Rejection!

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I feel I must warn you, if your not a writer maybe this blog post is not for you. You may get something from what Im going to write but writers will appreciate it that much more.

Rejection is a writers burden to bear. We all suffer rejection in our lives. We can go to work and feel a certain amount of rejection each and every day. Only it’s short lived and often we brush it off as wit or someone being funny at your expense. And I say, so what, I probably do it to others as much as others do it to me. Life goes on. Only as a writer I feel our rejection can go a little further.
In most professions of art there seems to be a tough road that we must follow. A road of loss and pain which all the greats have walked down. some of the most famous being Vincent van Gogh and Goya and a more modern day star Amy Winehouse this is to name just a few of many. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not alining myself up with the likes of the above, just showing that great art seem to come from people that have had great pain.
So rejection plays a part in creating the art, and my art is writing. I have lost much in my life. More than some and not as much as many. When I look round at my fellow man and woman I see people who don’t see the world as I do, they move through their life with eyes closed and hear nothing of its beautiful sounds.

When I receive a rejection letter from an agent or a publisher it hurts. If you say it didn’t then you are fooling yourself and if that’s how you cope with rejection, then fine fool away. Only it doesn’t stop there, it took me over five years to write my first novel. And the one I’m on now I have been writing for a year already. I work full time and have a young family so time is my enemy and I just don’t have enough of it.

People can without knowing it reject us sensitive writer types simply by being nice.
You know when you meet someone for the first time and tell them your a writer is goes something like this-

You tell them your a writer, they think it’s great and tell you how they have a good idea and begin to share it with you. Then you try to explain that good ideas are plentiful and its not the idea that makes a writer but the commitment. They look blanked at you and ask you what your book is about. You reply with a fumbled pitch that takes all credibility from you which leaves them thinking your a fraud.
Now weeks go by and they will eventually ask how the book is going you say it’s coming great and go it to a boring rant about the currant plot because you feel they are truly interested and not just being nice. Then when you notice there face you stop and it’s many months before that person ask about your book. After a year( or maybe two) they ask again and are surprised when you still have the excitement you had before. But still you will manage to bore them and they will walk away thinking how can someone commite so much time into something that will amount to nothing.
And that’s the difference between a want to be writer and a writer. What we do is hard, each and every time someone asks how the book is it’s a kind of small rejection in its self. (That’s unless you answer is it’s published! Here have a complimentary copy.) All they do is remind you how slow and bad you are, but and this is a but with a smile on my face. If you want to be good you have to go through all this rejection.
It builds good writing.
You will only find your style through writing many hundreds of thousands of words. Not till then will it be you and you will be good.
So when the next person asks you how’s the book coming, tell them it’s coming fine and thanks for asking. If they ask what’s it about? And this is the hard part that I fail to do so often. Tell them sorry but you have decided to not tell anyone about the book until you have finished. Then talk about the weather or there new house or the next new smart phone.
then when they hear about your book its the first time and its complete. You are free to talk about all the characters and plot turns because they have read it.

ps, This advice is manly directed at me, I am a failure when it come to following these simple rules. But I will make the extra effort and not keep going on about my books that is until I have finished then i will not shut up.
Please comment as Im always happy to receive them.

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Why You Should Never Get On The Wrong Side Of A Writer

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Get on the wrong side is a bit PC. “Piss me off.” Could be better or maybe “Anger me.” Which ever you want to pick is fine with me. Its just, I suppose I should warn you.  If you’ve done me wrong recently, this is aimed at you. (evil smile)

Take some popular singers, they like to ring the people that crossed them out to dry. Banging out a hit song with half meanings that are obvious to the world. It doesn’t take a genius to work out who they are singing about. But what about the people that cross a writer in a negative way.

I take my inspiration from the people I know and love. I also take inspiration from people at large. It could be at work, at play or just two people walking hand in hand down the street. The way they hold hands. The way they walk and talk. It all becomes very relevant when making new characters for a book. You see…. it all comes together in the back of my mind… and then people are born. Life like and full of what ever character traits I desirer. If your on a writers good side then you may end up being a leading hero with women (or man) and money, saving the human race from a devastating end.

Everyone has that special something, that something that makes them different from the people round them. And it’s that which makes characters jump right of the page and spring into life. Its that something that I want.

Now if your in a writers bad books, well lets say most of my villains die. They can have very painful and gruesome ends.  I’m just saying, maybe all those characters in all the books of the world wouldn’t have died so violently. Not if the people the writer was thinking of when they wrote them had not made them angry.

In the end ask yourself this question, If you opened a book and found your self in there, do you want to be a good guy or a bad guy?

Lets just say, the way I’m feeling right now…well, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a character in my newest novel happens to be overweight, short, selfish, and full of lies….and dies tragically as they are ran over by a lawn mower. Repeatedly.

Revenge is sweet.  Even if it’s only in my mind.

First draft, kill the editor for now

Every now and then someone will ask me for advice or my opinion on something they have written. And I am happy to do so. With the caveat that I am a new writer myself and my advice is that of a new writer. You could ask why am I giving advice out in the first place. And that would be a question I ask myself each and every time. (Luckily I don’t do it often.)
I think we all learn and grow with many personal variations and tangents. That said I also believe that we are all the same and we follow a curve of learning that is quite unbending and unforgiving. With the odd exception we all learn the same way. Some are faster than others but the curve is the same.
We start at A and continue through to B and C finishing eventually at Z. If we live long enough to reach Z that is. Remember time is very real and we take as long as we have.
If I traveled back in time to talk to Shakespeare at the end of his life, I would ask ‘Have you learnt everything you need to know about writing?’ I bet his answer would be, ‘no’
You could do this to all the greats in all the fields of art and you would (with the odd exception) get the same answer.

So when I say I’m a beginner writer, I suppose I’m saying I have started my journey and except that I will never finish it, but isn’t the joy, in doing not finishing. Don’t you get the most smiles and satisfaction at the point when you have figured out the plot twist you have been waiting for. When you know your eventual reader will want to know more, but not why they want to know more.
I enjoy writing one word in front of another and seeing what happens. This all happens in the first draft, the rest is polishing or improving the work, bring it it up to standard. But the creative bit has been done.
So my advice to all that write is, to enjoy your muse, your inspiration. It’s what makes art, well art. If your rolling between the sheets with the long haired bottle of inspiration. (my muse has long hair and is female for that matter.) Lock the editor away in the box room or a small wardrobe for now. And enjoy the muse. She likes to feel special you know.