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?

Money for nothing

In the wave of Tidal’s launch (hur) the idea that musicians, and artists and maybe even writers, should be paid fairly for the work they produce is again being discussed. Of course what I mean by discussed is that, actually, everyone really agrees that artists of all types should of course be paid fairly for their work. If music, a book or piece of art gives someone else pleasure then it has inherent value and the person who spent time creating it should obviously be compensated for their effort. The problem seems to be that while most people will nod … Continue reading Money for nothing

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

Self publishing: valid or vain?

Can self publishing save writers? Or should someone save writers from self publishing? The world of self publishing still has a tacky sheen that hasn’t quite been rubbed away yet. For whatever reason, it’s hard to hear the words self-published and not imagine a deluded writer who thought they knew better than the people behind the rejection letters from publishers bundled together in a shoe box under their bed. A small cardboard box of misery and self-flagellation that should be disposed of, really. It’s always funny when the biographer of great writers goes through their collection of rejection letters and … Continue reading Self publishing: valid or vain?

Cut it up and start again: making the old new or the last resort of the unimaginative?

Jonathan Safran Coer did it with Tree of Codes, Williams Burroughs was famous for it, the Dadaists loved it and David Bowie has been at it since the 70s; is the cut-up technique really artistic or just a cop out? I remember being in sixth form and watching Absolute Beginners in a media studies class. One of the boys turned to me and said “You like that David Bowie don’t you, well he gets all his lyrics from ripped up newspapers. You think it’s all deep and meaningful but really it’s just luck and none of it means anything, everything … Continue reading Cut it up and start again: making the old new or the last resort of the unimaginative?