Writing well sets you apart from the rest

Arabella McIntyre-Brown

Read this today. Thought it was good advice. Thought I should pass it on.

“If there’s any one lesson I’ve learned: writing is sort of a lost art and I would always encourage young people, particularly, to take up writing because if you can write well it is a differentiator. It will separate you from your competition and lead to other things.”

This is a quote from Kasey Pipes – a former White House presidential speechwriter – talking about the skills of writing speeches. But the overall message is that he has had a great career because he learned to write effectively. It’s a valuable skill that many of your competitors lack, and which canny employers value.

In your spare time you can write a bestseller…

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Writing your first…

…illustrated children’s book. This is a great insight into some of the challenges and solutions for writers itching to get their story told: a piece by Michael Gallant for the BookBaby blog. Read, then get writing!

Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree

Illustration from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

 

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When your idea takes flight…

COVER dragoniWhen a hint of a thought of an idea catches on fire in your head… and you find yourself chasing your characters through the skies over London until the story comes to satisfying close, it’s a great feeling.

When the story becomes a paper-and-ink reality, 192 pages with a fabulous cover, and you spend two days at a big book fair launching it, that’s something else. Exhausting, but exhilerating.

To be told (as I was today) that the initial print run of 3,000 copies have sold out, just 6 days after the launch – THAT’s a real buzz!

My dragons are being reprinted now, as their story seems to be rather popular. Nice…

So never give up on a story because you think it’ll never be published. Look at me and my dragons! Have faith in your story and make it happen.

Thanks to Booklet Fiction for their faith in the story, their publishing expertise and their enthusiasm…

IMG_1502 bookfest - Dina's pic

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James Patterson knows…

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We MUST boost our kids’ confidence

Cartoon strip of child being indoctrinated

Cartoon by Eduardo Salles: Cinismoilustrado

Who gets this? Me too. The negative messages we hear over and over again during our childhood and teens can take root and grow into our reality.

What a waste of potential! What a way to destroy children’s lives before they start… What a way to strangle confidence and curiosity. What a way to squash the whole of a society. Please can we stop?

Do you identify with this? Can you see this happening around you? How do you think it affects our whole way of life?

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My must-read books list

My long list of books I’ve loved… These are books from all genres and none, for all ages. It’s not a snob list of books I pretend I’ve read – I have actually read each of these, to the end, at least once. And I think everyone would enjoy most of them, too.

I’ve adapted a list I filched off Facebook, removed some, added some. There’ll be lots I’ve missed off or *shame* forgotten. I’ve stuck to one (max 2) books by any author, even though it pained me to resist temptation.

I invite you to do the same and pass on your list. But before you do, please let me which of these you’ve read (or your top 5 or 10 favourites off the list) and which titles you’d add or delete.

And which of these have you hated? Or tried to read and gave up in boredom or disgust? I junked Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and the Shipping News, for instance. Got bored by the first, and enraged by the second.

This isn’t a contest and there are no right or wrong answers. It’s just fun to see what people read, what they like and what they don’t.

There are two which you might think I’ve chosen just because of their titles. You’ll know when you see them… But genuinely I love these books for much more than the title (although they are little extra bonuses).

Tell me about your books and whether they’ve changed your life in any way. And what are you reading right now?

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Blake’s Cottage – now we know.

If you’re looking for a role model in the art of imagination, William Blake must be up there with the greatest. Extraordinary vision… and now I discover (very late) that he lived a few miles from where I was born, bred and educated. While I was learning Tyger, Tyger, I had no idea he was my neighbour (albeit a few hundred years adrift)…

Beryl Kingston Blog

We’ve been waiting for ages for one of the triumvirate to tell us when they are going to start repairing Blake’s Cottage. Nothing has been done and it’s now over a year since they bought the place. So I was very glad to hear that the Blake Cottage Trust had a website where they were going to keep us informed. And I visited it. I was seriously disappointed.

There wasn’t a word about repairing the cottage, not one single word, although it gave us a list of the ‘three forms of access’ there would be to it, presumably at some time in the future. I thought you would like to know what they are.

  1. People can visit the cottage on open days. (Well that’s nice of them!)
  2. Invited guests can stay and sleep in the cottage for a weekend or a week. (I wonder who they will be and who will choose them?)

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