Writing Challenge

Ahead of NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to create some practices that may help you push for that daunting 50,000 word mark.

At times, when I’m writing my novel, I struggle with specific events in which a character react in a certain way. I often find that the dialogue between multiple characters can merge into one, as though it were the same person speaking. Developing a thought process is key to a strong character that your reader can learn to adore (even if it’s an antagonist).

So, here’s a little challenge that can help you through:

I want you to write about your character in the process of dying. Now, I don’t want you to set the scene, or describe some event in which your character meets their final fullstop, no, I want you to simply writing about their thought process: what are they thinking? Who are they thinking of? Are they afraid, do they believe in an afterlife?

This method has helped me get the best out of my characters, as it encouraged me to understand how they would speak and react in different situations.


I hope this helps you, and I’d love to read what some of you wrote! (I’ll be happy to publish anyone’s work on my website if they wish).

Good luck for next month!Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

Ew, you sponge off the government?

Seriously, I’m sick of hearing that question.

To those of you who haven’t read my previous posts: I’m currently receiving Universal Credit, which, to some people, means I’m stealing your hard-earned money.

Trust me, I feel physically sick at the thought of it. Really, I do.

I’m the kind of person that has to be occupied. There’s rarely any moment in most days where I don’t want to be doing something. Even writing this blog-post allows me to feel somewhat productive. I despise sitting around, strolling through the internet doing nothing. I just don’t see the point.

Now, going back to the main point of this post – Yes, I’m being given money for doing nothing. Well, a small amount of money that doesn’t even support living for the majority of days, but it keeps me alive. But what a lot of people don’t understand is that everything is not as it seems.

In my last role as an administrator, I didn’t pass my probation. I simply wasn’t the role for me; I was bored, feeling as though I had the potential to do something grater and more productive, and this sadly reflected on my work. Now, I can hear what you’re saying, “but it’s a job, stop being ungrateful!”. Believe me, if I’d have kept that job if I could have.

Within the space of a few months, everything fell apart for me: I broke up with my partner, who I still miss dearly, I lost my job, I had to stop driving my car, I couldn’t afford to travel to interviews, hell, I couldn’t even afford to travel to the doctors to pick up my inhalers for my asthma. I fucked up.

The struggle with finding a new job after being dismissed is that a lot of employers are quick to assume that an individual is untrustworthy once they have been dismissed from a single role. I’m a hard worker, I put effort into my work to ensure I have a future, and just because I made a tiny slip up – just like everyone else has done – doesn’t mean I’m destined to be a failure for the rest of my life. I think people are just too quick to judge, and I’m sure you understand what I mean by that.

If you’ve ever struggled to make ends meet at the end of each month (or sometimes even at the beginning), then I’m sure you can understand the situation I’m in. I have been lucky enough to have family who ensure I eat enough to keep me alive, but I’m 21 years of age, I shouldn’t have to be relying on others to care for me. Is that wrong to think? Sometimes I reject the help just so I don’t appear to be weak, which has caused me to be ill on more than one occasion. Perhaps I need to swallow my pride a little more.

It kills me when people assume that I’m on Universal Credit just because I don’t want to work. Yes, there are a few people out there who would rather have tax payers pay for their food, water, electricity and unneeded items rather than go to work and have the satisfaction of spending their hard-earned money, but that doesn’t mean everyone is the same. Sometimes it’s just hard to get yourself back out there, sometimes confidence fails when an opportunity arrives.

Sometimes, we just need a little moral support.

Guys, if you’re one of those hard-working individuals who pays taxes that allows me to live, then I can’t thank you enough, because I don’t deserve it, but I promise that soon, hopefully, I can return the favour.

The Dying Light

Do not look towards the dying light,

It may seem delicate, but it is not your final fight.

Just breathe once more and open your eyes,

See the world again, see the trees below the skies.

Do not go gentle into your final dream,

Don’t forget the memory of all you have seen.

Only close your eyes if you intend to wake,

As this life is yours, your life to define and make.

Like Clockwork

Have you ever wondered why we need to go to school, why we need to work?

Of course, the answer to that question is “to make a living”. That’s it put simply. But, why?

Making a living, to most people, is earning money, being able to buy food and pay the bills. But to me, it’s something more than that. I take pleasure in helping others, as many have helped me over the years. I want to make  living not only to survive, but to give back to those who gave to me.

What do you want to do in your life?

If you don’t have an immediate answer, then it’s up to you to find that out. No, I’m not talking about wanting to be rich and famous, it;’s the reasons that I’m talking about, the reasons for fame and riches. I personally want to become a full-time author, what do you want to do?

You didn’t go to school every day for years on end to just be able to survive, no, you’re not clockwork, you’re not controlled by something. Ambition is something that is missed by the majority of people who are caught up in getting a job and surviving – those are the two basic things you need, not the things that you want. Do you want to live to help others? Live to start a family of your own? Do you want to do something with your time that you enjoy, or is beneficial to those around you?

Those are the questions you should be asking yourself, the questions that matter!

It took me a long time to realise that I was living my life by the book. I was moving like clockwork. I got up, I went to work, I came home and ate, I got paid, I repeated. It took me years to realise that I was missing the one thing that mattered: my own desires.

Once I noticed that my life was empty, a lightening bolt struck my mind. My thoughts were fighting with one another to try and figure out what to do in my spare time, and once I found it, everything changed. I had a purpose to live. It may not have mattered to anyone else just yet, but for then, and for now, it matters to me, and that’s all I care about.


I ask you again, what do you want to do in your life? And remember, you’re not a gear in the clock.


I ask you again, what do you want to do in your life? And remember, you’re not a gear in the clock.

A Step Up From Failure

There’s been too many times in my life where I have felt lost, felt that the lights were out. I didn’t know which way to turn or who to turn to, but each time, I got through it.
People may tell you that they always have bad, that they have nothing in their life, and although I wish them nothing but good fortune, I believe that they themselves are part to blame.
True, sometimes people simply can’t help but live a bad life, sometimes it’s against their will, but a lot of the time, there’s always a way to push forward. Learn from your mistakes.
When I lost my job, I was devastated. My world came crashing down within a single week. Imagine having a happy life: your own flat with your partner, a dog, a good paying job, and a car. Imagine having all that you wanted, and it being taken away from you in a fraction of the time in which you gained it.
I was stupid, so I lost my job, I was reckless, so I never saved any money, I was heartless, so I lost my partner, I was broken, so I lost my flat. The only thing I didn’t lose, was my Beagle, Lola. She was the only face that remained the same. No matter how hard times were, she’d always welcome me home with a cuddle and a wagging tail.
I learned something from that tough, unforgiving month: routine. I bet you’re a little confused, yes? Bare with me on this.
My days were all over the place; I’d stay up incredibly late, have slow days at work, have days where I would allow my grumpiness to affect my partner, and even forget to take my dog out for a walk. Routine helped me change all of that.
When you get used to something, like waking up at a specific time, it becomes second nature, you almost forget that you have to do it. I lost my way, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose yours.
There will be times in life where you feel the world is against you. But believe me when I say that only you can turn it around. You’ve done something wrong in the past, so make sure it doesn’t happen again, get into a new routine, and you’ll soon realise that turning your life around will be a lot easier than you currently realise.

Learning Success

LadderAs an aspiring author, nothing is more satisfying that receiving a good review of my work, and I’m sure you’re the same.

This article doesn’t just apply to writers, but to everyone. If you’re someone who has a passion for doing absolutely anything, then read on.

It took me years to figure out what I was good at. From a very young age, the idea of being an author seemed like a good one, yet, I didn’t know exactly what that was – yes, I knew it meant writing, I knew an author was someone who created a book, but I had no idea what the ingredients were for being a writer.

It wasn’t until Year 9 (you must forgive me, but I don’t know the US Grade equivalent)  that my teacher pointed out just how creative I was. I was always pretty bad at English, both language and literature, but I always loved creating thing. At Primary school, even creating a new game entertained me for days on end. In year 9, it was pointed out to me that I had a talent for creating stories.

Naturally, this excited me more than anything else. Finally, I thought to myself. Yes, finally! Finally, I was good at something… at least I thought I was. Little did I know, that I was far from a good writer at the time.

I remember speaking to my cousin about writing. She pointed out that the best way to become a full-time writer was to enter competitions, to get myself on the map. That certainly is one way of doing it. So, we found a competition known as “Wicked Young Writers”, and the best thing was that the deadline was only a week or to away, so my waiting time wouldn’t be too long.

I immediately go to work on my very first story, “The Baby In The Winter”. The word limit was only 750 words, but that was enough for me. I finished it within a day, and the feeling I felt was second to none. Finally, I was a writer. I had finished something I set my mind to, and the emotions were very rewarding.

Alas, I didn’t make it into the final. My emotions were dragged down to the depths of my heart, turning cold and sour. But I didn’t give in. Next year! I thought to myself, and indeed, next year, I tried again. This time, I tried something a little different: I wrote something similar to a previous winner of the competition – a fan fiction. It became apparent to myself that I had a fascination with dark literature, bleak, cold and unforgiving.

The story I wrote that year was was a much deeper and darker version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I saw a huge change in my writing style. It was fuller, bolder, and far more descriptive than the last. I had learned what a paragraph was (somehow I missed that lesson in school…), and I understood the fabrics of a story.

Alas, that year, I didn’t get in again. I began to lose hope. Maybe my writing simply wasn’t good enough? Yes and no. My writing was solid, but it lacked originality. I understood how to write, but I was missing the one thing that makes a story stand out – NEW. I was missing my own ideas, failing to see past the curtains; there was a good story there, but it wasn’t what wanted to write, no, it was what I thought others wanted to read.

The third year soon came by, and this time, my story was strong, original, what I wanted to read. I persevered. I had hope this time. I had actually sat down and thought it through, it was my own story.

That year, and the year that followed, I got into the top 20 in the country. I didn’t win, but it was something.

Dedication. That’s what I learned. Most people fall at the first sign of failure. I almost did, but I didn’t let myself fall. I took it upon myself to never accept no as an answer, and it paid off. Now, my mind knows no limits.

Failure is the sole reason we persevere. If we succeed in everything that we do, we’ll never learn anything. When faced with failure, know that it isn’t a step back, but a ladder. It’s not going to be easy to make it to the top, it will take time, a very long time, but the end goal will never change, so long as you learn from your last step.

Life In My Hands

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a dog nudging something in the grass. At first glance, the dog was just playing with some dirt, as they do, but curiosity got the better of me.

As I approached, I noticed something; no further than two feet in front of me was a still, small bird. My heart stopped. This tiny thing, with feathers so delicate they seemed as thin as snowflakes, was face down on the ground. The worst scenario went through my head.

As I chased the dog away, I wasted no time in scooping up the little thing in my hands, hurrying it into my home in a desperate rush. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was just doing everything anyone else would – what they could.

I grabbed a tea towel, the closest, softest thing I could find. In my head, I was preparing myself to bury the delicate creature but then, a shudder. It was still alive! Thank God.

It chirped a few times before nuzzling into my jumper. If my heart could melt…

I decided to name him Fiyero, and because I name him meant he had to live!!

Just like every person in the modern day age, I recorded the entire event on my phone (because Fiyero was absolutely adorable). He was so tame. I noticed he struggled to extend his right leg properly, but that didn’t dampen his spirit. He constantly spread his wings at flew for no more than a second. There was something in those moments where I felt a powerful amount encouragement for him to succeed… even if it resulted in him flying around my home for hours on end…

But, alas, Fiyero was born for nature, not nurture of a human touch. I had to let him go.

As I gently placed him in a soft container and led him outside, I felt an attachment for the little guy. He was possibly moments from never flying again. I had snatched him from Death’s door and held him in my hands as though I were a cradle of life.

Maybe I interfered with nature’s course, perhaps Fiyero shouldn’t have crossed my path, but as I lay him down and watch him make hos way back to the trees, I couldn’t help but feel that my good deed saved a tiny, innocent life. I quite literally felt that I held the bird’s life in my hands.

I spent the next hour listening to No Good Deed from Wicked the Musical (Fiyerrroooooooo!!!!)

(if that makes no sense, please youtube it!)

A False Motherhood

Would you say your mother was the best person in your life? I wish I could say that, I wish I had the arms of a mother who wanted me there.

Now, I’m not asking for sympathy, quite the opposite. I simply want your opinion, or simply your attention, for a brief moment.

When a child is born, is it then that their mother actual becomes a mother? In the eyes of the law, yes. Morally? I don’t think so. The Art of Mothering is what makes you a mother; the moments you take out of your own life to let your child stand, to allow them to touch the sky, giving them everything you have just so they can smile another day.

My mother, on the other hand, demanded the respect a mother deserves for doing nothing more than sleep and smoke. Take a second to look through my eyes, just for a flicker of a second – at age nine, I was visiting my mother for her allowed weekends. unbearable at the best of times, but I saw this particular day through. At the twilight of Sunday, as I awaited the time to return to my Grandmother’s home, my mother, quite carelessly, feeds a whisper into my ear as though it were nothing.

“Your dad isn’t your real dad, you know?” She said ever so freely like the wind passing the tees.

“What?” My nine year old self asked, not entirely sure what to make of it.

“He’s not your real dad. You can’t call him dad anymore.”

My question is this: should a mother burden such a thing on a child of nine? I was small for my age, and I remember feeling even younger than I was. At first, I thought nothing of it, but as I sat in the backseat of my father’s car, I wished to ask him a question. I called him by his first name.

Why shouldn’t I? Why would mother have reason to lie so her son?

It didn’t take my father long to correct me of my mistake.

“I am your dad. I brought you up.” He said solidly. It took me a while to understand fully what he meant, but I’m 21, and understand it completely.

A parent is the person who helped you take your first breath, no. A parent is someone who sees you through each day of your life, ensuring nothing but the best comes your way. They’d give their life for yours, should the time come.


A Desperate Night

I think it’s safe to say that we all have fallen victim to lust, to the desire to be with another.

Would you consider it normal to degrade yourself for just an hour of satisfaction? Apparently I thought that was the best thing for me, for a long time.

Now, I’m not going to take you on a horribly detailed journey so that you can feel sorry for me – I’ve taken care of that part. I want you to think about it, is going through the same journey is the right thing?

I recall one desperate night. It was a Saturday; you know how it goes, night out, a little too much alcohol, that happy mood that you get in where you love every aspect of life. Any form of attention and I was struck with this form of adoration towards the person, even if I didn’t like them.

Ok, I think we all enjoy attention now and then, it gives us a feeling that we are wanted, that we’re not at the bottom of everyone’s list. A little is healthy, but searching for attention may be toxic.

Anyway, that night I received a message for a not-so-bad-looking person (yeah, it was one of those apps. Don’t judge me) asking me if I’d like to meet. Of course, being the lovely person that I am, I couldn’t refuse. “They’re already out, there’s nothing wrong with saying hey?” I thought to myself. Indeed, they were just around the corner, but sometimes the easy is not the best option.

I was on such a high that night. I hadn’t had a relationship for over a year. Finally, I was getting somewhere. I’d told my friends to head off home without me, to which they responded with wolf whistles and cat calls – the typical response. Then I departed ways, searching the night.

Once I met the person, nothing could have been better. They were incredibly sweet, funny, with a tad bit of bitchiness, which is a trait I enjoy. But then they invited me back to their’s. “It’s not far, plus it’s getting a little cold, anyway.” They explained. I agreed almost immediately, as the journey to their home seemed closer than the one to mind.

We jumped in a taxi, and sat in near silence for the 10 minute ride.

I won’t bore you with the details of what occurred in their room, but you can imagine.

I didn’t regret a thing, until 4am, where they turned to me and said. “Ok, I want to you to go. You can show yourself out, yeah?” They said in their most monotone voice. I was broken. They showed not a single sign of care on their face. Not one, but I did.

It took me nearly an hour to work my out out of their College, which was bad enough. But the worst thing, was that it took a further two, long, cold hours to find my way home. The road was long and dark, damp and bleak. I had never felt so happy to see my own front door. I was drained and hurt. The second I stumbled through that door, I closed in and collapsed on the stairs, crying my eyes out at how stupid I had been.

I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand the way we how, how we crave to feel wanted, but I do understand that – at least for me – it seems far better to surround yourself with people that won’t leave you feeling deflated and used, like friends and family, or even your future partner.