragement I needed that it was time to invest in some furniture for my humble abode!
Finding The Right Tools
It is fantastic when you find that perfect pen to write with. Biro's are cheap, a wee bit uncomfy but can write very fast with these and on the page my writing is always quite small, rounded and soft. If writing a letter or in one of my quote or special notebooks I like fine lined pens with a fine nib, ones I call runny ink pens. Time and care taken with these, caution seems to stem from thoughts that seeing ink drying it is finite. Can often end up wearing it, be it strikes on face or hands. Typing via technology, now- that, I have learned needs a good firm keyboard.
In terms of books, like paperbacks for the lightness in the hand and their transportability. Hardbacks I reserve for the classics or those very special books I love most and treasure. It is a waste of my money to buy brand new books, it is the words I am buying- it does not matter to me if a book is a little worn, has a charm that it has been enjoyed and could have a story in itself. Specific covers can catch the eye and tempt me too much. A recent visit to St Andrews second hand bookshop was bankruptcy worthy!
Being Open Minded & Seeking Inspirtation Everywhere
I record a great deal and have a long standing interest in social history. Have seen two fantastic films in the last week, one being Clous Atlas and the other the most recent adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd. Both are beloved novels, seeing the visual representation is so powerful. Both are films which are treats for the eyes, make the wind wander and Cloud Atlas is so multi-faceted that you see new things each time you watch it. Carey Mulligan moved me to tears with her portrayal, it was the story as a whole that had personal resonance to me right at this moment. So, reader this in turn birthed this article out of absoloutely nowhere. I had believed a serialised piece would be my 20th HubPage publication.
Writers Block and Forcing It
Life can and does get in the way, the mind too is strong. I have had periods that I thought I could not write due to not being happy and others I have chosen to not read challenging books due to thoughts that my brain was not working. Have ridden these things out in my own way at the time but hindsight makes me wonder whether challenging the mind into reading a more complex and non-familiar tale I may well have been more stimulated. Likewise with the writing, if I had not thought so much and just wrote it may have lead to happiness as it is a trusted method to empty ones head.
It is real too though, can get easily distracted at the slightest thing when I am tired and concentration poor. Can be as little as a phone ringing and lose my train of thought. I am not there yet nor confident enough to put my name to my pieces. The most valuable lesson I have taught myself is to not force writing, to record ideas to come back to, start articles of half baked ideas and see how they are develop when next seen with fresh eyes.
Oh my! There is truly no wonder that people pay others to do this futile task. Know I can over-edit my own work but am very open minded and find ease to edit others when asked. All of the tools which exist, like spell check, Grammarly plugin and online thesaurus/dictionaries are fantastically useful! Sure, the older generation complain that it is lazy to rely upon technology but when you have been brought up with it their argument falters. For me myself, it is great- I just type or write what is pouring from my mind and chose to edit later. Mistakes are common when typing, especially just now as I am using my Mum's laptop which has very soft, sensitive keys and letters are duplicated.
This links to the aforementioned point of being distracted easily. On sunny summer days it is great to write outside, I long to have my own garden and to live in a non-residential area on the coast. Peace in ones home does not occur when neighbours are noisy and their dogs yappy. It is nice to make your own spaces comfy, places you want to be. To adapt to situations if wishing to write and make things as easy as possible for yourself.
Favourite Reading Sources & Means to Discover New Reads
- Second Hand Book Stores:-
* Train station runs a fantastic book shop, all of the proceeds go to charity.
* St Andrews- Based in the beautiful Fife, you find gems here due to the students handing in their books.
* Charity shops
- Car Boot Sales
- Public Library
- Family & Friends
- Popular Culture (articles, interviews, films and music)
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