Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Just when you thought the internet was full of advice...

Hello. I'm Nikesh and I'm a word nerd. I've been addicted to words for nearly thirty years now. I can't say exactly when it started or what it is about words that makes me feel so alive but I know that this addiction is ruling my life.

I'm Nikesh and I'm a word nerd.

I write. I read. I consume pretty much all the time. If I'm not online, I'm listening to podcasts or music or reading or watching quality television. I'm never switched off from pop art. I write all the time. I have three levels of writing, reflected by the three sizes of notebook I have with me at all times. The small one is where I collect fragments of ideas, like if I'm at a party and I'm talking to someone whose t-shirt reads 'You look like my next girlfriend' and that's an important detail to collect for a future story creep, I note it down. I have a medium sized notebook for lyrics. This is good for jotting down poems and lyrics for songs, for being able to make it look manageable and easier to balance on your knee if you're on planes, trains or automobiles. Then there's the A4 sized notebook which comes in handy in cafes and my mind wanders and I want to write my book or work on a short story or jot down sketch ideas. I go through each of these 3 a quarter. Check out my carbon footprint.

I could introduce myself properly and boast about the gigs I've done in India or New York or my award-winning film or the time I was on BBC2 busking in the rain on Brick Lane but that's what my website's for. This blog is to connect with you because you're more likely than not, in the same position as me.

I love words.... AGREE/DISAGREE
I want to write for a living.... AGREE/DISAGREE
I have written a book.... AGREE/DISAGREE
I'm finding it hard to get it published.... AGREE/DISAGREE

Even if you agree with one of those, you're in the right place. If you agree with all of them, then... errr... maybe you're actually me and I'm in some sort of temporal timeloop reading my own blog about my own experiences.

So, I could offer you advice and I have lots of positive experiences to share, both working in publishing for an organisation and as a writer but here are my handy top five tips for developing a profile, because, to be honest, we're all aspiring writers and we need to stand out. We may be fellow word nerds, but we're also competition and sadly, it's not just about the words at the beginning. That's not to say we're in competition. We're not, but you get what I'm saying.

1) Enter competitions and submit for magazines. People read these and look for writers there. Send off your stories. Find the print magazines and the good respected online magazines and submit to them a lot.
2) Write a blog. My blog is a collection of stories of my performing and writing and publishing, but also a collection of funny anecdotes because I want to write funny stuff and it's like a diary of bits to use, an aide memoire of characters, turns of phrase and events.
3) Read at events. Most independent bookshops have open mics and reading opportunities, there are an abundance of short story nights across the country. Go and read at them. Develop a reading voice and a stage personality and perform. Be more than the page, but with your words.
4) Read everyday.
5) Write everyday.

Why are you reading this blog? You know all this stuff already. Everyone's got an opinion and who cares about yours Keshla, you're stillunpublished? Yes. This is very abundantly true. But sometimes you need affirmation that you're heading in the write direction [sic].

Right, now, plug time: There's an awesome literary venue in Farringdon, London called Free Word Centre. On 11th December, I'm putting on a microfiction night there. The theme is 'THAT TIME OF YEAR.' The story should be 3 minutes/500 words. To take part, email me your story here and I'll choose the ten best to battle it out at Wham! Bam! Story! Slam!

Also, if you're on Facebook, sign up to the Book Club Boutique group. They're awesome. I'm extended fam. Salena Godden is mega-amazing and submit work to her to perform because this night is off the chain.

Write, I'm off.

Yours wordily,


  1. Awesome! Great post Sir. Everyone tweet this post out. The short URL for the site is http://tiny.cc/WNA


    (Queen Word Nerd)

  2. Thanks Queen Rebecca for this and for putting the whole shebang together.

    Tomorrow or the next day, I'm doing a thing on writing rituals.

  3. Good stuff! I hear Brian's posting in a few days too - bring it on you crazy word nerds!! :)


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