The Monday Blog Tour

I was asked by the lovely Katherine Baldwin to join this Monday Blog tour and answer a few questions about my writing. I was thrilled to be asked to join this chain of many gifted creatives. Thank you Katherine. You can read her very interesting post here.

What am I working on?

Currently, I’m in the midst of lots of ideas. What I now need to do is zone in and work on one or two of those. Really, the key aspects of my work right now are my poetry and my first novel. With regards to my poetry, I’ve begun to branch out and turn words on paper into words out loud. The idea of spoken word as opposed to written text initially scared me but now I really enjoy it. I hosted my first spoken word and poetry evening at an intimate venue in Soho earlier this year after reading a couple of my poems for one of their events back May 2013. I have been asked back to host another poetry/spoken word evening next month. The evening features poetry from myself as well as invited guests. If last time’s anything to go by, I’m sure it’ll be a great evening. My first novel is yet to be started but after a long time of thinking that God had given me some ideas, I now find myself ready to write with a clear structure and storyline in mind. Being a beginner at this is something that presents both challenges and excitement. I won’t give away too much about my novel here, but please watch this space.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I believe that my work differs from others in a variety of ways. Firstly, I’m not a writer by trade, I’m a teacher, and so I have the scope of seeing things from a different perspective. I spend most of my time standing in front of teenagers and so a lot of my inspiration to write comes from a desire to speak truth to the generation that follows me. Additionally, although we have one or two excellent spoken word artists and poets taking the UK stage by storm such as Kate Tempest and George the Poet, I still see spoken word as an art whose roots are largely planted firmly in American soil. As well as being different by producing spoken word, the fact I do it by sharing my faith in God makes it even more unique. My artist name ’1authenticheart’ is meant to be a true representation of what I am, someone sharing authentically regarding matters of the heart in the hopes that one person might hear it and be encouraged, inspired, challenged, motivated to seek Christ or perhaps even understand Him a little more. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing ‘non-Christian’ poems and posts before but I always find myself coming back to the same question “why am I doing this?” (More on that in my next answer.) Lastly, I’m different because I’m looking at delivering my work from a variety of platforms. Some people aren’t readers, whereas some could get through a C.S Lewis volume in no time. That’s why I post, not only blog entries, but audio recordings of my poetry and also YouTube videos on a variety of things- sometimes devotional Bible study, sometimes a spoken word piece. Not everyone engages with everything in the same way and that’s why I vary the way in which I deliver what God’s given me to say.

Why do I write what I do?

The book of James tells us in Chapter 1 verse 17 that every good and perfect gift comes from God. I believe that, with that in mind, it’s important to continually remember my 'why?’ when I write. In short, I write because I feel as though God has called me to use my gift to glorify Him. Writing has always been hugely important for me. I even remember an old primary school teacher signing my leaver’s book saying that she looks forward to reading my first novel. I hope to post her a copy one day. My heart is especially drawn to girls and young women. I write hoping that God will use my words and infiltrate them with His truth and in turn, young women will read/listen/look at what their true value, worth and potential is in a loving God. I write in the hopes of infiltrating a culture that is in desperate need of change, in desperate need of hope.

How does my writing process work?

I wish I could say I was disciplined enough to have a ‘writing process’ but unfortunately, I’m not quite there yet. Because of the time consuming nature of my day job, I’m often left exhausted at the end of a school day and not in the most inspired place to get creative. However, I recently read that all that’s needed is 30 minutes a day to work on anything! Soon enough it becomes a habit. It struck a chord with me and so that’s what I’m intending do from now on. Create little and often. Currently I write/post a video/record poetry when I feel so inspired that I can’t help but do something about it. I’m always getting ideas for potential posts which I jot down in notebooks, but I’m now happy to be moving into making these ideas something bigger and starting to take my writing more seriously.

In order to continue this mini tour, I’d like to tag my talented friend ‘Baliva’ and also the wonderful Jodi, who writes as 'The Gray Way’ to post their answers to these questions on their blog pages next Monday (May 26th).

Thanks for reading :)