Friday Fiction: I’m Back… with a New Podcast

Thanks for your patience with me while I worked out how to integrate my fiction news and updates with my new schedule. It's all worked through and almost set up.

So the fiction posts are resuming in a new format–as a podcast. “Life Lessons from Fiction: A Creativist Podcast.”

Here's the first audio, in which I explain what to expect and there's a transcript below.


Life Lessons from Fiction: A Creativist View 1: Introduction

Hello, welcome to the blog. I am back and welcome to this whole new way of doing things. I'm going to be working in audio in future on the fiction slot, here every Friday in Life Lessons from Fiction: A Creativist View.

Yeah. So what's all this about? 

Lots to talk about really in just the title of this new podcast and also what I intend it to do, over the coming weeks and months–and maybe even years. I'm not sure as I start out here exactly how it's going to shape up. I never do at the start of a creative project, but I do know that I want to work more in audio. 

I'm finding that when I have finished writing my fiction for the day (which is usually about 2000 words) that the idea of turning around and doing more typing is… well, it's actually stopping me. It's coming between me and my ability to communicate with you.

So I have decided to turn to audio. I think it will offer us both a better experience.

Life Lessons from Fiction

What is the reason that I do fiction at all? I mean, I love writing poetry and poetry's so much easier in the sense that you can start and finish pretty quickly. There's not a long gap between an idea for a poem coming to me and then the genesis of it and then the editing of it, and then the putting it out.

Sometimes it can all even happen in one day. Not all that often, but it can do.

Novels are completely different. For me, anyway. I take a long time to write my novels. They are multi-layered, they are multi-generational, they are historical, so there's lots of research to do and I can get lost sometimes in the research, for sure.

Aalso they take a long time to just come together in my mind. So, yeah, why do it? It's a lot of work.

Well, first of all, I love it, obviously. But why do I love it?

I've been thinking a lot about that during this blog break. I even considered, do I even want to continue writing fiction? Because I have been writing away all this time but I haven't actually published a novel for seven years.

Seven years. That's a very long time. It's a shocking length of time to me, actually, when I look at it, because I think of myself very much as a novelist, and yet I'm not putting out novels.

Yes, I have been very busy with other things, but I never think busy is an excuse for anything. You know, we have 24 hours a day. We spend some of them asleep, and we spend our working hours doing our work. It's not about busy, it's about priorities.

It's about what you put first. And certainly for the last seven years, I have put the Alliance of Independent Authors first, and then I have fitted my writing in around that. At this stage, I'm happy to say we have a fantastic team at the Alliance of Independent Authors, and I am able to do my work there without giving it so much time.

So I have actually been working hard on fiction in the background with monthly pieces going out to my patrons. Chapters and samples of what's going on, but not a whole lot about it anywhere else. And so I wanted to start talking about fiction again and start engaging with fiction again.

And I wanted to begin with this podcast and think about why do I do this in the first place and what do I want to talk about every week when I turn up to talk to you?

The Power of Story

And I realize that the reason I love fiction, love writing it and of course love reading it–I'm an avid fiction reader–and the reason I like to write and read fiction is obviously story. But really, what story does for us. 

It's just the most incredible aspect of human connection, I think. Story is everywhere. It's not just between the covers of a novel, but of course the novel brings a story to a fine art, and that's my interest.

It's the way in which fiction can create within us empathy for other people's stories. And the way in which story can teach us so much about our own lives and how to live well.

I agree so much with Camus who said that if it wasn't for stories, civilization would've destroyed itself by now.

I'm concerned about the stories that we're telling ourselves in everyday life. I'm really concerned about the mainstream media, and its enormous negative headlines every day of the week. As I was coming in here to record this morning, I saw it had, ” Winter of Discontent” as today's headline.

And I think that's just crazy actually.

Creativist View

I'm really interested in different kinds of stories and that's where the creativist bit of this podcast comes in. Creativism is about applying the creative principles and practices that I use when I'm writing a novel or writing poem, taking those very same processes, practices, principles, and applying them to life.

That's what my novels are about. They are about people who come round to understanding that the creative spirit is moving through everything we do, that we are often disconnected from that spirit, and that when we connect to it, life unfolds in a much easier way for us and becomes a little bit magic. That's the only way I can describe it. 

So my novels who have characters who live in this creativist way, and they have characters who don't and who are blocked, resistant, you know, going through that thing that we all go through. What the human mind goes through all the time. 

The power of story to unlock those blocks and allow us to flow and to move forward: that's what I'm interested in, in my fiction, and that's what I'm going to be talking about in this podcast.

So it's very much a podcast for readers of my work and a podcast for people who are interested in the concept of creativism, the principles of creativism, and in what it means to live a creative life, to bring those principles to money, relationships, food, everything.

Absolutely everything. 

Life Lessons from Fiction, A Creativist View

That's what it's called. Every Friday, I'll take different theme arising from either the work that I'm doing at the moment or one of my published books and unfold that theme, from a creativist viewpoint. 

And I'm really hoping you'll get involved.

I'd love to feature you in the podcast, in some way. I haven't quite thought that part through yet. Really open to suggestions.

And I'm really happy to be here in this way, each Friday, and look forward to sharing this time with you where we talk about life lessons from fiction and creativism.

Thanks for listening and bye for now.