Michael Salander, LISP Flash Fiction FINALIST by THE POSTMAN
I think too many people try to draw attention to themselves by shouting with their writing. Although they may be heard, they’ll also discover that nobody is actually listening to them, no-one at all.
As for writing tips, any advice that I could give here or anywhere else should be read if desired, but then ignored completely, before the reader returns to writing, hopefully forging their own unique path.
How does it feel to have your work recognised?
Validatory and essential. A film star may feel that they’ve given their best ever performance, but will still crave that coveted Oscar or whatever. We all need the feeling that comes with approbation (and you need people to actually be reading what you’ve written!).
When did you start writing? How often do you write?
I started very early, probably when I was around five years old. Writing (and reading) became a means of escape from an oppressive childhood. I had my first poem published whilst still at school in an anthology published by Jonathan Cape. These days I try to write something every day, even if it is just the briefest of notes; it will find its way into something eventually.
What’s the best thing and the hardest thing about writing flash fiction?
For me, the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s hard to write within (or to) a specific word count, for example, but that’s what I really enjoy and find to be one of the best things about the challenge. My entry was written to be exactly 300 words long, so I was probably making things difficult for myself because I enjoy the whole process, including the editing.
Do you recommend LISP?
Yes. Competitions are important and give you an extra incentive to write. Also, LISP is becoming increasingly prestigious.
There are many bizarre collisions in real life between the utterly mundane and the profound. I find it interesting how the two co-exist simultaneously and interact. My entry was just one such fantasy encounter, involving the banality of internet shopping and a matter of life and death itself.
How important is social media?
I’m perfectly happy for other people to praise or slander me on social media if that’s what they want to do, but personally I have nothing to do with it.
Lauren Hutton was asked in a Guardian interview why she despised social media and she replied that, ‘It’s like plugging into a dimwit circuit and it destroys the soul.’
I’d go along with that.
I don’t have a typical day, but any day will contain the following vital ingredients:
Several espresso coffees (from my kitchen, not takeaways). Making sure that the squirrels who visit our garden are fed along with the assortment of birds. Lots of music. Delicious vegan food; I’ve been vegan for twenty seven years. Other than these things, it’s fighting the desire to not look at the news, because that would be a case of burying my head in the sand, and then regretting that I did look at the news. Oh yes, and I’ll probably do some writing.