Blog & Guestbook

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Below is my blog about my books, thoughts and advice on how to Go Creative! (see also #gocreative on Twitter) and  first glimpses of new stories and poems.

Here is also where I post advance copies, free giveaways and signed books.

Comments are invited in the GUESTBOOK.

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Be More Creative Guest. This Week… The Power of Imagining with Debbie Millman

Sunday, April 20th, 2014
Debbie Millman artist and creative educator

Debbie Millman artist and creative educator

“We begin by worrying we aren’t good enough, smart enough or talented enough to get what we want, then we voluntarily live in this paralyzing mental framework, rather than confront our own role in this paralysis.

“Just the possibility of failing turns into a dutiful self-fulfilling prophecy. We begin to believe that these personal restrictions are, in fact, the fixed limitations of the world.

“We go on to live our lives, all the while wondering what we can change and how we can change it, and we calculate and re-calculate when we will be ready to do the thing s we want to do.

“And we dream. If only. If only. One day. Some day.

“Every once in a while — often when we least expect it — we encounter Read the whole post »

Self-Publishing History: WB Yeats Goes Crowdfunding

Saturday, April 19th, 2014
WB Yeats

WB Yeats

Late in 1888, young Willie Yeats finished his first major book, The Wanderings of Oisin (a Gaelic name, pronounced “Usheen”), at the age of 22.

The challenge then, as now, was to get it published and into the hands of readers. He had a publisher in mind but, in order to be able to approach him, the convention of the time was that the author needed to guarantee the sale of a certain number of “subscriptions” first. He had to bring in contacts who’d declare their commitment to purchasing a number of copies.

Friends and family stumped up but most of them were poor. One friend, the well-connected John O’Leary, a Nelson Mandela figure in Irish nationalism, made all the differences to Read the whole post »

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How Self-Publishing Saved My Writing Life: Thoughts from #LBF2014

Friday, April 11th, 2014
ALLiance of Independent Authors members at The London Book Fair

Some ALLi members at The London Book Fair

What a week!

The London Book Fair ended yesterday and it was, in the words of my next door neighbour’s daughter, whenever she’s seeking her highest praise for an exciting experience, “off the wall mental”.

During the fair, I found myself:

* On Monday 7th, speaking at Digital Minds Conference with indie star, Hugh Howey, and Eirector of author and publisher relations at amazon.com Jon Fine, sharing with the publishing trade my reasons for self-publishing and  Read the whole post »

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Opening Up To Indie Authors: Book Launch

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Opening Up To Indie AuthorsCopy of my speech at the Open Up To Indie Authors launch at The London Book Fair

The guidebook we’ve gathered here today to launch is part of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)’s Open Up To Indie Authors campaign (found on Twitter with the hashtag #PublishingOpenUp).

This campaign is aimed at book fairs and conferences, award bodies and libraries, festival and event organisers, retailers and reviewers, and anyone who acts as a bridge between writer and reader — and at self-publishing writers themselves.

Open up to what? To the most exciting and expansive movement in the books business for centuries: author publishing.

Half or more of the books on Amazon’s bestseller lists are now self-published. ALLi has many members who have sold more than 100,000 copies of their books; some who have sold in their millions and many more who are producing work of outstanding literary merit.

Corporate publishers and agents are watching and pouncing on successfully self-published authors, hoping to woo them over.

There is no denying that publishing times are a-changing — but those changes are still not reflected throughout the literary world of libraries, reviews, bookstores, festivals and prizes.

This book, and the associated campaign, hopes to change that.

#PublishingOpenUp

The Open Up To Indie Authors (#PublishingOpenUp) campaign includes Read the whole post »

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Be More Creative Guest. This week… Go Play With Bill Watterson

Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Calvin and Hobbes

“Cultivate mental playfulness for constant creativity.” Bill Watterson

“If I’ve learned one thing from being a cartoonist, it’s how important playing is to creativity and happiness.

“My job is essentially to come up with 365 ideas a year. If you ever want to find out just how uninteresting you really are, get a job where the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood. I’ve found that the only way I can keep writing every day, year after year, is to let my mind wander into new territories.

“To do that, I’ve had to cultivate a kind of mental playfulness. A playful mind is inquisitive, and learning is fun.

“If you indulge your natural curiosity and retain a sense of fun in new experience, I think you’ll find it functions as a sort of Read the whole post »

Chatting With Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre About ALLi’s Open Up To Indie Authors Campaign

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Join me and Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo Writing Life, Mark Lefebvre, as we discuss plans to launch The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)’s “Open Up To Indie Authors” campaign at The London Book Fair & beyond.

This global book launch is a publishing first and we discuss the importance of the campaign.

And how you can take part if you’re a writer or reader.

Switch From Conventional To Creative

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Inspiration Meditation A Go Creative! Book

Find the space within and between with inspiration meditation

We all have a con-mind (conventional, conceptual, conservative) and we all have a creative mind and, once we have learned how, we can switch from one to the other by choice.

Becoming more creative is about choosing to take our attention away from con-mind’s goings and doings, plans and purposes and focus instead on… nothing.

We have the content of our lives – the thoughts, feelings, events, experiences, stuff, people. The “thingness” of life, if you like.

This we notice, but also always there is Read the whole post »

Be More Creative. This week… Creative Visualisation with Albert Einstein

Monday, March 31st, 2014
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." Albert Einstein.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein.

Though Einstein is most known for his theory of relativity, what brought him to fame first was his explanation of the photo-electric effect, proving that light was both particle and wave.

Einstein consciously applied creative skills to the problem by performing “thought experiments” in his head while doing his day job as a clerk. Through the process of vividly imagining what happened to light and why (imagining himself at the head of a light-beam and how it felt), he explained a phenomenon that every other physicist in the scientific community actively avoided as impossible to resolve.

His work method:

“Although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head.

“If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualise what goes on in my imagination.”

Got that. Work schedule. Walk somewhere lovely. Lie down and visualise.

Go create!

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Be More Creative. This Week… With Bob Dylan.

Monday, March 17th, 2014

On Creative Inspiration: “[The songs] just came… out of that wellspring of creativity. I don’t know how I got to write … those early songs [they] were almost magically written… a kind of a penetrating magic.”

On Creative Destiny: “There was something out there that I needed to get to and it wasn’t where I was, at that particular moment… I was heading for the fantastic lights. Destiny was looking right at me… It’s a feeling you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your mind of what you’re about WILL come true. It’s the kinda thing you kinda have to keep to your own self because it’s a fragile feeling and you put it out there, somebody’s gonna kill it…so it’s best to keep it all inside.”

On Doing The Work: “I made a bargain… a long time ago — with the Chief Commander…the commander on this earth and in the world we can’t see — and I’m holding up my end.

Full interview:

Be More Creative. This Week With… Jean-Jacque Rousseau

Monday, March 10th, 2014
How To Be More Creative. Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau

I contemplate the child and he pleases me. I imagine him as a man, and he pleases me more. His ardent blood seems to reheat mine… his vivacity rejuvenates me.

The hour sounds. What a change! His eyes cloud over; his gaiety is effaced.
Goodbye, joy! Goodbye, frolicsome games!
A severe and angry man takes him by the hand, says to him gravely, “Let us go, Sir,” and takes him away…
No.
Leave him alone at liberty. Watch him act without saying Read the whole post »