When I read expert advice on writing books I frequently hear about setting targets to the extreme such as ‘write ten books a year’, closely followed by guidelines on grammar, being conscious of politically correct sensitivity and market trends, encouragement to participate in writer’s competitions etc. Much advice is given on how to appease potential publishers, most of whom couldn’t care less about authors. A pretty rigid stress packet I say, ‘how could anyone possibly enjoy one’s work and be creative’? What I have learned from one author’s advice and more so my seven years of authorship is this: ‘Don’t follow any rules’. Invent a new word, phrase or concept. Push the boundaries, then go as far as intuition will take you. ‘You know you are wise and enlightened when intuition has replaced the script’. Technology and political processes require regulation, but art doesn’t, if it is ethical and practiced within the framework of morality. Listen to your inner voice and be true to your conscience. Don’t write under stress. Avoid deadlines. Relax, let your mind flow. When the mind clogs up, have a break, savour a coffee or something, do some exercise or gardening etc. Write out of passion, not for reward. Liberate yourself from expectations such as honour, money, fame, prizes and awards to be won. As I always say: “Travel the way, don’t worry about the goal”. In the art of welding you make yourself as comfortable as possible, this helps to enjoy your work and ensures a steady hand producing a sound, high quality weld. Any tension is counterproductive. Study and creativity are no different. A stressed painter with a shaky hand produces a messy portrait. A relaxed mind is perceptive, open to creative thought and inspiration, logically most of what I write reveals itself during my breaks, away from the narrow, tense world of the screen.

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