Man vs Bookshelf: Am I Proud?

This entry is part 55 of 62 in the series Man vs Bookshelf

On Saturday I walked into town and gave a load of the books I’d finished reading to Cancer Research.

It was a relief to get rid of them. They’d been cluttering the floor by my desk, and handing them over was a weight off my shoulder because I had them in a bag on my shoulder and I thought it was about to break. But, as it turns out, there is a downside.

In that bag, there were four books I’ve yet to review. I didn’t even consider this at the time but when I finally finished my blog for Bazaar of Bad Dreams yesterday, (6th of July, to you), and looked at the next book scheduled I realised – I’ve nothing to say about Screenwriting.

A glance down my list revealed another book that would be difficult to write about – Instant Entrepreneur, and there are a couple more that will be tough, but doable.

There are a few upcoming reviews that I do remember well enough to write, but these are the books I enjoyed, so I haven’t thrown them away.

Of course, that would always be the way it goes.

This all coincides with a question that has been tossed to me like a hot potato recently.

Am I proud of my blogs?

Coming off of my holiday at the beginning of May, I talked about how the quality of my blogs had been low. Since the new year, my productivity had nosedived and I was struggling to get out blogs worth reading.

After my holiday, this was fixed, and I fired out a few blogs I was certainly proud of.

Now, only three months later, I feel as though the strength of my blogs may have gone off a cliff again.

There are a number of reasons for this. I’ve been busy, recently. My other half and I are planning to move house and that means dealing with estate agents and solicitors and viewings and whatever else.

Plus there have been social events. The wedding reception of my colleague, my own birthday. All of which constricts the time in which I am able to write.

There are more reasons. I seem to have hit a spate of books I have not really enjoyed, and so have little to say about.

This was not so for Bazaar of Bad Dreams, which was good, but I knew that would be long, so I phoned it in.

I’ve been editing my next novel, and it’s taking longer than I had hoped. I’m falling behind and starting to panic I won’t get it out this year, which would be a disaster.

So the blog is just one more thing and, when I don’t enjoy the books, the blogs feel like too much.

Why the epiphany?

The reason questions of pride came up is because I am submitting my novel released last year, Poor Choices, to agents.

The book, I actually am proud of, but I mention my blog in the submission and that made me wonder if it’s something I actually want people to look at.

Because it should be. I’m putting it out in the world and it’s not just for writing practice.

I considered them looking at my last few blogs and turning from me because of that,

It shouldn’t have taken the threat of agents looking at my site to make me consider if my output is any good though. I should have been thinking about it anyway.

But I wasn’t, and now I am.

A new way forward

I think it’s time for a change of approach. I use Remember the Milk for my to-do lists and I have all the blogs I have to write in there, plus all the chapters I have to edit.

Problem is, I put one of each a day, then when i can’t do it, I postpone, and postpone, and postpone, until I have forty things to do in a day and I start rushing through it to get it out. 

No more. I’m sick of putting crap out there because I want it done quickly, and I’m afraid of releasing a book that isn’t right because I’m not putting the proper focus on editing. 

So, I’ve put all my editing and blogging to dos into a new list, with no due dates. From now on, I’ll spend as much time as I can writing, but I won’t put dates on when these items need to be finished. 

This, I think, will improve the quality of the work, and reduce the chances of me suffering a stress induced heart attack. 

That’s the hope, anyway. 

And the blogs waiting?

I’ve got a fair few blogs waiting. 

That’s fine. Most of these I will review as planned.

But, there are two exceptions.

Screenwriting, and Instant Entrepreneur.

I looked at these two books and thought – I can’t review them. Can’t write two blogs for them when I have less than a hundred words to say about them, combined.

So, rather than waste your time with two separate blogs, I’m going write a 100 word combined review here.

Won’t that be fun?

For people with zero knowledge of starting a business, and who have never even heard of a screenplay, let alone written one, but would like to, these books are for you. They are written at the absolute top level, and while they do contain some interesting insight most of it – especially in “Instant” – is stuff you will already know, or would be able to work out using common sense. You will not struggle to read these books, but nor will you gain anything from them, and for people looking to start a business or write a screenplay, I would fast point them elsewhere for reading material. 

Sum up

There you have it. This week’s reviews and more promises that things are going to be better. 

You’ve heard it all before though, right?

Well, I can but try. 

Next Time

Next up we have a book I have read twice in the last couple of years and loved both times. 

In fact, it was the inspiration for the aforementioned Poor Choices, although I did deviate somewhat from my original plans. 

The book is the humorous family drama, A Spot of Bother, by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime author, Mark Haddon. 

See you for that. 

Series Navigation<< Man vs Bookshelf: The Bazaar of Bad DreamsMan vs Bookshelf: The Black Angel >>
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International worst selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). Recently he is taking the internet by storm with his Man vs Bookshelf Challenge where he aims to read the 210 books on his bookshelf in 210 weeks, reviewing them on his blog and Goodreads along the way. He is also publishing books on Amazon, his most recent being the family suspense novel, Poor Choices, which you can find here.

Posted by Mark Ayre

International worst selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). Recently he is taking the internet by storm with his Man vs Bookshelf Challenge where he aims to read the 210 books on his bookshelf in 210 weeks, reviewing them on his blog and Goodreads along the way. He is also publishing books on Amazon, his most recent being the family suspense novel, Poor Choices, which you can find here.

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