Creative Writing

One of the great difficulties for a writer is getting started. What am I going to write about? What can I write about? The first thing that you need is the kernel of an idea. Fine – but how do I get such a kernel?

The youtube interview here might help some:

A tragedy in this writing game is that many who aspire to be writers hit the wall around page 80. Why if should be around that time I cannot answer. But many find themselves incapable of getting beyond that point and give up. There must be hundreds of thousands of 80-page potential novels thrown into drawers by writers in despair.

All right so that is the way it was – THEN. But now is now. So how about opening those drawers again and hauling out your half-formed creations? With the passing of time and a sit down and a review of what you have written can give you new ideas on how to force the story beyond what had been blocking you in the past and you find yourself out into far clearer water.

I hope this piece of encouragement helps some to pick up their pens again.

Best Regards.  Patrick.

Writers and Writing


Some writers have difficulty in finding ideas that can be developed into full-blown novels. This short interview might help here.  At least I hope it does.

Type in on Google – Patrick McCusker interview on YouTube.

Best regards.





Each morning a zebra wakes up and while brushing his teeth says to himself: “Today I must run faster that the fastest lion if I am to survive.”

Each morning a gazelle wakes up and while putting on his boots says to himself: “Today I must run faster than the fastest lion if I am to survive.”

Each morning a lion wakes up and while shaving says to himself: “Today I must run faster that the slowest zebra or gazelle if I am to have breakfast.”

(Old African story: several variations. All of Charles Darwin’s wonderful work is encapsulated here.)


A Tiny Story to Make You Smile

In the business of your life, this story might produce a small

smile: at least I hope it does.


The air was particularly fragrant that morning. The scent of the lily pads across the entire pond was never finer. It was a good place to be a frog.

He sat on a half-submerged leaf with the sun full in his face, and reflected on the three lady frogs he had covered the night before. Many tadpoles would issue as a result of that profligate dalliance with those notable dainty strumpets.

His patch of sunlight suddenly darkened. A large princess, from the castle on the hill, notable for her extreme ugliness, lowered herself into a heap on the edge of the frog pond. It was clear to the frog that she intended to stay awhile, blocking his place in the sun.

He squelched around on his lily pad and said:

“If you kiss me I will turn you into a beautiful creature.”

Well, given her complete lack of graciousness, how could the princess resist such an offer? She got down on her broad knees and leaned out over the pond and kissed the frog – and was immediately turned into a beautiful butterfly.

The frog ate the butterfly and the sun shone down on the pond as before.



Is There Something Wrong With Me!

How is it that writers can sit down in front of a blank page and two years later find that they have a 300-400 page novel on their hands? I have talked to writers about this but no one can give a satisfactory answer how this comes about.

In writing FEAR the idea started by looking at a drop of water falling from an icicle. Ninety thousand words resulted. Damn if I know how it happened. Maybe I need help!

Lots of other writers must have similar experiences. It would be great to share. What is it that triggered the start of as novel for you?

Comments welcome.


Irish Writers and tax exemptions.


Revenue is recommending the abolition of tax exemptions for artists. One of the reasons that is stated for this is pressure from Europe because such tax considerations breached EU guidelines.

Few writers in Ireland make a living from their work. Removal of this tax consideration will make matters worse. The original idea in setting up this tax advantage was to give assistance to ‘creative’ artist: this was shamefully re-interpreted over the years to allow a ragbag of autobiographical works by many politicians and sports stars to avail of the tax break. What had been a wonderful and imaginative idea, at its inception, degenerated into farce. And now threatens the livelihood of genuine ‘creative’ artists.

So what might be done?

If the EU sees this artistic exemption to be out of line with European thinking then the Irish government will see to its removal. Yet, the government puts great emphasis on the creative talents of its people at every occasion when it speaks abroad. So, if this talent is to be encouraged what might be done when the tax exemption is no more? I can only offer a view for the benefit of writers in this. (Artists in other areas of work might wish to raise their voices in similar manner.)

One thing that the government might consider in the way of helping writers, when the tax arrangements are abolished,is to arrange through the Arts Council six NEW, and SUBSTANTIAL, creative writing competitions per year. Two of these might be for novels, one published and one unpublished, and two for short stories and the remaining two for poetry. In all of these cases the prizes should be considerable to focus the best efforts of writers, and to offer them a meaningful financial assistance for what they do.

This can be done – it simply needs government lateral thinking to make it happen. This process will get by the EU regulations on the tax issue and make again money available to genuine creative writers.

I offer this as a suggestion to all writers in Ireland to consider. I am not suggesting that this is a perfect solution, and will not help a large number of artists, but it will get by the EU concerns and get the government off the hook in that regard.

You might wish to make comment on this, whether you agree or disagree, or have a totally different idea on what approach we might take. Comments can be left on my blog or on my website –

We need, together,to reach a consensus on a suitable response to government on this. If we do nothing – we will have no cause to moan.