Hello all, I hope you’re having a wonderful day/evening. I’ve recently come to a certain realisation (not only from my own experience) but from spending time with so many other like-minded writers… Of course, we all want to make it as an author, yet there is a common stumbling block that we have all come face to face with at one time or another – some of us haven’t a clue where to start.
I myself am a self published author, writing more books than I can count on one hand, and I have to confess that on some days, even I struggle to pick up a pen, or sit at my desk to write a mere few lines. However, over the years, I’ve learnt how to overcome these frustrating episodes, using just a few tips and tricks that I’d like to share with you today.
- Number #1: Read! This is by far the most important one. As the extraordinary Virginia Woolf said, ‘read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river,’ and she was absolutely right. I often find that my writing comes ten times more naturally when I’ve been reading regularly. Not only does it give you miles of inspiration, reading naturally expands your vocabulary and often times sets a superlative example of what a good book looks like, so grab a classic, and learn from the masters!
- Number #2: Stop forcing it. I for one know how unbearably frustrating it can be to want to write more than anything, just to be met with episode after episode of writers block. It’s infuriating, but stressing will only aggravate it further. Sometimes the best thing to do, is to take a step back, and take some time out to give your ideas a chance to refresh . Take a calming bath. Make yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee, and try to get inspired along the way. At the end of the day, the best writing comes naturally – from the heart, so let it come to you; there’s no need to force it.
- Number #3: Wear your dreams on your sleeve. Whatever your dream as a writer may be – whether it be to write the next best-selling fantasy series, or to become the worlds most renowned author, wear it on your sleeve. In other words, make it your life’s mission to make it come true. Whenever you doubt yourself, whenever you feel like giving up, remember that dream; that goal. You started writing for a reason, remember? Because you had a dream. Chase it.
- Number #4: Seek support from fellow writers. This has helped me greatly along my journey as an author so far. I’m in touch with writers of all kinds across the globe, in person and online, and I honestly believe that writers are some of the kindest, most supportive people out there. We all have one dream alike; despite our differences, we all share the bane of writers block, and late nights spent toiling over unfinished works, but it’s always reassuring to know that you’re not alone. Even just joining a small writing community whether that be online or in person will be sure to give you that extra inspiration just when you need it.
- Number #5: Believe in yourself. This one is essential if you truly want to make it as an author. You have, and I mean HAVE to believe in yourself. Truly. On some days this will be undoubtedly harder than others, but as long as you have faith in your work and in yourself, you will undoubtedly make it in the end. Us writers are determined, resilient people with the power to save lives and change lives with all but our imaginations. It isn’t always easy; nothing worth it ever is – but if you wear your dreams on your sleeve, and keep on going, one day you will make it as an author.
I hope these tips and tricks have helped you as much as they have helped me along my journey. Wishing you all the best!
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I hope you’re all having a wonderful day/evening. I just wanted to say this – for all of my extraordinary fellow writers out there – you can do this; you can and you will write that story. We are writers – that means we have the power to make a difference; to change the world, with all but our words! How incredible is that? That that book you’re writing right now – that book could be the next world bestseller. That quote that you just wrote down, that alone could save somebody’s life one day – that quote alone could give someone the hope to carry on.
So if you ever feel like giving up, just remember, you started writing for a reason. Look at J.K. Rowling and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, Tolkien, look at Virginia Woolf – they two were once just like us – full of doubt and fear, and suffering, but they took those things and they transformed them into beauty; stories – stories that are still standing tall on shelves all over the world. So hold on, friends, we’re all in this together. It’s a long and bumpy ride, but it’s always worth it in the end. You won’t be here in hundreds of years to come, but I can promise you, that if you put your heart and soul into it, your books will be – So write them.
When I was 7 years old, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied with two words; two words that perhaps on some unfathomable, subconscious level would determine my fate for the rest of my life. Ten years later, here I am; a goofy, English writer, living to make dreams come true, in the form of fine literature. The path to today was not so straight forward, though. It was dark, and winding, and on some days, I thought it would never cease. Ever since I was young, growing up in a world seemingly full of so much pain and suffering, my inevitable dream was to save people; to help those in need.
Throughout my live I’ve aspired to pursue all sorts of professions; from scientist, to doctor, to royal marine. However, as I got older, I came to the realisation that there is another way to save people; perhaps one of the most delicate procedures of all – writing. As the extraordinary Virginia Woolfe once said, ‘books are the mirrors of the soul’, and when I write, I do it not just for myself and for my dreams, but for those in the world that seek solace and hope and characters who are not just entirely unique in every way, but also unequivocally relatable.
‘Depression may rain down on me like a hail of bullets that promises to prevail, fear may even strive to drown me – day in, day out, like the shore of a merciless sea; and perhaps I will always be asunder these dark clouds of pain and sorrow, but I will cry in the rain no more; for I have learnt to dance in it instead – and I will do so for the rest of time. Even better, I know that I won’t be dancing alone.’ – The Book Man of New Orleans
How can we love and pray within our lover’s arms?
If by that which we denounce the love of hearts
To be sexless. Non-binary. Why must it be
That we, part of God’s family, are not allowed
To be proud of our identity; instead we suffer in
Silence and suicide and shame and the Church
Never utters its name.
Told young I would burn alive if I
gave in to the internal thrive
of desire for whomever it was back then I
wanted in my arms. Why can’t they see that
there is no harm, that we are too
Children of God and just want some calm in this world?
What gets me the most is that they see
Him as the Big Guy, so the Big Book must be followed
To a tee. Perfectly. No doubt that some would go ballistic
If they didn’t stick to their logistics
Because in this world that’s twisted, sick,
I am just a misfit.
I do not go to Church. It would not be fun
To be shunned whilst in the hand of your loved one
Who, by Christ, happens to be a woman.
Forgive us these sinners…
I will pray for you…
If you have that attitude, then I will see you in Hell my dear.
My blood shall not boil just because I am queer.
The Devil may care but the Lord does not.
Now, I’m pretty damn lucky with the life I’ve got
So you can’t throw all that away and say that
I’m a sinner cos I’m gay but don’t you see
I’m getting thinner cos your words are oppressing me,
Striking and undressing me to leave me exposed
In a world posed to strike. Did I have a say?
Do I have a right?
No choices, it’s biology;
Better than that it’s spiritually
A work of art, the human heart
And I won’t let it shame me.
So for all those in the dark space
Of the closet cos they can’t face
The light of day, who pray
To a God they don’t think loves them
But He does and it’s okay
To hold your head up high when weighed
Down by the incessant shaming
And bullies and naming as
Beneath it all,
Somebody loves you.
Nelly Sachs, (full name; Leonie Sachs) was born on the 10th December 1891. She grew up in Berlin, Germany, where she studied music and dancing at a young age, and later on began writing poetry. She was educated at home due to her frail health, and although she showed early signs of talent as a dancer, her protective parents didn’t encourage her to pursue a profession, most likely due to the ever rising prejudice in a rapidly growing Nazi -Germany. Therefore, Miss. Sachs grew up as a very sheltered, introverted young woman and never married. As the Nazis took power, she became terribly ridden with fear and horror, to the point where she temporarily lost the ability to speak. She was good friends with Selma Lagerlöf, a Swedish author and teacher, and also the first female writer to win a Nobel Prize (Nobel prize in literature, 1909). It was thanks to her that Nelly and her Mother escaped Nazi Germany. Shortly before her own death, Lagerlöf had intervened with the Swedish royal family to secure Nelly and her Mother’s release from Germany. They managed to escape on the last flight from Nazi Germany to Sweden, just a week before Sachs was scheduled to report to a concentration camp.
Sachs and her Mother settled in Sweden and she claimed Swedish citizenship in 1952. However, after her Mother’s death, Sachs suffered several nervous breakdowns characterised by hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions of persecution by Nazis. She spent a number of years in a mental institution, where she continued writing, even while she was hospitalised. Eventually, Sachs recovered sufficiently enough to live on her own, although her mental health would always be fragile. Her worst breakdown was ostensibly triggered when she heard German speech during a trip to Switzerland to accept a literary prize. However, she maintained a forgiving attitude toward a younger generation of Germans, and corresponded with many German-speaking writers of the post-war period. Her experiences resulting from the rise of the Nazis in World War II Europe had transformed her into a poignant spokesperson for the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews.
“World, they have taken the small children like butterflies and thrown them, beating their wings, into the fire–”
Nelly won a Nobel Prize Award for Literature in 1966, and died on the 12th May, 1970.
‘Over the years I’ve come to accept that sometimes bad things just happen, and all we can do is just keep on going, even though it hurts – just keep on going, through the storm, through the darkness and uncertainty, until one day, we reach the light again.’
– Mrs. Roberts, The Book Man of New Orleans – Out Soon.
The sky really does turn violet; the sunsets really can be blood red, and the cicadas really do sing. I’ve described it many times in my books. But as you walk through the streets, you can be oppressed by so much that is worn at the edges and broken. But that is also the beauty of it.” – Anne Rice
Trust the pen.
Trust the words.
You are capable.
You are extraordinary.