Creative exhaustion + juggling

I’m currently sat outside in the sunshine in what is the hottest day of the year so far here in England, and in London where I am. (My car temperature gauge measured 28.5ºC!). Yet it was snowing just a couple of weeks ago. Strange times that we’re living in. Btw – you know it’ s hot when your iPhone stops playing YouTube suddenly, with an alert saying “Your iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it again”.

In last week’s post I shared my publishing ambitions, and how attending London Book Fair had only helped to re-affirm this. For those 3 days last week, Tuesday to Thursday, energy management was crucial, especially as I was out till late evening on two of those nights – and it takes anything from 7-90mins to get back home form ‘town’. Friday came as a welcome relief, before I went to an Indian wedding on Saturday, and then went to Church on Sunday evening and hung out afterwards. Monday I had a meeting with one of the panellists from LBF that I’d emailed, and then had a Sikh event in the evening which, again, saw me get back late.

When I’m away in London, I can forget about things like hydrating and nourishing myself, and I think the accumulation of busy days/evenings led to my feeling tired and under the weather when I got back late on Monday night. I then did the exact opposite of the sensible thing, and ended up staying up through the night; I wish I could say I was being productive – in short, I’ve had a long-standing issue when it comes to ‘being’ online – it certainly has been a release/crux of sorts when I’m particularly over-stimulated/tired/have lots of things going on; it’s something I’m working through in therapy).

creativ exhaustion.jpg
credit: geralt

In other words, I’ve had a fair bit going on and the priority to gain experience in publishing still remains, having had over a year off and the whole ‘job thing’ being a personal pain point of mine for so long. With my being so busy and active of late, the exhaustion also equates to creative exhaustion. Yesterday, as I sat in bed before going to sleep, I got down to writing just a couple of pages – the first story pages I’d written in a few days.

I’m trying to be kind to myself and, whereas before I was just wanting to get this book finished and out in the world asap, I’m now content with going at a slower pace. The key thing for me is keeping going, even if only gradually. Though I would still really like to maintain momentum and write at least a couple of days a week for, say, 30 minutes to an hour, I’m also conscious that – when I am working full-time – it will be more challenging to manage my (creative) energy with the job (and 3 blogs!); at this stage, I’m just trying not to worry about the future and take it as it comes.

Originally intended as a short story, it has now well and truly become a novella and is on it’s way to becoming a novel. I think I’ll even feel a little disappointed if it ends of falling short of the 50,000 words “novel mark”!

As I’ve previously talked about on this blog, some heavy editing will be needed – and I may also be weaving more into the plot to add some complexity and multi-dimensionality. I know I’m going to have to keep an eye on the pesky perfectionist in me, and I’ll do well to embrace the “don’t think, just do!” mentality I’ve been trying to adopt of late.

Another challenge for me is reigning myself in, and not getting carried away with so many creative projects – e.g. poetry and acting. These are two things which, as a curious and increasingly expressive/creative guy, I’m intrigued about. I actually released my very-amateurish first self-narrated poem to the world just yesterday on Twitter. It’s definitely the closest I’ve felt to being Eminem, I must say.

Like my journalling, poetry is just an amazing outlet for me to express my innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions from my core. Writing is definitely the medium through which I feel most comfortable and effective when it comes to expressing myself. I’m not much of a talker or a sharer when it comes to ‘my stuff’ – therapy and writing are filling that void for me right now. (Psst – that said, I have recently been quoted in a couple of articles about my mental health – this one is the most recent, published just today: 19 men share what it’s like to take anti-depressants). It feels like this week’s post is, apart from being a rambling one, as much of a reminder to myself than anything else. A reminder of that fact that life has priorities, and whilst these exist my energy is a limited resource. that I am only human, and best when I focus my efforts on just 1 or 2 projects, rather than a whole bunch. That with writing a story, maintaining 3 blogs, and focusing on a job search that is now in full swing – plus various extra-curricula activities I’m now involving myself in (some publishing-/book-related, some religious-related), as well as trying to consciously cultivate closer friendships…. I will need to be EXTRA-kind to myself over the coming days and weeks!

I hope that you, too, are kind to yourself when it comes to your writing and your life as a whole – and remember to love yourself and respect yourself in the same way that you probably do with others, rather than hold yourself to ridiculously high and punishing standards. #guiltyascharged

Right, I’m off to start my ’10 minutes of story’ on my list for today…

Have a lovely weekend folks ✨☀️

PS. Do check out my 1st recorded poem if you get a chance, on Soundcloud
& the ‘The Metro’ men’s mental health articles I contributed to can be found here and here

✏ Written: Thursday, 12th April @ 2.31pm

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
What ‘creative projects’ are you working on, at the moment? And – how good are you when it comes to being kind to yourself, and/or prioritising as needed? 💙

 

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A *big* week (with a catch)

So here’s the deal. It’s been an awesome week. Not in the story-writing sense, but awesome nevertheless. Let me explain.

This week was… London Book Fair! 🙌🏽 Oh my gosh was it exciting. Of course, as a writer and story-lover, and also as someone trying to get into the publishing world; I’ve actually been writing about this over on my new boy meets pub blog – check it out. (Yep, another blog, I’m crazy). I mentioned both my publishing job search and London Book Fair, last week.

Even though I’ve paced myself this week, giving myself some time to recover, recharge and exercise, it’s been a pretty full-on three days with a lot to take in. The bookish community is a lovely one (I keep using that word this week, I feel so British), and it’s been nice to meet some folks IRL as well as the amazing ones I’ve ‘met’ online so far.

On the first day of the Book Fair, I somehow managed to do some writing mid-late pm, sat in a coffee shop trying to recover before dinner with my friends that evening. What I’ve realised is that when I’m exhausting from socialising and such, I also feel creatively depleted. It wasn’t used. But I’m glad I put pen to paper and got some words out.

Whilst I’m focusing on the job search, I’m trying to be kind to myself; even if I’ve written just a teeny, tiny amount (like this week), I’m moving forward.

Besides, there’s a fair chunk to go of the first draft, and then I know there’s a heavy first edit to follow that. But it’s all good. Us authors (well, wannabe-authors, but f*ck it, I wanna call myself an author!) are human. Which means it’s good for us to go out and meet other like-minded souls and writers, like I was able to do this week.

Here are some highlights (get the full scoop over here):

– The ‘Society of Young Publishers’ held 2 really useful events at the Book Fair, and I also became a member last week which includes lots of useful stuff, including discounted tickets to their social events
– I met some lovely (that word again) folks on Wednesday evening, which apparently is always ‘the busiest day’ of the three.
– I realised there are hundreds more publishers than I’d heard of – possibly 1000s!
– The worlds of traditional publishing and self-publishing are, apparently, worlds apart (perhaps obvious, but these two really don’t get along)
– There are lots of parts within publishing, some of which I don’t know an awful lot about and are worth exploring – e.g. Rights

We’re all human at the end of the day – and though getting that foot-in-the-door can often come down to networking (plus a bit of luck) – folks there were generally really nice, honest and supportive. I got some amazing advice, through the panel and conversations with others I’d met, about getting into publishing. I met some interesting people and made some useful ‘contacts’ – but, most of all, I met the sort of people I’d probably end up being friends with – which is really reassuring, and feels important to me.

I liked the whole energy of the London Book Fair, and though I don’t know where I’ll start or end up in publishing, I’m excited about this new chapter of mine. I’m hoping I can build on the excitement and momentum of the Book Fair, and be proactive the rest of this week and next with applications/emails, and hopefully things will happen.

Of course, working in publishing is different from being an author. And I’ve had to keep reminding myself that I ought to be getting into the industry for the right reasons (i.e. not just because I like books and writing – I have to actually enjoy what I’m doing day-today).

I won’t lie, with the ‘product’ in the publishing world being books, this is a big appeal – especially if it’s the sort of books I care a lot about! What also appeals is the fact that there’s an awful lot to learn (I love learning new things, I get bored if I’m not), the people are really cool and interesting and passionate aka my kinda crowd, and as cliched/vague as it sounds, something just feels right.  Hopefully this is an industry I can enjoy, learn in and grow in – both professional and as a person.

And perhaps, somewhere along the way, it may inspire me to push on with my own writing, and see my own creation(s!) come into fruition, and be shared with the world. One can only hope.

As long as I keep moving forward, enjoy the journey, and remember to be kind to myself and not so self-critical, that’ll be good enough for me.

✏ Written: Thursday, 5th April

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
What was the last book fair, author meet-up, or otherwise literary event that you went to? Share away – I *so* want to go along to more of these types of events now! 💙

Writing small.

I always wrote quite small as a kid. I thought it made my writing look neater. This week, I’ve embraced “writing small”, in a slightly different way.

After the not-so-good last week, I decided to keep it simple. I’ve written about 9 A5 pages this week, doing about 10-15mins of writing. It’s a new tactic of mine, the whole “make it a ridiculously easy task to do so you can’t not get started” thing. Especially whilst I’ve had a few things on my plate (and in my head) recently, this has worked.

I can write in larger chunks and force myself to write, but it feels quite nice having written just a tiny piece the last couple of days. I have also realised that this short story is already a novella, and may well be on it’s way to a novel. And it is also going to require a heavy-edit it feels like, and some re-writing. So, I’ve tried to hold back from just trying to rush and get it down, and chill out a little bit more. Whilst, initially, I was writing whole scenes all in one go, this week I’ve been writing the same scene in little pieces. It’s actually been kinda fun to come to it each day and write a little bit more, continuing where I left off rather than try to muster up the willpower to start afresh on a whole new big scene.

writing small
credit: marlene_charlotte

To review or not to review
I’ve been thinking about a lot this week (surprise, surprise), including whether I should write book or film reviews for the purposes of helping with my indie-marketing in the future. I even wrote my first review (for the film ‘All Good Things’ and associated HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst; a true story, and recommended whether you’re a #truecrime fan or not), and thought about doing a review a week. Hmm, I thought. So that means I’m running 2 blogs, posting 3 ‘proper posts’ a week in total (across both), a poem a week, and now a review a week? Just so it helps me build my following/engagement and sell my potential literature in the future?

For now, I’ve decided against this. I mean, as I write/type this (doing both at the same time this week – typing straight onto computer, rather than copying up pen-to-paper piece), I still didn’t feel like I’d entirely decided this. But putting it down in ink (well, computer ink) makes it more of assertion. You see, I have this habit of getting excited and starting lots of things, and then getting overwhelmed, not finishing them, and feeling really sh*tty afterwards.

For me, I really need to prioritise, and go slow and steady. I need to reign myself in. When I have more things I’m working on, I get overwhelmed by everything on my plate, and then I just end up stagnant and not doing anything. Not good. Not good at all. I’ve decided I’d much rather continue to connect with other bloggers, authors, and all-round human beings more naturally like I have been doing, and over time. (I’m not saying being a reviewer to add to your following is unnatural, it just feels that way for me as that would be my primary motivation!). Other projects

With all the ideas that keep popping into my head, I’ve decided I’m going to write them all down and be selective – hopefully ruthlessly so, for my own good. The trouble with me is I always seem to question “whether I’m doing the right thing” i.e. “what I’m meant to be doing”, and hence I’m tempted to experiment and try different stuff to spread my risk with the view to seeing what sticks and makes me a successful artist person. I know this sounds really stupid though, and is putting a ton of expectation on my shoulders. So, again, I’m trying to prioritise and just chill the f*ck out.

My job search – publishing
I’ve looked at a couple more bookshops this week, and going along to London Book Fair next week, where I hope to gain some tips about getting into publishers, and hopefully meet some folks in the industry and others who, like me, might be trying to get in. It’ll also be a chance for me to, hopefully, find out more about the industry itself (there are lots of different areas within publishing), and get closer to securing work experience to experience first-hand what it’s really like. I’m trying not to get too carried away, but hopefully the stars will align and good things will happen.

PS. I also need to visit a library and start on some fiction! I have two which are pretty close to me, so I have zero excuses.

Where I’m currently at
Week 1: 21 pages (A5)
Week 2: 27.5 page
Week 3: 21 pages
Week 4: 0 pages
Week 5: 9 pages

~17k words written

✏ Written: Thursday, 5th April

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
Do you write in big chunks, or bit-by-bit? I’d love to hear how your week’s going, too 💙

 

Poem: lonely at school

I feel lonely.

Surrounded by my classmates, rows of desks placed close together.

Physically close but distant from each other.

I look around.

There’s the class clown, he couldn’t give a damn.

Casually leaning back and chewing gym, surrounded by his clam.

He doesn’t worry about exams – why should he?

What’s the f*cking point in learning about geometry?

I look around.

Everyone in their cliques.

The Asians, the quiet ones, the nerds, the cool ones.

But what group are you in, huh?

You got a couple of pals, the ones you spend most time with.

But it doesn’t look like they give much of a sh*t.

Before each lesson you play the same game…

Hmm, where should I sit? With this guy or that guy?

Does it make a difference?

I’ll still feel lonely no matter the distance

Between me and them, them and me.

Whether we’re talking or silent, I feel a boundary.

Does everyone else feel this way?

Or is it just me?

How am I supposed to ask questions like that,

Without them thinking I’m crazy?

Judging me, rolling eyes, looking down on me.

Seeing me as the brown kid who isn’t rowdy,

He does his work proudly.

He’s innocent, naive, non-threatening.

Not the type who electrifies on the sports field,

Or sets trends with what he wears?

And girls? Ha, don’t even go there.

This dude couldn’t talk to a girl if he tried,

He’s too scared. That’s the truth there.

He still looks thirteen.

Short, skinny, glasses, no facial hair,

He’s turning seventeen! I’m not joking.

He is me. I am he.

Way back at school I felt lonely.

I didn’t fit in anywhere, I didn’t feel deserving.

Had I looked a little closer,

Maybe I’d realise I wasn’t the only one hurting.

– – – – –

Written by,

Jay

aka: the awkward brown guy, and AB Guy

✏ Sunday, 18th March 2018 @ 3.32pm

👀 Read more of my poetry here.

If Napoleon Dynamite was a writer…

So, this week I have done precisely zero work on my novella. Ze-ro. Zilch. Nada. And after 3 straight weeks of decent momentum.

Uuuuuuuuuuuugggghhhhhhhhh.

Gosh, it feels pretty shi*tty writing that down, and then typing it up as I am doing right now. I’m thinking of the beep…beep…beep of the heart-rate monitor, before that long beeeeeeeep at the end to indicate something is wrong.

napoleon dynamite
clker-free-vector-images

Ah man. Annoying. Here’s my trying to break down what happened here:

The previous week was tricky
Last week, I wrote how I had to force myself to write after the novelty of the story had worn off, and it was starting to feel that I was writing just for the sake of writing, and keep the word-count ticking along. This, of course, has it’s benefits – pen-to-paper is the hardest thing, after all! But I’d certainly lost noticeable enthusiasm for writing my short-story-cum-novella.

Meaty chapters lie ahead
I’m over the half-way mark in the story, and from here on in every chapter feels pretty significant. And chunky. Throughout the story we find out more about Joel, the main character, and I have a pretty decent outline of the way things are going to go, and so what I need to write about / let unfold from now. Last week, the last chapter/chunk I wrote had been a pretty tedious one to get through, and it feels the same – if not ore tedious – for the next part. Oh man.

My job search
Having taken a year off last year, I’ve been figuring out what to ‘do’ work-wise. With that has come the anxiety from not having worked in a while and going back to work, as well as choosing ‘the right thing’. At this point in time, I actually feel like I have a semblance of a plan as to what to do. Accordingly, I’ve been making calls, sending emails and even going into places and chatting/dropping my CV off. With a job search, it’s not just the physical time one spends actually applying/looking for jobs, but the actual mental energy the whole thing takes up.

Family/friends
Last weekend, it was just me and bro at home as my parents were away. I spend time chilling with him, and we went out with our cousin and uncle one evening. I also was out with a friend one evening last week. In other words, I did more socialising that I normally would, and so I felt more tired from this / socially-stimulated than usual. (I also had another evening out cancelled, and turned down yet another).

But…
At the end of the day, at any point – I had ample time – I could have just sat down and written. Just like I did last week, when I also hadn’t felt completely overjoyed at doing so. This is another example of how something can start with just missing a day or two, and then all of a sudden turning into a few days of doing nothing. As stupid as it is, once I’d realised I only had a couple of days left to ‘catch up’ and maintain the sort of pace I had been thus far, it felt like I pretty much gave up.

I woke up today intending to write. I didn’t. Truth be told, I did some job-searching stuff, and spent time procrastinating. I’m soon off to the gym, and going to a birthday party tonight. (What’s worse is that the “wig” I’ve ordered for this wig-party was supposed to arrive by today, and it still says it’s going to get here before 8pm, and there’s still no sign of it! Karma, maybe).

I won’t lie, sometimes you can have “too much time’ on your hands, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. And right now, I think it’ll do my good once the whole work-situation is more stable and I can relax about that a little.

But this week’s stats sure don’t make great viewing:

Where I’m currently at
Week 1: 21 pages (A5)
Week 2: 27.5 pages (A5)
Week 3: 21 pages (A5)
Week 4: 0 pages (#fml)

*still* ~15k words written

On a positive note
I have still been writing every day. I continue to journal, write blog posts and I even published my first poem on Sunday. So hey, not all bad. But I have to admit, it feels like little consolation. It’s been a week of thinking over doing, which is a pattern I definitely want to keep at bay.

For the Easter break, I’m away with my family for a couple of those days which I’m looking forward to. However, it’s a four-day weekend and I really want it to feel productive. Even if it’s just a few minutes here and there, I want to get back into the creative writing swing and carry on where I left off with the novella. I need to think of it as “little bit by bit” rather than big, whole, scary important chapter.

And hopefully that darn Napoleon Dynamite wig (+ accompanying ‘Vote for Pedro t-shirt) will arrive in the next couple of hours before I leave tonight.

🤞🏽

PS. In case you haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite (you totally need to), or if you have, here’s a short clip from the movie which feels pretty apt right now.

✏ Written: Thursday, 28th March 2018 @ 5.03pm

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
How’s your week been? Has it felt like a good one, or a less-than-ideal one? (Be honest, I can handle it, I promise!)

Poem: a nice quiet Sunday

A nice quiet Sunday, just me and bro at home,

We both enjoy our downtime, sometimes we like to be alone.

Sundays are for reflecting,

Chilling out and introspecting,

Reflecting on the week behind,

Reflecting on the week ahead,

Reflecting on all the things going on inside your head.

Keeping some of those thoughts at bay,

Naming them when you need to do – so those thoughts don’t stay.

Some of those thoughts aren’t nice, you just want them to go away.

But facing them head-on helps make them go away.

For now at least. The mind is weird,

Things crop up from time-to-time,

One day you’ll feel downcast, the next you’ll be fine.

Just another Sunday, ticking away,

There’s something holy about it – last Sunday I prayed

At a church in the city,

Felt more at easy than I thought – some of the girls there were pretty.

Whoops – I shouldn’t be looking, should be praying instead,

Not thinking about which girl I wanna be taking out instead.

Hey, I’m only human, not committing a crime,

Though we all have our flaws, you have yours,

And I sure as hell have mine.

– – – – –

Written by,

Jay

aka: the awkward brown guy, and AB Guy

✏️ Sunday, 24th March 2018 @ 1.25pm

👀 Read more of my poetry here.

My trickiest ‘writing week’ yet

Week 3…a toughie
This third week of writing my short story has been the most challenging one yet. Week one had seen the start of a new project, and the first time I’d written a story in years, and so I was excited to write on most of the days. I was slightly less excited in the second week, but still maintained fairly good rhythm. This last week, however, I’ve just not felt in the mood to write.

I put this down to a number of possible things. The initial excitement has worn off. I have now pretty much outlined the story, plot and characters – so there’s less imagine left now, it’s just about the graft that is writing. Also, I’ve been letting my mind wander again (kinda like I did last week), this time thinking about other possible stories; I’ve stopped myself from getting too carried away though, and avoided honing in and developing an idea that I know could distract me from getting this first one completely.

woman pencil teeth
credit: JESHOOTS

My struggle to finish things
I’ve struggled to finish things I’ve started in the past. For example, I started 2 degrees at 2 different university; not long into each, I lost interest and pretty much switched off. I dropped out a year after each, but I could have done that a lot sooner even. Similarly, with my Masters, I had a couple of wobbles before I eventually pulled through. I’m not sure if this not-finishing-stuff is down to boredom, laziness, or a lack of self-belief. Probably a combination. With this story, I know there’ll be a great sense of satisfaction that comes with it’s completion. I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other, and concentrate on the next step. Right now, that next step is getting the 1st draft completed. It feels like I’m about 60-70% done at this stage; for whatever reason, it’s stretching out longer than I expected. I’ve noticed that this week I’m being a little more carefree with the words, sentence structures, etcetera… I’m just trying to get it all down.

Then, I can type it up and edit as I go; the idea is that I’ll effectively have ‘newer draft’ when it’s all been typed up, before I can then conduct a 2nd self-edit. After this, I can hand it over to someone else to edit (provided I don’t carry out further rounds of self-editing). Really, I just want to keep my feet on the ground and keep moving forwards.

Easier said than done.

Self-doubt + other nasty inner dialogue
And all sorts of doubts creep up on me, pretty much on a daily basis. Is there any point in doing this? Am I any good at this? Am I supposed to be a writer? Is this even going to lead anywhere?

Writing these doubts down, like I am right now, actually helps. As does reading about the experiences of other writers. This week, I started listening to Joanna Penn’s huge library of podcast episodes (300+), starting with this episode, titled Stop Worrying, Start Writing. How to Overcome Fear and Self-Doubt with Sarah Painter. I liked the episode, and it served as a good reminder that this stuff is so common. Sarah, of The Worried Writer, also mentions that she has been diagnosis with clinical anxiety, something I can relate too having also had the same diagnosis. Equally, I have been following other writers who have also had challenges with their mental health (depression, anxiety, social anxiety) and so forth. I actually recently shared a post about my own social anxiety, here on my other blog.

For every writer I see online who has 1000s of followers, a portfolio of published works, and otherwise looks like ‘a proper author’… I also try to remind myself of those, just like me, who feel like they have no idea what they are doing, and are just trying to see where their writing takes them. In the podcast episode, a particular tip I found useful was where Sarah talked about being kind to yourself and removing those triggers for your anxious/negative thoughts (when you need to); for example, not going into bookshops and looking at all the ‘big, famous titles’ in there (something which, funnily enough, unsettled me a couple of weeks when I visited Waterstones to buy my mum her Mother’s Day present), or following other reputable with 100,000s of followers, or anything else which can make you feel small, insignificant and overwhelmed. A useful tip that certainly spoke to me.

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 01.30.20
Therapy
This week, my therapist also recommended a book to me about the creative process, which she couldn’t find on her bookshelf but thought might be something that could resonate. She said it might also help me feel a little less alone, in terms of identifying those phases that every creative goes through when producing something (thoughts of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art spring to mind). In therapy, I’ve also been talking through things that I’ve been holding in for a while – even last year when I had intense group therapy (2-3 days a week) and 1-to-1 therapy; I’m addressing some of the issues that started when I was a child/teenager, and the associated habits, thought patterns and core beliefs about myself which have spawned as a result. Talking therapy and writing are helping me slowly unpick these meaty issues and heal from them.

Daily writing
Perhaps a little contrary to the article on Lauren Sapala’s website that I read last week (which certainly makes sense to me), I’ve been trying to do some fiction writing (i.e. my short story) every day, even if just for a few minutes. I have found that it helps to maintain momentum, and helps avoid days passing with no writing. It also is useful for me to be ‘tuned in’ to what I am writing; if I leave it, say 3 days, without writing, it means that I may have partially forgotten what I’ve previously written about – and I feel I’ve lost a bit of that connection with the character, whose shoes I’m attempting to stand in, and connect with, in order to tell the story.

Where I’m currently at
Week 1: 21 pages (A5)
Week 2: 27.5 pages (A5)
Week 3: 21 pages (A5)

[added] ~15k words written

What’s next
Whilst trying to take it in small steps, I’ve been using the thought and excitement of ‘finishing’ as motivation to plough on. I also have an idea about what I might do with the finished piece – which I’m excited about, as well as nervous, of course. Watch this space…

Should I be reading fiction?!
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, is whether I need to be reading more fiction. I see a lot of indie/aspiring/published/unpublished authors on Goodreads, consuming lots of books, sharing their reviews and other authors’ work, etcetera. I’m sure they enjoy doing this, and it seems like a meaningful way to contribute and make connections, and perhaps gain support for their own published works, too (further down the line). I’m asking myself – do I need to do this?

I’m feeling some resistance – to be completely honest, I’ve read hardly any fiction in recent years. Whilst I do recognise that that reading has so many advantages for authors, I am also wary of how reading other authors’ books has the potential to interfere with my own personal style / ‘writers’ voice’.

But then – am I not missing out by not reading fiction, and engaging in reader communities? Am I depriving myself of the present/future benefits of reading, reviewing and contributing to the community? I’d love to get your thoughts on this! (see below)

PS. Confession: After writing this earlier in the day, I got back after midnight after the pub with a friend. It is 1.41am on Friday at time of publishing – but it’s technically still Thursday’s, so I’ve maintained my posting schedule, right?! 🙄

✏ Written: Thursday, 21st March 2018 @ 2.07pm

A.B. Guy | articles | newsletter 💌

What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
How do you deal with your anxieties/inner-chatter? Do you read and review lots of books? Should I be doing the same?! As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts + perspectives 💙