Ways to be creative (when you’re not feeling it)

I think this is self-explanatory- this is obviously going to be a TOP QUALITY advice post on how you can find ways to be creative, even when the muse has fled:

tinker changes fix car

#1 Pick up a project you’ve already finished and see if you can find *some* way to tinker with it…

brainstorming ideas

#2 Brainstorm for new ideas (which really just means scribbling random things in a notebook- but no one’ll know if you look serious about it 😉)

lightbulb moment

#3 Go for a walk and invent stories (or even conversations with strangers) in your head. This is a highly productive exercise that you will no doubt mine from in future projects 😉

learn language

#4 “Learn” a language on Duolingo- pretending one day you will try to replicate Tolkien (you won’t)

mood reader 1

#5 “Research” some topic that may or may not be relevant for your next project- this can mean looking up obscure topics on reddit or even reading scientific journals or (when all else fails) ogling googling pictures of celebrities… for inspiration purposes of course 😉

gingerbread

#6 Make a batch of gingerbread cookies and give them funky outfits (I’d use my own examples but 1) I eat them pretty pronto after making them and 2) I’m not exactly talented when it comes to baking and so they usually come out looking come out looking somewhat deformed… which is another reason to eat them quickly/put them out of their misery 😉)

cat playing piano

#7 Pick up that instrument you never learned how to play and make a few out of tune sounds like you’re strangling a cat (you’ll know it’s time to stop when people come running to see where the banshee is)

bad singing

#8 Sing along (tunelessly) to BIG BALLADS!

elaine bad dancing

# And maybe incorporate some dance moves 😉

painting

#10 Doodle!!

read satisfied

#11 Write a post for your blog… just like this!

And there you go- any blocked feelings you’re have undoubtedly vanished and you’re back to your usual creative self! Possibly… 😉

How to (Try to) Edit a Book #LikeABoss

am writing

Hello everyone! I think we’re technically in the middle of another camp nano? (hard to keep track to be honest- what is time anymore…) And I’m currently completely failing trying to do a readthrough of one of my WIPs, so I figured now was the perfect time to pass on my (*ahem*) wisdom to other people 😉

I know people have been dying to get some good tips from me over the years… And, well, these may not be that good, but they’re technically tips 😉 I will admit I’m also drawing on my subjective experience (my openings tend to start out pretty weak, so I put a lot of focus on those). Nonetheless, I think other writers could probably distil something of use from this anyway… or else get drunk on my stupidity 😉

Apart from the occasional episodes of weeping, which I’ve left out to save time, this is pretty much my process:

witches over cauldron hocus pocus

Step 1: Pour blood, sweat, tears into a cauldron, bring to a boil, gently simmer for a few years, then pull your deformed baby manuscript out AKA WRITE THE DAMN FIRST DRAFT!

narnia cupboard

Step 2: Shove this little beastie out of sight- it’s not ready to see the light of day! It may protest and bang on the floorboards for attention, but don’t worry, this isn’t book abuse (that comes later). This is just a temporary arrangement for both your sakes.

hug a book

Step 3: Bring your book baby out again after a few weeks/months (when its incessant nagging for attention finally gets on your last nerve). Rock it back and forth in your arms. Try crooning a lullaby in its ear as you open that first page for a quick reread…

monster book of monsters

Step 4: NOPE! That was a bad idea! You were completely wrong to describe this as a baby; IT’S A FRICKIN DEMON!!

don't panic

 

Step 5: Okay don’t panic (and don’t stab it through the heart with a stake and sense this evil creature back to whence it came… as tempting as that is, even baby monsters deserve life). As much as you might wish you’d aborted this project earlier and daydream of other projects, this is a living breathing thing making guttural noises in your arms and you’ve got to take some responsibility. You grit your teeth and make your biggest (human) sacrifice, rereading it from beginning to end and making notes of all the (terrible, terrible) flaws.

really long list 2

Step 6: Well, that wasn’t as bad as you thought… it was worse. The list of problems is as long as an immortal life and you think this thing might be possessed by the devil… but as they always say, the first draft is the hardest part, right?!

drum fingers

Step 7: At this point you *drum* your pen on the desk, tapping out solutions to all the problems (you created) in morse code. For some reason, this is soothing.

think pen write

Step 8: Miraculously, you begin to answer the questions you posed in your notes and now, look at that, you’re brainstorming!

grave robbing

Step 9: Alrighty then, it’s time to slay the beast resurrect this manuscript from the depths of hell. You plan to begin on the biggest issues (no point trying to cover up the boils when the heart of the story is on the outside of the body and oozing blood). *Crack your knuckles* and get to work!

chaos

Step 10: Skip around the manuscript at random picking out flaws, then switch to chronological editing intermittently (this is the part of the editing process I like to call THE CHAOS). Also, work on that horrible opening!

focus

Step 11: Okay *focus* now- you can get through the other major edits.

read-fast

Step 12: Reconfigure some major plot points, focusing on consistent character arcs and smoothing out the narrative (and other writerly things).

squirrel attention span

Step 13: Get distracted by some simple issue with the prose (that you really shouldn’t be worrying about at this stage).

highlighters

Step 14: Just keep nit-picking and tell yourself typos are obviously the biggest issue you have to deal with (it may not be true, but it’s comforting).

monkey typewriter

Step 15: Time to tinker with that opening again!

lord of the rings writing gif

Step 16: While you’re at it, work on the ending.

solve crime

Step 17: Find that flaw in the middle that’s been bugging you and brainstorm a million ways to change it.

writing

Step 18: Rewrite entire chapters

delete cybermen

Step 19: DELETE! DELETE!!

not a great plan

Step 20: Realise you’ve made a TERRIBLE MISTAKE. Go back to original plan and try and bring the old version back to life!

hide monster

Step 21: Abandon dead idea and quit while you’re ahead! Time to shove this beastly being (that’s looking more deformed than ever) back where no one can find it!!! Quick!!

Congratulations- your book is now a corpse of its former self you have successfully edited your book!

Now just wait a few months until you have to do this all again!

How to write an important book!

Hello all, I have a very *ahem* serious post today about how to write some serious fiction! Usual disclaimer: this is for humour purposes and not to target any particular book/author (funnily enough, while I did draw on bits and pieces I don’t like in fiction, writing this actually made me think that *thankfully* most books dubbed “important” do none of these things). Also, a lot of this is based on my own personal likes/dislikes. Thank you for your understanding in this matter 😉 Now, onto the guidelines!

you choose

#1 Choose a suitable genre– your options are: contemporary, historical fiction, dystopia annnnd that’s it.

 

 

opinion toy story meme

#2 Find a topic that’s on trend and run with it! Make sure it matches up to whatever’s on various manuscript wishlists, because you know, this isn’t really about writing your ideas, it’s about parroting whatever *important people* think. *Do not* choose something close to home or write from any personal experience. If you run out of time to publish this grand idea before the trend dies- never fear, you can just recycle it later! For instance, if you were writing important historical fiction a few years ago, you could’ve gone with the secretly sympathetic Nazi trope- but now you may have to adjust that idea to… some seriously sympathetic Stalinists! (just my prediction for the next trend- you’re welcome! 😉)

reading#3 Loosely research this topic. You don’t want to interfere too much with your preconceived ideas, so don’t do actual research or find data that might muddy the waters. Ignore information that may contain nuance or will make readers uncomfortable (for this reason, I seriously recommend not looking into any kind of psychology or history or the like). Go with popular media takes- then you should be safe from criticism, cos all the people who might evaluate the book already hold the same opinions anyway. I recommend using Buzzfeed as your primary source- that should suffice.

strawman

#4 Moralise! This is my favourite step, because it’s so gosh-darn-easy and oh-so-satisfying! This should involve (but is not limited to): strawmen, pointlessly obvious statements (eg “war is bad”), contradictory ideas, invasive authorial intrusions, a heavy dose of nihilism (if you can manage it), irrelevant information and some illogical arguments. Remember, your view (and that of the powerful people you’re parroting) is the only one that matters!

 

 

character conveyor belt#5 Make all your characters walking stereotypes and tokens! This is great, cos you don’t actually have to put in the work to make them seem remotely realistic. On that note…

 

listen to me#6 Characters are merely mouthpieces for the author’s intent– so don’t you forget it! At every opportunity, put your own (stolen) words into their mouths. The more inane, the better!

 

 

 

doesnt matter#7 The more important a book is, the less the plot matters… so don’t bother to have one! I know I just love reading a book and realising that nothing actually happened for 400+ pages- so this is the model you should work with!

 

drama#8 Add plenty of nonsensical melodrama (nothing says serious like melodrama!). Try to have the emotional range and logic of a hyper, high on sugar, possibly caffeinated five-year-old- that should do the trick. Especially since everyone knows unrealistic is better (personally, I love that Hollywood trope where the unarmed plucky rebels run at a group of armed, evil soldiers and miraculously disarm them- peacefully of course!)

 

i'm awesome#9 I had a think about style and came to the conclusion… it doesn’t matter if you use an extreme version of pared down or purple prose- just as long as you tell other writers this is the *only* way to do it! Prescriptive advice is the best and the most important writers are really into it- so you should be too!

 

closing argument#10 Your ending is super important– use this as an opportunity to moralise more and drive home whatever message you were going for!

 

 

I'm offended#11 Get sensitivity readers to check that your work is sensitive enough for every person on the planet– because it is totally possible to write a book that everyone relates to/loves/doesn’t have problems with (and because there has been no case *ever* of a book going through this process and being cancelled anyway… oh wait, that’s the case with most cancelled books, hmmm nevermind! Do this step regardless! Your job is not to think for yourself!)

 

sympathy#12 Write in your acknowledgements about a dead friend/relative/acquaintance whose real-life story you were inspired by– preferably naming them- so that you can milk sympathy on their behalf. This doesn’t look tacky at all!

 

sarcastic sorry#13 Prepare an apology of sorts that you can put in as an introduction to make up for your lack of research. You can also pre-emptively say sorry on twitter for whatever you’ve written, whilst simultaneously self-promoting and virtue signalling! Look at you, killing three birds with one stone! (also, while you’re on twitter, try and destroy someone else’s career- this is both fun and will make people want to buy your books when the time comes! There are only loads of a few cases of this backfiring…)

***Congrats: you’ve written some propaganda an important book***

Now you can sit back and wait for people to admire your genius! You’re welcome!

(And yes, the observant reader will notice this doesn’t involve much writing- that is only for unimportant writers!)

How to (re)interpret a book in a supremely superior (and nonsensical) way!

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about bad interpretations and I realised it’s actually a lot of work to come up with rubbish! So, naturally, I couldn’t help but write a uselessly absurd post about how it might be achieved (as always, this is just a joke and meant in good fun- not trying to throw shade at anyone!). And, for once I can safely say, don’t worry if you don’t like reading: there’s a good chance you won’t even have to read a single book to do this properly! Let’s get onto my “helpful” guidelines:

thinking monkey

#1 Start with your own biases and conclusions and work your way backwards- this is simply the best way to ensure you get the interpretation you desire. It doesn’t matter if it fits with the work at all, as long as your happy with the analysis- that’s the main thing! And the great thing about this is you can add your own person touch: if you don’t like certain characters/love interests/plot points, you get to decide what it meant all along… even if it runs contrary to the actual text (told you, you wouldn’t actually have to read the book!)

guilty judge

#2 Everything in a book either shows the author’s noble intentions OR shows them to be an utter scumbag. This is because every. single. word. in a book is the author’s real thoughts and they must be rewarded or punished for whatever is said (delete where appropriate)

rainbow flag

#3 All the characters were secretly gay- whether the book specifies this or not. This is just a good interpretation, regardless of the story.

read-fast

#4 Nothing is a mistake. Inconsistencies or typos or any printing mishaps are all pregnant with meaning, so you must labour to make them make sense. If there is a typo on page 26, it’s not only secretly deliberate, but it also tells you that the number 26 is the secret to the universe.

think pen write

#5 There is genius in all sentence structure/line breaks. If you cannot find the meaning behind it… make it up!

highlighters

#6 Also, don’t overlook the importance of adjectives. Each one is deep and meaningful. It is there for a reason and you must find it dammit!

worship

#7 The author is god: if they tell you how to interpret their book, then that is the correct answer (bonus points if you can use the author’s interpretation to attack or praise them- this means you can resurrect your attitude from #2). Ignore all evidence from this point on. On that note…

destroy evidence

#8 Never, ever, EVER use actual evidence. This is offensive. Remember, if you want to write true nonsense, logic must be thrown out the window, doused in oil and set on fire. The best phrase to use when someone asks you why you think something is “read between the lines”- then you are free to act superior and like anyone who disagrees with you is an absolute idiot (because, of course, they are)

grave robbing

#9 Do not admit to or acknowledge being wrong. Remember: the secret to being superior is having the right attitude and that means pretending to be super human at all costs. No matter how big of a hole you dig yourself into, you must never back down and must continue until down that tunnel until either your opponent throws themselves in to save you OR you reach the earth’s core and are fried in molten lava… whichever comes first! And finally…

pathetic fallacy sad-face-doctor

#10 There is an age-old view that reading and writing should be fun- BUT THIS IS OUTDATED! (I mean, we all know that anything that is old is bad nowadays, so you should have seen this coming). It is VERY IMPORTANT that other readers understand that reading is a miserable experience at all times and know what a sacrifice you made to indulge in this hobby undergo this procedure. Also, books no longer have any escapist elements- everything in them is always a gloomy interpretation of the awful state of reality (extra points if you can link a book to current events- whether this is relevant or written with the foreknowledge of where the world was heading. Personally, I’m looking forward to the academic work on how the Bronte sisters predicted the pandemic!)

And that’s it! That’s the *absolute best* way to interpret a book! I hope you learnt a lot/enjoyed reading my ridiculous ramblings! 😉

But of course, as perfect as this advice is, I’d like to know if (by some bizarre accident) I’ve missed something- are there any other silly ways we should be interpreting what we read? Let me know in the comments!

How to (Try to) Plan a Book

am writing

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a massive plotter and I’m at the stage of planning a new project, so I thought it might be fun to explore how my brain works in the planning process (spoiler alert: I’m stuck at step 16). I’m going off what I’m doing right now and what I’ve done for various projects in the past… some of which even turned into full length manuscripts… though some did not 😉 So, obviously, this is completely fool proof and there’s no way it could go wrong 😉 Without further ado, here is my definitive guide on how to (try to) plan a book:

lightbulb moment

Step 1: Have an idea *POP* into your head like magic- which seems makes it seem like all the hard work is over, right? WRONG!

dr-evil

Step 2: Decide that you are going to do the unthinkable and turn this idea into a book…

brainstorming ideas

Step 3: Time for some *brainstorming* to see if this idea has legs (NB step 3 can be step 1 for some people, because creative people are different, and not all ideas throw themselves in your face 😉)

hopscotch

Step 4: Keep repeating steps 1-3, jumping through the steps in any given order like you’re playing hopscotch.

simpsons ideas

Step 5: Spend a while (years) writing and compiling notes, adding characters, potentially world building and plenty of contradictory ideas. Make sure your notes aren’t logical at this point- you don’t want to make things easy for your future self!

gotta go to work

Step 6: Get on with your life for a bit, work on other creative projects and generally forget about this vaguely fleshed out idea.

grave robbing

Step 7: Dig up/stumble across whatever you’ve been working on (whether it’s in a notebook or some random files on your computer). Have the sudden dawning realisation that you actually want to write this book and decide it will be your *next project*. And that means taking said idea seriously from here on out! So at this stage, do you a) make a schedule for when you can fit in writing time and/or b) rough draft an outline to get the ball rolling…?

trick question

Step 8: Neither! That was a trick question! You print out the notes, making a BIG DEAL out of that and promising to be proactive about it from now on! (all the while not really breaking any new ground)

stare into space

Step 9: Stare at pages, trying to figure out how to write out a basic synopsis out of this contradictory mess (see, I told you it’d be helpful not to make it too logical!) Ah great- now you can either continue on with optional steps 10-11, or skip right ahead to 12…

aha

Step 10: Discover that you did in fact write a helpful synopsis you entirely forgot about…

this isnt right

Step 11: Read it and realise how different it is from the notes

bad writing gig

Step 12: *Weep*

highlighters

Step 13: Devise a complex strategy, involving highlighters, where you colour code notes to match up all the existing ideas. Perhaps even pick up a stack of post its! Maybe get funky with an excel spreadsheet! Whatever you do, make sure it looks organised, but has no functional purpose.

thinking monkey

Step 14: Try to make head or tail of your new notes

muses

Step 15: Wait around for the Muses to strike…

monkey typewriter

Step 16: Give up and write a blog post about planning a novel (…ooh getting meta…)

let's go to work

Step 17: Get your shit together and decide just to write out all your ideas in a new synopsis.

writing

Step 18: Type up into one great big messy document.

think pen write

Step 19: Pause to give chapter titles (this is a great step because while it is entirely unnecessary, it’ll make you feel like you’ve been super clever and productive).

read satisfied

 

Step 20: Readthrough it with satisfaction (ignoring the inner voice that tells you that this may have to be revised later) and shove it in a drawer to be ignored until you can carve out some time to actually write the damn thing.

congratulations

*Congratulations you have planned a novel*

(at least that’s the dream anyway 😉)

How to DNF!

Every so often I come across a meh book and renew my promise to get better at DNFing… but I never do. That’s why I decided to realllly think about how I could improve! With a great deal of research (into fun gifs) I’ve managed to write a comprehensive guide- enjoy!

pick up book

Step 1: Crack open a book, hyped or otherwise, naively *brimming with excitement*

thinking monkey

Step 2: Realise “huh, this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be”

reading

Step 3: *Shrug shoulders* and keep reading- but this time with a growing sense of foreboding…

bored

Step 4: Feel the boredom growing.

mood reader2

Step 5: So. Much. Boredom.

read-fast

Step 6: *Start speed reading*, thinking that maybe it’ll get better, but begin to consider that this book may not be for you and perhaps you should just quit…

my everest

Step 7: But no! There must be a reason you picked it up in the first place! This must be your secret mission in life! You must PERSEVERE!! Continuing against the odds, you feel the weight of this uphill battle as you trek, page by page, deeper into this dreadful tome…

despair

Step 8: With a sinking feeling, you wonder will there be a light at the end of this tunnel…

light at the end of the tunnel

Step 9: …but there is only darkness…

think pen write

Step 10: You wonder if maybe you’re only reading on just so that you can write that stinking review.

agonise over decision I don't know what to do

Step 11: And if this is true, you realise it may not be the best reason to keep reading… yet still you *agonise over the decision* past the 30% mark…

throw book2

Step 12: Okay, that’s it, you’ve had enough. *Put the book down*

three hours later

Step 13: You stay strong for approximately three hours.

choose books2

Step 14: Then you cave and pick that bad boy up again!

pretending to read

Step 15: Ugh, you realise it’s worse than you remember.

throw books

Step 16: *Put that book down again*

hide homer abandon

Step 17: Leave said book on your bedside table for approximately three weeks.

stare shiftily

Step 18: Eye book, thinking “maybe I’ll try it again”.

put book back on shelf

Step 19: Quietly put book back on the shelf, promising yourself this is not the end…

unhaul books

Step 20: …except it kind of is, because you’ll never pick that book up again until three years have passed and you’re looking for something to unhaul. You think to yourself “maybe I was wrong about it”, but nah, it’ll look better in an unhaul photo than a review… and so you announce on your blog that you never finished it and never will!

thumbs up

*Congratulations you have successfully DNF’d

My Quaratbr!

Aww what a cutesie title… for something that’s gonna get dark pretty fast 😉

trelawney fortune telling

My fortune– I must consult the stars to find out my fate! (I’d say I’ll be looking at tea leaves, but let’s be real, those are in short supply 😉 ) Oh you thought this post would be serious? Okay then, I can do serious…

scary news*THE NEWS*- cos we need regular updates on how we’re all DOOMED- okay maybe too serious. How about something a little more upbeat? I know, thinking about food usually cheers me up, but oh wait

 

All those recipes for things I can’t cook because people have been stockpiling and there’s no food left (people have even gone for the bananas!!!)

watch tvThe TV guide– because even if you can’t plan your next meal, you can plan your next TV marathon!

 

 

bad writing gigUnfinished drafts– yes, I did write this one while staring at the page for a good ten minutes trying to figure out what to say next 😉

 

 

wash your handsInstructions on how to WASH YOUR FILTHY GERMRIDDEN HANDS (turn on tap, lather up soap, rub for 20 secs while singing happy birthday… see, now you’ve ticked one item off your TBR 😉)

 

confused dogsThe government’s lockdown guidelines– which you will need to read over and over and over again to make head or tail of… annnd still be stuck on (both physically and metaphorically) days later.

 

ralph helloMessages from loved ones– partly because we love them, mostly cos there’s sod else to do 😉 But on the positive side, mine tend to send me…

 

 

 

ALL THE MEMES! Frankly, the one good thing to come out of this situation!

Annnd I wish I could say this is an April Fool’s Joke- but it seems like this year, the joke’s on us! Also, clearly after a few days of being a cooped-up monkey, I’ve completely lost the plot! Hope you enjoyed this! Now go wash your hands!

Lonely Hearts for Literary Characters

I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, back when dating apps and websites weren’t a thing, there used to be Lonely Hearts adverts in newspapers. And I don’t know what it was about this format that made it inordinately funny, but those snappy little sales pitches always used to get me going. So that got me thinking- what would some fictional characters’ adverts be like? This is obviously a post designed to be taken very seriously indeed 😉

jeremy fisher

Jeremy Fisher– elderly gentleman, likes fishing. Insects are my passion and my dinner. Hopping to live in the Lake District.

little mermaid

The Little Mermaid– Danish singleton, just searching for my voice and to be part of your world. Likes long walks on the beach. Excellent swimmer.

voldemort

Voldemort– charming chap, with distinctive features. Wizard in the bedroom (and everywhere else). Favourite song: who wants to live forever. Very attached to pet snake. I will choose you Potter

dracula

Count Dracula– nobleman from Transylvania. Seeks another future spouse to be eternally by my side. Loves: hosting guests, sordid affairs, black capes, bats, drinking (blood). Dislikes: mirrors, stakes, garlic, daylight.

smaug

Smaug– smoking-hot, feisty bachelor. Will warm the cockles of your heart (and set you on fire). Meat eater. LOVES GOLD.

cersei lannister

Cersei Lannister– killer queen, who likes to keep things in the family. Looking a tall, blond, handsome, twin-spirit that shares the same values and birthdate (hey Jaime, need a hand 😉 )

Dorian-Gray-pic

Dorian Gray– gosh I’m so beautiful, have you noticed how beautiful I am? I really am a marvel to look at (don’t go in my attic)

miss havisham

Miss Havisham– I have the wedding dress already (may need cleaning). Likes entertaining children. I will wait for you…

gollum

Gollum– my preciousssss… I wantsss you for myself…

bella swan

Bella Swan– teenage girl seeking elderly man for committed relationship… maybe, I’m not sure, *bites lip*. I might want to keep my options open (unless you want to kill me, then I’m game!). So bland you can project all your desires onto me. Likes very specific literature that I will contrive to fit my life/our relationship… Oopsie I fell over.

iago othello

Iago– very accomplished man, somewhat overlooked by those who should pay me respect. Prone to fits of jealousy. Seeks woman who can help with evil schemes.

scrooge

Ebenezer Scrooge– bah humbug! What is the point of celebrating our love for each other when there is work to be done? Then again, I seem to be haunted by my longings…

white rabbit

White Rabbit– I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!

unseen academicals

The Librarian– ook? *presents banana*

And that’s all I’ve got for now! Do you have any lonely hearts for literary characters to add? Let me know in the comments!

How to Deal with DOUBT

We all know how doubt can be debilitating. Well, maybe not all- narcissists and less sophisticated primates are never plagued with doubt… so I’ll try again: we all should have some idea how deadly doubt can be… but equally how much we need it in writing. Because we need doubt to propel us to ruthlessly edit our messy manuscripts; we need to pick out our flaws and correct them. I for one like to take all my doubts out the drawer periodically and hold them in my hand until they grow so heavy that I feel like I’m sinking into a quicksand of doom and despair… or maybe that’s just me?

Okay, maybe that’s not the healthiest way to deal with doubt. There are better, tried and tested ways of dealing with doubt, like…

Crying.

crying orangutan

Singing super cheesy anthems at the top of your lungs.

Power through- just hope those little voices inside your head go. away.

writing

POWER THROUGH EVEN MORE- this means ruthlessly editing a gazillion times, writing more and more and more…

bad writing gig

Read books by professionals and feel bad about it (aka chewing yourself out by convincing yourself you will never live up to those insane standards you set yourself)

pretending to read

Well, that wasn’t so bad. But we can do better than that…

Note that *CONGRATS* feeling doubt is a totally normal part of the process for any creative person.

thumbs up

Note that books on the shelves have been edited by professionals and it’s okay if you’re not up to that standard (yet).

choose books

Note that it’s a process and you’re getting there (just think about how crap you were when you started and you’ll feel better, I promise 😉).

think happy thoughts.gif

Note that there’s always more room for more books in the world. Think of all those libraries and bookshops that need stocking with new stories!

book love belle

Note that it’s okay to take breaks- you don’t have to power through all the time- seriously, it’s okay to take breaks!

orangutan on a beach relaxing0003

And if none of this has helped, then…

Eat ice cream (and bananas) because this will always help. Always.

banana split

Actually, go do that anyway! Do you think any of these will be helpful? How do you deal with doubt? Let me know in the comments!

Woke by @TitaniaMcGrath is the most important book of our time

wokeWhat a STUNNING and BRAVE and MAGNIFICENT creature Titania McGrath is. It is an absolute pleasure to bask in her tweets that liberate us from reality and hear to her shrieking *ahem* spoken word poetry. We are all blessed to breathe the same air as her (except that we probably shouldn’t do that cos that is stealing air from minorities). We, the undeserving, are fortunate to merely be able to listen to this goddess of progressivism preaching how much better she is than us. Her wisdom is undeniable.

“It is no exaggeration to say I would rather be living in a Soviet gulag than a capitalist country”

Of course, it can come as no surprise that Titania experienced *horrendous* abuse from an early age, being brought up by wealthy parents and privately educated (the horror, the horror!). Worse still, she recently faced a twitter ban by the evil Nazi capitalist overlords over in Silicone Valley! I now thank my lucky stars that I have never experienced such inhumane treatment!

“That’s the wonderful thing about identity politics: you never have to explain yourself, or even develop your thoughts into what right-wingers call a “coherent argument””

Are we not all oppressed though? Titania teaches us that anything can be a form of oppression if shouted about loudly enough. I for one would love to share my invisible disability of extreme laziness but I’m afraid I’d have to get out of bed early to do that (#slovenlypride). But really, I recognise that my biggest obstacle in life comes from being a woman (obviously) and that even my cartoon depictions of myself are oppressed by the patriarchy (obviously) since no one recognises I’m a woman unless I put on a dress!

orangutan in dress

“When women are valued more than men, then and only then will we have achieved equality.”

Althoughhhh when I say everyone is oppressed, I’m not really talking about everyone. Straight white men don’t count. Even if they’re living in a dumpster, they have privilege. I mean, that goes without saying. I actually bought a copy of this book for my brother’s birthday because he needs to feel SHAME for being born male and having the audacity to stay that way. Maybe he’ll learn his lesson from our Great and Glorious Saviour, Titania McGrath! And on that note, given that I don’t have the power to award this book a Nobel Prize, I shall have to give it the equally prestigious award of 5/5 bananas:

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Okay, I think I might have blown my cover by engaging in the imaginary free market with that endowment 😉 Of course, *disclaimer time*, this book and my review were satire. I’m afraid I must break character or you’ll all think I’ve gone totally bananas. Surprising as it may be, Titania McGrath is a fictional character invented by the hilarious Andrew Doyle. Having said that, if you’re worried about authenticity, this was replete with plenty of bonkers things real-live-people have actually said. Woke was an amazing antidote to some of the barmy media out there- I was belly laughing and chuckling throughout- so job well done! (and yes, I did actually buy this for my brother’s birthday and he thought it was brilliant too!)

Alright, did I fool you? Did you think I’d lost my marbles? Do you think you’ll pick this up? Let me know in the comments!