Writing 101 Day 19: #OnRepeat – The dog’s lost the lead…

Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

I want you to let it all hang out. So does writer Anne Lamott. At the risk of turning Writing 101 into an Anne Lamott fan club, no one motivates me the way she does. Every time you sit down to write and think your idea is too stupid, too uninteresting, too random, or too unoriginal to be committed to the page, let Anne give you a gentle but firm nudge:

The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.

Clears throat. Pleased take your seats. The word storm is about to begin.
Are you not entertained

Holds laptop like Captain Americas’s shield “Internet Assemble!”

“To the internet – there’s not a moment to lose.”

“Hot diggedy daffodil they’re real!”

Makes motion like looking into the distance – “I can see you but I can’t see your point”

Continue reading

Writing 101 Day 17: #OnRepeat – No Surprises

Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.
Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Who’s more afraid of fire. Someone who’s been badly burnt or someone who just dreams about getting burnt?

There is learned fear and unlearned fear and both are toxic. Two children both afraid of being beaten. One child is beaten every day and is afraid when ever the next beating is due.Then there is the fear of the other child who sees the pain of the other child and fears that one day it will be him instead.

FEAR noun – a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. (Dictionary.com)

“What are you scared of?”
“What have you got?”

Seriously though.

Everything. Life itself. In fact, living. If we can separate getting by and surviving from actually living then sure why not.

Failure. The fear that taking a leap of faith will leave you at the bottom of a canyon.

That’s the fear I’m overcoming, It’s what stands between anyone and their true potential, their dreams, becoming the best they can be, The fear that this is as good as it gets and anything you try to do to make things better will be counter productive. The fear that it will get worse if you try to make it better.

It’s a learned fear from childhood which has become an unlearned fear as an adult. Years of failure growing up. Failure to achieve, failure to make friends, failure to find love, failure to connect. An adult who has only known failure and is afraid to try one more time.

“What if no-one wants to read anything I write?
“What if she rejects me?”
“What if I never find my way?”


Have you ever had a serious knee injury? Back strain? Tennis elbow? Was it agony when you moved? You stopped moving it? Awkwardly held, walking with a limp, scared to reach for a mug on the desk because of that shooting pain? It takes you two or three tries before you’ll even try because you can almost feel the pain before it happens.

Now imagine that pain is in your soul, your psyche, your sense of self.

Off on a tangent – Depression and fear go together like bad diet and diabetes. The two often are part and parcel. They can exist apart but often when one is cured the other is alleviated. Until quite recently I think that would have been the reality if my soul had been answering instead of my head. I am adept at telling people what they want to hear. I’ve spent almost my entire life lying to myself, I didn’t even realise how often I lie to other people. “I’m fine” is the lie I’ve repeated almost everyday of my life. I suppose it goes withhout saying that one lie leads to another.

“I can’t make it, I’m busy”
“She’s not my type”
“Its not my scene”
“I love my job and I’d like to progress further in this career”

Lies, Lies all lies.

The epiphany that you have been living in fear is literally the moment you wake up from a nightmare. Angst and self-delusion are the soporific that keep your eyes closed to reality.

The less f*cks you give, the less sh*t you take – the more you’re capable of.

Day 15: #On Repeat: Killing in the Name (Free writing)

Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. How does that make you feel?

Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.

I’ve been very quiet for a very long time.

I’ve only spoken up relatively recently.

Quiet, introverted. Trapped in a cage of assumptions, excuses and fears. Like the famous story of the elephant held in place by a string and and a twig.

I missed most of the nineties to depression and poverty. I didn’t get out, didn’t make friends, didn’t see the world.

Despite all of that I held onto my love of music.

In 2009 a Rage Against the Machine hero-fan organised a campaign to make Killing in the Name the Christmas No. 1 and it worked!

RATM promised their fans a victory concert if they made No. 1 and they kept their promise. A free concert in Finsbury Park in high June for all of their fans. The tickets were distributed by online lottery and. I. Got One.

2015-04-28 19.53.18

Continue reading

Happy Blog day to me…


Writing 101 Day 14: To Whom It May Concern – SLEDGEHAMMER’s final message

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.

Today’s post is brought to you by the Spartan Warrior Workout and the word is:


Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

(2nd and final of today’s posts from the Marvel Comic Universe)

Continue reading

1000 likes! You may make me a better writer – thank you!


Little steps. Big steps. First steps.

Had to share, this is awesome!

Writing 101 Day 12: Fantastic Expectations – Amazing Revelations

Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation. 

It was a week after  I had walked away from wrapping my car around a telegraph pole. I had walked away from a widowmaker without a scratch. On the first frosty day of September seventeen year old me had left early one morning to go to his job in a a hardware store. Woodford is hilly and and some of the roads hug the hills like lycra. To cut a long story short heading down a hill on a curve on the road I hit a patch of black ice spun slowly round and slammed my clunky Ford Orion into a telegraph pole; bounced off and came to rest in the front garden of a man who when he came to the door had the resigned look of someone who was tired of this sh*t.

A week later I got a call from the hospital I’d been driven to. They wanted to talk about my X-ray….

Turns out I was a double jointed and the junior doctor wanted to examine me again for his own interest.

Mum. Was Pissed.

Anyway the story is based on being born different!

(Which today is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for kicks and giggles) Continue reading

Writing 101 Day 11: #OnRepeat – Steady as she goes

Woodford Green.

Stable and comfortable, Staid and Constricting. Leafy and well situated. Ludicrous and wealthy. I moved from Leytonstone in (then, unregenerated) grim East London when I was 7. Which isn’t strictly true of course because I didn’t move my mum moved. At the time I was growing up there Woodford Green was a mostly peaceful small well to do suburb just outside of London.

I’m going about this all wrong.


Woodford Green was and still is safe. Continue reading

Tangent: Writing affects your brain!