I’ve always had a deep love for rhyming. Ask anyone I’m close to and they’d confirm that when I’m in the mood I can go off on rhyming tangents that last minutes, often packed with silliness. When I was really small I used to write poems or little limericks for my parents on their birthdays. As I grew older I privately tried my hand at song writing and eventually poetry, some of which featured in one of my first — and currently shelved — books, Darklight, which is a supernatural story I plan on revisiting some day. It’s tricky to explain in words, which is funny to say as an actual writer, but there’s a creative purity, or unique flow, to poetry that truly can help unlock any closed gates in your mind when searching for some consistency in your art.
Writing, or any art for that matter, is an extremely personal thing, and by extension every creator has their own methods to their madness. Some people, like my brother for instance, require silence in order to write. Others enjoy the tranquillity of some nice scenery. There are those who perhaps need to talk to themselves as they perform their art. Often these methods can mix and match depending on the person and their mood, since there’s no right way to do it. I mean, some people study using mind maps and pretty pictures, and I for one can’t get on with that. There’s another method I personally use to inspire my writing when the piece in progress needs a little extra kick, and it’s to do with the power music has to inspire art.
I’m sure that in your years as a living, breathing human being on planet earth you’d have many a time heard sayings along the lines of “nobody can do it alone” and “everyone needs someone” and so forth. Typically though some people (like myself) can identify as lone wolves, stubbornly tackling problems solo because they believe themselves capable and are determined enough to learn and overcome challenges no matter what. However in matters of the arts that can only get you so far, and in reality you truly do need what other human beings call support if you are to thrive.
We all know that hindsight is a perfect science. But more than that the first time you do anything usually comes with a certain level of reservation, self-doubt or a general lack of full expression, particularly when what you’re doing is creatively inclined. I feel since it’s been some five months since I published my self-published book, and a lot longer since I actually completed writing it, it’s a good time to talk about my thoughts about it in retrospect, and what I have in mind going forward with my second novel, The Black Glass Killer. This isn’t a revisit of the topic I already covered regarding the six months rule of progressing in writing, but rather an honest assessment of my first novel months and months after having written and subsequently published it. After all, I like to believe that I am self-critical and set high standards for myself.
We live in a world that is ripe with hostility, especially when it comes to dealing with different opinions. At least that’s what the internet will have you believe. Don’t get me wrong I love a good debate, even a heated one, because sometimes passion for the subject matter overrules calm and collected banter. And it’s more exciting. But sometimes people do it wrong, and eventually someone gets tired enough of something they love getting criticised that they throw out the clichéd argument of “let’s see you do better if you’re so quick to criticise.” This sadly is a stupid argument.
We’ve heard all the cliches before. It’s about how you get back up again after you fall. It’s easy to enjoy success, but overcoming failure is where real strength stems from. Failure is a natural part of the journey. Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you
stranger stronger. But as is the usual story, it’s easy to know something somewhere in the back of your head than to actually come face to face with it and experience it first hand. After all, everyone has an illusion in their mind of how they would respond to any given situation, but you’ll never really know until you’re in it.
A number of years ago my brother showed me this one quote. I can’t remember who said it or where it came from, but I never quite forgot the words. It was basically saying that an author only knows they made progress when they look back at what they wrote six months ago and sees how shit it is. Excuse the swear word, but I was trying to quote as closely as possible. At first I always found it quite funny, but once I took up writing more seriously I found that it couldn’t be closer to the truth if it whacked it with a baseball bat. But first, let’s backtrack a little bit.