Look – I got a ROAR courtesy of Genosse Haddock .  I was touched and pleased, I mean no-one expects a puse lion do they?!.  No matter how one might talk of the integrity of not writing for others and staying true to what I’m here for it is always very moving to know that there are others who read what I have written whether or not they agree with what I say. I believe the convention is to give 3 tips on writing from one’s own perspective and then to nominate 3 other writers of note that deserve such an award.  The latter is a relatively simple affair in all but narrowing down to just 3, I have been blessed to find many writers out there with unique styles and perspectives.  The former is a little more presumptuous I cannot tell others how to write only that they should do so.  In my view the internet has become the potential to realise Walther Benjamin’s vision of the democratisation of the media that he originally perceived for film.  There will always be dross but that pervades any media and is of course a very subjective concept.  The fact is that now more than ever this medium is, as has been pointed out by Sister Spikey Mace, the Fourth Estate whether one chooses to see oneself more as the Fifth Column or not. The hegemony of the modern media and politics is so all-pervasive that it is attempting to be entirely prescriptive of public opinion rather than in any way representative of it. This is something that we few here have the chance to show, if our voices reache another one then the job has been worthwhile. “Write it damn you, what else are you good for?”– James Joyce.

  • 1. Write what you want to write and not what you feel will appeal to others.  If you are true to yourself you will not worry about the approval of others and this would be an added bonus should it come.  In the words of WH Auden who knew a bit about writing. “Some writers confuse authenticity which they should always strive for with originality which they shouldn’t bother about.
  • 2. Write about something you are interested in, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know a great deal about it provided you are willing to learn.  You may find your opinions tested and this is the only way for any of us to ascertain whether what we believe is correct.
  • 3. Keep writing, if you are writing for yourself and what you believe in then at the very least what you leave behind is a monologue of personal progression.  However it may end up being something of great note such of still much missed friend and comrade the great Cass Brown.

As regards those I have come across and read and even to an extent admire there are many but a core of whom I would regularly be interested in reading. Of those 3 I believe the following would be worthy of note in addition to my urging readers to look at the many others on the list who turn out pieces of merit day after day andAs for my fellow scribes I have cogitated long and hard, because one is always going to offend someone! I have decided to go for my 3 on the grounds of their content alone and not simply because they are mates. Ok they are mates but that’s not the point I have other mates who write too!

  • 1. Rayts of The Phillipines – Rayts offers a really quite aesthetically touching blog from the Eastern regions. The quality of her photography is easy to see and she has that eye that can make an interesting subject out of the mundane. It is a gift and as someone who doesn’t have that gift I have learnt to appreciate those who have it. (Not without a good deal of jealousy on the way!). Rayts’ blog has archives of pictures that you can browse back through and look at all day, lovely composition and suffused with colour. I offer it as something for people to do in order to appreciate beauty again, it’s so easy to become lost in the ephemera of the mundane.
  • 2. Big John – Now the Big Man has been honoured before in his appearance in The Guardian so I know the fame of another award won’t go to his head! I like John’s blog because it is well-written and regularly updated, I only have to go away for a few days and there’s a plethora of stuff to catch up on. To my mind John’s blog is the very epitome of what diary blogging is about. There is no pretension or presumption it is the view of someone who has observed much and shares his opinion which is often insightful, usually humorous and quite frequently irreverent.
  • 3. Craig Murray – Ok Craig Murray isn’t a mate, but I have met him at a pre- G8 protest meeting in Edinburgh in 2005 and a very nice chap he is too. For those not in the know Craig was the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and stood up for the dispossessed and disenfranchised in the country and the region rather than cow-towing to the politics of the US and UK government who had earmarked Uzbekistan as a useful ally and place to build airbases for forays into the Middle East. Craig is a courageous man of great integrity and principle and I admire him. I do not agree with all of his politics Craig is more what I would call a liberal in the not insulting sense(!) but I respect his views enormously and having the conviction of standing up for them no matter what the personal cost. I recommend people consider buying his book Murder In Samarkand which is excellent and sort of like an embedded John Pilger.

So that’s that then. I hope this may spur me on to at least attempt to write more often, I do have a number of things in draft, I have not gone soft in my old age but through a combination of lethargy and codeine-induced hazes brought about by abject back pain my writing has not been of the frequency I would desire.  I will do my best to rectify this parlous state of affairs.

Song Of The Day ~ Ghosts – The World Is Outside