Friday, 23 March 2018

YASHOT 2018 BLOG TOUR | Guest Post | 'Making Connections' by Rachel Ward

Hey guys, and happy Friday! Today I am very excited to be sharing my spot for the YA Shot 2018 blog tour! I have taken part in YA Shot for the past couple of years now, and every single year it is a blast - I am thrilled to be taking part again <3

This year I have the wonderful author Rachel Ward on my blog. Rachel is the author of five YA thrillers and an adult crime novel, which is on the cosier end of the crime scale. Numbers, her first YA book, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and sold to 26 countries. Rachel lives in Bath, with her family including a rather silly dog and one chicken. As well as writing, she paints and takes photographs. 

Today I am delighted to have Rachel on my blog, with a piece called 'Making Connections' - all about creativity, and creating art for each other and also ourselves, and how sometimes what you have created can have a great impact upon someone's life...

Check out Rachel's post below...

Creativity can be a solitary pursuit. Writing and painting are mostly done on your own, at home, not in a picturesque garret or light-filled studio but, more likely, a corner of the sitting room or a spare bedroom. Sometimes it can feel like a selfish thing, looking inwards and expressing yourself on screen, paper or canvas. Occasionally, I give myself a long, hard look and ask, ‘Should you be doing something more useful?’ Yet, the past few months have reminded me that creativity also forges connections, often unforeseen, sometimes surprising and many unknown to the originator.

I’ve been visiting my parents fairly regularly recently as they deal with the effects of illness and old age. My dad’s an engineer and I’ve never thought of him as particularly interested in arts or culture, and yet one day we had a wonderful chat about the Rodin museum in Paris, which we had both visited at different times. His face lit up as he described a small sculpture of a pair of hands holding a box, which had delighted him many years ago (sixty?). The image of it, the experience of seeing it in real life, had stayed with him and continued to delight him.

Meanwhile, my mum, who is very interested in arts and culture, is rereading the books she loved as a child and young woman, losing herself in familiar stories like ‘Heidi’. ‘I can’t read anything new at the moment,’ she says, and I can understand that need for the familiar, to remember what it was like to read those books for the first time and to remember who you used to be. It has reminded me how powerfully comforting books can be.

A couple of times this year, people have emailed or tweeted to tell me how much my books have meant to them. This is music to a writer’s ear, of course, and, in fact, very touching. My correspondents have written about how my first YA novel, Numbers, moved them and made them think about some of the big issues in life – mortality, love and so on – and how the book has stayed with them over the years. It’s times like this that help to dissolve my doubts, or at least chase them away for a while. I may have written my books in splendid isolation, but they continue to make their way in the world, finding new readers and living in the memories of earlier ones.

Yes, being creative can be selfish or self-indulgent. In order to write or paint, you have to carve out time for yourself. But it is also a way of sharing something - sometimes something very personal – and in doing so, you are also creating the potential for connection with other people, known to you or unknown, now or maybe many years in the future. We can’t necessarily predict or know the effect of our work on others, but, if we keep trying, working honestly, and with joy, there’s something quite marvellous about that, isn’t there?

Thank you so much, Rachel, for writing this brilliant and also inspiring post!

Make sure you guys check out the rest of the spots on the YA Shot blog tour, trust me you won't want to miss a single post...

Buy Numbers here:

Buy The Cost of Living here:

Check out Rachel here:

Check out YA Shot 2018 here:

Until next time :)

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