I will literally make a mix CD for anyone that sends me their postal address. Patreon supporters are preferred, of course, because postal costs are insane. But I’ve done this for my Twitter friends in the past. I even sent them Christmas cards. So I’d gladly send music to a music lover anywhere the world over. I don’t expect you to take me up on this offer but it is genuine. The sad truth though is that most people don’t trust each other enough to disclose their postal address. Nor should they. I take my privacy and personal safety very seriously and expect others to do the same. I’ve had […]
I love Anne Lamott. Bird By Bird is one of my favourite books on writing. She even inspired me to write a letter to God once — which was no mean feat for an atheist with writer’s block. My favourite quote by her is this one: “I thought the secret of life was obvious: be here now, love as if your whole life depended on it, find your life’s work, and try to get hold of a giant panda.”
I could have written this but you did! I love when people say that. I also get a lot of comments like “You read my mind” “Get out of my head” or “Now I don’t have to write it.” It’s the loveliest compliment but always strikes me as a little weird — not least because I’ve a warped imagination. I imagine a world in which people steal each other’s thoughts and write them down. I know exactly what people mean, so I promise that I’m not being mean when I say this. All people really mean is I agree with you. But any time you read something and think “I could have […]
If I was immortal I’d spend most of my time drinking tea and writing. Also reading books. What else is there? People say that there’s more to life. That you should leave the house. That you should go outside and enjoy the sunshine. That you should meet other people and talk to them. Anyone who says stuff like this is not to be trusted. My natural habitat would be a library where you’re allowed to drink tea and eat flapjacks so long as you don’t get anything on the books. Here’s to spending all your time drinking tea and writing. I’ll put the kettle on.
You spend your time on Twitter snarking at things that you’ve read online? It sounds to me like you’ve totally got the hang of Twitter. You’ve nothing to worry about. There’s not much more to figure out. You can post pictures of cats. You can yell at celebrities if you get bored. You can even pretend to be a celebrity yourself. Follow me on Twitter and come say hi @jamesgarside_
If you join Twitter just follow me and say hi. I’m happy to help you with Twitter. If a writer follows me and says “hello I read your thing” (or words to that effect) I’ll pretty much always follow them back. Any sort of readerly, writerly, creative person is welcome so long as they’re reasonably funny or friendly. I draw the line at people who look like they were sent back from the future to kill me but that’s about it. Every writer should be on Twitter. As for Donald Trump? Yeah. Some people should not be allowed on Twitter. Some people shouldn’t even have access to a phone, never […]
Twitter lists are my jam. Or at least they used to be. For the longest time they were my secret weapon. They’re infinitely useful if you want to filter or sort your followers. In recent years Twitter has hidden the feature in the UX equivalent of granny’s attic. I don’t know why but there’s definitely been a shift in how people react to being added to a Twitter list. I’ve received threatening messages from absolute nutcases for adding them to a perfectly harmless and legit Twitter list. Some people even state proudly on their profiles that they’ll unfollow anyone who adds them to a list. Maybe it’s because all the […]
You can only pin one tweet at a time. There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere. Either that or I spend way too much time on Twitter. I usually pin to the top one hero tweet — something funny, relevant, with a nice image and a link or call to action — for the month. At the moment mine’s a link to my Patreon page with a joke about adopting a writer.
I can’t believe that it’s October already. I’ve been on the Medium Partner Program since April so the end of September marked, for me, six months of writerly graft. That’s how long it took for me to earn $100 per month for the first time on Medium but I did it. It’s not much. But it’s more than I’ve earnt from my writing before. I decided to go back and reply to as many people as I could who had commented on my work. At least the ones who weren’t being mean about it. Maybe skipping a few who sounded like they’d been sent back in time from the future […]
You are infinitely wise. That’s a great idea! Thank you for the feedback. I’m aware that I say things like this a lot — and that I could be replaced by a shell script at this point — but I do mean it. I’m delighted that you read my work. And glad when someone cares enough to give me suggestions on how to make it better. Especially when they’re right. Usually pieces turn out the way they turn out just because they get abandoned. Published. I meant to say they get published. Yes.
It must be like shooting fish in a barrel. These are a handful of actual titles: Wow, I made more than $1000 in a single month again on Medium!Someone made $4,400 from one story on Medium. Let this motivate you!Someone made $6,700 from one story on Medium. Let this motivate you!How to Make $200 in a Single Week on MediumHow to Make $800 in a Single Month on MediumHoly cow, I made $700 in three weeks on Medium!Holy cow, I made almost $300 in one week on Medium!How to Make $600 in Three Weeks on MediumHow to Make $400 in Two Weeks on MediumSomeone earned $19,000 on Medium last month. Let this […]
Why would anyone try to get over losing their job by using the same coping strategies that they’d use for a breakup? It’s a completely different type of relationship. Work pays you to be there. Work pays you to work. Otherwise it wouldn’t be work. Work doesn’t love you unconditionally. Work doesn’t care about you. Work doesn’t hold your hand. Work doesn’t try to make you laugh. Work doesn’t try to laugh at your bad jokes. Work doesn’t long for you. Work doesn’t want to know about your day. Work doesn’t kiss you or want to be kissed by you. Work doesn’t make love with you. Work doesn’t give you […]
Music is everything. I fervently believe in the power of music. Anyone who loves music I consider a friend. Regardless of what music they like. It means that they have a certain kind of soul. Or music in their heart. Or any other cliche. All I mean to say is that if you love music then you’re my kind of person. I mean that in a good way.
Should you focus on quality or quantity? Yes. Yes you should. Pick one. Both lead to the same place eventually. If you get it right the first time then the next time will be easier. But if you throw enough shit against the wall then eventually some of it will stick. Just don’t try to focus on quality and quantity at the same time. At least not to begin with. That way lies madness, procrastination, and a third thing that I can’t think of because I have writer’s block and can’t be bothered to google for the answer.
‘Do the work’ is the ultimate lifehack. Margaret Atwood is very fond of quoting Dame Joan Sutherland, the celebrated Australian soprano, on this. When an interviewer asked Sutherland to what she attributed her success she said: “Bloody hard work, duckie!” No shortcut beats blood, sweat, and tears. If you take a shortcut you learn nothing. Keep your head down. Do the work. Learn from your mistakes. Get better. That’s what counts. I say this as a slacker. I say this as someone who wants people to think that they’re incredibly lazy. I can’t be bothered to take an easy way out if it takes longer in the long run. It’s […]
Every response is its own story. When you leave a comment on someone’s work on Medium it announces that “Every response is its own story.” In a funny way that’s actually a good way to look at the issue of whether or not to tell your stories and live your truth. It takes a particular kind of bravery to write under your own name. And it takes another form of bravery to write under any sort of pseudonym, assumed name, or pen name. But it also takes a special kind of bravery to write at all, to speak up at all, to give voice to what is in you to say. They always say the […]