Ready, steady, start again!

Writing anything of worth we know takes real hard work.  Even more than that, we need to constantly develop ourselves as well as our skills and content.

On my latest project, which is in its infancy, I have already made some about-turns.  As any work/ novel progresses we must not be rigid about the initial idea being all consuming.  Sometimes this initial or dominant idea can become constricting and smother developing or better ideas.  Innovation and creativity rely on the discontinuous, the unexpected which in turn means reveling in the unplanned and listening to that part of us which the dominant idea tends to discount.

Chaos, I hear you say.  To an extent yes. It’s all a question of confidence to try new things, ideas and even vocabulary.  For example, most of us have a style which predetermines the words that fit.  What if we change that, and think more ardently about the things we know that come from outside this paradigm.  Do I swear a lot?  Answer; yes/No.  Do people swear a lot?  Answer; Yes they do.  Swearing is not my written style, how about listening on the street?  How about making the vernacular more strident? Is there enough lyricism in my writing, can I re-read out loud passages and enjoy them?  Do I find them engaging?  Why would my reader?

Of course, there comes a time in any work where the aim is set.  Even then, at rewrite stage, we have to keep an open mind.  You know what?  It might mean tearing the whole thing up and starting again.



Getting down to writing.

How easy is that? Well not so easy if you are setting out to write another novel.  I wrote last week about the challenges and choices that face every author at the beginning of a new work.

I was once encouraged to just put down my bottom, sit up and type/write – no matter what the substance and sooner or later there will be something of value remaining that can contribute to the finished work.   Though I have reservations about where the empty page can take you.  An empty page and perhaps an empty mind!

Today, after mulling over the last week the development of the idea of “The beginning of my end” I’ve put a bit more flesh on the bone.  I still agonize about the autobiographical bit and how hard it is to avoid.  We are after all, what we have become through the data bank of our experience.  It is impossible to avoid even in this age of endless research tools.  The key is our imagination and our ability to imagine.

This should I suppose be limitless, but it seldom is, tied down as we are to the experience of our own being.  I find it impossible to get excited about certain options that are fantastic, sci-fi, horror and even brutal everyday crime.   There lie my limitations as an author.  A narrowly defined horizon that imprisons my imagination.

I will try to work to broaden my options and open my mind.  But even at 76, it’s hard to do despite having traveled more than most and enjoyed a relatively wild and certainly interesting life.

At least in this little blog, I’ve set myself up, to flex my imaginative muscles and step into a brand new horizon.  Who knows what I shall find there?

The British – the independants.

The Brits have voted to leave the EU.  Most of the voters have no idea what this means or why they cast their votes as they did.  However one sentiment underlies their drive – ‘we don’t like being told what to do!’  It’s important then that political leaders understand this very basic tenet.

Presently, the very decent Mrs. May is trying to lead a national government, largely populated by members who echo the national sentiment – they don’t like being told what to do. As  far as Brexit is concerned they are doubly wary when they have no idea or conception of what ‘Brexit’ will become to mean. No one does. They are scared of what they don’t know.  They are even more frightened of having to do what the Brussels bureaucrats eventually dictate.  ‘Telling the Brits what they must do!’

Mrs.May, a thoroughly good person who likes to think she is the only person who can read the British psyche, is alas, entirely unfitted for leadership.  She honestly believes in ‘right’ as promulgated in the Anglican Church, and who can argue with that?  Sadly she lacks the common touch, any semblance of personal wit or charm.  Leadership qualities that are indispensable today. Her predecessor had these qualities in spades and yet he is the one who lost the biggest gamble of all.

May, it must be said, has suffered a bounty of misfortune, much of it, but not all, of her own making.  The electoral choice was the greatest howler of modern politics, and the Tories, she knows as well as anybody, will not forgive her.

In a nut shell,  a country once great, is now cast adrift and poorly led with no idea what the future holds.  Add to that a loopy opposition of Trotskyists and you have a recipe for chaos. The consequent challenges and choices are immensely difficult and are made more so since May’s recent appeal to cross party consensus has fallen on deaf ears.

The future looks turbulent, May cannot last long and whoever succeeds her must have the wit, charisma and humour to carry a cynical parliament and electorate who are fickle and election weary.  Is there such a person in British politics?

Maybe there is someone,  and as it is apparent to all (except possibly Mrs. May) we must have change at the top, then they need to put their hands up.  It’s a scary challenge and it will need someone of heroic stature to rescue the UK and put even a small ‘Great’ into the GB of old.

Some would believe that the era of the Brits at the top table is passed.  Perhaps the new leader will think outside the box and reposition the UK where it would most like to be, independant, with fewer world resposibilities and left to make its own decisions.  No more leading europe, no more posturing at the UN, just getting on with being British; a stiff upper lip, a sound economy, good services and an educated population. This sounds like turning inward, and of course it is, but is UK in a position to do anything else? Is it giving up on our world leadership? – yes it is. Dare I say it? The new UKland, with no one telling us what to do.


Writer lost for too many words

Creating a platform, tweeting, blogging, socializing takes so much  time,  creative writing which is my raison d’etre is almost crowded out.  Whilst the electronic age opens so many channels we are in danger of being submerged in the rush of self promotion.  Good literature is being dwarfed by the cult of cheap celebrity and instant self publicity.  I feel that I will write my best work that no one will read because it will demand an effort from the reader and of course his opportunity to discover me.  In this crowded ether it seems that neither is likely to happen. 

So should I surrender to the inevitable, one thing or the other?  Write good literature or join the sad gossiping frippery of the pursuit of celebrity?  It seems I must have faith and be happy, write as well as i can, each piece a small work of art, an end in itself, it is just sad that few, if any, will read it.  Time to write then and end this Blog.