Confidence: Lost and Found

Easily lost, and hard to regain – and yet sometimes it’s so readily found.


I was just reading back over some of what I’ve written recently – not here, but in my ongoing project – to keep stock of what I’ve done and keep the flow going. For the first time in writing fiction, I’ve written a string of sentences that not only sum up exactly what the story is about but after reading it over time and time again leaves me convinced that I’ve really got something. Whilst an artist of any medium is often their own worst critic, I found confidence in something I produced!


If the first great task in writing is putting pen to paper (fingers to keys) and starting, then the second is clearly finishing the first draft.The greatest hazard, as far as I can see in my own novice opinion, is losing faith in your idea or ability. Confidence can sometimes be so sensitive, and once lost hard to regain. This isn’t my first attempt to write a book (but it’s the first serious attempt in a number of years), and each time I’ve lost confidence in the idea or that I can write the story I had in mind.

Over the years, the ideas I had didn’t disappear. They changed forms, swapped bits and pieces between each other, and ultimately evolved into new ideas that I have now. What I’m currently working on has been in my head for around 2 years now, and the fact that 2 months into finally starting on it I can look at what I have so far and believe in myself is a huge milestone. For every time I lost faith, for every time I gave up, and for all the times I lost confidence, I finally found some.


I’d share it, but you can’t have it yet. I had to wait years for it, so you can wait a little longer, alright?

B-DA4BpCYAAu1MkI like writing little life lessons or phrases as I think of them, and I wish I could think of a formula for confidence that can be generally applied. Really, it’s something that’s been said in many forms already. ‘FAIL = First Attempt In Learning‘ is probably my favourite, along with ‘Success Comes In Cans; Failure In Can’ts.’ Ultimately, you have to keep trying, starting again, doing what you can until you have a product you’re happy with.


Listening To: Hamilton, The Musical Soundtrack


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Return, Reset, Revamp

So I’ve been back with my folks for a week now. It’s been strange acclimatizing to being back in a family environment for more than the usual visit of a couple of days, but overall a smooth experience.

LOGO-valor-homes-blackTo give context, I haven’t lived with my parents for around 6 years (I am 22, writing this), and I’ve spent a good deal of the last year in my own company – a good many more in house shares that have borders between what’s mine and what’s theirs. When you’re at home those borders are blurred at best, but if you get on then it doesn’t matter too much.

I sat in the garden this afternoon (I’m quite privileged to say it’s a large and beautifully landscaped garden) and I had this feeling that I’m in a rehab facility. To an extent, this is justified in that part of returning home before starting university was to seek some internal balance. Although this may be a strange way of saying so, it’s a feeling of security. All you can see are the plants and trees around, the sky has been so bright and clear and it feels so cut off from anywhere or anything else. My longest serving friend’s house, and in each of them over the years, has the same effect on me. It’s just taken a few years to work out why it’s so comforting.books10ways

In light of this, I believe that this may be a good environment for a full life revamp. I
downloaded a mix of old and new music to spice up my library and playlists (including Icon For Hire, Voltaire, Dommin, Hollywood Undead, plus more), and bought a couple of new books (Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson). Let’s get the reading and writing exercises going on the daily – feed the imagination with some new fuel, what say you?

I’ve recently began to open up to the idea that there are more settings to life than 8 or 88. This may be a good time to try and find a way to cruise at 40-50 and be content, as 88 is a hard speed to maintain life at. I know it’s possible – people do it! It’s just a case of trying to figure out if Me, Myself and I have that setting between us. It’s early days, but we shall see.


Listening To: Scripted – Icon For Hire


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On Writing (Amateur Hour)


Borrowing the title here from Stephen King’s part biography, part writer’s guide, as I’m reading it. I wanted to share a few things on the subject (not the book – I’m not going to write about reading about writing about writing).

One of the pleasures of writing is the path of discovery. By this, I refer to working out the style your writing takes, the nature of the story you have to tell, exercising the ability to turn the faucet to get the creative tap running. An important part of discovery when starting out (I’m told, and believe) is learning what’s in your writer’s ‘toolbox’ (stealing that metaphor Stevie, say thankya), and of course adding to it or occasionally sharpening the tools.


One thing I’ve recently discovered is the importance of research for a story. I would have thought for a work of fiction, with made up people and places, that imagination and memory would be the only tools required. However, getting some deeper knowledge of your subject matter can help improve your understanding of the products of your own imagination, or provoke your mind to flesh out your creation with your new found knowledge. Remember: sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

At first, I thought this was a sign of my imagination failing to embody characters and their relationships. However, I have learned that this is in fact quite common practice. Even if it wasn’t, it was a novel experience to be educating myself in things I found myself to have a genuine interest in. In saying that, it makes perfect sense. You write about the things you like or are interested in, so it makes perfect sense the research can lead to fun places. Not always, but sometimes.

On the topic of ‘turning on the creative tap‘, it’s sometimes brought down to simply winning the battle of the inside voices (or is that just me?), and getting the first sentence down. Once that’s down, you can’t just stop there, can you?! It may trickle out word by word (that is, after all, how all stories are told), or it may gush out quicker than you’re able to contain it and get it on paper/screen. But the important thing to remember is that the water won’t run if the tap’s closed. 


Although it may be presumptuous to assume I have any real right to be giving advice on writing with no successful works to back up my claims, I feel as one of many aspiring writers in the making within the WordPress community my findings may be found useful or, if nothing else, encouraging to anyone who has a story to tell or an itch to write. I see plenty of bloggers in The Community Pool asking for pointers, and follow a couple who write stories episodically. As I’ve said before – the right words at the right time have no limit to what they can achieve. In this light, make them positive and empowering, and share.

Listening To: David Bowie – Let’s Dance


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Flee The Capital

So, today is the day.

I have been in London for 6 months now. All my stuff is packed away, besides this laptop (and speakers – duh, I don’t write in silence). I’ve said my goodbyes… well, a few people couldn’t be around, but that’s more or less in their nature (thanks for being consistent!). A couple were due to poor time management on my part – say sorry.

In a brief reflection, how can I sum up 6 months in the capital? It may be easier to bullet point them….

If you have concerns about your alcohol intake before moving to London, don’t worry you stop having time for those concerns as they eat into valuable drinking time.

alochol drinking SS

You’ve seen those cartoons in which a character is so poor at navigating that even with basic directions they manage a full circle (who has two thumbs and matches this description?)? – That certainly gets better, or else you become dependent on an escort or never walk more than 5 minutes from an underground station.


Sleep is definitely for when you’re dead – or at least only half alive from not sleeping due to your new big city habits.


It is definitely NOT OKAY to assume that your rent is justified ‘because it’s London prices’ – estate agents and landlords are sharks anywhere you go, London is like their breeding ground!

I almost wish I had more to say on this, but I really don’t. London is an experience to be had by anyone young with dreams of ‘more’. I’ll be back in a few months, this time as a student once more, but leaving to go back to the little city life will take some getting used to. In a way, I think I’ll appreciate the break from life here, but on the flip side, I’ll be looking forward to coming back.

So, I’ll be disembarking here (MIND THE GAP). See you on the other side.

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Had A Bad Day?

What constitutes a bad day – or, more rather, 24 hours that make up ‘not your day‘?

Is it when the sudden heat fries the electrics in your room? Is it when in the midst of Kingdom Hearts therapy, the PS3 checks out with a yellow light of death? No, not yet.


Is it when you make a heat’addled decision to go for a walk to forget the fried electronics in shoes without socks, and return with sore feet?

Is it when your friends disappear off the radar when you want or need them around to laugh all of these things off? That does all sounds like a pretty crappy day, but it’s not over.


In trying to put aside these frustrations, and shake the withdrawal from my choice of video game escape, I am suddenly left alone in the dark. By which I mean, around the time I began writing this post, the light blew in my room. Not having a spare bulb, and as I am moving out in a couple of days, I am making do with a small desk lamp.

This already could have been written off as ‘not my day’. Easily. My day felt spoiled from around 2pm. But misfortune seems magnetic, and the clock had still not struck midnight. Before it did, draining the last of my motivation… my chair collapses beneath me.

There is nothing like a sudden fall to offer a new perspective – and an eye opener as to how ineffective my hoovering (under the desk) has been.

Thus, the pièce de résistance– May 8th was not, in any sense, my day.


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Act The Part; Fake It Until You Make It; Or Some Other Cliché

I recently read that if you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer – you’re a waiter.

waiterI like this. It made me think about being more productive in my own projects. One of the reasons I don’t write here daily (despite it being a ‘daily scrawl’ category… I should probably change that to ‘everyday scrawl’ or something), is that I spend a lot of time in the same place(s). Things can get very stale without change, so I decided I would make a cliché writer’s move – I took a walk for about 30-40 minutes until I found a nice-enough looking cafe (congratulate me, I didn’t float into a bar) with outside seating. The sun was out, and I had my coffee(s), cigarettes, a book, notepad and pen. I was far enough away from any common distractions and comfortable enough, to be sure.

I realised even as I left the house this seemed like a pretentious thing to be doing – but I figured it was worth trying as the weather was so good. As it happened, the staff at this cafe were lovely, and kept coming out and delivering me more coffee. I ended up staying there until closing. In those few hours, I was actually pretty productive. So I would say there is something to finding a quiet cafe and actually writing for a change, instead of typing.

Another 3am strike (Soul, Soul Eater)

I can sense a shift in my mind happening. Lately, I’ve been drawing more, writing more consistently (in one form or another), working on a music project, and generally have more creative energy. Whilst this is great, it has unfortunately built up a list of things I need to do as an adult – my tax return, a few phone calls that need to be made, laundry…. I suppose that losing interest in functioning as a member of society has paved the way for more creative ventures. I like that, but I understand that shit needs doing too. Pfft…. I digress!

If you are, like me, trying to find your feet as a writer, perhaps having issues with writer’s block, or struggle with writing everyday (which, really, you must) then I would sincerely recommend trying to isolate yourself in a new environment. By all means, make sure you are comfortable! I can’t imagine sitting in a place that makes you feel uncomfortable or too out of place wouldn’t reflect well in your writing, but finding a small haven, somewhere away from your room, or your study, or wherever you spend the most time, may help consistency and honesty in your work. I may be wrong, each to their own and all, and your work space is where you must exercise your imagination – but I would say that it’s worth figuring that out, and this seems like as good a way as any to do just that.


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