Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Behind Every Great Novelist is...

While browsing Facebook this morning, I happened upon this quirky little image which was shared by Weird Tales Magazine.

As I am a writer, I thought I'd do a little selfless experiment on whether or not I fit the bill put forward by this cartoon. So whether or not this suits every aspiring novelist out there I'll let you read what I've put and decide for yourself. Incidentally, any fellow bloggers reading this, I say you give this a try too.

Childhood Trauma

I was bullied and spent a brief moment in a mental hospital where I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. But, the closest to a childhood trauma happened when I was 13, when my brother and I were attacked by a gang of thugs and I was left with a broken nose and several broken teeth. We did take the perpetrators to court and they were found guilty – but the cynicism and paranoia that set in for me after being set upon is the closest I’ve ever come to trauma. Thankfully, I’m over it all now and have more faith in humanity, but what made that incident so frightening, was that my world collided with another. Another world full of thuggery, violence and blind hate. It certainly gave me the experience to know how to write about gore and violent altercations.

Miserable Job

I am in a job which does get very repetitive and boring at times, but it is rewarding when a customer thanks you for your service and even has the decency to talk to you as if you were a friend. But the most miserable job, ironically, involved blogging. Spending eight hours staring into a computer screen and churning out blog post after blog post about things I have no passion for is certainly no profession I’d take on today. And what was worse, was I could write all the blogs required for each shift in two hours at the minimum. If you find yourself in a job where you know your skills aren’t being stretched or challenged – get out of there immediately.

Moment of Self Discovery

I’ve always wanted to write stories and from a young age people said I’d make a good writer. I can’t recall a single moment where I said to myself ‘I must write,’ but the idea of writing both fiction or non has always been lurking in the back of my head each time I ponder a new career move. I’ve had a stab at other things I’ve always wanted to do: actor, musician, radio presenter, journalist, screenwriter and film director; but novels and short stories have never abandoned me. I can hear them calling me back now as I type this. Another world full of ghosts, vampires, politics, dragons and weird and wonderful adventure is to be sculpted into being.

Episode of Debauchery

Can’t say I’ve been on such an episode in a long time, but my university days did involve lots of drinking and occasional use of narcotics. When I was young and everyone else was banging on about how great it was to get drunk at the weekend, I turned straight edge. Until I realised how it is best to treat alcohol as a delicacy, and I took a fancy for the finer things: real ale and single malt whisky. Two things your average joe couldn’t stomach. That’s enough on my private life, but hopefully one day I’ll publish a book which emulates nearly every debauched and crazed encounter I can remember. If you’re looking for a good book that offers something very similar, I recommend Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.

Pathologic Ambition

Again, writing stories has always been there in my head so I won’t expand on ambition any further.

Loyal Pet

I do not have a pet, but my girlfriend’s cats are very loyal and are very loving and affectionate whenever I visit them. So here’s to you Emerald and Sooty.

Neglected Spouse

First of all, I’m not married. Secondly, I have not neglected the woman I love, nor will I ever in the future. In fact, she encourages me to write and do the things that mean a lot to me, and I do the same for her. Why would you neglect the one you love for the sake of your career? If you want to become the next Charles Bukowski, that doesn’t automatically warrant that you behave just like him. Go your own way and give it your best shot.

Personal Demons

I suffer from Asperger Syndrome, which means I suffer from the following symptoms: severe anxiety, depression, inability to read non-verbal social cues, high sensitivity, easily embarrassed and the inability to understand when someone isn’t being serious. There was a time when I was taking anti-depressants but that didn’t last long.

Years of Boring Hard Work

I’ve spent many years working on the things that I want published, and yes there are times when you just want to throw in the towel and yell ‘what’s the point?’ But the best advice I can give here, is just do it. You never know whether or not you’re onto a winner with whichever piece of prose or poetry you come up with. The same can be said for whether you self publish your work or if you try the harder, more traditional route of finding an agent. Hard work should always pay off – and being a writer, you have full control over what you create, so whatever you say goes.

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