So I finished the last revision on my first novel “Z-List Celebrities” Which is a story based around the concept that The Devil is more of a title than an actual person, kind of like the pope or the milkman. There are hundreds of devils and their respected demons, each representing the various incarnation of Hell, and just like technology eventually they become obsolete and replaced with a new and improved Hell.
The story starts with Satan being “let go” and replaced with the Prime Minister, who seems to more accurately portray a modern Hell. The only problem with this is the Prime Minister seems to have ideas of her own about how things should be run.
Enter our would-be hero, Sam. A self-confessed layabout slob, his imaginary friend/guardian angel/dead cowboy, who is coaxed and prodded into trying to save the world from the rise of a politically approved Hell.
It started as an idea formed from a mixture of immature imagination, the brazen behaviour from political leaders across the world, and a role play session with my Dad. The initial idea came to me while I was walking to the stables, and I remember stopping and thinking it was a strange thought, so I wrote it down. It would take six months and trip to Sweden and back to encourage me to start writing it though, but i’m glad I did.
December 2015 I sat there on my iPhone, typing away roughly 500 words a day, not really knowing what I was doing. January 2017 and i’ve finished the 5th draft, and i’m not much clearer either, but i’m glad I got here. Lot’s of changes and edits, and nights worrying whether it’s any good, and i’m sat there looking at this journey and smiling my usual demonically wide smile.
There will likely be the odd change to grammar and punctuation here and there, but two days ago I wrote the last scene and I felt like it truly was it. I didn’t feel sad, or worried, I felt lighter and proud I had come this far on nothing more than a thread-bare thought that I could write a novel.
I wrote my second short story of the year yesterday, and chewed on a few words someone had told me about rest after the work, it didn’t make sense to me. It’s not that I don’t get tired after writing big chunks of work in those inspiring moments, it’s just I don’t see it as actual work. That’s why I wanted to become a writer in the first place.
In the year that i’ve put my effort into writing I feel like i’ve been given a new lease on life, and as always I make sure I put the energy back into the world with my art. I told the person that writing wasn’t what I needed a break from, it was the people who drain me. I’d spent too much time worried about what people thought about my choices to for the first time go after what I actually wanted, and thankfully the writing won out.
My brain would give me a nudge in those moments where i’d sit there and think “Maybe they’re right, and I should just do something more conventional” then i’d remembered that people my entire life have tried to tell me how to live my life properly, and each time they’re completely wrong as far as my livelihood is concerned.
A year later, and I have a more or less finished novel, half of another first-drafted novel, around twenty or so short stories, a head of curly hair filled with the desire to keep going. my advice to anyone out there, clutching their hopes and dreams is to nurture that thought, let it grow and you will grow with it.
I am so glad to have the chance to do what I love, and I couldn’t quite grasp it so firmly if it wasn’t for my loving partner Holly, one of those smart people who knows that all I want is to just be allowed to be myself. I think people forget that, especially now when technology enlarges the ego to suggest a certain inflated importance, while brushing off any accountability.
When you say, think, or do something someone else doesn’t understand therefore doesn’t like, it’s as if they think you’re personally attacking them. The truth of the matter is when you’re speaking from the heart it doesn’t really account for anyone else, you’ve just got this idea you just have to share. Like you they have a right to express themselves and their opinions, but that shouldn’t stop you.
2016 shared with the world the lack of insecurity on the part of the idiots, whether they are your next door neighbour, a person online, or those attempting to lead a country. More and more we’re slowly realising that if bright minds, and creative characters just sit silent, then we’re going to be represented and voiced by these other people.
It’s alright to say “No, I don’t like this” and share your mind, and if you can do it in an artistic way, even better. Art is taking those powerful ideas, and creating something that can have a long term impact. Simply speaking is fine, but with everyone complaining at once it’s easy to forget or to be drowned out by others. Art has a power that can withstand scrutiny, ignorance, and still continues to shape peoples minds.
Make 2017 a time to share your art, because unlike harsh words, fists and bullets, art can disarm the world by showing that it’s worth preserving. Culture is worth preserving, people are worth preserving. Art thrives through learning and connecting to new ideas, whereas weapons only want to tear it all away. You might not think you matter, or you could make a difference, but you just have to trust that part of you that just wants to create. It’s hard for people to govern through fear, when we realise we’re all in some way or another the same.
If you liked what you read and you want to help support me while I carry on creating, then head over to my Patreon through my Twitter, and send me some money to buy a coffee or something. I am saving up for a microphone, so I can record some stories for the lazier members ofd my family and friends, and hopefully with you too. Thank you.