A prose more ordinary

In a recent Guardian article, art critic Jonathan Jones wrote that Terry Pratchett’s discworld novels are not worth reading, that wasting your time reading them when you could be dragging your brain through the mire of some serious heavyweight Important Literature (please note very important capitals) is a heinous crime against art and culture. Well, sort of. He basically said he hadn’t read any Pratchett and never plans to. But he has just read some Jane Austen. So that’s nice for him. Ignore the fact that it kind of feels like he wrote the piece in about half an hour … Continue reading A prose more ordinary

Cult authors, sci-fi and snobs

Who gets to choose what’s worthy of being considered serious art when it comes to writing? And why is literature so much worse at recognising really great works that just happen to fall into a genre category? Film doesn’t have this problem; there are tons of sci-fi films that are widely recognised as works of art, real slices of celluloid genius. It doesn’t seem to work the same for books; you don’t get a sci-fi author winning, or even nominated for, the Booker, at least not often. You might get a book from a more mainstream literary author, like Margaret … Continue reading Cult authors, sci-fi and snobs

Failsafe: writing and rejection

I’m not very good at self-motivation (I know, imagine). Even when I want to do something if it’s a bit hard, I give up. It’s laziness and privilege I guess. I’m not going to starve so why try harder than I have to? It’s one of my many character flaws (oh there are so many to choose from) but it’s easily the one that I dislike the most. I mean, I have evidence that doing stuff makes me happier. I have actually done some stuff in my life, not much worth talking about or particularly special, but even these relatively … Continue reading Failsafe: writing and rejection

Some more of my writing in other places

I’ve had a couple of things published online recently… Grapevine Birmingham have put my latest preview of the best arty stuff happening across Birmingham in June and July. Check it out here. Arts preview – June & July 2015 AREA magazine have got my preview of Trevor Appleseed’s latest exhibition, on at the mac now. Read it here: Trevor Appleseed at the mac If you’d to read more of my writing, including the thing I wrote for The Guardian on Baddies in Books (have I mentioned that before?), you can find some more stuff on My Writing page. Continue reading Some more of my writing in other places

Is there any art in writing about yourself?

Sometimes it’s really hard to think about stuff to blog about. Which is why there’s sometimes a big gap between my posts; either I can’t think of anything worth blathering about, or the thing I’ve written is such a load of boring, rancid old balls that I’ve deleted it in disgust before it’s got to the add new post page in WordPress. Yes, that does mean sometimes I write even worse crap than this. Some writers get over this hurdle by writing about themselves. The ultra-confessional post or article is a genre of its own nowadays and it seems like … Continue reading Is there any art in writing about yourself?

An MA in Writing – what a waste of time

There have been a few articles recently on how totally rubbish having a qualification in writing is. According to more than one source (including tutors on higher education courses), talent is born, not made and an MA or similar in writing is waste of your time and money. I’ve got an MA in writing from Birmingham City University. Perhaps not the most prestigious institution, but I got my BA there too and though I do/did have some issues with the uni and the courses, I’m proud to have gone there. I chose the course because it was more interesting and varied … Continue reading An MA in Writing – what a waste of time