Jumping From Cliffs

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Edit: I wrote this post about a week before the great man died. He will be much missed, but his advice and inspiration will linger forever.
JS

So, why Jumping From Cliffs?

I was out of work and 18 months (on and off) into the putative novel now known as Dark Energies and massively doubting whether there was any point in continuing with it. Who was I to think I could write? Why put myself through the embarrassment and potential humiliation of committing my innermost thoughts and feelings to paper, thinly cloaked in the disguise of characters I’d invented? Then, serendipitously, I stumbled across this extraordinary interview with Ray Bradbury:

Writer Ray Bradbury on jumping from cliffs

I didn’t know his work well and am still unfamiliar with far too much of it, but I had read Fahrenheit 451. His love of books and writing shines through in this interview, as does his enthusiasm, spirit and love of everything to do with the written word.

His exhortation that

You have to jump from cliffs every day and build your wings on the way down

should be tattooed on all our foreheads at birth.

Backwards, of course, so we can read it in the mirror.

Watch and wonder people, the man is pure authorial inspiration wrapped in a casing of skin. Like a wonderful sausage.

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In the beginning…

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This is a blog about a book.

No, scratch that.

This is a blog about a journey and the search for inspiration.

Yes, that’s a much grander opening, good.

Around the age of 7 (or thereabouts) I decided I had to write a book. A little over 3 decades later I’ve finally gone and done it. That was the first part of the journey (more of that later). Now the journey to publish it begins.

Along the way I’ve been inspired – as every writer surely should be – by many different people and things. I wanted to share them here to inspire other would-be first-time writers. Then I realised, what the hell, they can inspire anyone, writer or non. Writing brings up many valuable lessons on life (OK, that sounds pretty hippy-dippy self-help, but stick with me, it gets better…)

I also hope to share some of what I’ve learned (and still am learning) about the process of writing, again in the hope that it will be of use to others. It’s one thing to read advice in books or on blogs by accredited authors, but there’s often a niggling feeling of “easy for you to say Mr/Mrs/Ms Published!” Within these posts, I’ll share what actually worked for me. Whether it works for you, only you can find out.

Like the bemused anti-hero protagonist at the outset of Dark Energies (that’s the book folks, much more of that later too) I don’t know precisely where this journey will end. But it’s a decent bet there’ll be excitement, despair, hope, false hopes, elation and a significant amount of utter blind confusion along the way.

If you’re lucky, there may even be some laughs en-route as well. I’m hoping you’ll stick around to find out.