The “Indie” 500.

The attention that I give to my writing is intense but it occurs within set small windows of time. Having children around dictates this to a large degree. For example, I will probably give myself thirty minutes or so to make this entry (so it’s unlikely there will be much, if any, punctuation). Please read on if you are brave…

Within these ‘windows’ I generally focus on my latest work, or perhaps another submission sent or the shaping of a new idea. However because these three acts take most of my ‘me-time’, I realise there is plenty I am missing out on that could also be beneficial to a writer. There are two things specifically and the first is reading time.

Every writer is different. Some spend as much time reading as they do writing. Unfortunately I tend to prioritise the writing. If you were to include the ‘online’ side of reading (ie. papers, forums, blogs), then yes I suppose there is some form of balance but I haven’t held a paperback for sometime (probably my last holiday). I love to read and flick through the pages of something that has been recommended or just an old favourite, but to flesh out a couple of pages of a chapter feels so much more rewarding. A strange literary abstinence.

The other notable area where I let myself down is my communication with other writers. I really am interested in what other writers are doing. As I see it, even in this electronic age where writers don’t gather so much in the flesh, it is still a fraternity. Its important I think to take a step back and see where writing is headed now and then. Perhaps you will seek a group who’s ideals you align to. Maybe you are tired of a worldwide focus on one genre and you branch into a new direction taking some followers with you. Whatever you choose to do, the idea of communicating with other writers is still as important as when manuscripts were twine-bound.

This brings me to a new idea I plan to cultivate. A ‘seed’ that I hope the social networking sites will fertilise. This idea will be called “The Indie 500”. ‘Indie’ stands of course for the independent writer and the ‘500’ stands for two things. My outline is this:

I will seek submissions from five hundred writers: These can be published or unpublished writers. They can be writers for whom it is a passion or just a pastime. It can be for those who always wanted to write something but were daunted by the idea that a novel was 80,000 words. They can be professionals or amateurs.  What I hope is that this collection of writers will provide a meeting point – a point of focus.

If you are to be one of those writers, all you need to do is submit 500 words or less to me and I will then assign it a number (1-500) and post it on my blog with the relevant details (author name, location, and contact if provided). It can be literally anything. A lengthy poem, a 500 word excerpt, a blog entry, something you started and never finished. Anything.

My vision is this: Once I have enough submissions I will post them on my blog with the aim of getting to 500. If this number is achieved I think ‘The Indie 500’ could be a fantastic place for people who have little time to read or communicate with writers, to do just that. These excerpts could prove valuable to all. Remember anyone is eligible. Even James Paterson (or one of his minions).  It’s all about bringing writers together and making them visible to other people who love to write.

Send Your Submission to: and you shall be blogged!!

By the way, I have already gone past the 500 word mark in this entry so in reality it could be a very small commitment for you in a short space of time. Please bear with me while I try and make this happen and prepare to feast your eyes on the range of the modern writer.


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