Long time readers will know that I don’t like RESOLUTIONS. There’s too much focus on one day in the year, and there’s too much looking back on a previous year with regret, with a false determination to DO BETTER next year. And it’s all too easy for the resolutions to fall flat. Like: “This year, I’m going to lose x weight”. It’s a focussed target, which might appear to be good, but it’s a digital target. You will either succeed, or you will do the ‘F’ word – FAIL. And failure is a destructive state of mind. We don’t like destructive things – we only like constructive things. So my resolutions are NOT resolutions – they’re aims, or goals. If I don’t reach those goals, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because as you will have seen if you’ve read my ‘looking back‘ post, there’s still a lot to celebrate. So let’s get started.
Yes, I know this year has been … different. That ancient philosopher who said “may you live in interesting times” needs to just shut up now. The ‘featured image’ sums up what a lot of people think about the year just gone.
But that doesn’t stop me from doing my annual roundup – a look back to last New Year at what I said I was going to try and do during 2020, and what I actually have done.
Featured image photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/ePkfwrVYoTc instagram.com/jannerboy62
In today’s blog post, I want to talk about creativity and the inner voice. When looking for a suitable featured image, I instantly loved the bike at the top of my post. Connecting two great loves of mine – cycling and creativity.
Writing fiction is just one aspect of creativity. It’s easy to imagine the impoverished author – sitting in a lonely Parisian garrett, with just their imagination and a typewriter with which to express their innermost thoughts.
Tuesday, 6th October, 2020. The day Eddie Van Halen died from throat cancer.
Some of you may not know who Eddie Van Halen was – EVH for short. He was an American rock guitarist who, like Jimi Hendrix, changed how people played rock guitar. He was an inspiration to several generations of rock guitarists.
He had to deal with a lot of issues in his life, like injuries (from his high-octane stage act) and the almost inevitable drink and drugs. He eventually succumbed to throat cancer at the age of 65. He had smoked since he was 12.
I spend a little part of every day on Twitter. I probably spend too much time on Twitter, if I’m honest. Sometimes, it’s a bit … meh, and sometimes it’s red hot.
Yesterday, someone I followed posted this:
“You know when artists get so famous their work isn’t edited properly …”
and they went on to quote a few pieces of work. Basically asking if the bigger the author gets, reputation- and following-wise, the more influence they have on the production side of their book. Specifically, editing.
I want to tell you about themes. When I first started writing (short, literary fiction), I was forever being told about themes, and about how my writing needed more thematic writing in them. I really struggled to work out what a theme was, and how I could get it into my writing without making it look clunky and hokum.
After a couple of years of very minor success, I moved onto writing longer fiction. And, since I read commercial genre fiction (crime / thriller / horror / espionage), I naturally began to concentrate on those areas – writing the sort of books I’d like to read. If they were any good.
Wonderful Swanwick – nearly 300 writers in beautiful surroundings, great food, and more writing input than almost any human can bear!
It was my third time there, and it has lost none of its magic. From crime to short stories, teaching methods to character psychology, and a fun-filled agenda of evening entertainment. What’s not to like?
I seem to be doing better on my interaction with people lately. Which is not very secret code for hanging around on social media a lot.
Anyway, last night I brought my wordcount spreadsheet up to date. I keep my own Excel spreadsheet, recording my daily wordcounts on various projects. It’s a good idea, so I can try to keep myself on track, and give myself motivation. It also allows me to track my endeavours on various writing challenges (I love a good challenge, me).
So, after adding up the blog posts I’ve written (few of which have seen the light of day), and the short and flash fiction I’ve written (none of which have seen the light of day), and my faltering, stumbling steps on Death In Print, my Danni Monroe crime novel, I added a whopping 19,257 words to my word count, and my 2016 total now stands at 62,907.
One of the challenges I enjoy is the #100kwords100days project, which has been running twice a year for several years now. To achieve my goal (100,000 words in 100 days, of course) I need to write just over 3,000 words a day for the next 12 days.