Quite a lot of the things I write day to day are in my mind, rubbish and unpublishable, however, by maintaining that stance on the things I do write, it has made my blog seem inactive and me as a writer inactive. I actually do on average blow out more than 700 words per day just ranting at myself or brainstorming, some of the things are actually rather interesting to a few people apparently. The things I generally write about are things I have researched in books or on programs etcetera, how they play in my mind and little quirks I think up. Sometimes I write lazy and incredibly short stories under 500 words which will never be seen unless I put them on the blog – so I decided, well what is the harm? Why not share this rubbish with people? I have heard that what a creator thinks is rubbish turns out to be their best work by and large.
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Gathering creative inspiration
I once read somewhere, though I can’t remember where exactly that for your personal creativity to be as original as possible and for you to develop a noticeable personality for your followers you need to be selective about what you put into your brain. Therefore, you must be choosy about what you want to learn and what you expose your brain to… the kind of stimulus you give your brain will determine the kind of work you are likely to produce.
With the above being said, it has some bearing to me. I have noticed that I am not easily influenced by regular fiction or classics or best-sellers, though some of my favourite books and stimulus have been best-sellers, by and large most of my stimulus has only been heard of by people of certain small sub-cultures.
I regard myself as a fantasy writer with a bit of horror thrown in the equation or vice versa. I am not really sure if I write more horror or more fantasy; though I suppose the readers of this blog will perhaps state that I am neither really, but a poet; I have however said in the past, that I do not put many of my stories up on the blog because I am never really sure if they are finished or not and even then, I am unsure if publishers will publish them if they’ve been on my blog first.
The things that stimulate me or have stimulated me will be noted below, I shall include music, movies, programs, books, individual people, artists and more and this list shall grow and grow over the years.
It will not be written like a list because I would like to explain the lure.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey has been mentioned on this blog before as a favourite of mine. I am not fond of stories regarding winter because I have an excellent imagination even in the blazing heat of the hottest summers on record and I would be sitting down reading books with snow in, feeling freezing cold – but this particular story gripped me because not only did it teach me about farming life in Alaska, it taught me that the best stories in the world always end in a way you are not expecting it to. It was the first book I ever read where the ending made me feel numb and a little bit angry, but not in a bad way.
Monty Python has always influenced the humour in me and their influence is often shown in my family fantasy stories. I love their silliness and the seriousness their jokes come across as, it is like their characters are acting as normal as anyone would in the same circumstances and why would it be any other way? Monty Python and Terry Pratchett have been very good in teaching me that life isn’t always the same in every world and that there are many ways a society can live and it would be perfectly normal to that society to be that way… I mean… why not?
Of course Terry Pratchett will get a mention on his own with disc world being a huge favourite series for me, his humour has no bounds. In fact, his is the first piece of fiction that is over 20 pages long that my seven year old son has started to read. In the last few days I have been reading 12 pages a night of Sourcery. He is so thrilled by it that it isn’t proving to be a very good bedtime story at all for him, far too stimulating! My son is quite a serious fellow really, he has a sense of humour but I think most of it got squashed during the ventouse, though he tries to joke occasionally bless him. He does how ever find it amusing if not weird that there is a world in this book where bed bugs will wave goodbye when the mattresses run away and that luggage will walk away from time to time and hassle publicans for crisps.
Ransom Riggs is a new favourite of mine, I only started reading him in mid-march 2017 and I didn’t discover him through his debut book either, I discovered him through “Tales of the peculiar” and I am so glad I did. His stories aren’t just good, they are haunting. They feel like they have been around for centuries, I swear I knew these stories from somewhere before, they feel so familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it. I did my research, they are not copied, he is just so good that it feels old… the stories feel as old as Beowulf to me. They feel like they are part of societal fabric. I can see me developing an obsessive readership type love for this author if he carries on like this in the future! Part story-teller, part mesmerist I think.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is shocking, too shocking for some people to read beyond the first chapter, but to me it is a beautiful story if you can get over such a horrific subject. For me, it is about how a person’s spirit lives on even in death and how they can still influence the living by how they think and feel about the living – basically, the more the spirit thinks of the world, the more the world will feel the loss of the person. It also talks about the wonders of being dead; the freedom to create your own little haven and that paradise is whatever you want it to be, there are no real rules to paradise and the story ends in such a way that it shows that justice isn’t always done in a black and white way.
Susan Hill is a favourite, particularly her story called “The Man in the Picture”, it has a theme I adore more than most themes – a theme of a carnival, Venetian balls, Venetian masks with a dark veil. I love how it is almost like the picture of Dorian Gray, but with its own unique story. You can also sense a little of Roald Dahl’s The Witches in this story too.
The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie is again a subject connected to mesmerism and carnival or more to the point circus acts and magicians as a matter of fact, mesmerism, circuses, carnivals, fantasy, comedy, horror, theatre, oddities, mimes, jokes, harlequins, jesters, pirates, gothicness, insanity and surrealist things draw me – they provide me with inspiration, which is another reason why I love the music of Nox Arcana as they provide music for all of these subjects.
I love the band Misfits and the insane clown posse, once again, circus and dark themes. I like Melanie Martinez as she is like someone who fell out of the suicide squad movie.
I like Batman purely for the villains, mainly Joker and Harley Quinn.
I used to watch WWF but I stopped shortly after The Big Boss Man died, I haven’t been updated with them since, I haven’t a clue what’s gone on since that big event. I wasn’t a huge fan of him, but I stopped watching it because I couldn’t get it on TV anymore in my area because my parents gave up digital. But I loved WWF and WCW because of certain themes wrestlers had, my favourites were, The Undertaker, the insane clown posse with Luna and the oddities, Kurgan, Giant Silver, I loved Gold dust and Raven, Vampiro, the misfits in action, mankind, Dude Love, Doink the clown to name but a few.
Up until 2015 I watched TNA on Freeview, I stopped watching when Mickie James left mostly, but I also liked Brian Kendrick.
There is an unknown author out there called Alex Weinle of which I won a giveaway of his debut anthology of short stories called “The Decapaphiliac”, he is excellent and is a new Neil Gaiman in my opinion, though there is absolutely nothing wrong with the real Neil Gaiman – this author is similar. I recommend them. He lured me with his fantasy, dark humour and the fact that he seems rather fond of cafes and market places like me.
I like dark humour a lot, I like Jimmy Carr and the mesmerist magician Rob Zabrecky, and they lean on the humour I tend to have the most, I have this Victorian quality about me, a seriousness that looks severe and when I am in a playful mood it can often be mistaken for insanity or instability.
Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz are as classic as I would go as far as literature is concerned, though I do love classic gothic horror especially by HP Lovecraft and the likes.
Neil Gaiman I am a fan of, the kind of darkness I love – Coraline, smoke and mirrors etc – delicious for the hungry mind.
Freaks the 1932 horror is wonderful too – I like it – to me it has a dark humour but also a moralistic undertone. Once again part of the pull for me is the circus theme.
Cirque de soleil also pulls me because of the circus theme, vampire circus, the night circus, Hetty Feather, Oz the great and powerful and the circus mesmerist feel of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka.
I also like Victorian asylum themes; I love Dracula for that, Nightmare on elm street, Angels at my table, Chaplin the movie and once again, music from Nox Arcana with the album Blackthorn Asylum.
All these things, dark, mesmerising, surreal are what I love and what fuels my creativity.
I literally soak myself in everything that inspires me, if it doesn’t inspire me or grips me, then it goes, I don’t waste my time on it and my selectivity is unusual, it is strange and it is hard to find kindred in this type of darkness.
I just wish I would knuckle down and work harder and get brave enough to finally take the plunge and kiss my work into the black hole that is the post box and send it on its merry way to a publisher and onto your bookshelves, flying to you with black and white butterfly wings.
I have been feeling a little better about writing since I have been writing more often my morning pages on a website known as 750words.com
I had written 24 days in a row before becoming seriously ill with such a bad ear infection that I needed to go to A+E and was sent directly to the ENT department in Coventry and was given ear wicks; I was told that I came very close to being admitted in hospital and having to have antibiotics intravenously, the infection came on very quickly, I’ve never known an infection to react to my body so fast and it even went into my jaw and prevented me from eating solids for days.
Anyway, after 10 days of antibiotics I got back into my morning pages again, this time I have been doing them 7 days, I am confident that the inner writer/artist has reawaken, the desire to be creative has come back. This is amazing because for the last three years I had thought I would never write much again, I lost interest in it, I didn’t enjoy it anymore, but now I look forward to waking up just so I can write.
Today I have written over 600 words without doing my morning pages to awaken me into the mood to write, which for me is a huge progress.
I have decided to take note of my previous post here and to do at least one post each day, even if it has nothing to do with a poem or story, just a little update about my life. Because it is my duty to feed my fans the stuff they love.
I have chosen to start as from tomorrow, posting about my thoughts on various mythological creatures. There will be at least one post per day henceforth, however, there may be more than one post per day, depends on what happens, but ultimately there will be at least one a day.
Thank you for staying loyal to my blog.
Just sit and write if you want to be a writer. Guess what? When you publish anything on your blog you are a published writer, did you know that? As stupid as it sounds, I never knew this until a friend told me this online earlier today.
Yes, anything you put on your blog is considered “published”, so you must congratulate yourself right now for being a published writer already. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t fully understand the ways that the internet can assist someone to actually make a career for themselves.
If you have followers, you shouldn’t look at them as mere readers, they are your fans and you should take care of your fan base and make sure that they don’t get bored by waiting for new material for too long. All of this has been said to me by a good creative/artist friend, things I had never thought of myself and believed them.
I am motivated by the fact that I have hundreds of followers, I am very sad for them that I’ve neglected to give them more material that they obviously loved enough to follow my blog.
I feel ashamed of myself for letting them down.
The wakeup call I got from my friend today has made me realise how popular I am and how much I have succeeded just by simply having a blog.
It is my duty to my followers (my fans) to give them regular new material as often as possible.
As a writer we are entertainers, it is our duty to keep our fans entertained, if we fail to do this, we fail them and even more so ourselves because we will then lose that vital fan base. So keep your blog active. This is something I am definitely going to do now and this awakening is so important to me that I am seriously thinking about printing this post out and putting it on my wall next to my desk!
I hope that this post has helped other bloggers realise how successful they’ve become too, without realising it.
Windy, grey and cold was the weather that day, the cold wet sand beneath Rebecca’s bare feet felt oddly comforting to her. Trying to warm herself in vain with folded arms rubbing her shoulders, standing in nothing but a renaissance style under-dress, she watched the horizon intently as though focusing on something approaching, but there was nothing and nor was she really expecting there to be.
She could hear them coming behind her – her family and her maidservant, calling out to her to get inside and put some clothes on, as she might catch her death of cold; but she looked on and the nearer they got, the further towards the sea she walked as though hypnotized by some demonic siren.
Intrigued to find out what happens next? Like this post and if I get 10 likes by the 20th November I will make a story for you.
Thank you, enjoy!
I’ve had a lot on lately. No excuse I understand, but I have had a bad prolonged virus and tendonitis in at least four of my joints, particularly my knees and ankles. I was stuck in hospital for 4 hours on last Monday evening having X-rays. I hate leaving this blog neglected for as long as I do, so I have decided to write at least one poem a day especially for the blog and pre-post it on that little nifty thing called scheduled posting and I aim to have something posted on this site every three days at the very least.
Writing as a whole hasn’t been put on the side-lines; reading however, has been put on the side-lines, which is annoying as this virus came upon me during the time I had specifically ordered and paid for six particular books from the library (which would have been read within 10 days) and now they’re nearing their maxed out re-borrowing time of almost nine weeks. Seriously, to me, to read less than 3 books a week is a serious let down on my part, though to many people they would probably see it as no Biggy.
Anyway, this update is going to be short and sweet as it’s bordering on depressing my readers which is something I don’t wish to do. Next posts will be the 9 or so poems I wrote in bed during my sickest days.
I have not socialised with other writer’s offline and not too much with them online either; the reason for this is unclear, I do try hard to socialise particularly in the Facebook writer’s clubs but they seldom reply to me direct unless offering criticism to my lack of punctuation or grammar.
I have often reminded members of these clubs that I have had very little education, due to being home-schooled and I have never gone into higher education and that most of what I know is self-taught; it is for these reasons that I lack confidence in creative writing, particularly when it comes to publishing anything on my blog. I have been told by many people that publishing things on my blog can be detrimental to my future of becoming a published writer because blogs are often considered too personalised and once published in an online media, it is considered published anyway.
When I have been active on these groups, I have never actively criticised another person’s work unless to praise their efforts, I seldom post any of my own work because of fear of plagiarism and it being noted as being published online. Perhaps this is the reason behind having so few writing friends?
Because the majority of those who talk to me about my writing concentrate a lot on my grammar and punctuation, I have become self-conscious of my writing, enough to start reading books such as “Eats, shoots and leaves” by Lynne Truss, “Improve your punctuation and grammar” by Marion Field and to try online punctuation and grammar games. I have been so affected by the criticism of the polishing of my work that I have even considered spending out more than I can afford for software called Grammarly, which I may have to put on hold for a while.
Despite trying to educate myself more on writing professionally I really don’t think it’s sinking in. I know I shouldn’t worry too much about it because if I was to approach a publisher they’ll have editors to help me in this matter, but for some reason or another it is a big issue for people within the writing communities online.
A friend of mine (who is a lecturer for Leeds University) feels that there isn’t too much of a problem with my punctuation, though some of it does need brushing up – but they feel that my critics are pedantic beyond need, as writers groups are generally there for socialising and for fun, not shooting down other members lack of abilities.
My blog may become quieter for a short phase because I am trying to brush up on these inconsistencies.
I have read somewhere in the past, that you are what you read and I believe that. The more I read the more defined my tastes have become, my skills, my genre leanings and this influences my writing and art.
With each good book I learn how I want to write and what I want to write about.
With each bad book I read, I learn how I do not want to write and what I dislike.
I do not believe that as a writer you must write things outside of your comfort zone, I believe you should be comfortable with what you are writing – although on an emotional matter, that’s quite different. You must write outside of your emotional comfort zone if you wish to write fear, pain and heartbreak effectively, unfortunately that means opening up your old wounds.
A lot of the time, I like to write about horror, trauma etc. and each time I do, I open up real and old wounds, this is why I often become quiet as a writer and have prolonged periods of not writing, whilst I emotionally recuperate.
I was once told that writers and artists generally go mad after a time and I believe it, we send ourselves mad for our art and stories because we are constantly reliving the horrors of our past for your entertainment and as a collective, we seldom are known or recognized for it.
I am not moaning about my lack of recognition as a writer and artist, because personally I think that’s my own fault. I think I am generally a lazy person and have not bothered to find myself a publisher or to advertise my work very much over the years at all. On the one occasion I did contact a publisher to see whether or not they liked an idea of mine, I was lucky enough to get a letter back within three weeks, but this terrified me, because they loved what I sent them and praised me highly for it; I never contacted them again, I was worried about becoming famous and at the time I was young and didn’t know about pseudonyms.
These days I am more prepared for whatever life throws at me because I will be totally blatant about what I can and cannot do and what I will and will not allow.
Other than twitter, my blog and magazines are there any other steps I should take to get myself known?
Please comment below.