Stephen Blyse, Interviews.

With the rise of the internet, it seems like more people are taking up writing. With platforms developing to help spread the words each writer creates. The increase of writers creates a lot more competition, but it also allows for greatness to seep through in a world of average writers. Luckily for us, many don’t realize that writing is no easy feat. You just cannot write a critically-acclaimed novel without walking through the rocky mountains first.

Some writers don’t aspire to become the next Stephen King or James Patterson. Their writing goals are to inspire others, write their life journey, and spread words of wisdom. When I first started writing online in my other blog, I was lucky to come across a few bloggers that were happy to lend a helping hand and some good advice. I haven’t kept in touch with all of them, some I lost track of, but one has stood by me.

In this Covid-filled world, finding time to sit down and have a chat with others can be a hard thing to do. I decided to interview a good friend and fellow writer, which would allow me to seek advice from a few simple questions if he was willing to participate. Luckily for me, he did. I am referring to the lead man behind the blog A Guy Called Bloke, Rory.

SB: What drives you to write, whether it is creative or for your readers?

R: I write because l enjoy the process of thinking my thoughts and then penning them down. I enjoy being read, and so l write to be read. I have written my ideas and thoughts down since l was around 9 years of age. I enjoyed creating stories that others enjoyed reading – l am not one of these that believes l only write for myself – l don’t, l deliberately write for others to read. 

If l am writing for myself only, no one reads it apart from me.  With my blog, l write content to be read … l see no other reason for writing in a blog open to the world and not be read – to me, that is illogical and defeatist.

The biggest thing to give up is ‘the belief that you can’t do it.’

SB: If you could write with any Author, Indie or not, who would it be and why?

R: No, it’s never appealed with creative or reality writing, and the only times l have collaborated with another is for business or work.

SB: With COVID flooding the world and everything changing. Do you find the world fighting to become a better version of itself, or do you feel that we are being led into a more communistic living?

R: No, l do not believe we are being led into a more communist style of life. There are many who would love to govern that way and l can see why many might believe and think that way especially with the likes of C19 and the restrictions society face – but l think that those who fail to understand the reasons behind these restrictions fail to understand anything at times that might mean they lose some of their ‘freedoms’ for short periods of time … in consideration death completely restricts their freedom anyhow.

Of course, then we have the conspiracy theorists who would have society believe we are being manipulated by a nonsense disease which was invented by the government to control our lifestyle and open us up to communism. They have always been around.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but l do think there is more to C19 than is being discussed and l have thought that for way longer than C19 was around, but that ties in with world population crisis scenarios.

As to whether the world will change to become a better version – l would like to think so, but it always comes down to people – it’s people that can make the world a better place …. BUT Nature also has a say and currently nature is speaking volumes in other ways about the damage people have caused for the planet.

SB: What have you found to be the most challenging trials, that you have faced in your life and how have you made it through them or how are you working through them?

R: I have experienced many trials during my years, from personal tragedy to illness and death, domestic violence from my parents and an ex-wife to cruelty and judgement and the list of woe goes on …. The only way for me to answer this however is simply with this proverb  “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

SB: What would you say would be your writing quirk?

R: I am a storyteller – l like to be able to tell a story to people who wish to listen – that is no different to my writing – l write to be read, so if telling a story – l write that story to be read – now that is not specifically different to many writers – but my quirk is attention to detail and approaching that detail in a different manner to how others might.  

My other quirk is l deliberately change my style to suit my audience – l have many writing styles – and each is reflective upon my mood. I like to create an entertaining read for those who like to be entertained and l will do different things to achieve this.

My final quirk is eclecticism and diversity and when l write l try on many occasions to have a story telling jester in my head or the multitasking face of the clown.

R: I am making changes to my blog so that l can accommodate a new working schedule. But l also strongly believe in keeping a blog and its content as fresh as you can. So, l will have 50% fixed series and 50% that is liquid content and moves frequently. I can get bored by too much repetition on the same subject so need to keep things flowing. 

My writing schedule is not fixed – it used to be quite rigid and l was very established and liked to stick to certain postal times and so on … but once l started to reduce my daily content quantity down, l freed up more time and relaxed the times l did publish and this enabled me also to become more flexible in my overall approach to life and scheduling.

I currently don’t have a fixed time for writing and creating.

SB: Where do you get the information or ideas for your blog?

R: Life, experiences, my experiences, my life basically is where l get the bulk of my ideas from. I have enough ideas to write with and from for the next year or so, maybe even longer.

SB: When you are not writing what are some of the things that you like to do the most?

R: Gardening, walking, photography, and gaming.

SB: With so many people in the world trying to be an Author or Blogger. What, in your opinion, makes a good story?

R: In my opinion, a good story is the story that is either read or listened to – the story might be creative, educational, and eclectic and diverse – but it must be entertaining and interesting.

SB: Do you find writing energizes or exhausts you?

R: It can do both, but l like to experience that as it means l am living my story telling.

SB: In a world of ink on paper, do you think that someone could be a successful writer if they do not feel emotions strongly?

R: It depends upon what they are writing. How emotional does a person need to be? Successful writers are those that create content that is read – some writing might be emotional, some might be technical, some might be simple, some, some, some – it depends upon what the person is writing about. But l think the emotions comes from deep and if you are retelling something or creating something … everything is reflective upon what is being written about.

SB: You have been writing for a long time, what are some common traps for aspiring writers? 

R: Writing away from their passion or writing in a genre they are not interested in, not being flexible in their approach, unwilling to change their style or even examine their style, not including any entertainment value, lack of detail and lack of description, lack of research, not utilising their own life experiences, writing someone else’s passion … not willing to explore further realms of discovery. Not willing to start writing and dreading the white page and never starting … not creating believable characters – not looking at structure as in a start , a middle and an end, believing writing is easy and not understanding that it is isn’t … but it really depends upon what the writer is looking to achieve and the audience or the readership they are trying to attract.

“Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

SB: Everyone has heard of Writer’s Block, but have you ever had a case of Reader’s Block? And how long did it last?

R: Reader’s block – l think everyone experiences this at one point or another – l read a lot every day, but l am currently not reading ‘books’ and that is because l tire of reading bad books or bad articles or whatever – my current non book reading phase is about 9 months, but l have also placed that down to my mind is moving way faster than the satisfaction l get from reading, so l have learned to not read until my mind is slower and more focused on plot.

SB: If you could give up one thing, to become a better writer. What would it be? 

R: Nothing, to improve myself as a writer – l have got to want to write and to be a storyteller as an example – l need to live my life to the fullest potential so that l have much to draw on. Perhaps in today’s world, one might say stop dreaming of becoming a millionaire – but anything is possible if you dream big enough and market yourself to make it happen … but l suppose the biggest thing to give up is ‘the belief that you can’t do it.’

SB: Have you ever read anything that has made you think differently about fiction?

R: No, not really – although l have read several books that have made me stop and think and have left me pondering for days on life and l enjoy that kind of challenge as it makes you react. 

But none of those have been fiction books. 

The beauty of reading excellent fiction as opposed to good fiction is that it can allow your creative juices to flow into different crevices or vessels of further thought.

If you haven’t come across A Guy Called Bloke before, please check him out. 

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