Best of 2017

Best of 2017

Much like I did last year, I thought I’d take some time to linger on what I enjoyed this year. I’ve already written up my thoughts on the terrible events in politics. This will be much more positive. Continue reading →

Posted by David in Art from Others, 0 comments
2017 in Review: Laughing at the Naked Emperor

2017 in Review: Laughing at the Naked Emperor

So the year isn’t technically over yet. There’s still a good couple of weeks for things to go completely south. I’m travelling first thing next year so I thought I’d get my year in review in early.

In many ways, I feel this has been the year where those in power have revealed their true nature: incompetent, greedy and self-interested. It feels like many more people are waking up to the fact that the power structures do not serve them. There are no excuses left for the behaviour of the ruling representatives. The emperor has no clothes and everyone is laughing at him. Everyone knows he is naked and dangerous. It is a shame that we had to push the situation to the extreme to recognise the inherent problems in the system.

Continue reading →

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Flash Fiction: The Problems of Renting

Flash Fiction: The Problems of Renting

Hello? This is Frank. I came in yesterday to pick up the keys for flat 65. OK? I don’t see why you have to look it up on the computer, it was only yesterday. I didn’t speak to one of your colleagues, no, I spoke to you. I remember you. Blonde hair. You were doing your nails. I came by about 3 pm?

Anyway, it’s about the flat. Flat 65. Eagle Court. I just said. Flat 65. That’s it. No, you don’t need the file I just need to- Ok fine, I’ll hold.

This music is terrible. Come on, haven’t got all day.

Continue reading →

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What I learned on my break

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Hows are you? Are you still doing that thing with them and everything else? Oh really? Good to hear.

I put this blog on a hiatus in the middle of July, which seems like a lifetime ago. A lot has happened in the world and in my life in the meantime. I said I would be back ‘soonish’ but didn’t expect it to be almost four months. A third of a year vanished, just like that. Although, if you look at it from another perspective, four months is a tiny blink in the vastness of eternity.

Here’s whats going on with me: I quit my job and my flat in Staines where I had lived for seven years. Reasons for this were varied, but mostly because I wanted my life to go in a new direction for a bit. Together with my girlfriend, we gave everything up and moved in with my parents. Then within the next month, we both got jobs in Bristol and moved into a new flat. The furniture we had so casually discarded in Staines felt necessary and we rebuilt our lives from the ground up. There was a whole lot of other things going on that I won’t go into but basically the last few months have been a rapid series of extreme changes to my whole life. Mostly for my sanity, I thought I’d write down what I’ve learned.

Change is good but also really scary

I was stagnating in Staines. I wasn’t developing as a person, just punching the clock and watching the days slip by. I needed to make a big change or I’d just be running on the spot for a few years more. So quitting everything and moving to another city was absolutely the right thing to do. It’s revitalized my interest in so many things and I’m glad I took the risk. But it’s also terrifying. Between me and my girlfriend, we saved up a decent chunk of money before we moved and I still didn’t think it was enough. The whole experience was akin to jumping off a cliff with no idea what lies below. We just had to do it, but for a long month or two, it was incredibly stressful. Were we going to get jobs? What were our future lives going to look like? We had no idea. So there was a lot of unknowns to deal with and a reasonably long period of flux. I’m only just settling into my new life and into my new routine. I’m looking around thinking ‘Did I just do that?’

You have to be lucky to be able to follow your dreams

For all the instability, we were in a very privileged position in the last few months. We had enough savings to move. We had my parents who had space and were happy to put us up. We found jobs relatively quickly. I was aware while we were making this change that we were very lucky. All the Pinterest inspiration blogs always say reach for the stars and follow your dreams, but they never consider the practicalities.There’s always external consequences and it’s never as simple as just following your dream. To be able to take a leap in the dark is a privilege in itself.

Creativity needs stability

I had a lot more spare time for a couple of months because I wasn’t working. This is prime writing time, long hours stretching out into the future. Whole days that can be spent at a desk, pen in hand.

Yeah, I didn’t really write anything.

There was too much going on, too much stress and pressure that writing seemed to be an unnecessary pressure that I just couldn’t do. Personally, I think my creativity thrives on constraints and routine. When I can write all the time, I end up writing nothing. Much better to have a regular hour or two to myself around a working week so I can focus on the writing in a concentrated amount of time.

Don’t beat yourself up

At the same time, I felt a constant pressure to write more. To always be producing. I think it’s something a lot of creative people struggle with. However much you write or create it’s never enough. And if you’re not producing anything it feels like the pits.

The only way to forgive yourself. I can’t write in the chaos, so I had to just try to tell myself I would write when I was ready. It made me realize how much of my creative work generated worries and self-made pressure.  You have to let it go because it’s not going to be helpful.

Future of the blog

So what now? I’m back in a writing routine. The works in progress are coming along. I’m working on a book of poetry which combines my backouts with poems and also a book of sci-fi short stories. I’m going to keep updating this blog, probably every two weeks instead of every one. One week I’ll write this blog, the other week I’ll send out a newsletter. This will hopefully give me time and space to really make this blog the best I can as well as time to work on the works in progress. The topics are still going to be scattershot. I had considered just making this about writing or about poetry, but I don’t want to limit myself to just one topic. I’d probably get more hits if I focused it, but I want it to be honest to my interests, which are all over the place. So expect some more flash fiction, some ranting about politics and some general ramblings about life and art and that.

Stick around. I’m still figuring this out, but it’s going to be fun.

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Contact me for anything I might be interested in or any feedback. I’m always interested to hear from you.

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I’m delighted to feature again on the latest Lies, Dreaming podcast from the brilliant people at Poetry as Fuck. It’s a small little story about lost treasure. I hope you like it, let me know what you think! Find the podcast at the link below.

Lies, Dreaming #11 – Treasure

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I’m currently in the business of moving across the country. I’m packing up my whole life into boxes. Every time I move I forget how all consuming and stressful it is. Foolishly, I thought I could carry on writing this blog whilst I was moving. Clearly, I was wrong. I’ve had no time to write at all. Life has got in the way.

So I’m taking a break from this blog for a bit. I need to focus on moving and then finding a job. It will have to go on the back burner.

I’ve also made very little progress on my next books. Words per day have slowed to a trickle. So I need to focus on them if I am going to make any progress whatsoever. This isn’t just a short term thing but has been evident in the last few months. I’m a little burnt out with all my writing projects at the moment, so that’s another reason to put this blog on hold.

Since I got serious about writing, three years or so ago, I’ve felt a constant pressure to produce more. I want the works in progress to be done now. I want to constantly be producing new books and material. The problem with this way of thinking is that it becomes exhausting after a while. Other people may be able to keep it up but I need to take a break for a bit and reset my thinking.

I will still be sending out my newsletter and posting blackout poems on Instagram in the meantime.

I’ll be back here soonish, but for now I’m pressing pause.

Posted by David, 0 comments
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