Sunday, 19 June 2011


It has been a while since I had last blogged, without good reason. My mother always said that if you had nothing nice to say, keep quiet, so I kept quiet. It has been a good bu tumultuous first half of this year here in Lood-land and many things happened that somehow kept me intrigued enough in life to continue on with it.

But with all this change came a lot of introspection. I turned 25, not old by anyone's standards apart from a four year old, but old enough. Suddenly it dawned on me that I had no real idea as to where my life was heading. Here I am, a 25 year old content writer with a degree in psychology, a masters degree in criminology with no fucking clue what he was doing on this planet. I spent a great deal of time telling people that I was writing a book, that one day I was going to become a bestselling author, and meanwhile, back at the ranch I was struggling to get words on paper.

I dreamed of being the best at everything I did, of tacking the title manager next to my name, of writing that book that will stand alongside the literary greats of the world, of opening a restaurant and serving good food and good wine to people, of meeting someone special, maybe adopting a kid or two and living a happy life till I die peacefully in my sleep at the age of 70.

I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to become this person that I was in my dreams, physical pressure that caused me to gain weight, develop an ulcer and turn into a control freak of note. Outwardly I turned into anyone's friend, smiling at people and making them believe I was happy. I was fucking miserable.

So I took stock of my life, looking at what I was doing and why. I looked at the naive dreams of a twenty something who thought that he'd rule the world and do it in style and I took a knife to it. I cut out many things that was making me unhappy and it has culminated in this blog post.

As of today I no longer identify as someone who aspires to be a professional writer. I will still dapple in the written word, as and when I feel like it, but i will no longer pursue that three book deal with the dogged determination I have been.

As of today I no longer aspire to be someone's husband, someone's father. Should the universe decide that a life partner or offspring is part of my fate, I will accept it, but my identity no longer depends on it.

As of today I embrace my job as my focus and my future. I am going to throw all the extra passion into making my future as secure and stable as possible. I have 5, 10 and 15 year plans to help me outline where I want and need to go. These plans, like most of my grand schemes, are not set in stone, but they do provide a nice platform for me to work from.

I have chosen money and success as my path to happiness. Power and authority. Does this make me a bad person in your eyes, I really do not care. I have a single-minded goal, and I will attain it.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Writing like the Wind

So I've had a couple of good days writing, and I'm rushing toward the middle of the novel. Somehow I just have more drive to write these days, the story is flowing like the Niagara falls after heavy rain.

I have decided to drop the flowery prose and get the plot out of the way, which seems to work. Once the story is out, I can colour the picture with characterisation and scene setting. So I lowered my targeted word count for the first draft, in order to leave myself with some space during the second draft rewrites to add in descriptions etc.

Don't worry. Since I'm not a fan of overly long descriptive passages, there won't be too many of them. I write what I would like to read, and I don't read passages that looks like they'll be boring. And you will never find me writing a scene describing a sunset in three pages. I'm just not that guy.

I guess it's my history of stage work, where much of the action is character and dialogue driven that lead me to this. Either that or my fondness for film and television.

Anyhow, I wrote almost 10k since 12 January so I am extremely happy. Now I just have to get a grip on this villain and all will be right with this book.

Happy writing,


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Quick Catch-Up

So 2011 came barrelling at me with the intent to maim or kill. Seriously, It is already the 25th and already enough things have been happening to fill up at least a chapter or two in my biography. (If you are reading this somewhere far in the future, you are welcome to use this blog as a source to describe the sheer awesomeness that is me).

This year I have decided that I will attempt to do all those things I've been putting off for a while.

The novel
I have set a deadline for the completion of my novel, and have called in the help of the cavalry with the pointy sticks to make sure that I deliver. My manuscript will be completed before or on my birthday. I am about halfway (after I deleted almost 5000 words because I did not like the direction the story was going) and I'm writing like a maniac.

The Masters Degree
Now I may or may not be completely insane, but I have decided to start doing my Masters degree in Criminology this year. I have decided on a topic and had preliminary discussions with the University yesterday. I still have a couple of things that I need to confirm/research before I make my final application, but it seems that I will get the approval I need to carry on.

From there on I have to do the burocratic two-step while jumping through hoops and cutting through about two rolls of red tape. If all goes well, I can start doing my research by mid-next year. I will be blogging about the process, keeping everyone informed about where I stand.

The Writers Blog
Along with the rest of my writer's group we started a writer's blog called Writers in Training, where we share our experiences of the writing process with other aspiring writers. We're in week three already and it is going well.

Crumbling Ruins
In December a couple of us (Dave, Jani, Craig and myself) were having one of our usual random discussions on Twitter when an idea was born. We were going to write a post-apocalyptic novel set in South Africa. It started out as a joke, but 9 chapters in it has turned into something a bit more serious (although still funny).

We each take turns to write a chapter and at the end of each chapter we try to leave the next person in as much doo doo as possible. This has led to a multitude of very interesting situations (including four people in one port-a-potty (as I said: As much doo doo as possible)) and a lot of gleeful "good luck in getting out this" emails which, in my head, is followed by maniacal laughter.

Look out for this, it is going to take the world by storm.

So that's my January 2011 update.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

My 2010

This time of the year the internet is full of posts about "The best of" lists etc etc. I thought I'd share a bit about what 2010 meant to me.

This year has been one of the best years of my life. It has been rough, it has been unpredictable and it has been unbelievably fun. 2010 has been my year of friends and fun, of taking risks and following dreams. This year I learnt that it is OK if things change without my consent and that not all change is bad. I learnt that you do not have to meet a person in real life for them to change yours, and that you can have the best friends that you have never met. I have seen the kindness of strangers in support of people they barely know, and I have seen best friends become enemies.

In 2010 I learnt that although a lot of choices in my life might not have been the best, those choices made me the person that I am today. I have learnt that mistakes can never ruin your life unless you let them. I have learnt that a broken heart does heal. I have learnt what the word "love" truly means.

Love is one of those strange concepts that a lot of people throw around without thinking what it means. Think about what you are saying the next time you exclaim: "I love those shoes!". I have learnt that love is not a two way street, it is not a give and take concept. To truly love, is to give without hesitation or restraint. I learnt that love has nothing to do with romance. When I exclaimed loudly and passionately that I do not believe in love I was mistaken. I believe in love, I live the philosophy of love every day.

This year I have met people who have changed my life forever. Some of them I only spoke to once or twice, some of them have become part of my closest friends. This year I have laughed and cried. I saw two of my best friends get married, two people who go together like curry and rice. I got to share in their joy because seeing them so happy made me happy. I had the opportunity to tell them how much they mean to me.

This year I got to follow my dream. I am writing a novel, and although the process is a lot harder than I thought it would be (and I was not under the impression that it would be a walk in the park), I have found a way to express myself. I also got to meet my writing circle, people who through their support and encouragement carried me through the more difficult times behind the keyboard.

2010 was my year of Twitter (of course I was going to mention this). Through Twitter I discovered a whole new world filled with people who were a) not idiots and b) sincere (for the most part). I realised that people who should be strangers to me, became a part of my life. When I miss their morning greetings, or our daily random conversations about the most arbitrary stuff I feel as if a part of my routine has been skipped, as if I'm wearing only one sock.

These people became close friends, and one day I want to travel to the US, Europe and the UK to meet some of them. Hell, my first trip for 2011 is to the other side of my country to meet some of them.

This year I also learnt to say thank you, and I want to say thank you again. To each and every person who inspired me, helped me and supported me. Thank you to those who put up with my moods and tantrums, when the nicotine, caffeine and anti depressants just did not help any more. Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me and sometimes threatening me. Thank you, for being my friends.

2011 is going to be my year again, better yet: 2011 is going to be my dream year!

And yes, I am going to leave you with my "Best of" list, because I can.

Best book of 2010: The Passage by Justin Cronin
Best debut of 2010: Spellwright by Blake Charlton
Best Audio Book of 2010: I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Most anticipated book of 2010: Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Best Film of 2010: Inception
Most anticipated Film of 2010: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Best Musical Score in a film: Inception
Best Graphics and effects: Alice in Wonderland
Favourite Animation of 2010: How to Train Your Dragon

Favourite Game of 2010: Dead Rising 2
Most anticipated game of 2010: Final Fantasy XIII

Favourite News event of 2010: "Don't touch me on my studio"
Spine tingling moment of 2010: SA's first goal in the 2010 Fifa World Cup when a whole country cheered at the same time

I hope you all have a happy New Year, may 2011 bring you only pleasure and opportunity!

Monday, 04 October 2010

Writing update...

I like statistics. Statistics make me feel safe. It also helps me make sense of what I am doing. So I started doing writing stats a couple of weeks back and I though I'd share it with you. These are the stats for my current WIP, for the moment called "Fated Children".

Words written: 25718
Chapters written: 9
Average word count per chapter: 2857.556
% completed: 21.43166667
Wordcounts per chapter:
1      2987
2      3126
3      2339
4      3203
5      3365
6      2631
7      2711
8      2541
9      2815

I wanted to make some graphs and charts, but I'll spare you.

Am I not nice?

Happy writing,