Change It Up Week 13 – Music to my ears

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“Before the podcast, before computer games and back to back episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix people used to entertain themselves with music.”

“Moo-sick? Was that watching cows vomit Grandad? Was that what you did in the weird old days before going out to drink all the world’s petrol every evening?”

“Listen, you idiot. Music is a thing of beauty, and I’ll tell you a story of someone who nearly lost sight of that beautiful truth”

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First Year of Writing – Learnings

I’ve been writing all my life. Fighting for little scraps of time here and there to get stuff produced. But in many ways I think of this year as my first true year of writing.

This year I’ve had at least one day a week to dedicate to writing and it’s wonderful. It’s also frightening and depressing. I feel like I’m still learning my way, and I get the impression that I’ll always be learning my way. That’s no bad thing.

But here’s what I’ve learnt in Year One.

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Change It Up Week 12 – Write a Song

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to get up on various stages in London and wield one of those electronic guitar thingies and scream into the microphone about girls, love, religion, popcorn, my new shoes (no – hang on that’s Paolo Nutini) and other rock and roll things.

It was a great, exciting, drunken part of my life that stopped because –  life, innit. I wrote my last song at the age of twenty-four and played my last gig at the age of twenty-five. After that, it was drinking bottles of whisky and telling my former band members that I was retired, no matter how much they begged me to come back.

So after sobering up, wiping the dust off my rusty guitar and going through an intensive training course did I manage to produce a Bohemian Rhapsody?  Or was it a Bohemian Crapsody? (sorry)

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Happy New Ye – what?!? It’s the 20th Jan already!

I’ve been absent from for a couple of months, mainly due to working extra hours and giving myself a month off from writing. Hmm – when I write the words ‘take a month off from writing’ I get a flash image of a deep, sad, pale poet who has to take time away from his art because it is killing him and getting in the way of his serious drink problem (This same poet has only written five words of his Opus Magnus as well). Ok, ok – that is not what I mean by taking some time off. My time off was just to give me time to sort out some incredibly boring mundane jobs. You know – life stuff.

But now we’re nearly through January and I temporarily lost my writing mojo because I deliberately put it down and thought it would be easy to pick back up again. I was wrong about that.  It’s back now, but it’s a little bit sensitive and damaged. I won’t neglect it again.

So hello 2014, you look very exciting and chipper! I’ve got my pens ready and a billion sheets of blank paper I want to fill up with exciting new ideas.

A Month in the Basement – Nanowrimo

So I’m gonna’ knock out a novel because in the month of November that’s what us wannabe writers get up to.

This is Nanowrimo - where hundreds of thousands of people prepare to write a fifty thousand word novel in a single, desperate month.

I’m actually very excited about this. I’ve wanted to give this a go for so many years now but have never felt ready, or something would get in the way.

Below is a brief (very brief – I’m writing a novel remember) summary of my experiences doing NaNoWriMo. I won’t be updating every day (I’m writing a novel remember – oh, you do remember! Sorry.)  but I will keep updating. Even if I fall off the horse. Even if I fail completely.

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Change It Up Week 10 – Write an hour a day

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My only desire in life is to be a professional writer. And a large part of this year has been making writing the habit. That when I sit down at my writing desk it’s because I’m there to write. I have a goal, a big goal, to write every day no matter what the circumstances. Exhausting day at work? I’ll be writing. Gone blind? I’ll be writing (or rather scrawling). Buried alive? Dig up my coffin to read my last ever pithy observations on the nature of life. I desperately want to be that person and a lot of this year has been working up to that.

But this change it up is the crucible – the test. Am I that person yet? Can I write for one hour a day for seven days a week?

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Change It Up Week 9 – Be Social!

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Look at my phone call history. Go on. Take a good look at it. That’s right – you can’t take a look at it. It doesn’t even exist.  My phone history is a black hole that sucks in time, space and phone calls from friends and the friends. That’s why I’m alone in the universe.

Or maybe not. But I do know I’m not the most social of people. I don’t feel the need to be on the phone every night and I’m perfectly comfortable with that.  But this week, I thought I would try and be that social butterfly that I’ve so deeply repressed. I thought I’d ring up three of my best bud’s and my family and see how they’re getting on. So here’s how I got on

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