Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Suicide Awareness Day

So I know this is a little late, but I felt that this needed to be said.
    As I'm sure many of you know, September 10th is Suicide Awareness Day. Suicide is one subject that always manages to make me incredibly sad. I'm very lucky and blessed in that I have never lost anyone to suicide, but I have friends who have considered it in the past when they were going through a very bleak period of their life.
    No matter how you might be feeling suicide is not the answer. Whatever it is you're struggling with, there is always another solution.
    Before I say anything else I would like to say that you can find me on tumblr under the same username and that, any time of the year, my inbox will be open for you whether you want to talk anonymously or not. I'm here to listen, and I won't judge you. Just know that you are never alone, and there are hundreds of other people online who would be more than willing to talk to you and reach out a helpful hand.
    It's cheesy but it's true.
    Now onto what I really want to talk about. I've heard a few people point out that there shouldn't just be one day of the year in which we're aware of suicide, and those people are absolutely right. People need help all year round.
   I don't want this to end up sounding like me preaching to the rest of the world, I'm just asking everyone to be more aware of their fellow man. If you have a friend or family member or anyone that you know who you think is in need of help, or outright asks for it, please be sure to provide it in any way that you can. People who genuinely feel that the only way to solve their problems is to take their life don't choose to feel like that.
    They're not attention seekers, they're just desperate for somebody to offer a friendly hand and listen. 
   My thoughts are with everyone who has lost someone to suicide, and anyone considering it.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Tackling Writer's Block

Let's face it, my fellow writers, we've all been there. Whether you write poetry, prose, scripts or non-fiction every writer has had one (if not several) of those: 'my muse! She hath deserted me!' moments.
    You know it's true. 
    Writing is a passion of mine, and I hope to be published one day. As such, I'm not going to sit here and pretend to be an expert on the subject because a) I'm not and b) I don't think such a person exists anyway. Even so, I'm going to tell you guys (you guys being anyone who reads this) some little tips that I have learned over the years and find really useful when dealing with writer's block.
    If there's one thing I've noticed when myself or anyone else I know that writes is suffering from writer's block, it's that writers always seem to feel bad when they're not writing. You can stop that attitude right there. Every writer has a blockage sometimes, so why make yourself feel even worse about it? If there's one thing we know for certain about writer's block, it's that it always goes away. I've never met a writer who's suffered from the block and then never again picked up their pen.
   Personally, I believe that how you choose to tackle your block depends on whether or not you're working towards a deadline.
   If you have told yourself that you want whatever it is you're working on to be done by a certain time and, unlike me, you work by setting yourself daily targets (1000 words a day, for example) then I find one of the best things to do is to find a new page. Turn to a fresh page in your notebook or open a new word document or find a scrap piece of paper - whatever works for you - and start writing.
    Sounds sort of impossible, huh? Well, the idea behind this task is to just keep writing. You don't have to suddenly scribble down a masterpiece; in fact nobody but you ever has to see what it is you write. Write about what your desk looks like; whatever you can see; whatever you can smell; whatever you can feel. Just write and don't stop. It doesn't have to make sense, in fact it'll be utter tripe, but it'll clear out the cobwebs and you'll rediscover your muse.
    If, on the other hand, you're writing with a very laid back - practically nonexistent - schedule in mind, you have some more time on your hands.
    There's no shame in being stuck, so give yourself a break and leave your writing somewhere safe for a while. If you're anything like me then you can only write when you're fairly relaxed, so go and take a shower. Stand under that water until your skin wrinkles if you want, put the radio on and do a naked dance; you could even sing along. Nobody can judge you if they can't see you.
    If you're clean enough already, then do anything but write. Don't think about it. Your unconscious is a wonderful thing, and it'll continue working away for you while you let other things - like buttering toast and that guy/girl from work - take over the forefront of your mind. Read that book Mindy from down the street recommended to you; watch that film you've wanted to see for ages; go to that new restaurant with your friends that you keep forlornly walking past. The greatest source of inspiration is life, and you'll be amazed with how many ideas you'll come back to your paper and pen with.
    So far I've assumed that people only suffer from writer's block when they're midway through writing something. I know only too well from my own experiences earlier this year that the dreaded block can also strike when a writer has recently finished a creative piece, and subsequently finds it impossible to write something new.
    While the blank page is a creative outlet, it can also be rather daunting. All you have in front of you is a wide, blank space that is just waiting - expecting - to be filled with your literary greatness. Whether it's the first chapter of an epic novel or the simplest haiku, you always expect an awful lot of yourself when you decide to start a new project.
    My advice? Doodle!
    That probably sounds kind of weird, but it's amazing how nonthreatening a fresh page looks when it's covered with grumpy faces of that teacher you hated in school and stick-men practicing positions from the Karma Sutra. Soon your doodles will become words and, before you know it, you've already started your next masterpiece.
    Now for my last suggestion (and if you're still reading you have my eternal thanks for humouring my attempts to give you advice) and that is, quite simply, to go to sleep.
    How many of you have found your muse abandoning you in the early hours of the morning when you should be tucked up in bed? There's a reason for that; she's trying to tell you something. 
    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing the matter with writing during the night. Many writers - myself included - often find that you gain inspiration when the worries of the day are far away, and you are left with nothing but the blissful solitude that the evening brings. Even so, not to sound too much like your mother, sleeping during the night is also a good idea. There's almost nothing better for the creative mind than a good night's sleep; a chance for your brain to recharge and possibly give you a few crazy ideas while you dream.
    I'm sure that there are hundreds of other ways to push through writer's block, these are simply the tips and tricks that I have found the most helpful. I hope this has been somewhat helpful for anyone out there who's currently suffering from a blockage; even if this post only helps one person that's good enough for me.
   Just remember that, however you choose to tackle your writer's block, make sure you return to the written word refreshed.
    That's enough from me for now. Thanks for reading!
    Toodles! J.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Writing a blog seems to be 'the thing' recently, and I've always wanted to have a go myself despite not really having a clue what I might write about. But hey, I'll never know unless I try.
    I'd like to say this is my first attempt but it's actually my second as my first attempt failed miserably. This time, however, I already have some things in mind that I'd like to write about. More than anything I want to make sure I'm writing for me rather than thinking too hard on pleasing whoever reads this. After all, I hardly expect anybody to read this anyway.
    As my profile would suggest my name is Jess, I'm currently twenty years old and at the end of this month I'll be entering my third year of university. I'm awkward, nerdy, chubby and opinionated, and you can always rely on me to end up saying the wrong thing. So apologies in advance, reader! Take none of it personally; I don't, and I'm my own worst critic.
   Whelp, that's enough from me for now. Stay tuned if any of this sounded interesting, and I'll try to keep you amused!