Those in glass houses…

…Should not throw stones. That’s what they told you. So you use your fists instead. You’re so angry, so confused and afraid. The only thing that helps you through is the idea of tearing down everything that you have built. The beautiful glass house on the edge of a scenic cliff becomes a twisted prison where you catch the reflection of the person you’ve grown to hate in every surface. So the smashing begins. It hurts at first. Your fist shatters the glass and your knuckles split and spill blood. Your nerve endings sting and your mind screams at you to stop. But you can’t. Not now. Not when there is still so much damage to be done.

You strike another surface, the cuts grow deeper, but soon the shock takes over and you’ve torn away the flesh leaving nothing but exposed bone, making those thick panes easier to crack. You tear down the walls and rip down the roof, until all that remains is the skeletal frame of a once stunning home. You’re bloody and tired, but still you’re not done. Just because there is nothing left standing it does not mean there is nothing left to destroy.

You drop to your knees and you rip the floorboards free. The torn flesh of your fingers catches on the splinters and nails. It hurts; oh god does it hurt. But you want to see your glass sink into the dirt and these goddamn floorboards are preventing the indignity. You toil until the boards are gone, but you can still see the reflection of the man you hate in the shards now lying in the soil, smiling manically at you as though he is somehow in control. So you punch. You punch and you punch, caving in the reflective skull of that piece of shit until his face is lost in the splinters of glass and your blood soaks into the dirt. He’s gone. That man you hated is finally gone.

So you rise and you walk to the edge of the cliff thinking that your troubles are over; and not a single stone was thrown. But your stomach drops when you see that the once calm blue waters of the ocean before you are now ink black and brooding. The storms are coming and you’ve just torn down the only shelter you’ve ever known. You realise then in that bitter sweet moment of triumph that all you have succeeded in doing by tearing down everything you’ve ever owned, is exposing yourself to the unrelenting touch of a winter’s chill.

You turn to your broken house of glass just as the first whip-crack of thunder echoes overhead, and you stare down at your damaged hands, unaware of what possessed you to cause this destruction in the first place. You move into the home and you sit amongst the piles of broken floorboards and the slivers of glass, your face streaked with the tears of a god and a fraud as the heavens release their wrath. You’re soaked in an instant, watching as your dried blood moistens and dances across the surfaces of a life left in ruins. Your bones ache as the winds cut through the skeleton of your safety and solace.

With nothing left to give you sit and you wait out the bitter cold and the brutal winds that cut through you with an intensity that leaves you breathless. You accept that there is no more hope, no more opportunity for the man who destroyed his own glass house.

But after an eternity those vicious rains subside and a single sliver of light slips through the clouds. It’s minuscule, not enough to warm you, and in your fractured mind you see it as nothing more than a taunt to a man as broken as his home, left sitting in the dirt

Then it happens.

The clouds shift again and the pinprick of light falls into a pile of broken glass, causing as flash-flood of colour to pierce your vision. A kaleidoscope of earthy browns from the soil, deep reds from your blood and gentle blues from the rains dance across your eyes and for the briefest of instants you can see the glasshouse standing in all its glory once more.

You know now what you must do; you must rebuild your home, your solace, and learn to protect yourself once more from the bitter cold of the rains. You light a fire and you gather your broken glass, heating it until it can be made whole again. You erect your walls and you replace your damaged floors, admiring the now stained surfaces of a once perfectly polished world. Your glass has been dulled, and your floorboards warped, but you would have it no other way, because this is the house that you built yourself. This is the house of a man who survived the rains.

You bandage your hands and you let your wounds heal, and soon enough the sun returns and you venture to the cliff to watch the calm blue ocean stretch endlessly before you. You spin towards the house that determination built, catching sight of the man that you hated staring back at you. He’s older now, more dishevelled; but you realise that maybe he’s not so bad after all. You take a breath and you vow to never again destroy the beautiful home at the edge of the cliff that you created. To do so would be crazy; you can’t survive those long lonely nights where the chill presses against your chest until you find yourself wishing you were dead. No, from now on if you need to feel the rains you won’t tear down the house, you’ll just take a stone and break a single window instead.

I few years ago I went through a bout of depression. I was unbelievably low and I hated myself and everything that I had become. I tore down the walls of my own psyche and I left myself exposed. But through my writing I found myself again. Writing was the pinprick of light that burst through the clouds and allowed me to see the world anew. It became my reason for rebuilding my glass house. My hands are damaged, and my once crystal clear walls are now stained with the blood and grit of my own toiling. But I would have it no other way. I wouldn’t be the writer I am now if I hadn’t sat through the rains of self-doubt and self-loathing.

For me there was no shame in being broken. There was only pride when I learned to pick myself back up. At some point in our lives we all falter. But if we embrace the better angels of our nature we can rebuild ourselves to be something far stronger than we ever believed possible.


“Fuck critics, you can kiss my whole arsehole.”
-Jay Z.

I recently caught up with a friend of mine who just like myself, is penning her way through the early stages of what she hopes to be an illustrious writing career. While our writing journeys are very similar in many ways: that is to say we seem to have catalysts and compulsions that are very akin to one another, I’m a little further along the path of completing a manuscript and seeing my work make it into print. That’s not to detract from her abilities at all. In fact, her script sounds like it’s a million times better than mine. Once it’s finished I’m sure that you’ll see her name in lights a hell of a lot quicker than you see this narcissistic arsehole’s. When I say I’m further ahead I simply mean that while she’s currently putting the finishing touches on her first draft, I’ve already had my story edited and it is currently being reviewed for potential representation by a number of agencies.

During the course of our conversation the idea of finding an editor came up. Once her manuscript is complete she’ll need to start undergoing that heinous task of refining her novel until it is perfect and ready for publication. A task that I myself have already undertaken, loathing every minute until it was finally complete. As we talked about editors the concept of the writer’s voice entered the conversation and she expressed concern that the wrong editor would destroy everything that makes her script, her script. It was an interesting point, and one that got me thinking about myself and my works.

Every writer has a unique style, a voice if you will. Just like every single man, woman, or child has their own distinct sound built up of tone, pitch, inflections, and a hundred other variables. So too does a writer have a sound that is their own. Take a second to think about the writers you admire, is it necessarily the stories that they tell that you fall in love with? We all know that there are just seven basic themes in literature (as per the theory created by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch). Or is it the unique idiosyncrasies that the writer weaves into their tales that leaves us swan diving into their worlds of love, fantasy, ruin and woe?

For me, it’s the voice of the writer that keeps me engaged. Therefore if I hope to be successful, if I hope to become the writer I have always dreamed of being, I have to nurture the very things that make me unique. I have to (quoting myself here) become a singularity, and I have to devote all of my time and energy to honing my voice and weaving it through my works with a sleight of hand so smooth and subtle that the reader is left dumbfounded. And when working with an editor, publisher, agent, a friend, or a critic, one must learn to be acutely aware of those external influences and the damaging effect they can have on your manuscripts in their quest to be helpful. An editor or agent should seek to draw out those unique idiosyncrasies of their artist rather than manipulate and destroy them.

Thankfully when I undertook the editing process with Midas my editor did exactly that. She helped me, challenged me, and inspired me to be the best writer that I could possibly be. The result? Right now things are looking pretty damn good for my writing. So to all of you out there who are looking at entering that bastard editing stage I wish you the best. Find an editor that is right for you, let them help you find your voice, then scream your story from the fucking rooftops. Silence the critics and be the best damn writer you can be. There’s no one more qualified to tell your story than you.


Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.
¬-Simon Sinek

About twelve months ago I wrote a post in which I referred to the editing process as the bane of my existence. And at the time it was. I went through a phase where all I wanted to do was create. It didn’t matter if what I was producing wasn’t the best quality, I just wanted to pump out pages and pages of my thoughts and lay my soul bare for the world to see. I would write stories that had no purpose or point; they would simply waffle on and on until a cataclysmic event bought the story to a close. I never wanted to edit. The very idea of tracking back over my work and ratting out the imperfections filled me with a sense of foreboding so great that I would do just about anything to avoid it.

But lately I’ve been working back through one of my pieces with the help of my editor to smooth out the finer points of my plot lines and layout, and I’m actually really enjoying myself. I think that the reason behind my sudden over-zealousness for editing stems from an idea presented in the header above by Start with why author Simon Sinek. The concept of Sinek’s quote is simple. If you are passionate about something, and by passionate I mean you truly love what you are doing, then you immerse yourself completely in the task at hand and enjoy the hours of hard work required to reap a reward. If on the flip side you really don’t give a shit about what you are actually doing, then all that hard work that you are putting in manifests itself not in positivity or achievements, but in stress.

At the time of writing my previous entry where I responded so negatively towards the editing process I was viewing it with a slightly immature mindset that was forcing my works to fall well short of their true potential. I had taken the viewpoint that editing was a tedious, unrewarding task that did nothing but serve as a distraction from what I actually wanted to do: write. But now I’m starting to learn that there are so many wonderful benefits to the editing process, and that if I do want to excel at my craft, then I need to learn how to not only embrace the concept of editing; I need to learn how to fucking own it.

Right now this whole editing thing is quite cathartic. It’s allowing me to really go back and re-evaluate a piece that I spent years creating, as well as analyse myself as a writer. And while my previous edits have been ego-filled affairs in which I’ve poured over my work and told myself just how fucking great I am, this time it’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery, aided by the kind and sometimes brutally honest words of my editor. I’m sure that at some point I’ll fucking hate the editing process again; it’s just how the world works. But writing is my passion and editing is a large part of being a great writer. So far all the hard work and hours that I’m dedicating to polishing my script is already reaping great reward. I’ve just to starve off that stress until I’m satisfied that my script is all that it can be.


‘We stopped checking for monsters under our beds when we realised they were inside us.’
-Sam Steven

Confession time: I’ve been on a bit of a downward spiral as of late. Ever since my last post I’ve been struggling to find the urge to even turn my laptop on each day, let alone write something worth reading. In fact I could probably count the amount of times I’ve actually written anything on one hand, and the most I ever managed to produce in one sitting was about two hundred and fifty words. That, my dear reader, is hardly the way to go about finishing one of the multitudes of manuscripts currently sitting half-finished on my hard drive.

So why this complete lack of willpower to create? Why after coming so far with my craft of the past year and a half have I suddenly taken such a momentous step backward leaving me hopelessly floundering through a period of self-loathing? The truth is that it could be any number of things; or more likely it’s a combination of a few influences that has me suddenly apathetic about pretty much everything once again. There’s the medical scare that my partner underwent recently, plus the whole Christmas/end of year wind down that sees just about everybody making excuses for their laziness. Then there’s work matters, family issues, financial deadlines, and just about anything else you can think of that is currently plaguing my mind and literally killing off my desire to write.

These issues are my monsters. They are the things that once lived under the bed and occupied but a fraction of my time as I quickly checked that they were being held at bay before I resumed my everyday life. But somehow, somewhere, the monsters managed to crawl from underneath their shadowy caves and find themselves a home anew inside of my heart and mind. At some point I stopped needing to check for the monsters underneath my bed because they were already inside my head, and they were already fucking shit up.

One of the greatest issues that I have with being a writer is the sole crushing thoughts that usually accompany an overactive mind. I can deal with the loneliness. I can deal with the ridicule of manuscripts shunned, or even the distain of the fucking mouth breathers of the world that assume you are weird or different because you have the intellectual capacity to articulate yourself. But sometimes I really struggle with the monsters of my own mind that constantly over analyse everything. Sometimes I just wish I could step back and take something at face value rather than analysing it until I am certain that understand every minute detail of it. Sometimes I just wish I didn’t feel the need to question everything.

-But this isn’t a negative post. No. This is in fact a therapeutic addition to my ever burgeoning catalogue of thoughts. For you see, one of my greatest joys as a writer is that I do question everything. I love that I’m not willing to accept the world at face value, or that I wish to see more than one horizon in my future. All I am saying is that when times get tough and those monsters that once inspired you to create decide to turn on you instead… Well, you’re kind of fucked.

Right now I’m in that place. That frame of mind where I need to distance myself from my writing and I need to seek out the monsters of my mind and drag them back into the shadows underneath my bed where they belong. It sounds easy enough on paper; and the truth is that it is. The truth is that right now there are people all around the world facing situations that make anything I have ever dealt with feel like a fucking farce. And they are doing so with more gusto and determination that I am. These people are taking to their own monsters with blades held at the ready while I’m wallowing around in self-pity as mine eat my mind from within. I know that I can overcome them. We all can. But we actually have to want to. And up until this post I just haven’t even cared to try.

So, without further ado, here’s to the ensuing battle to come. Here’s to kicking the monsters of my mind in the teeth and dragging them back to the dusty shitholes where they belong. Here’s to me standing up and taking control of my passions once more. And more importantly, here’s to you my humble reader, for finding the courage to do the same.


To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

Today’s post begins a little differently than most. Today we open with a rather simple, yet incredibly profound quote from Buddha. But before you misconstrue this latest post as a misguided religious rant oozing with theology and profundity, let me remind you that I’m far from an angel and probably not the right person to be lecturing anyone on their belief systems (that’s a topic we might hold off on for another time). Instead today’s post opens with a quote by one of the holiest men to ever walk the earth because of one reason: I wanted to back up what I plan on saying today with the credibility of others, and the guy summed up what I’m about to say perfectly – and there are few people more credible than Siddharta Gautama.

We have all heard the adage Healthy body: Healthy mind. It’s a rather simple concept that to this writer seems to draw a startling resemblance to Laozi’s infamous Ying-Yang theory. That is to say that just as there is a little evil in every good, there is also a little cerebral function in every physical action and a little physicality in every thought process and synapse that bursts into our consciousness. But how many of us actively practice this incredibly simple ideal? How many of us actively move our bodies on a daily basis as a means of not only achieving aesthetic goals but also to improve cognitive function? Having faced off against depression on a bloody battlefield laced with trenches and shell casings once or twice before, I understand the importance that leading a physical existence has on my mental state, and continuously make a conscious effort to move my body in any way possible.

I grew up near the ocean and spent much of my youth swimming and surfing as a means of exercise. The water was an escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life and an extraordinary physical outlet that quelled the darker impulses that lay dormant within my heart and mind. I was moving my body almost every single day and in that time could write with ease. However when I relocated interstate in a quest to chase my writing dreams I suddenly found myself landlocked and robbed of my physical mechanisms for coping with stress. It was around this time that I started to fall into a world of depression and anxiety and after a seemingly never ending hailstorm of shit I almost gave away writing forever. (For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading about some of my lower moments skip over to My first foray into the world of weblogs) So I changed tact, and instead of diving into the water to clear my mind I began frequenting gymnasiums and at one stage even took to running through a few local bush walking tracks until I found myself doubled over, out of breath and on the verge of spewing having pushed my body so far.

Thankfully as I began to return to a life of consistent exercise my flair for writing and my unique and rather obscure sense of imagination and creativity returned. Ever since then I have always been a firm believer in the fact that if I want that healthy mind I so vividly desire I really do need to have a healthy body, and by continuously exercising I have managed to continue to create. But as is so often the case in life, I took my creativity and my health for granted and until just recently I was beginning to think that I was indestructible. Then a few weeks ago I managed to damage the facet joints that connects my cervical spine to my skull and suddenly my whole world of physical activity and subsequent cognitive stimulation came grounding to a halt. I went from writing every day and being quite active to someone who suffered a migraine if I tried to bend down to pull on my pants in the space of a day and my imagination seemed to cease up just as quickly as my body did.

We often say that we suffer for our art, and after seeking the help of a physiotherapist I learned that that was exactly what I was doing. All my long hours slaving away over a computer with poor posture had literally left me incapable of repeating the action without the onset of a migraine, and nigh on the point of being incapacitated altogether. So began three weeks of headaches, continuous stretching, trips to the masseuse and physio, and a few fucking pathetic attempts at writing before the injury finally managed to subside. Thankfully I can now resume where I left off prior to my brief stint of injury; although nowadays I’m really focusing on my posture and am trying to avoid slouching over my computer screen.

So why am I telling you this? Why should you actually give a shit? Well… You probably shouldn’t. But nevertheless there is a lesson to be learned from my little tale of agony and inactivity. The mind is a powerful tool whose capabilities are virtually endless, yet the body itself is an integral component of the machine that is man. If I want to write, and write well, then I have to continuously stimulate the mind, and a large part of that stimulation comes from physical activity. I’m now exercising again and feel as though my creative flair has come flooding back; so much so that I’m considering attempting NaNoWriMo as a way to really test myself as a writer once again. I’ve only got a few more days to make a decision as to whether I will attempt the momentous feat and if I do I’ll probably spend the vast majority of next month at my laptop tearing at my hair as I try valiantly to produce fifty thousand words over thirty days. But hopefully with a little physical activity to keep me sane and keep my mind firing I can survive to ordeal and maybe even have a little fun at the same time.


Haruki Murakami once wrote that ‘If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.’ Powerful huh? And it’s actually scary just how profound and factual this simple sentence is. If we were to live our entire lives consuming nothing but the literature, music, and films that everyone around us is, then how can we realistically expect to be original and creative in our own existence? Yet nowadays in society we have created this whole creative bubble for ourselves in which we consume merely a small portion of the wonderful and ingenious innovations that our poets, writers, musicians, and artists bestow upon us.

But why? Why do we do this? In a world where we are forever pleading the importance of individualism and the power of self, why do so many of us blindly fail to actually allow ourselves the opportunity to cut through the film of that creative bubble and experience the true meaning of individualism and creativity? It’s because we are fucking ignorant arseholes who seem quite content with turning ourselves into sheep. That sounds harsh doesn’t it? But think about it for a moment. Out of the last ten novels that you read, how many of them were in the best sellers lists or came from the staff recommendations section at your local bookstore. Of the last ten films you watched, how many were as a result of what you were told was great. And music… Well let’s not even get started about the fucking travesties filling the sound waves of commercial radio.

The point is to be different. My posts are usually long winded affairs in which I try to slowly build towards something of meaning, but today I feel as though short and sweet is really going to drive home the importance of what I’m trying to say here. If you want to write, or if you want to create you need to be different; and you’re not going to be different if you are thinking the same way as those around you. Different doesn’t mean weird. I’m not saying that you should start dressing in strange clothes and sacrificing livestock to the gods in order to find a new creative path. I’m merely suggesting that you step outside of your creative bubble and consume something totally left field. You might hate it (and on your first attempt you probably will) but give it some time. Allow new thought patterns to ferment inside of your mind and allow yourself to open up to the ideas of being truly unique and not just another misguided sheep who thinks that his coat of wool is somehow profoundly different than the next.

There’s an old cliché that says ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life’ and it really is. Today is the day when you stop pretending and truly embrace creativity and individualism. Put down your popular literature or turn off that fucking cacophony of shit on the radio and consume something new. So often we bitch and moan about a world who has lost its way yet we so blindly consume the second rate trash that we are told is great. Let today be different. Let today be the day that you shed that coat of consumerism wool and become more human than sheep.

Constellations – The de-motivational blog post of the year

photo (1)

The picture placed in the header of this update serves as a very visual reminder of a dream conjured long ago by yours truly; a dream that I still one day hope to achieve. See when I first started writing, long before I begun to believe myself capable of seeing my work in print I ran through a rather impromptu goal setting session with myself surrounding my new found craft. During that session I asked myself how I would gauge my success as an author, and in my humbleness I came up with a few rather simple and very achievable measures of success. The first measure was modest. I would consider myself a successful author when I could sit in my own office, a space devoted entirely to my own creative processes and construct my tales of ruin and woe. I told myself that the walls of my office would be adorned with the workings of those who inspired me, and that perched on my desk would be a crisp white notepad, a lavish ballpoint pen, a laptop, and a lamp in the shape of the world.

My second measure of success would come when I could journey to the far corners of the earth, and find a spot just like the picture above where I could sit, surrounded by nothing but the vast emptiness of the wilderness and create and consume literature. My first incarnation of this dream saw me sitting on a jetty stretching over a lake in Alaska dressed in a hooded jumper, lost in my own thoughts as my pen scribbled frantically across a tattered notebook. But overtime there would be various incarnations of this dream; sometimes I was airlifted onto a windswept summit, sometimes I was in an African jungle surrounded by the very real possibility of death.

I’m sure that if I was to ask a mental health professional about my imaginings they would tell me that there is something very sinister and somewhat unnerving that my dreams almost always had me in total isolation, but fuck, we can’t all be socialites can we? The point is that at the time of writing I’m still yet to achieve either one of these rather simple benchmarks that I set for myself and the only person to blame for that is me.

A few days ago I was afforded the opportunity to attend what was called a future leaders motivational talk run by the company that I work for. It’s a seminar styled workshop that they run sporadically throughout the year for the up and comers like me to explore our minds and challenge our way of thinking and doing in the hopes of achieving personal development. Now although I’m usually captain sceptical when it comes to things like this I actually found the whole experience rather beneficial. Over the course of the day I learned a few techniques for goal setting and how to become a better leader in the workplace and beyond. And when I walked out the door at the end of the day I found myself questioning my whole take on this writing thing that I’m constantly chipping away at.

As I drove away from the seminar and returned to the workplace, and even as I lay in bed that night I began to understand that my whole approach towards becoming successful in this game was flawed. The publishing industry is a highly competitive and cut throat business where only the best manage to rise above the sludge piles of shit and have their works printed on a commercial basis. And from there only the elite manage to find any kind of notoriety for their works. Yet here I was trying to strike it rich by occasionally dipping my toes into the oceans of agents, publishers, and literary houses and wondering why the hell I wasn’t actually getting anywhere. When I started this blog I wrote in post number one that it was time to sink or swim, yet here I was twelve months later doing neither, instead I was merely bobbing along with some fucking floaties strapped to my arms to keep my head from going under.

But why was I doing this? Why was I holding myself back from fully immersing myself in something that I want so desperately? Well, there are two reasons. The first is that I was a little afraid to commit so completely to an ideal. Because I had only ever constructed a rough set of goals for myself with no logical plan of action to get me there, I was too afraid to fully commit to my craft. The possibilities of failure were endless when the goal was about as clear as a bucket full of mud.

Then there’s the second reason. I’ve never fully committed because until this moment I never really believed that I had to. For some fucked up reason I had this misguided sense of self-worth and entitlement that led me to believe that I didn’t have to give it my all; that I didn’t need to bust my arse chasing down agents and publishers, or pushing my wares onto unsuspecting audiences, because shit was just going to fall into place for me. But here’s the kicker: life isn’t like that. Right now I’m not worth shit in the literary community, and unless I get off my arse and start really striving towards my goals (that are now more clearly defined) than I’m never going to be worth more than that. We as a species have reached a rather strange point in our evolutionary progress, a point where the youth no longer believe in the value of hard work, but rather that they are special and deserve everything.

It’s a counterproductive mindset to fall into, and one that has had me spinning my wheels for a while now. We are told each and every day by our families, our friends, and our media outlets that we are deserving of all that life has to offer, and that makes us lazy. Why goal set and bust our arses to achieve what we are already told that we deserve? It’s toxic to our souls to be spoon fed such contrived notions, but we relish it and inevitably fall short of our true potential as a result. Michael Jordan didn’t become the best basket baller of all time by simply being told that he deserved to be. Steve Jobs didn’t revolutionise the technology world because his parents told him he was better than anyone else. No, these men worked themselves to the bone and poured their hearts and souls, their blood, sweat and tears into their respective fields and made themselves the best. And if I ever want to find success as a writer I need to be prepared to do the same.

The title of this post originated not because what I chose to write about was pessimistic or overtly negative, but rather because I want each of you to step away from it and question yourself, question those around you, and question every aspect of your lives and discover if you are where you truly want to be, or if you are falling short because you’re simply not working hard enough to accomplish your goals.

Right now I, like many others, am nothing more than tiny blip amongst the constellations of stars vying for a career as an author. I believed that I was better than the other stars and I got nowhere because I mistakenly assumed that my light was bright enough to capture the attention of audiences and draw them towards me. But the honest to God truth is that if I continue to believe that I deserve everything whilst contributing nothing than I will never achieve. But if I goal set and if I work my arse off and become the best damn author that I can be not only will I see my work put into print, but I’ll also be able to make time to journey to that lake and sit by the water with my hooded jumper, my notepad and pen, and stare up at the sky and know that I’ve achieved everything I ever set out to do.

Lend me your ears….


As an aspiring author I am constantly devouring as much literature as humanly possible in an effort to continually expose myself to the endless world of words. Through my constant exposure I have read, listened to, and watched more wonderful stories than I could ever attempt to list here, and I am truly blessed to have had a chance to devour such an array of writing. Obviously in my journey through the wondrous world of words I occasionally find myself let down by an author’s craft; feeling jaded when a novel falls apart in the final chapters, or when a song or poem completely misses its mark. But then, every so often you stumble across a piece of writing that completely transcends itself above its author, genre, and medium and ignites a fire inside your heart and mind, leaving you physically and emotionally stunned at its beauty.

They say that inspiration often comes from the most unlikely of sources, and as someone who is known for disappearing into my own imagination at the most impractical of times I know this better than most. – If you need an example of this I recently had a massage to help with a sporting injury. While most people on a massage table try to relax and enjoy the experience, I spent the entire time crafting the blueprints of a murder mystery tale that commences with a man meeting his grisly end on the masseuse’s table. – But recently I was left stunned and quite literally lost for words by the incredibly beautiful, moving and downright brutal lyrics of a metalcore band.

For those of you that don’t know me personally I am a huge fan of music that falls under the banner of metal/hardcore/metalcore, and can regularly be found lost in a cacophony of manic drums, heavy guitar breakdowns, and lyrics growled, screamed and sung over rip roaring sonic compositions. But contrary to popular belief I don’t indulge these forms of music because I am full of angst or anger (at least not anymore), or because I am different or weird. I do so because popular culture no longer values true musical and lyrical genius anymore, yet some of the bands that I listen to have the most powerful, emotive, and downright beautiful lyrics I have ever heard. These days true musical genius isn’t found on the radio or on those bullshit talent search shows; it’s found in bars, mosh pits and garages.

The song that serves as the catalyst for this latest post is from Sydney based metalcore outfit Northlane. The lyrics penned and sung by vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes are among the most honest and emotive I’ve ever come across, and one of the reasons that I have chosen to blog about them is that through the bone crunching breakdowns and guttural screams Fitipaldes strikes a chord with this particular writer. With lyrics as open and unrestrained as ‘Here I am with all my insecurities, and imperfections, crying out to a world that just won’t listen’ Fitipaldes words really hit home. As a writer relentlessly trying to break into the industry and see my work in print there are times when it feels as though no matter how much blood, sweat and tears I pour into my craft (through blogs, novels, novellas, university essays, and writing competitions) I seem to be faced with a literary world that just won’t listen. I’m faced with agents, publishers, and fellow literary hopefuls who refuse to pay attention; who refuse to let anyone of the hundreds of thousands of amazing writers across the globe break into the limelight that they so truly deserve.

When Fitipaldes bears his soul to the world he asks his listeners to ‘lend him their ears, their hearts and their minds and discover what’s missing’ he exposes his strengths and vulnerabilities, his hopes, dreams, and shortcomings to a world that so often chooses to judge rather than understand. In many respects the manner in which he approaches his own failings and ambitions is similar to what I try and do here every single time I post. When I first started this blog I was a mess. My head was full of so much negative shit that it was literally impeding my ability to write or even function. My entire outlook on life was warped, relationships suffered, finances failed, and my self-confidence hit an all-time low. But through exposing myself, through allowing myself to become the test subject for the age old sink or swim philosophy, I’ve learned that not only that I can swim, but I can do so with the best of them.

Nowadays I’m emotionally, physically, and linguistically stronger than I have ever been, and the whole reason behind my transformation is my blog. Through taking a leap of faith and opening up my soul for the world to see, I’ve not only healed old wounds, but also learned some truly amazing things about myself and pushed my writing to new levels in the process. My original inspiration for creating this was to overcome obstacles, yet as I’ve grown and progressed as a writer my catalysts have changed to the point where now something as wonderful as a song, a picture, a quote or sporadic thought can trigger my desire to create.

Inspiration really does come from the most unlikely places. When I first started listening to heavy music I never thought that I’d end up blogging about my love for it. But then I never expected to stumble across a writer so honest as to acknowledge when he is ‘pouring his heart and mind into a world that doesn’t listen.’ Yet here we are.

So with that being said, my hope for all of you out there who read this blog each and every post is simple. For those who have stuck with me from the very beginning, and those who are reading my words for the first time, I hope from the bottom of my heart that my words have managed to inspire just one of you. For if it has, than my purpose as a writer is justified, and all the countless hours I’ve poured into this blog have been worth it. If just one person in this world listens, than that’s more than this writer could have ever hoped for when he first started out.

Dancing with Madam Anger

I think I’ve made a mistake. In fact, scratch that. I know that I have. Somewhere along my journey towards becoming a better writer and quelling the demons that plague my mind I’ve turned myself from a bubbling cauldron of angst and anger into a fucking robot that is devoid of any emotion whatsoever. It’s where I always thought that I wanted to be; a head space where I feel no anger, fear, frustrations or disappointment. But unfortunately it seems as though it is all those things that make me the man and the writer that I am, and that I’ve always wanted to be. Recently I couldn’t help but notice that as my apathy for everyone and everything around me flourishes, my ability to write and create subsequently diminishes. Lately I’ve been thinking that it’s time to cast aside the whole sensitive new aged guy bullshit and start to embrace Madam Anger and all the wondrous gifts she bestows upon me.

The very concept of embracing the darker impulses of my heart does run incongruous to almost everything I have ever written on the walls of this blog. Yet over the past couple of weeks as I’ve risen at the crack of dawn only to stare at a perpetually blank page on my laptop, I’ve come to the startling realisation that I’m simply better off when I’m angry. As an emerging writer everything that I have ever produced has been dripping with passion and anguish, yet in my desire to overcome a battle with depression I deliberately removed all forms of these delicate muses from my psyche, leaving behind a barren wasteland where emotion and creativity once roamed.

I now understand that my mind is like a delicate ecosystem inhabited by every thought and human emotion that it creates. When all of these thoughts and emotions work in perfect harmony my mind flourishes and my writing follows suit. My urges and impulses form the sediment that allows everything to grow. And my thirst for knowledge forms beautiful saplings that pierce the surface of my mind and reach towards the sun. The sun itself is made up off all the positivity that I strive to produce on a daily basis. Then, in order to balance out my peacefulness, my darker thoughts are the heavy rains that lash across the landscape. But just like the rains that lash the earth, these sometimes torrential storms are a necessity for the ecosystem. Without the rains all creativity would die.

Which leads me to ask me what the fuck was I thinking when I tried to remove such an integral part of the ecosystem that is my mind? In hindsight I should have realised that everything in life must be balanced; that without sunshine and rain working in relative unison, everything would fall apart. I took away the negative rains of my mind, and allowed the overpowering rays of positivity to rape the earth until all that remained was scorched and uninhabitable. Then, when the land was devoid of life I stood in the damaged sediment and wondered just why nothing could be created there.

So, without further ado; here comes the fucking rain.

At first thick droplets fall around me, splashing against the scorched earth, their individual strength unable to penetrate a crust as hard as this. But then, as the rains fall harder and I goad my mind for more, a figure materialises through the storm clouds in the distance. She moves closer, gliding across the earth’s surface with a step as delicate as her fine features. Madam Anger has arrived to aid me through this storm. We stand in relative silence, watching the rain falling around us before she invites me to dance. So I take her and hold her close and we move to the orchestra of thunder crashing loudly overhead. We sway and waltz, our movements always in time with the rise and fall of the orchestra’s crescendos, allowing the rains of anger and frustration to wash over us before falling to the desperately thirsty earth.

Our footsteps crack the earth’s surface, and the raindrops slip inside. And before I can stop and gasp, the first inklings of saplings arrive. So we dance around in circles, leaving behind a trail of fresh footprints teeming with new life. And after what feels like hours of dancing, I can now see that my mind shall survive. But the rains begin to pass, and soon the storm subsides. I stop now and stare out at all that Madam Anger has created, and release her from my grasp. She sweeps her hair behind her ear and smiles at me through crooked teeth. The once beautiful apparition that danced until life returned has faded; replaced now by her true form as a hideous hunch backed dame. I stand and watch her fade away, chasing the storm from my mind. Before I turn towards the earth with wonder and behold all that Madam Anger has left behind.

The idea here is not to return to my days of never ending anger and angst. But rather to embrace the idea that I can control the darker impulses of my mind and use them to fuel the creative fires of my soul. I don’t want to be angry anymore. That part of me is gone. But I’m also very aware that without Madam Anger I would never be able to write or continue to grow as a man. I’m throwing caution to the wind and abandoning my quest to turn myself into an emotionless robot. Instead from now on I have vowed to feel all that my life has to offer. Anger, angst, love, success or failure; my writing and my life needs all of these and more to survive. I understand now that within the microcosm that is man there is a macrocosm of emotions that we must experience in order to feel alive. So before I dance off into the sunset with Madam Anger once more, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that I will be in touch again soon.

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