It’s time to get real. Being and staying a creative person can be tough. Most of us have a family member, (or friend, or someone who just likes to butt in even when it’s got nothing to do with them,) who loves to rain on our parade (cue Barbra Streisand).
‘Oh, is your book going to be like the Hunger Games?
‘You’re an artist? I don’t recognise your name though.’
‘How much money do you make?’
‘Like J.K. Rowling?’
‘You’re published in what? I’ve never heard of it.’
‘Oh, you self-publish/write YA fantasy/write romance/[insert literally anything people tend to undervalue here.]’
One of the reasons we decided to write a blog on our main website was to offer advice (where we can), and to share our experiences as we go and learn more. We want to show you the product when it’s ready, sure, but we also want to share with you the parts that aren’t quite as pretty; first drafts, sentences that don’t make sense, mixed metaphors and sleepy similes that need work (or just a nice, thick, decisive line through them). We want to combat our own insecurities by putting them out there, as against the principles of social media as that may be.
And we want to learn from you. We want connection and conversation and content we can all care about.
I’m back to my studies in October (second year of my MA in creative writing!), and will be sharing what I’m reading and creating. I want to talk about inspiration, content, creativity, pitching, publishing, and the struggle to give your work to others for critique when you feel you aren’t ready at all (thanks, impostor syndrome + anxiety, I love you too).
I’ve got two of Austin Kleon’s books (well, we do, we share all of our writing-related books), and I’ve been struck by how impactful his words and images can be. Today I was leafing through Show Your Work, and came upon this text:
You can’t find your voice if you don’t use it.
Figure out what you care about and go out there and use your voice. There are some good lessons in this book – and even if it’s something you’ve heard or thought before, the reminders are so important. Kleon’s books resonate with me, and make me want to try harder, be better, and care less (is that counter-intuitive? We’ll talk about it another time, kids).
We want your thoughts and ideas! What do you struggle with? How do you feel about your voice? Have you read Kleon’s books? Comment here or reach out on twitter or insta!
We’ve also got a giveaway ready to go… Check our twitter on Friday (9th August) for details!