Friday, 9 July 2010

Writer's tips: motivation

As my family and personal friends know, I’m a big sci-fi fanatic. I adore the old Voyager and star trek series, among many others. However what’s this doing in an article about writer’s tips? Before you ship me off to an institute I will explain, this article involves motivation and inspiration: two key things a writer can not be without.
There are many ways that writers energize themselves to create that liquid gold that fills our pages every day, caffeinated drinks. J.K. Rowling commented that she drank an excess of coffee while writing her award winning Harry Potter collection, and indeed I myself find this to be a good tool too. Journalists through the media are conveyed to drink an unhealthy amount of that dark liquid which a great many writers love.
However there are a million ways to find the energy, apart from staining your teeth and reeking of coffee beans all day. Here are my top 10 tips gathered from experience and deep thought.

  • High energy music, with extra speed
  • Coffee, preffered iced cappuccino
  • Excercise, a martial art coupled with aerobics
  • Sci-fi or fantasy films/ or of your own interest, prefered with a good script
  • A healthy appetite for literature

Here are my first five, obviously and wiz will know five more are to follow. First let me explain these five. These five so far are from my own experience, since putting these together I’ve had more energy than ever.
Following on with the list:

  • 10 hours of sleep a night
  • Minimal amounts of alcohol per week, if not at all
  • A little progress every day
  • A tidy room makes for a broadened mnid

Plenty of distractions!

The last point sounds odd, how can distractions help you to progress? Simple! To ignore the distractions you must focus harder on the task in hand, meaning the most important thing on your schedule: writing.
If any of this has been helpful let me know, and I hope to share more of my experience with people soon.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Sonnet VII

Back by what I'm sure was demand, or at least my imagination of one. I bring my seventh sonnet.
In case any reader is wondering (if there is any reader, for my vanity) there will be other forms of poetry soon, but we all need to practice to become perfect. Soon there will be some verity.


Bite, into the skin like the snake you are
Not caring for race, religion other
Things are not important you’d just rather
Take a piece of me without any care
For what you drain, blood, life in open air
Like the monster tyrant, deadly wielder
Open your jaw over my slight finger,
And take all that is mine never to share.

Knave, you are no snake not even deadly
But a pain in my side no less, deeper
Marks were given by your double remedy,
Far more scary than thee, in my finger.
Perhaps you are not the snake after all
You are only my own umbrella

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Sonnet VI

Part two of my dunday trip in to creativity, an enjoyable tale to its close with this sonnet number 6. This one more to shakespeare's style. I hope you enjoy:

Refilling the pepper pot

This is a task of enormous measure
The general on the hill looks over
All the men he needs to send down under
In search of his valuable treasure-
Freedom, trapped in a bottle. The closure
He feels, sitting at his table never
Jumping the fence with his comrades, weather
Holding strong, constant downpour disclosure

Of the ranks, as the stock runs low. Fill up
The bottles again, the generals cry
We need more quickly. Fill them to the top
No time to whim, or feel guilt, fill them high.
There cries the martial, all done we can stop-
Just these bodies? We’ll soon use them all up.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sonnet V

Somtimes inspiration can be found at the bottom of a bottle...of pepper nonetheless. This is one of two sonnets I felt made my weekend magical, let me know what you think.


A small little thing that tickles the nose
Feels nothing compared to this thunder.
Clap. It is not that feather, nor the hinder
But the deadly snap of the falsehood rose
Prettying the plates, and garnishing those
Tight lipped salads who give nothing colder
Than a dry hello or the time. Pepper
Is not like the ice he waits, moves closer

And strikes that poor waiter right in the nose
Such a start that hot little man can make
In said nose. When does he stop? No one knows
But the waiter, who handles him can fake
No sign, but inside screaming, only prose
Helps the waiter survive pepper the snake.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Number Wonder

Hmm, three the magic number. In china considered lucky, coupled with the colour red (my favourite colour) I’d be set for life.

So what is your lucky number?

What number have you felt a strongest pull towards? We all have one; I just never expected mine to be odd, as I love things to balance.

So why have I had this mammoth of revelations concerning numbers? This pondering of mine hit me as once again I strayed into yet another sleepless night, thinking of my day and life’s great mysteries.

The number, my number is 3. Throughout my life it’s played an essential role and I didn’t notice it, not once. Here is why:

Primary school, in my final year I had three friends, not the closest of chums, but for me it was a start,

It would be three years before I would meet them again by chance, this time we would be reduced to a trio as one left the fold.

In the final phase of secondary education I would be torn between three friendship groups.

During the first three years I would overcome three tyrant bullies.

And of course, Sims 3 is my favourite of the trilogy

Msn, not what one would think of as causing such a deep reflection, but it reflected me perfectly, three favourite friends for so long, a secure feeling it gave me, a tripod of company. Once reduced there is a scrabble to replace the fallen comrade.

The average human is self sufficient, as long as three limbs fully functional, and intact.
A person can live three days without water, and three minutes without air.

My number seems to reflect me very well, I respond to a need, and always have at least one. I do not wish nor want for anything, a strange thing in a teenager.

They say a number reflects us all, what is yours?

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dear Diary

Ha, dear diary, it’s not something I personally keep, but today I felt, was worthy of note.

Last night

Possibly one of my worst attacks of insomnia in months occurred. I don’t think it’s entirely normal to have the head chef of your work place whispering in your ear as you try to sleep, even when he makes great food. Getting six hours sleep, you can imagine when I finally awoke, baggy eyed and sour faced, people were not as fortunate as the reader is, to escape my wrath.


Fuelled with an awful nights non sleep, coupled with some maths revision and a plateful of guilt for causing misery to my best friend I looked forward with a heavy heart to a four hour gruelling shift. Yes I’m a teenager; we complain a lot, bear with me.

The life of a lowly waiter

Expected guests : 76
Expected stress :10/10

Hungry guests :12
My day :11/10

From the chef teaching to me how to do fancy prep with vegtables, to Drinking coffee while eating chips and my favourate kind of chicken (southern fried if anyone need know) I agree withthe statistics.
The statistics say it all really. The hardest part of my shift was refilling the salt and pepper pots which to be fair, should not be attempted by the faint hearted, or those who can’t handle their pepper.

But this mind bogglingly painful task of pepper sniffing gave me a revelation. So many possibilities opened up to me as my nasal passages felt more than just chilly peppered air flood them. It was inspiration, of no ordinary kind. It was the kind inspired by experience; to me, the best kind.

The future?

Will I write another dear diary? Who knows? Ask more interesting questions like will it snow in the arctic tomorrow, will the polar bears eat well tonight.
All I know for certain is, there are poems to be written and articles in the future, all you have to do is wait for me to draw enough breath to write them.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Article 1: Art, The Great Mystery?

The fall of Icarus, not always thought of as serene. If you have a keen eye, the same applies to all art. For centuries there has been discord over the two simple, yet fundamental arguments; ‘what defines art?’ and ‘what makes good art?’ We all have different opinions; it’s only natural on a topic so varied.

I remember a great writer once telling me this via email; ‘art is only good if it produces an emotional response,’ – Jeff Clark-Meads. Wonderful words of wisdom, ones I took to heart as I began my own career.

It turns out, that creating the perfect piece of art it is not so simple like the perfect gourmet meal; a splash of aesthetic sauce, a dash of intelligence behind your words, and a generous peppering of the perfect craftsmanship. The final ingredient I’ve discovered to my own misfortune many-a-time. It takes a very long time to perfect naturally.

Each of these three elements are mandatory to the perfect art, like a healthy diet, if you keep it balanced you create the perfect life, at least where your health is concerned, so why not do the same for your art?

But again, here I am talking about the perfect art; I’ve jumped the gun again! What justifies itself as art? I could give you a million things that are art or otherwise, that would be a waste of my time and yours.

When conferencing with two very skilled scholars today I discovered ‘art’’ had more connotations than I ever dared dream; and might I add that’s pretty deep! The first gave me wonderful advice that only the truest piece of good advice I would never have thought of, one that will reflect in my future work if I’m lucky.

She told me ‘ Joseph, there are three things that make ‘perfect art’ and art is not art without them’ and she went on to explain the three key ingredients to me, I was so blown away I even had to ask to be explained without the big words, a first I might add.

The second, seasoned by the experience and more knowledge than I could ever contain explained that though these principles are important, art comes in more than just a written form, it is reflected by other forms of art. This I admit confused me for several hours. But finally I deduced that all forms of art, visual, audio even literary rely on one another purely fro existence, the purest symbiotic thing in existence.

A Brief History
On second thought, do they exist so harmoniously? Over the centuries particularly during the renascence we see the written word almost eclipsed my visual art, i.e. paintings, drawings, and so forth. If those few veterans of the written word had given in, I’d not be here to express my view now, to them, though long dead, I pledge my thanks. Shakespeare, where would we be toady without dear Will? The answer; crawling upon the face of the earth barely managing hello, our world leaders only half as smooth in their greased up talks, maybe not all good things come from great men then…
But still it was he who brought back the written word to its height of glory, so powerful were his words, that they are still used and taught today.

Art forms have been in a struggle for power since they were first created, in my opinion as cave drawings. Since then they have been crying out to survive scared to be sniffed out, like each of us without our lives.

Art to Me

Whole heartedly I agree with my lecturers, the three components, Aestheticism, intelligence and craftsmanship are the basic life breath and heartbeat to art.
To apply it to what I know best; poetry:
• Blind emotion will never prove It’s fullest effect
• Any art form must be carefully seasoned, i.e. it needs a balance of emotion, intelligence and to be streamlined, much like a car.
• All art, no matter what, is created for a purpose, anyone who says different is full of ----

Though now we talk of applying intelligence, should we turn it in to a maze?

No of course not!

When this though springs up on me, as it has done several times today, I picture a rose, and how I can not for the life of me draw one. It is far too intricate, but it is nonetheless beautiful, which is an unquestionable fact by anyone.
Painting takes layers of paint, not only one and it is complete for the gallery, writing a novel or a poem can take up to 100 redrafts and rewrites, as some people, including myself could tell you.
In the famous words of T.S Elliot – ‘there will be time for a hundred visions and revisions,’ true words, both intelligent and beautiful.

Other Poets That Have Awed Me
Seamus Heaney, of course his recollections of the years and his vivid ideas on many topics show intelligence boldly and elegant craftsmanship.

Sylvia Plath, My favourite poet, and has been for some time now, her works such as ‘Words’, ‘Lady Lazarus’ and ‘Cut’ never pass me by without a moment of wonder.

Emily Dickinson, She was a highly interesting influence to my work, combining all three elements in to a ballad meter, gave her elegance, the intelligence flowed as naturally as her emotion sparking words, which I soaked up with the bread of my soul.

And finally, one I was reacquainted with today, W.H Auden, after many years this bad boy steps in, with The Fall of Icarus, and formed the solid basis of my first article; the poem, though not the only one, based on a picture.
A Quick summary
Finally let me wrap this up, you’ve been a great reader for surviving my long rant, and at the very least I hope you have gained something from all this.

I’ve been writing for over a decade now, and already from writing this I feel a new enrichment that I hope will reflect in my future work, Art is what you make of it, but it is only art if it is perfect. Art is good, if you can incorporate everything, as if it’s a meal you never wish to forget.

So, there it is: art on a plate!

I hope to see you all very soon.