About

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Hi, pleased to meet you, I’m Michael Holley.

I’m a writer of comedy fiction. I’ve self-published two books so far and learnt a lot along the way. My intention was to share my experiences on this blog so that others could learn from my mistakes. I’ve now collated most of this advice into a solitary ebook which is available for FREE when you subscribe to this blog.

I post somewhere between 3-4 times a week, and I honestly cover the good times, and the bad times, of being a writer in such a changing literary landscape.

Before all of this, I used to lead quite a conventional existence, being part of the daily grind, working for the man, but two things convinced me that I needed to change. The first was the discovery that I love to write, and wouldn’t it be pleasant if I could do such a thing for the rest of my life; and secondly, I realised how many opportunities there are in the world which I was missing out on by working in just one career.

I have a beautiful wife, and two beautiful children that happened to be born as twins. I grew up in Southampton, UK, then moved to Manchester, UK, and now live on the desert island of the Isle of Wight, just off the bottom of the UK. I did spend a brief time living in Stockholm, Sweden, though and this was where my new life began to take shape. I’ll forever love Sweden for this.

It’s great that you’ve turned up here, and I’d love to hear from you if you have something specific to say about a post, or in fact anything you like. You can use the normal comment boxes, and I encourage you to follow this blog by eMail so that you don’t miss any part of the journey.

Otherwise, you can contact me by Twitter and Facebook.

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13 responses to “About

  1. Pingback: My Personal Booker Awards | Lian Trowers

  2. Hi Michael,
    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award.
    ~Gwen

  3. I second that nomination. Thanks for great bloggin’.

  4. Thanks for the great blog. found you through Cecile writers. I am beginning my first journey to write a book. It has been in my head for 10 years. At the beginning I took a creative writing course and was told I had no skills. I tried to start a few times but reading it back confirmed the no talent fact. Suddenly this year I seem to be making some progress. I thankfully have moved past the part where I question which way i should lay down each sentence etc. I am 70 and retired this year so have some time now for this. If I took some courses it would be easier but I never intended to write. It has to be learn as I go now or I will die and not do it. I am trusting fate to find me some helpful people when I decide to do a quick site search. It is too easy to spend all writing time surfing for help. So fate has brought me to your site and I thank you for your efforts
    Happy writing

  5. Hi, I am from Bhutan, an aspiring writer, dying to write a good book for some 20 years now. I write poems, short stories, folk tales, and long stories too. My debut novel made it to the long-list of Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009. That’s it, and the manuscript is gathering viruses in my laptop ever since. In 2011, I published my first book of poems. My first book of folk tales was published in 2004. And right now I am working on my second book of poems. One of my poems recently appeared in Asia Literary Review. However, I don’t seem to be getting anywhere as a writer. The desire is to be published beyond Bhutan. At one time I thought of attending a writing school, even got admission at Swansea University with the encouragement of Nigel Jenkins. But without a scholarship I had to forego the opportunity. Now I am headed to Nepal to work for ICIMOD where I hope to find ample time to revisit the manuscript of my novel and complete my second book of poems. Your blogpost on writing schools being a waste of time inspired me to write this. Any words for me? Without guidance and being in the Himalayan wilderness (so far away from the world of real writers and real books) I easily feel like giving it all up, at least in this lifetime. I am 36 and adding on more dead years, awaiting that moment that never seems to arrive. Much thanks.

    • Thank you for reading my blog. I’m 36 too but, instead of dead years, I see these years as those that will build an incredible future. Stick with it.

      My opinion about courses is that they can’t teach you anything that you can’t learn for yourself from other sources. Also, there’s a huge amount of dead time because you spend hours listening to other amateur’s work.

      How much more inspiration exists on this earth than the Himalayan wilderness. 🙂

      Every piece of advice given by any author starts and ends with the same two words… keep writing. Whatever writing is, it’s a muscle that needs to be trained. The more you use that muscle the better it’ll get, the more flexible it becomes, and the stronger it feels. If you struggle with motivation then a writing course can help because you’re forced to write, if you struggle with self-confidence then a course may help to build you up but both of these things can be attained by yourself too.

      My advice is to write everyday. Read what you like everyday. Learn from what you read. Stay focussed on the eventual achievement of becoming a successful writer.

  6. Great to stumble upon your blog through Facebook. I’m what some might say as a mature student, but in early years I scribbled bits of writing, tucking them away…for my eyes only. Then I joined a writing group, often finishing off a story at the last moment before reading out, usually last. Then life took several turns, some unexpected, before I went to a writer’s workshop here in Yorkshire, run by that Barnsley barn pot, Ian McMillan! He lifted my spirits, got me writing!
    Then I joined a new workshop, formed a poetry group, performed my work in halls, pubs and theatres, festivals and other gigs, all good confidence-building experience.
    Then I read Julia Cameron’s book, The Right to Write, which showed how writing can be more than just putting down some words when you have the notion, it can be developed into something better, beginning with Morning Pages, doing a kind of freewrite about half an hour before the household gets up. Out of those, I’ve crafted poetry, prose and a couple of short plays.

    I wanted to go back to the basics, so I did four years studying with the Open University, 2 courses of which were in Creative Writing, which I highly recommend; tough, focussed, fun and enlightening. I learned to take more care of my work, to draft and redraft sometimes up to 9 times until I was happy with the end result.

    Julia Cameron has written a few other books, but The Right to Write got me going. I’ve self published four collections of poetry and occasionally perform them at Speakeasy’s and Open Mike’s in Sheffield and elsewhere.

    Reading is important too. Getting the feel of the works of other writers is encouraging; John Burnside’s A Lie About My Father has a certain style style which I admire, as does Almost Moon by Alice Arnold. Wide Sargasso Sea, written by Jean Ryss, and required reading for the OU course, had a fractured structure which suited the story very well.

    Writing can begin with many prompts, a few words in a newspaper, overheard conversations (‘Whatever happened to Pearl Street……..?) and visits to art galleries are a way of unearthing treasures. Check out pictures by Gregory Crewdson and be astounded by their mysteries.

    Regards,
    JK

  7. Looking forward to your posts, both future and archived. 🙂

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