Dementia and diet

Since the initial success of my mother’s new regime, I have been investigating natural approaches to dealing with dementia.

Although she has physically improved, she is childlike and mischievous, which is likely to cause more problems, although I am glad her condition generally is much improved.

So, this weekend I have been studying approaches to dementia, to see if there is anything I can tweak to improve her mental state.

Obviously, over the sundowning years, I had cause to use valerian a couple of times, although over the last ten years medical thinking has come around to my way of seeing it and you are now given miniscule doses of diazapam rather than chemical coshing, at least with responsible doctors. Up until now, there was little I could do about her diet, which was not great as she had always been able to eat pretty much what she wanted, unlike me.  If I ate like my mother, I would be even more ill than I usually am.

Anyway, as I have outlined, she is on a super-comprehensive vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antacid, alkaline diet at the moment, so when I saw that medium chain fatty acids could potentially reverse her dementia, I was immediately interested and sought out exogenous keto products to see if I could check this out, with a view to her taking on a diet more in line with mine.

After much searching, I finally found a product that can put her in ketosis instantly, and which does not cost a fortune.  There is a small hazard of the product being a bit acidic, but I think if it reverses her memory problem it is worth trying once. I was a low carber long before I tried raw and explored other health options so it is not difficult to come up with a plan.

Then I had a look at the counter arguments, which basically consist of her diet already being optimal.  Taking her heart and arterial problems into account, she could not be on a better diet than she is currently.  Are medium chain fatty acids and ketosis worth the risk?

It really depends on how long you want to live and how much you want to remember.  If you want a shorter life, in which you remember more, then go for the low carb option.  It is still possible to do this as a vegan or plant based eater.  If you have heart or artery problems however, it is probably advisable to hedge your bets and go for high antioxidants and perhaps a teaspoon of MCT oil rather than the two tablespoons of coconut oil advised by those who have experimented with diet as a method of helping loved ones with dementia.

I will try the exogenous product and see if I see some improvement over a three hour period.  If so, then she will be living on nuts, seeds, berries and vegetables, which I have done and which is perfectly reasonable. The tricky part will be maintaining her weight on a ketogenic diet, especially once the exercise programme is in full swing.  If it doesn’t work, then it is a very simple case of giving her a nice fruity drink.

Basically, the important thing to learn here is that you mustn’t jump on every bandwagon without checking the counter arguments.  Low carbing for my mother is not the best option for her heart.

So – long life or sharp brain?  Which is best in this case?

Continue Reading

Proof of your raw diet and superfood habit

This week, I had an NHS nurse becoming irate because Supermix and the raw diet has healed my mother’s stage 4 pressure sore.  It seems to be working on one problem at a time, and this week it decided to heal my mother’s foot before it did anything else.

The first thing it did was work on my my mother’s skin, which was like a teabag when she came out of hospital, thin and full of holes. My friend, who is a retired nurse, topically treated it with a common emollient in addition to her diet.  As a result she is still under all the rules for fragile skin, despite having healed serious bruising from the canula in hospital and having been given sufficient nutrition to ensure that her skin is now back to a glossy and healthy normal.

It then worked on her torso, and she is now moving spontaneously again for the first time in months.  She was always very contemptuous of my raw diet, so it is particularly ironic that it is now the only food she can tolerate, and that it is making such a difference.

Towards the end of week two of supermix and a raw diet, she talked about her brother in the past tense for the first time in nine years.  Whilst we are not seeing huge progress mentally quite yet, she is now capable of pulling herself from lying down to a seated position and completing any exercises I give her.

So, now, with the help of my friend, we are restoring her contact with her legs. Supermix, has, however decided to target her feet and lower legs first, so we still have one wasted thigh to restore to its proper size.

We mentioned the sore to this nurse, who told us to leave it alone as it could not be debrided outside hospital and must be left for months.  Two days after talking about it, the necrotic tissue vanished by itself.  She is literally self-repairing from the inside out, and the NHS, according to this nurse, do not like or believe it.

To the credit of our doctor, I received a phone call this week almost as if she were talking to a colleague.  She had received my mother’s blood test results, taken because I had taken her off three unnecessary and harmful medications and replaced them with Supermix.  She did not need disgusting replacement food because supermix is better.  Once on that, she did not require a laxative or a surgical grade antacid which was causing pain and confusion.

The row started because I refused to allow painkillers for her problem legs, which were wasting due to neglect in hospital. (contracture)  I have now isolated the wastage to the right leg via massage, and we are performing massage and stretching to restore her communication with her legs.

All of this is time consuming and requires knowledge that apparently the NHS does not rate.  I am supposed to be a bad carer, because I did not listen to people who wanted to over-medicate and basically sedate my mother to death.

When the blood test results came in, I told the irate nurse.  I wasn’t triumphant about it at all.  My mother is undergoing full spectrum antioxidant therapy with supported mineral and vitamin enhancements thanks to wholefood solutions as a result of Supermix, and there is no point in trying to explain this to someone who is trained to administer commercial medicine.  My mother’s results are apparently spectacular enough to shock the doctor.

So, evidently all these people who cry ‘Wolfe’ about science, and how health promoters are just trying to sell product, are likely to lose their relatives to conventional medicine and its many failings.

Shit happens.

Continue Reading

A crippling workload

Hurrah, the posts from 2016 were unexpectedly being stored on Goodreads, and so I am replenishing the new site with the old posts.  If you are interested, you can now scroll back for a year so far, but as there are so many posts, I don’t think I can do them all in one night.

As regular readers will know, the furniture collection has been very expensive to produce, which has caused major hold ups.  I am seeking a contract or two to finish off the first few pieces, so that I can get on with Lucifer Ogilvie.

In addition, complications regarding my mother have meant that I am unable to do as much work as I have in the past, it is now turning into a huge legal conundrum which I am strangely unphased by.  So far, I have had to sit in a room full of people who have either already lied, or are in the process of lying because I am such a horrible person for taking care of my mother and avoiding people.

What is most irritating about this, is that people who don’t actually know what has been said or done are now jumping on the opposing bandwagon on the assumption that I have somehow forced a career driven carer to lie about my mother, and a pair of vile nurses to assume that because I am very polite, I am also a pushover.  Imagine their surprise when I chased them from the house shrieking thank you, thank you!

Anyway, for the raw foodies watching this saga, my mother now has proper arms again, and I am working on reinflating her legs after the concentration camp style nutrition in hospital.  She is not hugely conversational at the moment, but as you all know, detox involves a lot of sleeping.  I am restretching her muscles at the moment as she was suffering from contracture.

According to the vile nurses and her doctor, this means crushing her legs even more and drugging her so that you don’t hear her scream in pain as her muscles waste.  Instead her legs are gently being stretched with a fierce rub of menthol to restore her muscles in much the same way her arms have responded.  At 90, she has in three weeks recovered her ability to sit up by herself, so I look forward to seeing how these legs turn out when they are done.

The NHS seem to be genuinely offended by her recovery, which is most upsetting. Not quite as upsetting as her absent children’s wish to kill her in a care home.  Yes, looking after her is blisteringly hard work.  No, I do not begrudge it, although I certainly should given the family dynamic she set up in advance of her dotage.

Anyway, I am thinking I should get on with the shoe collection to pay for more resin, and I need to work on the computer games.

 

Toodle pip,

 

Ina

Continue Reading

Helping is better than being helped

My mother is now bed bound because someone who has never even met her decided that her perfectly adequate chair was unsuitable for her.  Now someone else who has never met her is supposed to come around to the house to determine whether the chair is suitable, until then she is trapped in her bed.

This is because the consultant, who has never met me, decided that my mother was too heavy for me to carry and decided to force me to accept help from teams of carers, who are not willing to take the health and safety risk of putting her in a chair on the days that she is well enough.  On top of this, she is to spend all day in a position which makes it easier for them to change her when they come in, which hurts her back.

Today I caught one of them asking if she would not prefer to be eating rolls and sausage than her raw diet.  She can do this if she wants, but if she does she will have to be put back on the surgical grade antacid and the laxative, she will be in further pain which warrants a painkiller, and she will be confused because the medication does that.  When I explained this to my mother, she decided she would rather continue on her raw diet.

When a hostile nurse explained to me that every decision was now to go through social work, I declined any further input.  Why are we having ten people involved, when my mother has previously done very well with only one person, I asked? She immediately became very frightened and did not answer.

The bottom line is, because I have had help forced on me, my mother’s quality of life has actually declined and we are at constant risk of input from morons who don’t actually care about her well being any more than they care about mine.  I object to this, and I object to 14 hours of my day revolving around sitting waiting for people I do not want to see.

This was only one of the bits of interference that annoyed me this week.  The other one was from my friend, who again tried to joke about bringing cake to my house when I was miserable about Wolfe and struggling.  He apparently doesn’t know about boundaries, so I have had to explain this, in a variety of ways, ever since.

Why it would not be perfectly simple to do what a person asks in their home I do not know, but apparently he is a bit thick in this respect.

So this time I got really annoyed.

Am I the only person that can see that having to physically eject someone from my home for bringing and offering cake repeatedly when I ask him not to is a bit ridiculous? He even suggested that my objection somehow deprived my mother, and said he would do what he liked in my home.  I am not sure why this is a difficult issue for him.  If I don’t want your cake in my home, you don’t bring cake, surely?

It is not the actions of a friend to try to sabotage your life.  When people do things like this, they are actively trying to damage you.  I have explained this to him time and time again.  He refuses to understand, and apparently refused to recognise that I ought to be able to set the rules in my home.

I am constantly under attack, the last thing I need is more bullshit from someone pretending to visit me in order to damage my health via my mother.

Anyway, at the time I cried.  He thought this was hilarious, and it is unlikely that he is ever going to explain why he thinks damaging me is a good idea, since he has tried it so often.  Being alone sucks.

 

 

Continue Reading

90 year old is now a raw foodist

My mother returned from hospital dehydrated, sleepy, with a prescription for a double dose of ensure, which is a particularly horrible plastic food they like to give old people, a double dose of a surgical grade antacid to counteract the effects of an injection to dissolve her giant blood clot and a double dose of laxative.  She had been on a saline drip which had caused her right arm to basically be one huge bruise.  She lasted about two days before starting to sleep constantly again.

She has been back for about three weeks now.  Yesterday I got a call from a dietician who had been assigned to her in hospital, who had now gotten around to actually dealing with her case.  She seemed unsure if my mother was actually still alive, and referred to her as ‘being home for a short while.’  She asked when would be suitable to come around?  That is what is best for my mother, after all.

“Actually” I said “I have been kind of passively studying herbalism and wellness for most of my life, and I have put her on a high calorie alkaline diet.  She doesn’t need ensure, she doesn’t need laxatives, and she really doesn’t need the antacid, which in its description includes sore joints, confusion and a contraindication with her heart tablet.  So we really don’t need you.”

“What is she eating?”  the dietician seemed concerned.

“Raw chocolate, various grasses, a few seaweeds and some herbs.  She also gets seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.  She has put on some weight, her skin problems have improved, she is alert, and she is no longer screwing herself up to the right.  We are doing fine.  She tried some porridge the other morning, but she really prefers what I am giving  her.”

The dietician seemed dumbfounded.  “Does she have a choice?”  She tried to regain control of this dangerous situation.

Given that my mother had stopped eating altogether, this seemed a bit cheeky, so I salved her ego by prattling on about holistic treatment of dementia, and how my mother has not only surpassed the expected life expectancy by five years, but retained her capacity until very recently.  She has always been rather dismissive of my health interest.  She is really quite keen on it now that she is drinking a drink that tastes of salted caramel (today, tomorrow’s is cherry bakewell flavour) but actually contains a host of supernutrients and the optimum antioxidants possible, in addition to her seven a day.

My mother has improved by the day, to the point that memories from nine years ago that she has never acknowledged have returned, and she now asks for things and has regained her grip.  All because I made a giant vat full of supermix when I was raw.  It is the best four hundred I have ever spent.

Supermix has 80 ingredients, a mixture of Wolfe suggestions and old European remedies.  I really made it for me, since she didn’t like the idea of health food, and when I lived on it for 5 weeks my very grumpy neighbour told me it was the best I had ever looked.  Evidently I did something right.

My friend, who was also disparaging about my brief healthy period, is now building up his own supermix, and I am in the process of discarding the ‘normal’ food and trying to regain my former glow.

It just goes to show, when people ignore what you are saying, belittle your attempts to take care of yourself when you are taking care of others, and participate in their own bullshit, you really should just shut the door and get on with it, because usually, you are right.

Continue Reading

Introduction to Ina

This week, I decided to launch myself a bit more seriously, in preparation for the finished Boris pieces, which I think are the start of a more revealing art period.  Several of the sites would like me to write a regular blog, and so here is your handy introduction to Ina Disguise.

My father, also an artist, always advised me to do anything but art, since producing artwork for money is not the happiest of experiences if you like to express anything.  Therefore, his reasoning was avoid art in order to produce better art.  This led to my becoming a habitual over worker, as I took him at his word and worked every hour I could to avoid doing any artwork for many years.

Ina Disguise came about as a result of my inability to have a conversation with David Wolfe, a natural health promoter that I wanted to talk to about some academic work I was doing on eco-economics, marketing and behavioural economics.  I managed to connect with him briefly on a few websites, but he only seemed to want to talk trash and pretend to himself that he is very clever.  I am not sure why he does this, because apart from his lousy writing and a murky past, he actually is very clever.

As my family were trying to use abusing me as an excuse to rob their own mother, this came as the last straw and I became very unhappy, despite having just lost about 160lb and looking unusually hot that year.  Therefore, after spending several months fighting off the urge to eat myself into oblivion, I started sewing, which is a habit I had previously formed whilst avoiding horrible and hurtful people and recovering from failed love affairs.  If you cannot have the relationship, you might as well have a nice carpet out of your misdirected emotions.

Since he had blocked me from actually speaking to him, after it transpired that I was unusual in seeing through his many disguises online, I then wrote Best Scandal Ever in an effort to appease and inform him why I was buttering him up in the first place.  Best Romance Ever followed, and, since I am of the opinion that keeping one’s brain balanced is rather important, I spent the time that I was not writing doing a lot more stitching.

I had previously amassed art materials with every spare penny from every job I had had since being told that I had to give up everything for my parents as nobody else in the family would ever be willing to do it.  Currently two of them are sitting idle with pensions whilst I am unable to earn my own.

Anyway, within a year of putting my work out in public, GQ had got in touch, which has been an enormous encouragement, and my work has now been in Tatler several times, and last month I realised an early ambition and managed to get a spot in World of Interiors.  I cannot tell you how much the girls from these magazines have helped me at what has been a very rough and ego bashing time.

So now I work in batches, usually five or six pieces at a time, and I have released several batches over the last four years, with varying results.  Some of the pieces are more popular with other people than me, but my experiments have taught me a lot.  Scale is a great tutor, as is ensuring that you are spoilt for stock volume in raw materials.  As with writing, the ideas you would like to have only come when you have indulged the ideas you initially think are merely basic.

Wolfe taught me a lot about marketing, allowing yourself to express even the most rudimentary ideas, on the basis that most people cannot manage that and will show some interest anyway.  There is simply no point in waiting until you are good enough, because if you don’t practise and attempt things, you don’t develop the stamina, skill and confidence to get to the good stuff.  One of my pieces, Raw Sex Object, took seven years to complete, and I am not even interested in selling it because it is really a giant sampler.

Anyway, Wolfe has never understood that I am not trying to kill his career, and I cannot be bothered explaining it to him, so I have now embarked on the Boris adventure, as I perceive Boris to be a far more settled and confident person who might actually appreciate my amusing coded communication skills.  I shall lavish attention on poor Boris until I presumably focus on a very serious person, such as the Pope.  In the meantime, enjoy the artwork.

Ina

 

Continue Reading

All about Boris

The Mayor Boris Johnson in Croydon, South London, Tuesday November 22, 2011. Photo by Andrew Parsons/ Parsons Media

 

89

Interviewed him for a TV current affairs research job in the 1980s.

My notes say he was a shallow, egocentric upper class twit who I would not trust to go to the loo on his own.

Johnson is typical of the upper class boot boys of his era. Unprincipled, self serving and arrogant beyond belief. Bullington boys with enough money to buy their way out of the trouble they caused, wrecking restaurants, indecently assaulting women passers by and using threatening and abusive behaviour that would get us plebs locked up.

Don’t laugh at Boris,give him he hatred he and his list boy friends warrant.

 

OK – I have a problem with this comment on a number of levels – the first one being that neither Stanley nor Boris are genuinely upper class.  Boris is more aware of this than his sister, which is why he has perfected his presentation skills to the point that he remains likeable and relatively honest for a Tory.

Having experienced Rachel, who works hard at not understanding how the other half live, Boris is a deceptively responsible person when compared with Stanley, whose luck in life is matched only by a psychotic libido.  Yes, he has polished a public act called Boris, but no, I cannot agree that he is a standard Bullingdon boot boy, especially as he avoided actually doing anything with the club as he did not like forking out cash for destroying people’s businesses and getting pissed.

In fact, Boris is a scholarship boy, spurred on by sibling rivalry, and Stanley is the son of a farmer.  A farmer who lost his farm because Stanley’s dreams and opportunities lay elsewhere.  To suggest that they are merely upper class twits would be a gross underestimation of their social skills.  Actually, they are fairly ordinary Somerset farmers who are now doing something else.

I rather like this mischief.  The idea of having a trademark manner and hairstyle which renders you memorable, combined with the arch observation skills necessary to pull such social mobility off with aplomb, appeals to me enormously.

Currently, Boris sees his role as distraction.  As long as you are watching Boris, you aren’t watching boring old Phillip Hammond or Theresa May.  Who remembers a single thing Hammond did as foreign secretary?  Exactly.  He is no great shakes as a chancellor either, but they are all very rich.

Boris is guilty of flippancy and he is guilty of not taking politics terribly seriously, but this is why he presents a good antidote to the massively grim notion of Conservative rule.  He is also providing himself with sufficiently great publicity never to have to worry about selling a book.  If he decided not to bother going to work tomorrow, I have no doubt that he would not want for money.

This is not to say that Boris is always nice.  Plainly this is not so, but again who really wants to look much further than the entertaining front?  Stanley is very good at this wall of distraction too, which makes it easy for them to deceive when necessary.

To conclude, insulting someone on the basis of class is snobbery, whether you are looking up or down.  One chooses one’s persona to a great degree, exemplified by my being considerably posher than my siblings.  This sounds like I am acting, especially as I went to a horrid school and my siblings all went private.  I can tell you that it is not an act at all, I, like Boris spent two years from ten to twelve avariciously reading Wodehouse.  It is an imprint which does not leave you. (I can tell you that it is no advantage at all when you live in Glasgow and have an infamous leader from Red Clydeside as an ancestor)

Boris’s carpet is in the final stages, but I would like to present it with the first of the furniture collection, Bordello Rhetoric, as they represent both Boris and Al.  As ever, these are made as gifts, but should Boris not wish to pick up his presents, they will be put out for sale in due course.  Once I have the shoes and the furniture complete, I will commence work on Lucifer Ogilvie.

Continue Reading

The most expensive handbags in the world

1001 nights diamond purse

  1. Mouawad’s 1001 nights Diamond purse $3.8 million

I rather like this one, it at least has an interesting shape and took 8800 hours to make.  I am not up to spending that amount of time on one piece quite yet.  It is gold, encrusted with several thousand diamonds.

Lieber Precious Rose Bag

2. Lieber Precious Rose bag $92,000

This one at least has a great shape and structure. Again with a couple of thousand precious stones, if you like pink I am sure it is great, and will have taken a long time to make.

 

Chanel Diamond Forever

3. Chanel Diamond Forever $261,000

This is a tedious bag, for tedious people who want to wear that all-important logo.  Unimaginative and a waste of a fine crocodile.

Hermes Birkin by Tanaka

4. Hermes Birkin by Ginza Tanaka $1.9 million

This is a beauty and is also very practical.  Less tasteless than the Chanel, and yet still having that all important bling.

LV tribute patchwork bag

5. LV Tribute patchwork bag $42,000

This looks as if it is begging to be a counterfeit bag that you can snap up in poundstretcher. Beyonce apparently got suckered into actually buying it.  I think Beyonce should be asking me to make one for her. At least there would only be one if she did.

6. Urban Satchel Louis Vuitton $150,000

Seriously, next time you clean out your handbag, just get some E6000 and stick the contents to the outside of the bag.

Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile handbag

7. Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile handbag $38,000

This bag is so ugly that I am not sure I have words. If you actually like this, please send me all your money so that I can save you from yourself.  Try a market stall in the average small town and you will find nicer bags.

This is a small selection of the hundreds of bags that cost about the same as a house in the UK. As you can see, money does not buy taste.

Continue Reading

Looking for Work

 

Every so often I wonder if I am managing, and I look for additional work.  Tonight, since my mother has at last returned from hospital, I looked for work from home.

I have a fair amount of experience working from home, not just because of my lack of interest in social jostling.  I worked from home for some time as my parents illnesses progressed, and so I have an unusual level of insight when it comes to work from home jobs.

I have watched carefully over the years, as home working went from quirk to fad to increasingly preferred option, and I see that I am not the only person who appreciates the lack of commute and lack of conversation involved in working from home.

Glassdoor is a good site to look at for reviews of home working options, as is the student room in the UK.  You will tend to find the reviews via your search for the company you intend to work for on Google.  I recommend this before you even think about applying for that underpaid source of vital income online.

People per hour has improved enormously since its previous incarnation, and Odesk has now become Upwork.  As long as you are willing to put in the extra hours on the pitching processes, these are invaluable if you need to supplement your dwindling income.

Homepage

Clickworker is also very useful and can generate you income from all your gadgets if you are so inclined.  There are a few sites that do similar hit based work, such as Mechanical Turk if you can be bothered going through the irritating process of registering for American tax.

Careers

Lionbridge is a good direct employer, and an increasing number of successful direct employment models are now available to you if you feel working from home is for you.

I have worked for about five or six different online employers over the years, and with the exception of Ipsos Mori, they have been very good. To be fair to Ipsos Mori, they do try to create a good opportunity, but as with so many companies, internal problems make them rather miserable to work for, reflected in their poor employee reviews.  I cannot emphasise the importance of checking before you apply for information from ex employees enough.

So, yesterday JT Coxx advertised a free seminar on my Facebook timeline.  The enticing advertisement said that there were too few female motivational speakers, and naturally my interest was piqued, being something of a motivational speaking connoisseur.  I duly checked the reviews, to find that JT Coxx is considered worldwide to be an abrasive, arrogant scammer who creates free seminars to con people out of hundreds and thousands of dollars.  This theme seemed familiar, given the descriptions I had previously been given of the boiler room tactics employed by David Wolfe. They are cut from similar cloth, being in the voice-of-yesteryear Tony Robbins punch the air market.

Sadly, I decided not to bother with the free seminar from JT Coxx.  The quality just wasn’t up to much, and I cannot afford to squander my time and money on Wolfe. So, my conclusion tonight, when reviewing the working from home, hiding from the world options, was

Why am I looking to write blog posts and copy for other people for button money, when I should be developing my online presence?

Which in itself, of course is a motivational statement – why be a follower when you can be a leader?  The pay may not emerge for some time, if ever, but far better to position yourself as a predator rather than prey, whether you are grazing stock, in the form of an employee, or prey in the form of the horror of being an actual customer!

So, there hangs the crux of the matter. Rather than concentrating on the Zig Ziglar school of not being a moaner, don’t put yourself in the position of having something to moan about – avoid irritants where possible.  Separate yourself from the idea of being an employee, and instead strategise ways of freeing yourself from the whole paradigm.  If you must be employed – seek out miserable jobs to remind yourself why you are looking elsewhere for inspiration.  That is the key to being a great employee after all, playing a role that you despise as well as you possibly can under difficult circumstances.

I think in order to progress, I will release the existing work on audible and work on hubpages.  The carpet is needing my attention once I have my mother in a more stable state of health.  Thereafter I will keep a closer look at the world of employment, to remind myself why I really need to get a move on to avoid it.

 

Continue Reading

Writing Development

As someone who has always been told that I tell a good story, it is one of the few things that I am fairly confident about.  I am wildly undisciplined, I rarely redraft before publishing, and as a result I have to go back and read things I have put out months and years later.

I have found, however, that the blog has been very helpful in building this confidence, and in forming a writing habit.  Having said this, I took a look at Reality Check this evening, and was horrified that emotional topics put me in a frenzied panic which renders me almost unreadable.  Mandatory Equality, on the other hand, is a fun read which took little time to make a complicated point.

I have not achieved very much over the last 4 years or so, apart from 11 books, 3 art collections and the beginnings of two computer games.  I am very glad that I have not achieved very much.

Why?  Having read Reality Check, a particularly personal story which is very patchy and a severely abbreviated history of the last twenty years of family life – I have stuck rather too closely to the ‘write what you know’ hypothesis and was too horrified to do the story justice.  When I think about the ideas I have for the forthcoming Lucifer Ogilivie in comparison, I am having far more elegant and interesting ideas now BECAUSE I AM WILLING TO GIVE MYSELF THE TIME TO THINK IT THROUGH.

This is the problem for anyone embarking on a career of self expression.  It takes time to take yourself seriously enough to determine a good direction to go in. Rushing it just ends up with a sub-standard product.  Self expression requires self development, and that takes dedication and selfishness.  Otherwise you might as well consign yourself to a lifetime of mediocrity.

So, if you want to write, first take yourself seriously enough to take your time over it.  Edit at least once, and give yourself space to move on and then look back.  Don’t market like mad too quickly, because chances are your next work will be a development on the last.  As with artwork, your crap idea will develop with time into what you really should have done in the first place, so you need to be willing to make mistakes and admit to them.

This is harder than it sounds – and it takes failure to humble yourself to your craft.  I read other self-published work all the time that will never get anywhere without an editor.  Again, a matter of taking yourself seriously enough to put the time, work and possibly money into.

For example, I took a look at the art carpets available online – I am almost ready to go to market as a carpet maker after twenty years of making, and sometimes not making, but thinking about, carpets – this is because I know what direction my carpet paintings are to go in, because my idea was always to be the Tiffany, or the Faberge of carpet makers.  Carpet making is my thing, but it is not so great that I want to be grafting away at putting hundreds out.  Far better to perfect the art and put out ten good ones.

Several mainstream art sites that I looked at last night had people that should not have bothered marketing their carpets at all, in much the same way that many books being pumped out are not ready.

You do have to balance this, however with what you want to write – a writer that wants to market a product will have the capacity for increased volume of less intense work, such as David Wolfe.  A writer trying to create a cult like following willing to pay for more expensive retreats, such as Gabriel Cousins will, however need to put more time and thought into creating an ethos.  Likewise Jilly Cooper, who must write at a fearsome pace to put out work that badly constructed, needs less preparation than Chekhov.

So, to conclude – to write well, decide who you are and then write badly.  As Aristotle says, if you wish to acquire a virtue, first pretend to have it, and eventually you will.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 20