Presently I seem to spend every waking moment writing for one personal blog or another and local magazines too, which is time consuming, a little obsessive, fun albeit tiring and very encouraging to forwarding my writing ambitions. During any spare moment I am either writing or collecting ideas and materials for on-going or future blogging sessions. I always endeavour to be original and pertinent to myself and to my readers regardless of the blog I am writing through.
For those that don't know - I currently run three blogs. This food and drink based blog http://mugofstrongtea.blogspot.co.uk, another blog of mine dedicated to my acting and theatre writing, http://philloweactor.blogspot.com and a brand new (just for fun) blog called http://artyartifice.blogspot.co.uk.
Arty Artifice deals with creatively interpreting found art pieces on the street - things that look like they could be art - and I have invented a pompous character to interpret the 'art' for me. He is called Phil E Stein. Do click the link and follow. I think you will find it great fun.
The actor writer blog has really developed over the last year with my endeavours to critique theatrical performances both amateur and professional (mainly professional) in Nottingham and Derby. Not driving restricts where I can get to and get back from, within a reasonable hour. Originally I would just write about shows I had been involved in and visits to Germany with the Lace Market Theatre as part of our twinning arrangements through two theatres in Karlsruhe and reflections on good times in amateur and semi-professional theatre. Then, on discovering a website requesting new critical writers I applied to write professional reviews through www.thepublicreviews.co.uk and this has led to me reviewing plays around Nottingham and Derby to a professional standard and getting them published online to acclaim. From that experience I gained a good contact at Derby Theatre called Heidi and I have often been invited to review shows at Derby Theatre independently as well as cultural events for Derby Live. Recently I have started reviewing for Nottingham Live. These aren't paid gigs but you do get free tickets (two) and a programme and the opportunity to get your writer profile known in artistic communities. It can often mean writing into the early hours to meet the strict deadlines but it is worth it for the acheivement. Theatrically, I also write for a monthly magazine that showcases the Lace Market Theatre in Nottingham.
A real writer's boon has come through adding myself to Twitter and linking each review and blog post through to my account (@PhilLowe7) as I do them. Often this has been picked up by important people and very often re-tweeted to hundreds if not thousands of others. All good publicity for the venue and me as writer.
I continue to allocate the highest proportion of time to this blog concerning food and once again Twitter helps by developing contacts/followers in the food and drink industry through my writing. Already I have been invited to attend two major East Midlands Food and Drink Fairs based on previous in depth writing about the foodie folk I have spoken to along the way. These are in Lincolnshire and in Donington Park. As you may have seen in previous posts I have made a friend and contact in Johnny Pusztai at JTBeedham's butchers on Mansfield Road in Sherwood, Nottingham and have been invited in the New Year to spend a day with his crew developing my own sausage mix and blogging about the experience.
In reading this do consider that I work full time including every weekend. Therefore, arranging all these possibilities is usually done on my days off (Monday and Tuesday). I have recently purchased two tools that I believe will aid my writing and online presentations and allow me to be creative outside of sitting on the sofa slogging away at the laptop at home after work on a Monday or Tuesday. Those who have posh mobile phones will think nothing of this but I now have a Tesco tablet (the Hudl) which, amongst other creative and entertaining offerings allows me to create Word docs on the go without the need of WIFI and to send them to myself through email and to paste into my blogs. This, I have discovered, is especially useful when reviewing theatre. I spend hours travelling on the buses to Derby and write up the review on returning home around 11pm so any time that I can save is welcome to me and my sleep needs!
The second tool is a small video camera and I have started to use this to add different content into my blog posts. This is just the beginning. It is a good job I love doing all of this!