Ryan James


Are we stronger in numbers?

( a page from my art journal )


I have been writing this damned novel for about 4 years now off and on. The first draft got completely lost when I fell down a flight of stairs ( a habit of mine ) lap top in hand and broke the hard drive and before you say it, no, I hadn't backed it up. I then wrote another version of it as a short story and it came out terrible and then I tried to write another version of it where it was all “dark and moody” and that came out even worse so in March of last year I decided it was do or die. I either sat down and wrote what was truly in my mind about the project or I completely let it go. 6 months later I was sat with the very first draft of my very first novel. Its was rough around the edges and even right now still needs a lot of work but at least I am most of the way done. I am literally half way through editing what I am hoping will be the last and final draft of this novel and as soon as that's done the hard work begins. I know in my heart this book will be born. Whether it gets published by someone or I publish it myself I will hold this book in my hands and share it with people.


( small canvas I worked on this week )


Weirdly enough I have been through a bit of a learning curve when it comes to writing. I am used to blogging, poetry, song writing. I am used to condensing an idea or a thought into a visually charged sentence or two so having the option to completely unravel and embellish the words I am using has been very freeing. I have also noticed that during the editing process I have had to pivot or completely change a lot of what I have initially written because it was almost written in a way that was packaged for how I thought people would want to receive it. It's weird to still catch fragments of that old “people pleasing” side to myself. Ever the entertainer I guess but it sort of makes sense. When you are travelling into new turf it makes sense that you would take what's most familiar to you when you aren't secure in what you're doing yet. I'm glad I caught it because now I have the opportunity to make it more authentic. First and foremost I am writing a novel that I would want to read and that's just that really.

 ( another art journal page )


I have also been making an effort to connect with other writers and artists. It turns out living a creative like is kind of monastic. You really have to make peace with being solitary but you also have to know when to reach out and connect. I have spoken about it before and have definitely made strides to connect with other artists this year but I am open to hearing from more. If you are an artist, a writer, a musician and you are reading this then send me a message, a link to your site, a place where we can communicate if we need to. I think we are stronger as a community but we have to acknowledge that we are a community of loners, of sensitives. I think it's in acknowledging that we can move forward into helping and supporting each other. Let's end the endless self promotion for a moment and just connect. At times I need help, at times I need to reach out. Right now I am walking into new area's and I might need some advice here and there or maybe just a little support along the way. Those who know me know that if I can help someone I will so let's build something here. We really are stronger in numbers! Well I think so anyway!



Speak to you soon,



Big Love,



Ryan James






January 31, 2015 @05:24 pm
by — Sarah

Hi Ryan. I have come across your blog via the Art Journal Junkies FB page, and just spent a little time reading some of your blog posts. So much of what you say really resonates with me! I too have started a novel, which I have only ever admitted about to complete strangers, for fear of sharing it, it being rubbish, and exposing my thoughts to the people closest to me! I have been told by a number of people that I should sell my artwork, and have done a few commissioned pieces, but basically don't consider myself a proper artist (I am entirely self taught, no art college for me)and I certainly don't have the confidence to self-promote myself as I should if I were going to go down that route. Add to that the fact that I consider my art an essentially selfish undertaking, which I 'should' prioritise below housework, being a Mum and a holding down a part time job, and it's easy to talk myself out of the time creating something takes! It's always good to know that other people are having the same kind of thoughts, even if they are coming from a slightly different angle! I shall watch this space for your progress! Sx

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