Writing courses: How to prevent your classmates hating you

Writing Classes by Tom NashThe old saying goes that everybody has a novel in them. Many of us like the idea of recording these ideas but lack the skills needed to actually transfer the thoughts to paper (or screen these days), let alone craft a meaningful narrative that others would happily pay to read.

Luckily, there are people out there that work in publishing or that have successful writing careers of their own who love the craft so much that they are willing to share what they know with enthusiastic folks like us in classes- whether they be college or university courses or more informal affairs.

I’ve been lucky enough to take part in a fair few writing classes and, being the observant and altruistic chap that I am, have decided to put together a lickle list of tips that could be useful if you are thinking of getting your scribe on in a classroom setting and you would like to avoid the chance of your classmates bonding through their mutual hatred of you:
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CV Writing: The reasons you don’t get any replies

CV Writing by Tom NashCurriculum Vitaes, CVs, Resumes- whatever you want to call them, if you want to be employed, you need one.

But how do you know what to put on yours?

Fear not- Tom is here to steer you in the right direction. From the point of view of the poor fucker who has to read these things…

One of my many roles in one of my super important jobs (oh yeah- that’s how freelancers roll, baby) is to look through CVs and writing samples from aspiring writer-types and wannabe digital marketers.

Sometimes there are some real gems in the pile; we’ve found some extremely talented young writers who have been a pleasure to work with… But for every one of them, there have been ten CVs that have prompted a stink-face and swift trip to the shredder.
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Men: Stereotypes that cannot be denied

Men by Tom NashMen. Despite what some people may say, we’re not a complex breed.

Keep us fed, watered and supplied with things we enjoy, be it football on the telly, the poetry of William Blake or tits (we can be quite diverse in our tastes) and we’re quite happy. Plonk a lady (or another bloke- we don’t discriminate here at TWTN) in front of us and add a vague possibility of having sex with said lady (or man) and we may even produce beautiful music, paintings, architecture and literature.

That being so, it can get a little grating when advertisers portray us as moronic adult-sized babies that without female supervision fuck up tasks the average eleven-year-old can manage to pull off with ease…

*I would quickly like to acknowledge that being British, male and white, I realise that claiming misrepresentation by the media is a bit like Bill Gates crying about losing a tenner, but I needed to pad out this introduction a bit. It’s done now, let’s all be grown up about it and move on.*

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Tea: How to make it

Tea by Tom NashAh, the humble cup of tea. It seems like such a simple thing. A cup, a teabag, boiling water (and sugar if you’re… that way inclined). So simple in fact, it would appear to be difficult to fuck up.

A lot of people do though. Why is this?

I believe the answer is technique, my friends.

To make a decent cuppa, there two main things you need to be aware of. They are, in order of importance:

  • The temperature of the water
  • The order to add ingredients

Let’s break them down:

The temperature of the water

Tea should only ever be made with boiling water, whether you’re making a pot or just a cup. And by boiling I mean when the kettle has just clicked off (or started whistling like crazy, if you live in the 1950s). Any later than that and you must re-boil or an inferior product shall be produced.

The order to add ingredients

If you need to be told that the teabag goes in first, then you are officially failing at life and should probably not read on- your head will explode.
[Controversy warning]
Next to go in should always be water. Not milk. Not sugar. Water. If you were making a pot, would you put milk or sugar in there? Exactly- that’s ridiculous.

If you pour milk onto a teabag, you clog it up. When you then add the water, the tea doesn’t move around, resulting in a piss-weak brew that tastes like milky water, unless you pummel the fuck out of the teabag with a spoon for a couple of minutes- which you shouldn’t have to do.

If you put sugar in (philistines) then milk or water, then the tealeaves absorb the sugar and it’ll taste like you didn’t put any sugar in and you’ll have to add more anyway. Which is wasteful.

For a proper cuppa, you should pour the (boiling) water onto the teabag then… Wait. Do nothing. Leave it for a minute. If you’re really in a rush stir it a couple of times to get the bag moving, but no more. Make sure you remove the teabag before adding milk (not too much- milky tea is gross) and then put in your sugar, if that’s your thing.

Making it from a pot? Just chuck some milk in the mug/cup, then pour the tea. Bosh- job done.

If you don’t agree or have a different method, that’s great, but know you are wrong. Please don’t comment…

http://thewritetomnash.co.uk