This morning, whilst deeply immersed in word wrangling for my latest review, it occurred to me that some of you may be interested to know why I am doing this. Well, given that you lovely people have busy lives to lead and this story spans the best part of half a century, I’ll try to confine myself to some of the bare essentials.
I’ve always loved reading. Although it is way back in the dim and distant 20th Century, I clearly remember sitting under the blankets with a torch and reading ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’. It was the first book that I ever read all in one go. Since then I have never looked back. I love to be transported into the imagined worlds of that most talented of creatures ‘The Author’. My admiration for this creature is not of the ‘sneaking’ variety, it is much more of a romping, stomping, shout it from the rooftops kind of thing. To my mind those who can string together something as abstract as words into a story with the power to move, entertain, inform, inspire or, indeed, elicit any sort of emotional reaction should be worshiped. (Okay, okay that’s laying it on a bit thick but, you get the idea.)
The sheer strength of will and self-belief it takes to transform the thoughts in your head into a published reality must be phenomenal. I have reams of unfinished material of my own to testify to this fact. “Well!”, I hear you all cry in unison. “Now we have the Internet the problems are solved, hurrah.” Hang on, let’s not get carried away. To be sure the internet is a powerful addition to the toolbox of the prospective author. It does, however, lack one major element. It does not have the enormous publicity juggernaut at the disposal of the big publishing houses. This means that the playing field is far from level. For instance the latest ‘Alex Cross’ maybe crass and derivative (and I’m not saying it is, mind you), but thousands will still buy it because a gravel voiced professional booms out at them from their televisions that it’s great and they should [buy it]. By contrast the work of an independent author must stand or fall by its quality and as a result of the recommendation of others. Writing a review is, therefore, a very small thing for me to do in order that people who have talent equal to or, in most cases, greater than, James Paterson get a chance to redress the balance, even if it is only in a tiny way.
To pinch the tag line of a British shopping institution ‘Every Little Helps’.
Speaking of tag lines, the one for this blog would also hold a clue to my motivation for re-launching my blogging endeavours.(The last attempt having crashed and burned due to a collision with the colossal battle cruiser USS Self Belief). I have felt for many years that the Jungian idea that well-being stems from the opportunity to express your creativity is absolutely on the button. I feel that if I can offer a few well chosen words of encouragement to anybody’s creative project, whatever form it takes, then I should. OOOoops, I feel myself wading towards dangerously ‘deep’ water and I swim like a brick. Perhaps we can return to this subject when we know each other a little better.
Keep reading and keep writing.
(P.S Oh and, sorry to all of you who are waiting for reviews while I’ve been self indulgently waffling away here)