Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Achieving life's goals.

Two years ago, I wrote this about some of the things I wanted to do in my life.

Re-reading it now, I’m pleased to see I’ve succeeded in a couple: I visited Findochty, and I’ve finished my first novel. Unfortunately I haven’t yet learned to play Johnny B. Goode Marty McFly style and I may have to accept I will never achieve this one.

Finishing my novel gave me a weird feeling: I’ve done something I’ve wanted to do for years. Now, it’s complete, on the page, out of my head and in the world. It’s finished. It feels good. 

But it brought to mind a question: what do you do when you’ve achieved your life’s ambition?

The answer is, of course, make a new one. Find something else to work towards. For example, I'm glad, even two years ago, I included ‘write another novel’ on my list of things to do. The best ambitions don’t end, they grow.

I’m proud of finishing my novel; I’ll be even more proud if I get it published. And prouder still if I end up with a whole shelf of my own in the local Waterstones.

Whatever you’re working on, keep at it. Achieving a goal is worth the time and hard work it takes. And, when you’ve done it, you’ll find a whole kaleidoscope of new ambitions and opportunities appear over the horizon.

Bring it on.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Reasons for creativity: are we 'adding to the noise'?

It’s been a year since I last posted on my blog. I stopped writing it because, firstly, I wanted to prioritise my novel (which I’ve now finished!) and, secondly, I became aware of the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ that is posted online. What made me think I had anything to add worth reading?

There’s a song I like by Switchfoot:

'Adding to the noise' - Switchfoot

I look at various social media sites and see a constant stream of, mostly banal, posts (no offence intended to anyone in particular!) and wonder: why should I add to it? What makes my musings more worthy of airtime than those of anyone else?

Eventually, I’ve realised it depends on why you’re writing/posting – or indeed doing anything else creative. If you’re doing it because you want to, because you feel you have something to offer that might be of benefit to the world then, great. But if you’re doing it because you want attention, and your work is screaming: ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when my blog-views go up, or when people comment on or share my work. My ego gets a boost and I feel validated, of course I do. But it can’t become the reason for writing, otherwise I’m just selling out.

So, I’m back. Because I like writing on here, and because I think I have something worth saying.

If you disagree and it’s just more ‘noise’ to you then, please, turn off this blog…