Category: Blogging


Goodbye (The Last Letter)

Dear Saul (and readers),

After a year and a half, more than a hundred followers, and thousands of views, we’ve reached the end of our journey. It’s been a long one. I first set this place up as a kind of letter page to Saul, the imaginary muse I used to help me write. So much has happened. An entire month dedicated to blogging, a series on horror. I’ve overcome problems, earned awards, honours, and I’ve made a whole lotta friends.

But, after a year, I believe we’ve run our course.

A year changes people. You lose friends, you gain others, but there’s one thing that always remains certain: It is never the end. You learn, you change, but there’s always something new to be had. It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters.

And believe me, we’ve only just hit the road.

Best Wishes, Saul,

-Fiachra

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The Holidays/Anniversary

Dear Saul,

Welp, it’s that time of year again, and my God has this year gone by quickly. Somehow though, I’ve managed to pack so much into this year, it doesn’t seem at all possible. I’ve been a part of a short film, I’ve been awarded the President’s award, and I’ve started writing one of my first ever novels, and continue to write it to this day.

But I suppose there’s another thing to be celebrating, apart from the birth of this kind of cute kid about 2000 years ago. You and I Saul have been doing this blogging shmuck for a whole year! One year, more than 100 followers, and 2000 views have given me pause to consider renaming “Christmas” to “Saulday” in celebration, but believe me, I couldn’t have gotten this far without the help of others. My amazingly talented blogger friends, Charlie and Evelyn, my amazingly talented filmmaker friends Oisin and Colm, and my amazingly talented not all that sane-in-the-head friends Francis, Anthony and Casey, not to mention Tara, Sorcha, Becky, Declan, Cian, Aaron, and the swathes of amazing people I am honoured to call my friends, practically my family . All of them have made this year one of the best so far.

A special thanks to Catherine-Ann, without whom I probably would have given up writing altogether. (You’re seriously one of the most amazing people I know, and I’m lucky to have someone like you around. Merry Christmas!)

Thank you too Saul. Without an imaginary muse like you, most of my stories would have fallen flat on their face!

Finally, thank you to YOU. Yes, YOU, reading this. I don’t care if you’ve been with me from the start, or just found this post by accident. The fact that you care enough to bother reading this is present enough for me, and I can’t thank you enough for everything ye have done.

Happy holidays Saul. Here’s to another amazing year.

Best Wishes,

-Fiachra

Proof-Reading

Dear Saul,

I’m proud to say, when it comes to writing, I know my way around it. I’ve still got a hell of a lot to learn, but I’m optimistic that I can string together a coherent sentence. Maybe I’m not the fastest at typing, but I get it done, and maybe it’s not top notch quality, but it’s entertaining (I hope). But even me with my mastery of… mediocrity… cannot help but sin every once in a while. And I’m afraid it’s a big ‘un. I dun goof every once in a while, and I’m not proud of it.

I never proof-read my work properly. And I mean never.

Before you start lighting your torches and grabbing your pitchforks, let me say that I do not recommend doing what I do. Proof-reading your work is one of the most important skills when it comes to writing and editing your own work. If you don’t proof-read for grammatical errors, typos, and simple mistakes, you make you work come off as just a little bit shit.

Just a little bit.

“But why would *someone* (and I’m not saying who) choose not to proof-read their own work? Surely they practice what they preach.” Well, to answer this, you need to know how much of a lazy git I am. I procrastinate a lot, and I’m afraid of missing deadlines, so everything is usually done in a last minute panic (which is such a good mindset for a writer, I might add…). As such, proof-reading isn’t as high up on the list as “getting the work done, and getting it done well” is. Of course, getting it done well requires me to proof-read my work., but I’m too busy “getting the work done, and getting it done well” to proof-read…

See the paradox I’ve created? I’m trying desperately to climb out of the rut I’ve made for myself, but no luck so far. The simple answer is, I’m lazy, and if I want to fix the issue of me correcting my own work, I first have to fix the issue of me not wanting to do anything except sleep in and play video games. And for a teenager, that is a steep hill to climb, my friend. Why not stay at the base of the hill and eat chocolate, you ask? Well, believe me, as soon as you bring yourself to check your own work, you’ll soon notice the quality of your writing is improving as well, and not just the little things. You may notice huge plot holes you managed to overlook originally. You’ll see scenes and characters that don’t work, and you’ll get a feel for your own style of writing, one that will continue to improve as time goes on.

So surprise surprise, being lazy hasn’t really helped me accomplish anything, or make me better in my craft, and chances are, it won’t work for you either. So get off your backside, put down that controller, and go read your own work. But what can you do to stop yourself from caving in and just being lazy all day?

Well, give yourself an incentive to work, and reward yourself for getting to a certain goal you’ve set. Just try not to overdo things too much:

Also, get a schedule, and stick to it. If you get into a routine, it’s easier to break that habit of  going off to procrastinate. Give yourself a set amount of time to do something, and give yourself some short breaks throughout the day. If you’re finding it difficult to stick to your schedule, start later or just have a shorter amount of time for work, then slowly build it up over time. Don’t just rush into things expecting to break out of your old habits straight away.

Finally, hang a nice “Hang in there, baby” poster on your wall. It’s the single most important thing for breaking out of laziness. Seriously.

Well that’s all I’ve got. Any thoughts on being lazy? Do you have problems proof-reading?

I have to go proof-read this post now. Maybe.

Best wishes,

-Fiachra

Dear Saul,

Hope you had a good Halloween, because November is gonna get busy. Real busy. I ‘moustache’ you a question, (geddit?) ever heard of Movember? Movember is a charity event that takes place throughout the month of November, in which brave men (and possibly women) shave their face on the first day of November, then duke it out to grow the most fabulous hair on their top lip, all in the name of raising funds and awareness for men’s health.  It’s a hilarious event. and it goes towards a good cause.

Obviously, given my teenage gumption and stubbornness, I shaved off my peach fuzz of a beard, and got to work, sitting there, slowly straining until my face went red. I kind of gave up after that, and just sat there looking slightly disappointed in myself for not being able to pop out a luscious comb of hair over my mouth. But, I still have a month to go, so it’s not all bad.

Want to have a go at it yourself? You can sign up via their website. Even if you can’t grow a moustache (You big girl’s blouse), you can support the more manly of the human race in their endeavours to make men’s health a nicer, fuzzier topic.

Don’t feel like growing a moustache? There’s always NaNoWriMo. If you have even the slightest interest in writing, then I’m guessing you have an idea of what NaNoWriMo, or National November Writing Month is.  30 days to write 50,000 word novel alongside tens of thousands others. This one isn’t for anyone else but yourself. If you succeed, it’s a testament to your dedication to the art of literature.

If you should fail…

Well…

We don’t mention those who fail…

Actually they do fine.

Seriously. And if you think you can achieve his goal, and forever be entombed in the annals of writing history, sign up on their website, and get cracking.

I’ll leave you with those for now Saul, I have to get my stache goin’.

-Fiachra

Dear Saul,

I’m baaaaaaaaaack. Did ya miss me? You can put down the pitchfork and torches now, I know you’re pissed…

I hope. Wouldn’t be much of a homecoming if I didn’t stay long. But yes, even though school sucks the life outta me (I swear, I have a life), I’ve found the time to do a bit of writing. Even though school sucks the life outta me, I managed to plan out a few things. And even though school sucks and will suck the life outta me (I’m a little sore over this), I managed to make a list of things I wanna update you on:

  • I’ve been working alongside some really amazing bloggers and writers, picking up some skills, and hopefully bringing you guys better content. Some of these folks might make the occasional appearance here, and I’ll be updating the friends section so you can go annoy them for me 🙂
  • I completed The President’s Award! I’m really happy to have completed this, and the blog is one of the ways that gave me the drive to finish it. Thanks for the help.
  • I may-or-may not be working on a fully-fledged novel, which is in very early planning. More to follow…
  • I’ve been working on the first few episodes of The Downcast, a new podcast where sit down with a friend and chat about video games while we wait for one to download. The first episode is already up. Quality is, well, crap, but give us credit, it’s passable crap 😉 I’ve also been working alongside other writers, and maybe, in the future, I may have a writing podcast for you to (maybe) enjoy.
  • I have a fun idea for a series of posts, provided I have willing volunteers. I believe it could be called ‘Writing Tennis’. I’ll essentially have a second person, one person writes the opening paragraph to a story, or post, puts on their blog and the other one follows on, either furthering the plot or idea. They post their response, and the first person will follow on from that. Repeat for hilarity. Any volunteers? 😉
  • I have a maths exam Friday. Bugger.
  • Wait that last one wasn’t really interesting.
  • I should probably stop this.
  • Jesus Christ I can’t make lists.
  • What am I doing.
  • Fiachra.
  • Stahp.

So, yeah, that’s, in a slightly broken sense, what I’ve been up to. I have lots of stuff planned for you, and I can’t wait for you to see it all.

Glad to be back,

Best Wishes,

-Fiachra

If you haven’t seen part 1, you can find it here.

With most horror films, sequels come about because the original premise brought in enough interest. Horror sequels are rarely done out of passion, and because of this, many of them end up turning out completely rubbish. And I mean serious garbage. If Paranormal Activity didn’t show you how money-grubbing sequels can get, another prime example would be the ever popular Friday the 13th series, which is blieved to have been made to capitalise on the success of the film Halloween. The first film, though poorly scored, has gained a cult following, and the series has churned out… how many films, again?

12 films

12 FILMS

NO

Bad Jason. And don’t drag Freddy into this, he knows what he did. At least he didn’t go INTO SPACE.

If there was ever a series that people begged to continue, I doubt it was this one. I think the major complaint for me going forward was this (Slightly gory, you’ve been warned):

I mean, really? Robocop goes bad? I appreciate that they tried getting away from previous films, an indeed, most slashers. But Robo-Vorhees? It’s like a borg got all pissed and a hockey mask a machete were all he had to work with. (I hope people know what a Borg is, or this’ll be awkward). The sheer humour of this, and the fact that it’s in space keeps the film afloat for about 5 minutes, at that point, I’m afraid the film fails at the first hurdle: It’s not even scary. It’s about as enjoyable as being shot into space. Which is the problem with the series as a whole. It’s not enjoyable, the repetition of it is astounding, never mind the change of scenery. It became ridiculous, and unfortunately, it suffered greatly for it.

I can’t stress enough how horrifically cheesy and awesome this is.

Now, a good sequel is easily possible, as long as the director (who is hopefully quite competent) puts a little passion into it. Films like Predator 2, Aliens, Silence of the Lambs (Yes, that’s a sequel), all off these films bleed character. They seem like everyone involved believed wholeheartedly that this project could succeed, and every inch of effort they had was put into it. It may not be the case, but with enough intelligent and well-crafted design, you can certainly make it look like it was a blockbuster.

This brings me along to my final example. One which pretty much incorporates a lot of the sins I despise to see in horror, and then some. A series which, to my surprise, people enjoy the hell out of.

Good old gory Saw.

It took seven films, but finally, we’re about to finish this monument to the elderly.

If you enjoy horror in any form, chance are Saw has popped up in the conversation at least once. 2 video games, a comic book, 7 films. I won’t lie though, I actually quite enjoyed the first film. Despite it getting trashed a lot, I think it gets bonus points for ‘innovation through limitation’. With it’s budget being relatively low for a modern day film, only a few takes could be shot, which resulted in some at-times bad scenes. However, scenes shot through still photography and surveillance cameras are examples of how good cinematography can be achieved with little money. And no matter the criticisms, I still enjoyed it.

Everything else in that franchise though? Lemme help you tear that down. I really don’t mind.

Perhaps 2 and 3, while still under the supervision of the original director, had their small merits. Perhaps. And that’s a big perhaps. After James Wan left, it was a bit of a nightmare, made even worse by the fact that Saw is so well known, Horror can be, at times, quite a niche genre, and Saw was extremely popular for something like it. I think it’s fame(or infamy, I dunno) is what kept the series alive for so long. It was always profitable enough to warrant more movies. Despite it’s very noticeable flaws (and for the life of me, I don’t know how this happened), Saw lived on for 7 films, each one adding a little piece to the lore, requiring you to have at least seen some of the previous ones to get the references, kind of like a torturous Easter egg hunt. That is, until you get to the last film, in which case, you ad to have seen pretty much all of them to have a complete an utter understanding of it all. You can fill in the gaps here and there, but many of the characters that appear only appear in select films. It’s a reasonably good payoff for die-hard fans of the series. For those of us who aren’t, sorry, you’re on your own.

Considering gall the damn notes I have on this franchise, I should just leave the rest for a whole other post, but anyway…

I like horror. really, I do. I sound so much like a crotchety old man in these posts, but I love the genre to death. Some people get thrills riding rollercoasters, I get mine from staying up at the dead of night watch terrifying films. There’s a point though where there’s simply too much of it. I don’t want to watch most sequels for the simple reason of, well, I’ve already seen the first. If there’s no progression, why bother? If there’s no innovation, the series stagnates, and at that point, there is very little hope for it.

BUT. (I’d put an image here for a corny ‘butt’ joke, but Google images is far too NSFW for some reason XD)

Like I said, a sequel born out of passion, done with the idea of improving the original concept through tweaks and changing it into something new, appeals to me. I’d love to see something like that. If only there was such a film, with which I could end this post on a generic cliffhanger for a future episode…

Hmmmmm…

-Fiachra

 

 

Math

Dear Saul,

Are you any good with geometry? I hope to god you are, I’m gonna need a bit of help. It’s strange, the way life can give you a second chance or two.  It’s even stranger that those second chances can be a little… intimidating. Sure, you’d like a second shot, you wanna get back in the ring, throw at least one more punch. Then the weight of the task at hand can be a little bit of a reality shock. Things might be a little more jarring, a little bit bigger than anticipated, and honestly, it’s okay to feel a little intimidated at first, I’m sure most people would, and I’m no exception.  For instance, lemme give you a little backstory to my school.

I am, currently, shit at maths. Or math, however you wanna pronounce it. I somehow believed in second year that I could handle higher level math pretty well, and… well… the big fat ‘D’ on my Junior Certificate exam speaks volumes as to how that turned out.  So I took a year off, did something called Transition Year, which kinda was a non-exam year meant to prep you for the next major exam, the big one, the one that would decide whether colleges and universities would except you as a paragon of society, a useful, productive human (that’s what it sounds like to me, at least). The Leaving Certificate. I kinda forgot about my troubles in math, until nearing end of the year, I began to wonder if I would remain in higher, or drop down to ordinary, also called lower level.

Welp, I believe I’ve either dodged a bullet, or jumped in front of one, because, on my very first day of fifth year in secondary school (think second last year of high school), I’ve been put into higher level math. Because a second chance can be, and is, a bitch.

This, naturally, filled me with doubt. At this point, my drive to succeed in maths was pretty much gone, I needed to focus on the subjects I could actually pass. This sounds ridiculous, but higher maths at Leaving Cert level is hard. Really hard. And I barely made it past higher maths in third year. Naturally, I was worried, especially given that the new teacher I had was one I had never interacted with, never met in the corridors, and one I might not have felt comfortable being taught by.

This teacher, as it turns out, found me my drive. By inadvertently calling me dead weight.

After being sorted into our classes, each teacher gave their own prep talk for what they would do for the exam. Mine, as it turns out, had the same effect as a Drill Sergeant. That is to say, I’ll learn, whether I hate them or not. But a few of the remarks they made kinda stuck in my head, one of them being ‘I’m looking at the class now, and I can tell you now, there’s some dead weight here’, as well as ‘I can guarantee, by Monday, not all of you will still be in this class’.

Hmm

‘Okay, well, in the first period I’ve had her, she’s referred to the slackers and, looking at my own difficulty in maths, what I can only guess, me, as dead weight holding back others from learning, and she’s hinted at the class being cut down.

Well, it’s on now.’

This was pretty much, as silly as it is, my thought process. I mean, them telling me I should go down to lower is fine, but being kicked out when I’ve already, against the odds, made it into higher? Nuh-uh, nope, no way, it’s on like Donkey Kong, now.

I guess, at that point, something just snapped, a good snap, but a snap nonetheless. At this point, it was no longer about studying for an exam, it was no longer about points, and it was no longer about being dead weight. Now, it was about proof. Proof to myself that I can and will pass, and not just pass, but succeed. I needed to prove to myself that I could beat maths. No more laying back, no more worrying about exams, at this point, the only thing that mattered in maths, was the fact that I would beat it.

And for that, I thank you, drill sergeant maths teacher.  You helped me find my drive. Before this, I was apathetic, I didn’t know how it would go for me, and frankly, I didn’t care. Now, I’ve begun to realise what I’ve missed out on, what I could have done, and dammit I’m pissed. Now, I have a goal, a reason to do something about this. I’m not doing it for exams anymore. I;m doing it for me. Because I’m sure as hell not letting numbers on a page beat me anymore.

The buck, as they say, stops here.

Best wishes, and wish me luck,

Fiachra

 

 

 

This post seems, if anything, to be one giant sell out.  To be fair, it’s the last week of summer before I head back to school, so nothing major has really happened. Did my training for mentoring 1st year students, slept a lot, starred in a local short film…

…wait…

Yes, I checked, I am actually in a short film. It’s a lovely little movie called Cathy’s Mate, directed by Oisin Beaudalot, and in a similar vein to some of John Green’s work. My performance was… well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Please show your support by watching the trailer and liking it on Facebook. I moderate the page, so please, come say hi and tell me how bad a job I’m doing.

Speaking of social media, someone finally set one up. Yes, now you too can join the… fun…  by following me on my Facebook page and Twitter. Because social media is the only way forward 😉

And lastly (the promotions are n early over, bare with me), if you guys haven’t seen it yet, Part 1 of my look at horror sequels is up and running, with more to come. Considering the whole thing adds up to about 3000 words, it seemed sensible to split it up.

And that’s it. Next week, I start my fifth year of secondary school.

Bugger.

-Fiachra

Since this is the first That’s Horror-ble for a while, I thought I’d start with something easy, something in horror that is universally thought as ‘not a good idea’ territory. Think the Twilight Zone of the movie industry, where bottles roll uphill and Shia Labeouf isn’t Indiana Jones’ son. This, my dears, is sequel territory, the wild west of filmaking, the true test of a director that will prove he’s able to hold up a series with good cinematography and interesting plots, rather than just sells outs to a broken and dead franchise.

Sequels, or as I call them, farm animals (because they’re just big cash cows. Geddit?), are a continuation of a story, a successor made to improve on the original idea while taking criticism and flaws into account. Sequels are natural, some stories are just made to be continued. Hell, even books dating back to ancient Greece had sequels (The writer Homer’s Odyssey expands upon themes and characters introduced in his earlier work Iliad). And if the Greeks did it, no doubt Hollywood would take a crack at it, with the first ‘film’ sequels being introduced in silent, black and white films. I’ll be honest, I can’t really bash sequels all that much. Sure, most of them are done for monetary gain, and many companies do tend to beat a dead horse. A whole herd of them, in the case of the Friday the 13th series. But a lot of sequels actuall do what sequels intended, and improve the films they were based on. Mad Max 2, Toy Story 2 & 3, Aliens, Star Wars Ep. 5, Terminator 2, Spider Man 2, the list goes on. All of them are testament to how to set up and keep a franchise alive. There are so many good films in So many genres.

Except for one.

Can you guess which?

I think you can?

Need a clue? It’s the whole point of this series, Einstein.

No, it’s not romance. Just go sit down, you’re not helping.

it’s horror, obviously.  In a genre usually so limited by budget, and so focused on the connection between it and the viewer used to scare it, sequels are, to put it bluntly, awful. More often than not, they’re just not scary, which to be honest, defeats the entire point of horror.  There are a ton of reasons why it just doesn’t have as many good, long lasting franchise compared to other genres. The main one being, as stated, lack of scariness.

The biggest sinner of all in this regard is Paranormal Activity. Even though the jump scares were plentiful, and the plot was simple, it reignited the public’s interest in found footage films. Supposedly, so scary that people left during the Cannes Film Festival, the film, love it or hate it,  brought tremendous success with limited tools, and being as successful as it was, well, it has to be at least reasonably good, right?

Then they made a second one.

And a third, a prequel, of course.

And a fourth.

And an unofficial spin off. Wait, counting those cheap ‘Mockbuster’ rip offs that company The Asylum creates, I think we can raise that to 3 spin offs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, after one whole year without a new film in the series, they’re launching into numero cinco, and a Latino spin off called The Marked Ones. Now, I’d like to know, at what point did this series drop off the relevancy chart? I mean, sure, I like found footage, I enjoyed Blair Witch, but seriously? Even the rip off got a sequel, the rip off!At this point, there is no innovation, there’s no fear, all the jump scares have worn off, and beating the dead horse is putting it gently. They bought a whole second horse that’s identical to the first one, and pummeled that one as well. The series is the prime example of what happens when you try to capitalise on the first of a series in horror without innovating. A sequel should be able to stand on its own as a title, be able to tell it’s story while improving on the faults of the first one. This, on the other hand, was done for money. I see no other reason as to why so many were created other than to capitalise on the success of the first Paranormal Activity, and because they were scared of changing anything for fear of losing fans, they stagnated completely.

It’s sad, but it’s a lesson you must learn in horror, or indeed in any form of entertainment: You cannot just slap the number 2 on somehing and call it a sequel. You have to be different. If you already have an established world, monster, villain, you cannot expect people to be interested if we learn nothing more about said world or monster, which is difficult with something like this, as an air of mystery is actually required. Nevertheless, expand upon your idea,give your audience a reason to want to go back to the world you’ve created, and you’ll have a successful sequel

Let’s talk survival horror, because it gives a good insight into another way horror sequels fail miserably, particularly in video games

Survival horror is a term taken from Resident Evil, and it describes a certain type of horror game.  In it, the player is given limited weapons ammo, or in some cases is left completely defenseless. Many of these games used clunky controls and what would be now considered bad gameplay to their advantage. Controlling the character and camera would be difficult, especially under times of pressure, adding an element of panic, which worked really well. As said though, nowadays, if one were to do that, given that we have such powerful technology, there’s no excuse, and it just comes off as cheap. Many series fell due to this, but Resident Evil, right up to number 4, really showed how well done survival horror can be done, even without clunky mechanics and gimmicks. the player had to stop walking to shoot, the camera controlled better but still added to the panic, and it was overall just a joy to play.

But here’s where things went downhill, as the next in the series, Resident Evil 5, received positive reviews, but fans of the older titles (myself included) didn’t enjoy it. Why? For the simple reason that it was not longer survival horror anymore. 5 had a lot more action, and gathered tension more from the adrenaline rush, of fighting of hordes of baddies, and things were generally more fast paced and exciting, which turned it more into an action-adventure game. It was no longer intended to have the same scare factor the others did. That’s alright to do, there’s nothing wrong with branching out of survival horror, a genre which really is dying. The only problem was that it didn’t completely cut it’s ties with horror. The player still had to stop moving to shoot, the game never paused, which meant enemies could attack you at anytime, and it still tried to freak you out with disturbing enemy designs. perhaps it’s just me, but when a game still holds on to tropes just for the sake of retaining some ties to a genre, it falls flat. Sequels need to know which ties to cut, which flaws to improve on, and what it needs to change genres.

Considering how long this post is, we’ll leave it at that for now, but stayed tuned for part two on sequels. Have an idea for a post or just want to leave feedback? Leave a comment letting me know your opinion. This isn’t YouTube, the comments section should be fine 😉

-Fiachra

Sleep

Dear Saul,

I’m gonna take a nap for a bit after writing this, because I’ll be honest, it’s difficult writing a post after only falling asleep at 7:30 in the morning.

Yeah, I’m gonna need a coffee or something.

I won’t lie, I’m a big sleeper. If I could get away with it, I probably wouldn’t leave my bed. But, despite my protests, society demands that I get up and make something of myself (So I put my time into entertaining you good folks 😉 ). Only problem is, after someone wakes up, they may find it difficult to go back to sleep. For the most part, I’ve gotten lucky and avoided insomnia without the use of pills or a good clang on the head  with a frying pan. But every so often, everyone has one of those nights. Either something’s bothering you, or there’s just too many things going on in your head, one way or another, you’re not going to sleep tonight. For me, when it happens, it happens badly, and it can mess up my already strange sleep schedule for days. It can happen to anyone, given the right circumstances, and can literally give people sleepless nights worrying about it.

So, what do you do?

As it happens, searching for crappy stock photos doesn’t help.

There are so many books, so many websites, and so many people telling you to do this that and the other, take this pill, drink this warm thing, watch this crummy hypnosis video on YouTube, write this blog post, etc. etc. But it’s not always that simple. So what do I do personally?

Well, if you want to follow in my footsteps, first thing is to get up. If you’re not able to sleep on the pile of springs and pillows designed for you to sleep on, there’s no point staying in it. If you can’t sleep, get up.

Next thing is to get a drink, be it coffee or warm milk, it doesn’t matter. You’re gonna be feeling rough being up at this ungodly hour, so any fluids will be a bit of help in making sure you don’t collapse on the good marble floor of your kitchen.

What you do next is entirely up to you. Do something that leaves you saying ‘I’m glad I stayed up for this’, give yourself a reason for being up so late, something that makes sleep needless by comparison. Paint that rubbish picture of the street at night you’ve always wanted to make. Write that love song you always hated yourself for not making. Write a million different letters you keep throwing out, telling your crush how you really feel.  Pull a Fight Club, visit a support group for something you don’t really have (maybe don’t do this one).

Still lost as to what to do? Listen to that one song you heard on the night of your first kiss that you’ve heard a million time. Listen to it a million times more until you can’t stomach it. Read that one page of that one book in that one series that left you crying every time you read it, and will probably make you cry again. Start a blog, even if know one wants to hear what you say, and be proud to call it your own. Or you could just think, reflect on your life, mold yourself into the human you want to be. Do all of this at 3 in the morning, not because you can’t sleep, but because you want an excuse just to stay up. A reason to keep going, to ignore everything that’s been keeping you up, everything that’s been giving you sleepless nights. Whatever it is, it doesn’t own you. It doesn’t own your time, and getting up to do something reminds you that it doesn’t control your life.

If we can’t sleep, what’s the point of lying down?

Best Wishes,

-Fiachra

P.S: I don’t usually advertise shamelessly around here, I have a whole tab for that. But I would strongly recommend you check out Ben’s Bitter Blog. I’ve been following him for a while, and I’d feel guilty not recommending funny and witty people to ye. Please go ahead and support him 🙂

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