How can you start a career in writing?

Finding a job and starting your career in any industry is extremely difficult, especially when it comes to the sphere of writing. Due to this seemingly impossible sector to break into, I feel that I should give you an overview of what self-publishing has done for me in terms of my employability.

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Finding a job and starting your career in any industry is extremely difficult, especially when it comes to the sphere of writing. Due to this seemingly impossible sector to break into, I feel that I should give you an overview of what self-publishing has done for me in terms of my employability.

Please see my new post How can I start a career in writing? and read about my view on recruitment, the writing sector and how avid writers can build up their writing experience with the assistance of self-publishing.

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Something that I have learned from writing and self-publishing is that indie authors stick together – we help each other and as a growing and global community, it’s great to be a part of it. So, I want to help my fellow writers out by spreading my story; which has only just begun. I haven’t achieved everything I want to achieve, I only have just over three years of experience, but I feel I’ve come a long way in those three years, on a personal and professional level.

Feel free to find out more about me by looking through my blog:

About T. J. Blake

Books by T. J. Blake

Why did I choose to self-publish?

UK Author T. J. Blake Releases New Psychological Thriller, Deception: A Love of Lies

Recommended TV Programme: Bates Motel

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but TV at the moment just isn’t all that great. Although many of us have Sky, Virgin and Netflix, we still struggle to find good TV programmes; well, I do anyway. 

With Game of Thrones back tomorrow (hallelujah!) it instantly improves the standards of TV at the moment, but that’s not to say all TV is bad. 

There is one TV programme that I have been watching since it first began back in 2013 and that’s Bates Motel. As you have probably guessed, it’s based around the characters in Robert Bloch’s novel and Alfred Hitchcok’s 1960 movie Psycho. The series is a prequel to the film. 

I knew just from seeing this advertised that it would either be a great watch or a cheesy disaster. Fortunately, it’s not the latter.  This modern recreation of Bates Motel is really fascinating. It’s enticing, unpredictable, eery and believable, due to the great actors and actresses starring. 

For me, Freddie Highmore (yes, the guy who was Charlie in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) who plays Norman Bates is the key performer in Bates. His acting is brilliant. He has the ability to play an innocent yet disturbing eighteen year old so well that you can see how he feels, know exactly what he’s thinking and even though he’s psychotic, you can’t help but feel sorry for him. 

I cant recommend this enough. If you’re someone who wants a new programme to get into, Bates is one you need to start! 

Catching up with T. J. Blake – latest articles and creative pieces

Sorry that I’ve been a neglectful blogger recently, but I’ve had a busy few weeks. After bagging myself a new job (which I start on Monday – woop!), I’ve been finishing up with my then current (now former) employer, editing my next thriller DECEPTION, and of course, been preparing for Monday.

Anyway, to the point of this speedy post, I thought I would just give you the titles and links to my latest articles and creative pieces; which I’ve added to my blog T. J. Blake #Author the past few months.

So, below are my latest blog posts, articles and general writing material.

About me

Why did I choose to self-publish?

Articles

How has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?

Overuse of the exclamation mark: You’re having a laugh!!!! A little strict?!!

Creative Writing

Flash Fiction

Poem Attempts

Short Story Nightmare

Illusory Waters

 

Please have a read of my latest material. Feel free to comment with your opinion, and please do share 🙂

Why did I choose to self-publish?

It’s been three years (on the 28th of March) since I self-published my first novel Endurance.  I remember working on it whilst at university, and I most of all remember having doubts about self-publishing Endurance – mostly because there was a niggling fear of what people would say or think about me for doing it.

I personally love the freedom of self-publishing, even though it does require some more work – who am I kidding, some? A LOT more work.

I believe new writers should try their luck with self-publishing; mainly to engage with readers, create a following and allow people to review your work and help adapt you as a writer. From my experience, encouraging people to read your stories is the key part to self-publishing; even if you give them the book for free

Covering: What are the benefits of self-publishing? & Self-Publishing on Createspace

Source: Why did I choose to self-publish?

How time flies – why did I choose to self-publish?

How time flies – why did I choose to self-publish?
Time. It’s a funny thing. We have so much of it, but we still don’t always take advantage of it.
This blog post is just a quick post about why I chose to self-publish and how it’s changed me.

It’s been three years (on the 28th of March) since I self-published my first novel Endurance

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I remember working on it whilst at university, and I most of all remember having doubts about self-publishing Endurance – mostly because there was a niggling fear of what people would say or think about me for doing it. Once I adapted a hardness and carelessness for what people would say about me, my decision was made. The decision though even after that wasn’t simple, because then I needed to consider whether to self-publish Endurance after an edit, or to finish Endurance and then just see if I could get the story published.

However, when I thought about it, I knew that would be a challenge for anyone, let alone a nineteen year old university student. In the end, I thought ‘you know what? fuck it, I’m going to give it a go’ and decided to start my self-publishing career as T. J. Blake.
‘Why?’ I here you ask; because firstly, I could, but secondly, I wanted to see what people thought of my writing. I had a slight idea of what people thought of my work, because of my Creative Writing and English Language studies, but I wanted to know what more people thought; more than my family or my peers. This is exactly what self-publishing has done for me, it’s given me a great amount of experience, a huge boost in confidence and now I’m ready to self-publish more.

So here I am, nearly three years later with three books self-published, and a fourth & fifth in the works, I’m very happy with my writing progress.

Having self-published two out of three books from The Endurance Series (Endurance Endurance: Apocalypse) and standalone novel The Author, I can proudly say that I am looking forward to self-publishing my fourth novel DECEPTION, the finale of The Endurance Series (Endurance 3) and the many more books and book series to follow.

If you want to find out more about my books, then feel free to continue to ‘Books by T. J. Blake‘ or continue to my Amazon author page or even my Goodreads author page.

Endurance: Apocalypse - Out Now!                                          the-author-front-cover2

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Overuse of the exclamation mark: You’re having a laugh!!!! A little strict?!!

I’m sure you’ve heard today in the news – about the implemented changes to the use of the exclamation mark for primary school children. The newly introduced educational exclamation law means that for pupils across England, only phrases starting with “what” or “how” merit an exclamation mark.

I think that it’s always good to educate children on punctuation – it moulds our language and creates meaning. Without punctuation, people write extremely comical yet disturbing sentences.

“Let’s eat Mum!” & “Let’s eat, Mum!”

“I live for cooking my family and my dog” & “I live for cooking, my family, and my dog”

Unless you want to sound like a disturbing family orientated carnivore, knowing how to use punctuation is key!!! (Sorry!)

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I support punctuation education, but I don’t quite understand the specific focus on the exclamation mark. Of course, there needs to be limited use of exclamation marks and even question marks when it matters most – two examples being in education or professional  writing, such as copywriting. People alter their writing and even their speech in certain situations, and I believe that for children it is the same; they will accommodate their writing when at school compared to when writing on say, social media, text or messenger. But even if they don’t, then it is up to the teacher to educate them.

Anyway, I thought this was interesting and definitely has much more needed to be said on the matter.

My latest article ‘How has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?‘ I believe has a great cohesion with this subject, so have a read of that too!

Also, this news is all over the Internet, have a read about the new exclamation mark rules on the BBC and The Guardian.

BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03lrtwd

The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/education/shortcuts/2016/mar/07/new-exclamation-mark-rules-proof-the-government-wants-to-penalise-enthusiasm

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/children-use-exclamation-marks-department-education

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and share this post!

Creative Writing: Illusory Waters

Afternoon everyone.

I thought I would let you all know that I have now added another Creative Writing piece to my sparkly new Creative Writing page. This new entry is a short story of mine, which was previously called The Metaphorical Truth, now called Illusory Waters.
I changed the name simply because Illusory Waters is much more appropriate, and I think it sounds much better!

If you have a spare five minutes, then please, have a read of my new short story Illusory Waters.

Latest article: ‘How has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?’

In my latest articleHow has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?‘ I cover a number of topics; technology, smartphones, social media, instant messaging, speech and writing. The article primarily focuses on technology’s impact on our written and spoken communication; therefore looking at how the internet, various technological devices, texting and instant messaging has impacted our communicative approach.

Prescriptivist John Humphreys is renowned for his views on language. Over the years, he has spoken about language to the Daily Mail – in his discussion on the topic of texting, he argued, “They are destroying it: pillaging our punctuation; savaging our sentences; raping our vocabulary. And they must be stopped.”  (Humphrey, 2007).

Do you agree with Mr Humphreys? Continue to my article, see my opinion and feel free to express your own.

Further amendments to my blog

What have I been doing with all of my Saturday morning? Well I’m feeling a bit ill, so I thought why not stay in and do some work on my blog; before knuckling down to write some more of DECEPTION.  

So, what have I done? Well, I came across a piece of work which I wrote in my first year of university. At the time I think I received a 2:1, but reading back I’m not sure how I got such a good mark!
Anyway, I went through it, made a couple of changes and now it’s available to read on my blog as an article. This brings me onto my first change to the blog, my new page – the’Articles‘ page – where I can now upload articles I write or find lurking within my computer. You’re probably wondering what my article is about? It’s about how technological development has impacted our language. The article covers a basic overview of how technology has adapted, as well as looking into how it has changed people’s writing and speaking capabilities, or has it? – How has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?

I’ve also created a ‘Creative Writing‘ page, which basically merges most of my creative pieces together. These pieces currently include my Flash Fiction, ‘Poem Attempts’ and Short Story Nightmare.
On this Creative Writing page, I have added something pretty nifty. Everyone loves a poll (I know I certainly do) and when we see one on a website, it’s hard not to vote, right? This is why I have created a poll for my Creative Writing page. By going to this page and scrolling to the bottom, you can find the poll and place a vote!
It’s a basic question, it’s not political and it isn’t going to impact anyone’s life, but I would like to know which of my Creative Writing pieces you enjoyed most.

Those are my two major changes to the T. J. Blake #Author blog, feel free to have a nose!