Published

I mentioned in a 2014 recap post that I had a short story accepted for publication by a literary magazine. Having been asked by everyone around me, “Are you proud? Because you should be.” I thought that I should let myself really be proud and give it a short post to itself. Preemptive apologies for this festival of self-love. Continue reading “Published”

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Favourite Book Covers

This idea came from the wonderfully blog-talented, Wanton Creation / the Other Watson, click the link to check his favourites out.

Shall I open with the perhaps over-used line, you can’t judge a book by its cover? I know this is true for a lot of books (dodgy cover, good plot) and for people, the true subjects of the analogy, (pretty cover, ugly soul) but for whatever reason, I tend to feel more connected to the books whose covers caught my eye first. Picking a preferred cover for a specific books helps the book feel personal. When different books by the same author have covers in a similar style, I like to buy the one that matches what I have. Continue reading “Favourite Book Covers”

Read What Makes You Happy

There is a certain amount of pressure on people who call themselves writers or literary students / lovers, to read and love particular books. Sometimes though, the best thing to do for these masterpieces is to acknowledge their intelligence, appreciate it, but admit that you just personally didn’t like it. Continue reading “Read What Makes You Happy”

The Internal Author-Log

All World Issues recently had a post titled My Addiction to Writing… In My Head, that I think is something a lot of writers think about – and general people, too (yeah, writers are a different kind of human!). I can only assume that everyone has some level of self-narration going on in their minds on a day-to-day basis, I assume because otherwise what do you have going on in there? Flying monkeys? Though, once I was thinking nothing but a sing-song tune along the lines of ‘a-hem a-ha a-hum hum hum he he he’ for around an hour because man, you get tired listening to this voice. I’ve been meaning to write about this, and AllWorldIssues’ post seemed like the perfect sign to hurry up, because my thought novels are something I think about a lot. Continue reading “The Internal Author-Log”

Kickass January Reads, 2013

Adding 2013 sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Already the first month is over. Five books were demolished this month. Smashed through like a ball through a school window. Pulverized like an apple in a blender. Or, more accurately, read with interest while laying down spread eagle in a pair of cotton pajamas. Whichever you’d prefer. Continue reading “Kickass January Reads, 2013”

The only person you should compare yourself to, is who you were yesterday

I read that title quote somewhere, but apparently it was too much for my brain to remember where I read it or who said it. Sorry about that. Let’s just say in the context of this post I got really smart and wrote it myself. It’s normally one of those lines that I read and think ‘give me a break’ and roll my eyes at, but lately it seems to be a necessary mantra.

Today I was on youtube (as per usual) and I happened to click on a Jenna Marbles video where she talked about how we need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. (Here’s the link) It was one of those times where you really needed to hear something but you weren’t expecting it from the place you did, and you also didn’t know that you needed to hear it until you heard it. That make sense? Lately I’ve been wondering whether or not my writing is good enough to ever be published, and couple that with the great books I’ve been reading and the awesome television shows I’ve been watching I began to think that there was no point in even trying. How could someone like me ever do anything worthwhile? How could this brain ever create something as pure magic as Philip K. Dick’s work, or the tangled beauty of Game of Thrones?

Image

No beard? No joining our club. Our club for awesome.

In fact, I’m still convinced that I will never succeed in creating anything of their standard but it doesn’t mean that I should just stop what I want to do and resign myself to a life of never trying at anything. In the video, Jenna says that once you accept that you’re never going to be the prettiest, or the smartest, then all the pressure lifts from your shoulders. I’m attempting to let go of pressure and expectation.

I always wanted to release a book of short stories, but everyone always said “you can’t do that, it’s so hard, don’t bother, you won’t be good enough, don’t you know only really famous authors can release that shit?” Well, eff that. I’m going to make a book of short stories, get that thing published and it’ll be awesome.

If I ever want to get a move on I can’t be held back by comparing my story to another person’s and second guessing myself, I’ll never get anything done and life just doesn’t work that way. Though it’s at least for now keeping me from getting pregnant – “aww that person has the cutest baby in the world! I wonder if I’ll have a cute baby? What if I don’t have a cute baby… what if my baby is like Oscar the Grouch or something, oh my God I should wait..” So that’s a bonus.

Comparison is a tricky thing because on the one hand we shouldn’t compare our looks to airbrushed models, or our intelligence to professionals, or our lives to rich celebrities, but you also don’t want to go the other way and use comparison as an excuse to just do everything terribly only to say “Well it’s MY best and I’m not comparing it to Hawking so tough titties!” especially if the thing you did terribly was somebodies wedding cake or a kid’s braces.

A little comparison can be used as inspiration; look at the greats that you admire and tell yourself that you’re going to try as hard as you can to achieve something you can admire just as much one day. Instead of worrying or whining about not being as good, sit down and get to work on getting good. Earn your talent. Practise. Learn. Don’t be held back by your insecurities or fears – sit down and educate yourself on how to get better at something and try to enjoy it while you’re doing it.

And if you find that your absolute best after all that hard work isn’t anything so good as those greats you admired, well at least you know now what your real potential actually is and you can work from there. In the words of Dylan Moran, “Don’t do it! Stay away from your potential. You’ll mess it up, it’s potential, leave it. Anyway, it’s like your bank balance – you always have a lot less than you think.” 

“Wait, that’s not an inspiring, uplifting quote to end on Jess what are you doing?!”

Oh, sorry.
No wait! Never fear I have one last thing to say; I tried to think of something really beautiful and inspirational but it turns out I’m way too cynical to even half believe the bullshite that came out of my brain, so after back-spacing those phony-sounding sentences I just want to say – how do you know your potential is limited unless you try to unlock it all? Work as hard as you can, and if you’re not the greatest? Deal with it. Accept it. Enjoy what talent, hobby, job or interest you have and let go of the idea of having to be number 1 or else nothing at all.

What would you do otherwise? Never try? I’d rather fail knowing I did the best I could and knowing that I enjoyed doing it, than wake up one day and realised I’ve failed at my entire life.