Wednesday, 5 September 2018


What follows is one of the most obvious and most forgettable pieces of writing advice. Well, life advice. Life and writing advice. I'm writing mainly to try and stop myself from forgetting it. But maybe others will get something from it too.

The advice is always keep pushing.

The background to this was feedback from an interview I recently had. I was told I'd interviewed very well, that I'd given some fantastic answers and generally knocked it out of the park, and been unlucky to lose out to candidates with that extra bit of experience.

And as the interviewer acknowledged, it was a Catch 22 - how do you get the experience if you don't get the job giving you the experience?

It's to push. Push and grab a job you maybe shouldn't have got (as I was trying to do tbh) or push and volunteer for every opportunity to step forwards. Sooner or later you will hit the jackpot.

Writing is the same. A friend once told me he reckoned sheer impudence and a brass neck was the most valuable skill for a screenwriter. See? I knew the lesson before but had forgotten. Even as I sit here, the lesson vibrating in my head, I've got Tor's call for bloggers up and I'm going "uhmm...". This is the wrong answer.

Pushing isn't just about submitting and schmoozing like crazy though. It's about pushing yourself, trying new methods, reading new things. You never know which work project will suddenly go huge, leaving you as the main expert on a major subject (one of my parents' friends became one of the UK's leading HIV doctors that way). You never know which doodle or micro fiction or PoV experiment spark the idea you love most in the world.

There's a caveat. Always is.The highest ambition of every human should be happiness, for all but primarily themselves. As someone with a complicated relationship with happiness, I know that the cry of "Once more unto the breach" isn't suited to everyone. Can even negatively affect the happiness of some. And it's telling how many people find their energy to keep pushing through their own constant lack of satisfaction.

But for those still looking for that success, who know they'll be happier for pursuing a dream - push. And keep pushing.

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