stories

A “viable alternative for young people”

Fifteen issues strong but still a way to go

2002. Since 1998 Soul Purpose magazine has targeted Christian and non – Christian young people aged between 12 – 25 years.

The magazine has reached its 15th issue and while the crew could rest on their laurels, Founder and Chief Editor Hamish Stevenson feels they have a long way to go. Continue reading “A “viable alternative for young people””

stories

To present advice in a way “that is cool and appealing to young people”

Launch of ‘alternative’ youth magazine

2002. In Manchester, UK, an alternative young people’s magazine was launched, which is especially geared towards those in the Church. Continue reading “To present advice in a way “that is cool and appealing to young people””

notes--writing

Writing in anger

A reviewer assumed a screenwriter/director was driven by anger to make a work, but being driven by this emotion seems a stretch too far. How does one manage that emotion while working with it? Wouldn’t anger get out of control and interfere with the person doing the work, effectively disabling the person from thinking straight?

I guess anger in writing can smolder underneath, under layers one has built up to protect oneself from exposing the driving, motivating force behind a work or works.

The problem with writing in anger is that anger may be seen in how one treats the subject they are irritated about. An exaggerated treatment may reveal a bias towards a certain institution, but it isn’t the way it is. This is when things become unfair.

I think it is best to avoid those writings that are driven by the emotion of anger. There are other emotions to write with, and these can be negative ones. For me at least, anger is detrimental to getting on doing the work properly.

In the end one may be misrepresenting something or some group entirely and perhaps regret doing so afterwards.

notes--writing

Abandoning one project isn’t abandoning the ship

There is a difference between abandoning something and abandoning ship. Abandoning ship means whatever you were occupying is abandoned for ever. Abandoning something means you let go of part of the whole. I may have let go of a long cherished but burdensome project without abandoning ship. I will still write of course, but I won’t be writing a certain project that I really am unmotivated to write anymore. I guess one should be motivated to write a project, but when it becomes a burden, one loathes the thought of writing it. So, I think I should stick to those writing projects, in terms of fiction, that I really have a strong motivational investment in.

notes--writing

Persevering with the poem that’s a labor of love

Putting the much loved poem on the back burner was the logical next step. This after desperately searching for a suitable publisher for it, but realizing there isn’t one, yet. Beforehand, he was going to place it on his blog. He had, at least, decided he would work on finding a publisher for it, and would continue that search at a later date.

notes--writing

Persevering in the face of successful others

“I have two websites I use for information on publishing,” said the fledging writer to her inquisitive hearer. She was ashamed of being a fledging in front of this successful person, but thought that with possibility, possibility should never die and keep her going, until it reached fruition, with the possible becoming more than probable, and turning her notion into something real.

notes--writing

Lessons of rejection: belief

Rejection can be a task master making you try harder, be different, fit in, conform, and do what will make you feel accepted. In writing, this may make the writer try to perform. But, acceptance is another story. If your story is accepted as is, for what it is, and published just as it is, then you are blessed. You don’t have to do anything different or more to be accepted by a publisher. But what happens if some kind of work of yours gets continually rejected? Maybe you don’t know why you are writing something and even if you did and got rejected it wouldn’t matter–because you know why you are doing it.

Personally, I have found the key is to find security in why I am writing something, then any amount of rejection won’t matter. It’s the harder path to come to realize why I want to write something, but the one which says, I don’t have to write in this another way, because I know why I am writing this. Who cares about rejection!

notes--writing

Editing to personal satisfaction

Whatever you do do it well-

Walt Disney

I’d like to avoid the difficult editing stages of polishing a piece of writing, so I may delay doing it, even so ending up having to do it, because I just gotta. It is thinking about what I want out of the piece that motivates me to “rise up” mentally and take the bull to the horns as they say. Without a good polish, I am left with regret and sorrow over a piece that could have been so much better with a polish. Then, there’s someone saying, “it’s all good” which makes me feel better, but not reassured. To be reassured is knowing that the piece is good in my own mind–but thanks for the encouragement, very much. Keep on polishing until satisfied.

notes--writing

Introspective writer’s moments

They tell you to never look back. It just stifles the present. In writing, it makes one think of the negative points of one’s writing. I wish I had done it better one moans. However, I do not mind looking back at what I have written in the past if just for the curiosity of rediscovering how my older work sounded.

Continue reading “Introspective writer’s moments”

notes--writing

When endings make sense

Sometimes, articles sign off with the big takeaway point — but if a reader will engage that point depends on how well it’s done. Unfortunately, some articles may require too much thought. Having to think about what an article is saying may be detrimental to the writer’s point they are trying to make. Clear, concise, lucid article writing is always good, one that shows commitment to the point the writer is making. Then, the reader just gets the sign off in one go, without any confusion and ambiguity.

notes--writing

When the page comes together

The headline, the opening paragraph, and the photos, all come together to set the tone for the article. The editors did this extremely well, although I wasn’t expecting it, nor did I intend it. But it did serve the readership and I am pleased how the article turned out. The whole article reflected one basic idea that was introduced in the headline, the photos, and the opening paragraph which would make the reader identify with one main idea. What a writer thinks should be emphasized isn’t always going to be fitting or appropriate for the readership so the editors can construct a frame for the article which fits. I am quite happy with this, although I intended another emphasis, but can still along with how it was done.

notes--writing

When editors publish your work

It’s good even great to get editors to accept your work and publish it even when some things were edited out because they were “inappropriate”. The editor must make a judgement call and cut the inappropriate stuff out. This is done so the readers are served. Most of the article is suitable, but some additional things in the article may not be serving the readers, so are slashed out of the article. The edited parts seemed innocuous, but then I’m not the reader and the editor has an obligation that their readers are served.

notes--writing

Are some articles not helpful?

There are different ways readers can respond, or react for that matter, to articles. Anger is one reaction; the article is so stirring that one is thrown into a negative emotional reaction. Articles that deal with issues that polarize can always get a rise from some people. These can be basically useless articles if anger is the main response. However, for the unconverted on some issue, these kinds of articles are ‘dangerous’ in that they have the power to persuade.

Factual articles outlining the issues and going in depth are better, as they help someone find where they stand on an issue, rather than persuade or coerce.

There are also articles that make one think, but these tend to make one think for a moment, and then, that’s that. No further action and thinking required–but, what if, in that moment of thought, a writer drew someone towards a conclusion? This is when articles that make one think are useful or put someone on the wrong track. In the end, they can have the power to persuade. The best articles they say are those that inspire someone, be that personally, or to action. Then, one may ask: inspire to what? Writers can be ‘dangerous’ people.

Uncategorized

Hard questions

We need writers who are not afraid to ask the hard questions as this brings balance to the status quo of everything is all right, jack. Hard questions will make one think and contemplate what may be or is actually happening but is rarely or never breached, rather than the idea that everything is going along honky dory on some issue.

notes--writing

The contributor’s risk understood

I found this helpful on Image Journal: “the risk of sharing work with us”. What I say there may be an oxymoron, for why is the risk of sharing work with them helpful? Let me bring in the context. They’re saying submitting work is a risk: when someone shares their work with an editor, it is a risk. Sharing one’s work with an editor is exhilarating and nerve wracking. One doesn’t know the outcome, but is excited nevertheless. A risk in other words. Yes, risk is the right word; the word risk illuminates what I do when I submit articles, stories, and devotions. And Image Journal appreciate that in a writer as do many other journals.

 

notes--writing

Does one have to sell their writing to get published?

Writing my own stories may be best left with a free online platform like WordPress, because I wonder if the traditional publishers will ever take my own stories on board? Of course, traditional publishers do take stories, but they tend to be the ones that suit the publisher, not any old story, not the ones that I may want to write. My own stories may have to be written a certain way before they are even considered by traditional publishers. I can’t be myself or else face a rejection because it wasn’t written the way the publisher wants it written.

Continue reading “Does one have to sell their writing to get published?”

notes--writing

When is the right time to submit?

Eagerness to submit and get published may prevent one from getting the piece right first. A fault of mine in submitting, which may still slip me up from time to time, is submitting before the piece is ripe.

I’ve learnt something from this which I would like to tell others about. That the best time to submit is not immediately after you’ve edited something.

Continue reading “When is the right time to submit?”

notes--writing

Competition is fierce

I don’t know how many times I’ve come across the statement “competition is fierce” in writers guidelines. But it’s really true. If one goes the traditional road to getting published and not the self-publishing route, the competition to get one’s work out there, published in other words, is extremely fierce. This may be the reason why one’s work doesn’t get published. You have gone as far as doing your homework in every aspect, but the work is still rejected. As long as you know you’ve fitted the requirements and then some more, I think the reason for one’s rejection is simply, once again, that competition is fierce.

notes--writing

Binning one’s work may be premature

Once this week I thought: I’m still ruthlessly deciding on what devotional ideas to use or not to use. If any are worth writing up formally, so I can relax by writing less.

But the material’s mostly gone –been rubbished, binned and formally incinerated. Remnants, though, survive. Even those I thought I could recycle in another form are mostly gone. But as I say, some survived the burning process. And one has an eye on better devotions for the future.

notes--writing

Marketing one’s work alone

Writers on their own, with a book in hand, may need an agent or representative, because agents are closer to the publishers. Agents are also good because they save the writer having to concentrate on marketing work as well as writing it.

One can go it alone in the grand scheme of choices a writer has in getting their work published. Send an email. Try and meet the publisher, even if out of town. This is the hard work of marketing one’s work alone. Some go out to the workforce and work as a writer, full-time. They are in the job as it was.

notes--writing

When ideas are too many to handle

The opposite of the problem of writers block is too much writing. There are lots of ideas and written passages on my notebook and computer and I think I am under an obligation to use them all, which feels oppressive. Then comes liberating the notebook/s, by eliminating useless ideas. But, who knows, in years to come, they be viewed better. So, it’s probably a good idea to keep them and not worry about the clutter for a while.

notes--writing

To revise or not to revise

Writing is a catch-22, but I’m not talking ’bout the film or novel on which a film is based. Catch-22 is a novel and a film, but let me use that title’s meaning for the purposes of this post. Saying catch-22 is synonymous with making a choice between two equal values and one or the other won’t really do considering that you’re in a predicament between the two. So, writing is a catch-22 in that sense or something like it. I mean that one may write a piece. The writer thinks he should revise it out of the normal process, and also thinks it’s probably good as it is and doesn’t need revising. What does the writer do? This is my predicament at the moment. I would say to myself, just wait. Let the piece smolder under the surface for a while until it’s ready to resurface and face the writer once again. Then, all becomes clear.