Hey Jude

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Hey Jude

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of Sundays sewing. It’s a great way to feel creative, although I must confess that I don’t always come up with the ideas myself.

Today, for example, witnessed a collaboration between my friend Corey and I, resulting in this darling little “nautical-but-nice” number for brand-spanking new baby Jude.

Jude

Because even newborns should feel like they live in the Hamptons

Those who know Corey and I will also know that we never collaborate on anything (except for Simpsons quotes and a capella versions of nineties pop anthems), so this is proof positive that babies bring people closer together. In this case, they bring people with style (like Corey) together with people with time on their hands and a mild obsession with babies (like me).

The Mandii Designs website I released on my 29th birthday, as my second Top 30 list item, is going gangbusters. I don’t make much money from it, but that was never my intention. Since its release I’ve had a steady stream of requests for one-off designs, and it has been so much fun turning those designs into reality. Usually the ideas come from the parents/doting family and friends themselves rather than me, which is just as well considering I am not an ideas man… or indeed an ideas Mandii.

My writing course yesterday was a big eye-opener as to just how real this problem is for me. My parents must have been too effective in teaching me to do what I’m told because, at 29 years of age, that’s pretty much all I can do. Completing this list is a perfect example! I’m happy to get out there and tick off items suggested by everyone else… but God forbid I should have to come up with an idea of my own!

Writing a book is already proving to be a massive challenge. I have a few ideas swirling around up there, but as soon as I write them down they cease to make any sense whatsoever.

Joining me in yesterday’s writing class was another aspiring author who was brave enough to read aloud from her finished work. The writing was questionable at best, but the real clincher was that, at two minute intervals during the reading, this 60+ year old woman would hold up her own child-like drawings to match the text. The woman running the course (a highly successful publisher with decades of experience) bluntly, but very helpfully, suggested that she “stick to the writing”.

I’m telling you, it was like “freak night” on Australian Idol in there!

It got me to thinking, however, “What if I suck at writing books and I should really just stick to documents”? As we know from Idol, it’s not enough to want to be able to do something… you have to actually have some talent as well.

For now I will stick with it and keep plugging away. I remain hopeful that God will take pity on me and strike me with sudden inspiration in time to complete the challenge. Until then I’ll stick to collaborating with more creative types.

Maybe some of their genius will rub off on me.

I’m curious to know, what talent do you wish you had?

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7 responses »

  1. The best advice I’ve had is not to try starting from the beginning. Start where you like the story best and the rest will follow. I haven;t followed it yet but when I get time it will seriously help my own writer’s block. I started at the beginning and it sucked big time so I put it down for nearly three years (so far).

    Also, remember the famous words of Hemingway who was asked to speak to a university class about how to be a successful writer. As the story goes he slowly walked on stage left, approached the podium and clenching it with bioth hands, announced “Go home and start” and then exited stage right.

  2. Writing and finishing a book can be one of the most taxing things someone can do. But believe me, everyone who writes a novel is hoping for inspiration to smack them out of nowhere; you are not alone. I wish you the best of luck in finishing your book. I bet you can!

      • There are a lot of things I do, here are some. I hope they help! If you find you’re still stuck, feel free to ask for help. Sometimes just talking with a fellow writer can do the trick. If you talk about your story, you can get all excited about it.

        I will made myself sad, weird yes, but it also works. I concentrate better when I’m sad, and it allows me to put more of my “soul” so to speak inside of the story.

        I have a Ployvore account and will create collections of each of my novels, that way, when I have writers block, I can look at them and hope something hits me.

        I tend to have a “theme song” for my stories and just closing my eyes and listening to that helps too.

        Re-reading parts of the story you have already written helps. It can reinvigorate your love of the story.

        Sometimes it’s just a matter of writing. I will pick something (the sun, flowers, the color red) and just write. Then I will find it’s easier to start writing the story again. Also, sometimes you just have to type. Don’t sit and stare at white page, just type. Make your character take a walk, go to the store, kill a dragon, you might delete it later, but it might take your story in an exciting new direction.

        Good luck! I hope this helped!

      • Although it sounds strange to intentionally make yourself sad, I can see how that would add a level of authenticity to your writing.

        I like the idea of sending your characters off on little excursions as well… let them tell you what happens next!

      • Exactly! It may sound weird, but characters really do take on their own life and start to push the writer around. It happens to more often than not. I hope some of those help!

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