Category: Creative writing

Inspiring Orwell

It’s strange how you can pick up a book that speaks to you across the years and in this case has a tone of voice and content that is similar to something you might try to write yourself.

With November almost at an end it’s fair to say that my efforts to write a 50,000 novel have ended around the 12,000 word mark. But among those thousands of words there is a clear idea and a story that I might eventually want to take forward.

What is amazing is how my grumpy and frustrated tone that emanates from the main character is similar to George Bowling the main character in Coming up for Air. If I had doubts that someone who is slightly angry and bitter with his lot could resonate with readers then this book, although I’m only 60 pages in, is providing me with real food for thought and encouragement.

Thanks George.

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Writing instead of reading


For a change I intend to try and write something this month. Having signed up to the National Novel Writing Month I have this month to produce something that is 50,000 words long.

I have an idea but have no clue if it will stretch to that length so will set off today to try and see what happens when you take a loose idea and try to flesh it out a bit.

Despite doing this blog and twitter I don’t really write anything ‘creative’ so it’s going to be interesting and slightly scary! Will keep you updated on progress or lack of.

The Faber Academy open day

This morning despite the heat I braved the tube and headed towards Bloomsbury to Faber & Faber’s offices for an open day it was holding promoting the activities of its Academy.

In a room that overlooked the British Museum and had some welcome croissants and cool drinks the tutors of the various courses were on hand to talk about what the Academy does and to nod gently in the direction of the 10% off if you book today offer.

Sadly for me the cost of the course on learning how to write a novel was just way beyond my current means but it was good to hear about it and I met another aspiring writer and that was a great experience. May well do a one day course if the timing is right.

The one thing I will carry with me from the day are the words he said to me: “I’m tired of only being a writer in my head”.

Found that inspirational and worth going up there just to hear. Now the challenge is to actually get something down on paper. As I said to him “most people worry about endings. I have a problem from the point after the introduction”.

We will see what happens…

Writing made easy

Those keen not just to read but also to write will have noticed the Guardian yesterday running a supplement all about writing fiction. The series, which included How to write poetry in today’s Observer, is running all week.

Should be interesting to see if a new breed of authors will be launched on the basis of a thin guide.

How it felt today…

… suffering one of those days when your life seems to be consumed by running around doing things that waste energy and leave you mentally drained. The result is that while sitting in a meeting with various other people I stopped taking notes and wrote the following, which sums up what today felt like:

The feeling that your time is not your own must be one of the worst in the world. It is akin to being a prisoner in your own body. Walking past windows that you want to stare into, catching a park bench surrounded by fallen autumn leaves out of the corner of your eye and feeling the suppressed thrill of seeing the Thames. It all has to be walked past as you head for another meeting in another room with cold air conditioning and biscuits in the middle of the table that nobody will ever touch.

Life should be for living.

How it felt today…

… suffering one of those days when your life seems to be consumed by running around doing things that waste energy and leave you mentally drained. The result is that while sitting in a meeting with various other people I stopped taking notes and wrote the following, which sums up what today felt like:

The feeling that your time is not your own must be one of the worst in the world. It is akin to being a prisoner in your own body. Walking past windows that you want to stare into, catching a park bench surrounded by fallen autumn leaves out of the corner of your eye and feeling the suppressed thrill of seeing the Thames. It all has to be walked past as you head for another meeting in another room with cold air conditioning and biscuits in the middle of the table that nobody will ever touch.

Life should be for living.