Friday, 12 October 2012

What To Write? Try Getting Passionate!

Let me make it clear from the outset that this is not intended to send every one of you off to write another version of Fifty Shades. Actually my wife is probably smiling a little at the title right now. This article is about fire in the belly rather than fire in any other part of your anatomy.

As writers we often struggle to get motivated to write or perhaps we experience the dreaded mental block and feel like giving up completely. Why not take a step back and look around? There are so many issues personally, locally and globally that can arouse our emotions. Issues we can get passionate about. Issues we can write about. I recently joined a site called One of the members, nicknamed Swansea Jack, is prolific in the number of issues he flags up. Prolific and passionate. The world could do with a lot more like him.

When writing my play-based early years math program I was driven by the numerous comments I had read from children and adults on internet forums. Most of them were very passionate in their intense dislike of math and the horrible experiences they had endured. It motivated them to write about it. Open your local newspaper and you will inevitably find someone with something to say about a local issue that affects the community. It could be the local authority's intention to chop down some well loved trees or a decision to close a hospital annexe. Remember we are not only authors but part of our local community. Get fired up. Get engaged. Create your own story.

Something I, and most people, feel passionate about is the wilful murder of children. This was again sadly brought to the forefront of our attention in my own native Wales recently by the abduction and murder of April Jones. Perhaps this is not the time or place to comment but it is something I feel very strongly about. My view is that people like Ian Bradey and Myra Hindley should face the death penalty. Why should they be allowed to live when they carry the memories of the last terrible moments of the life of someone else's child in their head, able to replay it over and over whenever they please. I accept the argument that people can genuinely change but as far as I am concerned once they have murdered a child they have abrogated their right to live. Please don't bombard me with arguments to the contrary I am really not interested. This is an issue I just feel too passionate about.

Other issues that I have written about with passion include the wanton destruction of the coal industry by the Margaret Thatcher led Tory government. It was a time when the police were unleashed against communities such as mine like a paramilitary force. Communities that had endured decades of deprivation. Communities that sacrificed countless lives and drove the industrial revolution. Communities that the likes of Margaret Thatcher could never understand because she never grasped the true meaning of community. It inspired me to write a poem that will probably never find its way into any anthology but at least it made me feel better!

On a lighter note I recently wrote a novella entitled 'A Christmas Carol Revisited' as a tribute to Charles Dickens a man I not only admire as an author but as a social commentator and reformer. He exposed the social injustices and malpractices of his day with a passion suffused with humour. As an indie author I knew I had to promote the book myself. One of the things I did was email the secretary's of Charles Dickens' societies around the world. The most polite responses were inevitably from American societies.

As a consequence I was contacted by the Secretary of  The Entertainment Committee (The City Bar) in New York asking my permission to perform a staged reading on the 19th December in the City Bar Building, Manhattan. Proceeds of the event go to charity. There are 1500 seats and attendees will be asked to voluntarily contribute something in a '5' denomination for a children's charity. Say no more!
I hastily point out that I will receive no monetary compensation if this goes ahead but the fact that my book could be read in such a prestigious venue in the very place it is set is enormously exciting. It is also being performed on the date 'A Christmas Carol' was first published. I hope you also appreciate the promotional aspect. I could never have afforded to pay for such publicity. The lesson has to be start networking with people - get passionate and promote your book.

It's my great pleasure to introduce you to people who like to help Indie authors in very practical and innovative ways. Here are some more.

 Helpful Sites For Indie Authors. . .
Want to Write, Publish, and Sell your Books? Get comfortable, because you’ve come to the right place. Provided by Ben Galley and other industry experts, this is your quintessential guide to becoming a professional author:
Biblio Connection is a social community for all book lovers.Our goal is to connect and encourage interaction between readers, authors, booksellers, publishers, illustrators and book collectors.
We provide book and blog services for any budget: book blog tours, cover art, and more. The indie revolution has left a gaping problem for authors. Without the backing of a traditional publishing house, new books often receive subpar editing, poorly designed covers, and flailing marketing efforts. And many services are out of reach to those who are funding their own projects.
CommuniCATE posts writing techniques, creativity articles, inspiration and writer's resources twice a week.


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I have actually just used the AskDavid service which sounds absolutely brilliant. So far I have been very impressed. My book is now in a four week waiting list which pans out just right for Christmas!
I will write a review later in the year.


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