Today’s Inspiration

I’m currently attempting to write the forward and blurb type things for TFA. I really don’t understand, still, how in our field the writing is the easy part. The hardest part is undoubtedly the promoting side: writing bios etc, where I find trying to balance shameful self-promotion and not sounding like a self-loving tool is near enough impossible. All you ever want to say is ‘I’ve written this, if you like it then fantastic, if not- no worries’- but you can’t do that. It’s all one big drama, every time you’re asked to do it.

Nevertheless, I plod along towards acknowledgements, this part is a little easier. Naturally, cover designers, reviewers, critiques, friends, family etc have all played their respective parts. You could also probably thank your inspirations, the greats you look up to who make you want to reach their levels of success. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t be where you are if not for them. In my case I’d like to meet Wilde, Poe, Stoker et al and shake their hands. I’d also kind of like to meet Shakespeare, because although I’m no fan and his works have been the causes of misery throughout my academic life, I’d be comfortable should my poetry become so well known that kids study them as his in years to come. There’s that wonderful irony stuff again.

Anyway, when I was thinking about this I realised that I had heard from an idol of mine way back when my journey as a writer began. Back in the Winter of 2011, I had my first ever short story published and in the same week got an unexpected reply from my (still) favourite author, Christopher Ransom. I could even call him ‘Chris’. I saved his email as it meant a lot to me. He talked about his journey to becoming a published writer, inspirations, motivations and so much stuff yet I was overwhelmed enough just to have the reply to begin with. And now, as I finish the poetry chapter of my life (for now at least) and try my hand at his field of horror fiction I have revisited that message and realise how subconsciously I have stuck to his advice whilst writing TFA. He ended by wishing me luck with my writing and the best for the holidays. I thought I’d share a couple of extracts from what he said to me as an inspirational post.

‘My own tenure as an aspiring writer was not so long ago and, in fact, feels as though it is still ongoing.  I suppose the reason is that we never stop aspiring, not if we care about our jobs and our readers and hope to bring something new to the table each time out’.

‘I spent 15 years writing fiction before I published The Birthing House, a manuscript that received over 60 rejections from various agents before my agent sold it to St. Martin’s Press.  Persistence and patience are everything in this game, but if you nourish your talent and refuse to give up, you will find success’.

I’ll just add to that and sum it up.
‘Dreams are possibilities’.

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