how to not make it

How to not make it as a writer

Busy Making Other Plans

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.


By which I mean I just haven’t blogged in a long, long time. I fully understand if this may have gone unnoticed.


As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” This seems to be a fairly accurate summation of where I am at the moment, with loads of trivial life shit getting in the way of my other plans. Read the rest of this entry »


Focus Focus Focus

Focus.  Focus focus focus.  Focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus foc- ooh look, that dog has a poofy tail!

I have four or five novel ideas rumbling around in my big stupid head.  I also have a couple of ideas for TV programmes in there.  One of them is pretty good.  My problem is I don’t have sufficient focus to see any of these ideas through to any sort of conclusion.  Instead I have two half-finished novels, several half-finshed plans, but, ultimately, nothing to show for any of these ideas or the hours and hours and hours I’ve spent writing them down. Read the rest of this entry »

Show, Don’t Tell

In what I like to call my Where I’ve Gone Wrong series I’ve talked in fairly general terms about my inability to finish writing a novel.  Mainly this has been due to poor planning, a complete lack of sticktoitiveness and an innate inability to follow anything through to anything resembling a conclusion.


Writing is a constant battle with procrastination.  You sit and write at a computer.  A computer that’s hooked up to an almost infinite amount of information.  A computer that’s hooked up to an almost infinite amount of videos of music and comedy and a monkey scratching its arse, sniffing its finger, then passing out.  A computer that’s hooked to an almost infinite amount of pictures of girls in not many clothes.  You get the idea. Read the rest of this entry »

Oops, I did it again

Last weekend was one of those brilliant weekends that sneaks up out of nowhere and presents you with an opportunity that you just can’t turn down.

I didn’t find out until last week that the wife was going away, which presented me with a whole weekend to myself to sit and write and claw back all the words I should have written the last time she went away for the weekend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Squeezing Something out Four or Five Times a Day

For months I’d been saving last weekend.

I had it all planned out. The wife was away and I was going to get home on Friday night, have something quick to eat (no alcohol) and write until the small hours. Saturday I’d get up early and sit and write all day. Sunday I’d get up early and tidy the house, then write until the wife got home.

As it turned out I was invited to a work colleague’s leaving party, a 1st birthday party, a Christening, I went to pick up a package from the Post Office, had the house valued four times, went to the pub. I didn’t write a solitary fucking word. Read the rest of this entry »

Where I’ve Gone Wrong (pt. 2 of many)

Shortly after publishing my last blog post a thought hit me. I did actually finish writing something once.

A couple of years after finishing university I wrote a sitcom. Read the rest of this entry »

Where I’ve Gone Wrong (pt. 1 of many)

I’ve always loved writing stories, and I’m pretty sure I’ve always wanted to write a novel. My problem, however, is that I’ve never really finished anything I’ve started.

At school I always got really excited when we were given a creative writing project, and I’d scribble down pages and pages of narrative only for it to all fizzle out when I realised I didn’t know where it was going or how it was going to end. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Top Ways to Not Write a Novel

If there’s one topic I’m an absolute authority on, it’s the subject of not writing a novel. I’m a bloody expert at it. And as such, I present to you my 5 Top Ways to Not Write a Novel.

Do not plan a thing. Get some semblance of an idea for a novel and just write. You’ll work it out as you go along. Read the rest of this entry »

Not My First Time

This isn’t my first time writing a blog. About four years ago I started writing a blog for pretty much the same reason I’m writing this; to motivate me to finish writing my novel.

I started off with that intention but my focus quickly waned. I posted a few snippets of my novel to try and get some sort of feedback, but soon I was blogging about trying to lose weight, having a car accident, playing kids football, my love/hate relationship with X-Factor, my feelings for Amanda Holden. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, it worked for J.K.

Did you know David Walliams’ name isn’t actually David Walliams?

His surname is actually Williams, but he had to change it when he joined Equity – the actors’ trade union – and found there was already an actor called David Williams. Imagine that; being told you need to change your name because your name – the one you’ve had ever since you can remember – has been taken by someone else. Read the rest of this entry »