The business of public speaking.

public speaking,author,writer, screenwriterAs anyone who knows me well will know, I am by nature, quite shy.

Yes, it’s true. Behind this gruff exterior beats the heart of someone who abhors networking and dreads having to indulge in small talk. Especially if it means having to talk about myself or my work.

This is actually one of the reasons why I write for a living because being tied to a computer means that I spend most of my time in my own company. Although given that I’m possibly the most interesting person I know, this isn’t exactly a trial.

Having told you that, it may surprise you to know that I have never had a problem speaking in public. Indeed, although they arrive infrequently, I don’t think I’ve ever turned down an invitation to speak at an event no matter how large or small the potential audience.

However, whilst I’ve always tried to entertain, inform and motivate, it has always bugged me a little that I’ve been cheating people in the sense that I’ve never really treated public speaking seriously and certainly not professionally.

So with that in mind, last week I attended a course run by an amazing bloke called Brad Burton, the UK’s #1 motivational business speaker and to say that ‘Be A Better Speaker’ was an eye opener would be an understatement. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t a single element of my speaking performance that didn’t warrant either comment or attention. In the majority of cases, both.

Brad1I certainly ended the day a better and more confident speaker and if standing up in front of people is a part and parcel of your job or indeed, if you want to earn money from telling your story, then I cannot recommend this course highly enough. It genuinely will help you.

Oh, and if you ever need a speaker, give me a shout.

@dougiebrimson

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street

Just in case you didn’t know already, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes

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Five reasons why writing a novel is better than writing a screenplay.

author,screenwriter,ebook,self publishing,indie filmThe other day, someone pointed out that I am one of a very few writers who have enjoyed a degree of success with both books and screenplays. Not only that, but according to them I also hold the dubious honour of covering a range of genre which very few writers anywhere can match.

Whilst I’m not sure about any of that, it is fair to say that in a writing sense I have certainly been about a bit. Mostly, it has to be said, because I get bored easily.

However, whenever the subject of my work comes up it inevitably leads to one particular question and that is ‘which one do you enjoy the most?’

Whilst both have their merits, and leaving aside the simple truth that I’ll write anything for anyone who pays me, the answer is always the same. Because if I have a blank page and am left to my own devices, I will start writing a book. All day, every day. And for five very specific reasons.

It’s easier to write – That might shock a few people but the truth is that I can have far more creative fun constructing a 75,000 word novel than I can working on a 110 pages script. And if I’m having fun, I can promise you that the words will be pouring out of me as opposed to having to be dragged out. Something which not only makes it easy for me to write but which will almost certainly make for a better read once it’s finished. 

It’s easier to produce – Working with publishers can be hard work sometimes but if all else fails, I always have the option of self-publishing. It might not see the shelves of Waterstone’s or WH Smiths but let’s face it, it will certainly see Amazon and if it sells and is earning, who cares? Certainly not me.

With a film, the whole process is a nightmare which can fall apart at any moment. That’s if it gets anywhere at all which to be frank, it often doesn’t.

Control – With a book, I have no restrictions on subject matter, genre or even length. Being able to write what I want, when I want and just as importantly, say what I want, is not only liberating, it makes the whole thing both more interesting and enjoyable for me. If you need any more proof of that, have a look at my backlist and you’ll see a book about farting. Case rested. 

With a screenplay, once I hand it over I have no control over anything. At all.

The End Result – A book is mine. All mine. Praise or criticism are therefore personal and either enjoyed or dealt with as appropriate and I’m fine with that. A film however, is only mine if someone slags off the script even though by the time the camera’s roll, my input into the development process will have ended ages ago. 

The people – For an author, publishing is a relatively solitary game and as someone who prefers his own company, that’s exactly how I like it. For a screenwriter, the writing process is part solitude, part collaboration, part chaos. This would be great if it were an industry inhabited solely by nice hard-working honest people but sadly, it isn’t. Instead, amongst the many awesome individuals I’ve worked with are far too many arseholes who, if they aren’t simple crooks, are either bullshitters or incapable of making a decision. Or both.

So there you have it. Five reasons why I’d write a book over a movie any day of the week. And with that in mind, I’m happy if not delighted to announce that work is currently well underway on the sequel to my novel Billy’s Log. Indeed, starting work on this has underlined everything I’ve written above and more because I’m loving it.

All being well, it’ll be finished by the time we start moaning about the cold but more as and when. I might even post a teaser or two!

@dougiebrimson

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Just in case you didn’t already know, all my books and DVD’s are available from bothAmazon and iTunes

General Election? No chance, no need.

brexit, theresa may, tory, EU,Even as news broke that Theresa May was going to be handed the keys to 10 Downing Street, social media became awash with members of the remainiac camp screaming for a snap general election. Their reasoning being that as a nation, we couldn’t possibly be governed by someone who hasn’t actually been elected by anyone. No irony there then.

Given that most of those wanting the country dragged back to the polls would never vote Tory in a million years, it struck me that the majority of these professional whiners have either forgotten, or have no idea, how the electoral system works in this country. So with that in mind, here’s a very simple explanation for them.

At a general election, you don’t vote for a Prime Minister, you don’t even vote for a specific party, the way it works is that you vote for your local constituency MP.

Once the votes have been cast and counted, the person with the most (that’s another word for majority) is elected as the MP for that constituency. After that, the party with the most MP’s (again, the majority) form a government who are placed in charge of the country for a fixed term of office. That being five years. 

At the last election, around two years ago, the party with the most MP’s were the Tory party who were already in office, albeit sharing power with the Liberal Democrats. Amazingly, this time round they actually had more MP’s than in the previous election which was, in part, because they promised to hold a referendum on our position within the EU.

However, when they finally put this question to the population, 52% of people who voted (the majority) supported the campaign to leave. As a result, David Cameron, the Prime Minister and head of the Tory party, resigned on account of the fact that he had supported the campaign to remain. At this point, the Tory party decided that he would be replaced by Theresa May who will take over as Prime Minister tomorrow (Wednesday).

Now, and this is the part some people seem incapable of grasping, since we do not vote for the leader (see above) there is no requirement for a general election if and when they are replaced. It is not our decision, it’s the parties.

Similarly, the mandate to negotiate leaving the EU wasn’t given to David Cameron by the 52% majority who voted for it, it was given to the Tory government who are still in power. As such, it is still the governments mandate which means, again, that there is no reason for a general election.

It really is as simple as that.

If you would like anything else explained using the seemingly forgotten skills of basic common sense and stating the obvious, please feel free to ask.

@dougiebrimson

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street

For those who aren’t aware, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes