92.6 The Blitz? Super!

It seems that everyone wants something from you these days. There’s always a catch. There’s always a gotcha. Always?

Almost always.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually care about the independents. One of them is Smashwords – easy and friendly publishing for independent authors. But what about musicians?

Where can you get your song played so people will actually hear it? Where can you rub shoulders with other people, just like you, from all across the world?

Radio Rock 92.6 The Blitz, that’s where – find it at 926theblitz.rocks, or get it on the Spreaker App. That’s Spreaker with an R.

Hosted by Tom Slick (a fellow author, by the way) and bunch of groovy cats like Frankie Mae, Arabella Fox and Simone De Haas (a fellow Aussie), you get a mix of rock, soul, pop and country to both soothe and groove.

Why am I going about the Blitz? Because independent artists need to bind together, support each other, work together to face up against the struggle of being a squeaky voice quashed underneath the noise of corporate marketing.

The Blitz is one of those places you can go to listen to good music, stuff you haven’t heard before, stuff you’ll be tapping your toe to and thinking, “Damn, why hasn’t anyone else heard this?”

The Blitz is where you can go to showcase your own tunes. Want to be heard worldwide? You bet. There are artists from the UK, from Ireland, Russia, Canada, Australia, Israel, the US, Germany… and it’s where I first heard Circe Link, Nina Storey, Blane Howard, Rick Mercer, Swami Lushbeard, Dreamkiller, Amanda Jones, the Bonazzoli Band, the Sixth Generation, A & L Music, Revulsa – Ah! The list keeps going!

The Blitz is the internet radio station I’ve got pumping through my headphones while I’m slogging away at code. The guys behind it are passionate. They give a damn. That’s why I’m doing my best to support it:

Jez – Official Blitzer and Proud

You should, too. Donating via Patreon is the way to go, even if it’s only a dollar a month. Or grab yourself Official Blitzer merchandise. Or, you know what? Just listen in and jump on the forum, shout out The Blitz wherever you can – after all, it’s for the indies.

Or, perhaps you can get in contact and ask Tommo to play your tunes?

Side note: the Blitz is on an official break for the moment, but they’ll be back on air in a few weeks. Never mind, you can still listen to latest shows and hit the archives on the Spreaker app, or cruise the website.Mini Jeztyr Logo

The Grind

The Smashwords Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Sale is over, the party is dying down and the world has a glut of indie books to chew through. There’s that distinct feel of melancholy in the air, the bartender is flicking the lights and the cold air from outside is waiting for you to give it a cuddle.

What now? What else? It’s back to writing, back to creativity, back to the grind. Sounds like a drudge, doesn’t it. In a way, it is. It’s laborious. There’s no fruit until the end. You can see the work coming together, like walking past a building site every day and noting the different stages, but that house ain’t a house until the guy turns the key in the door for the last time and hands them over to the agent.

That’s too depressing. What’s more, its far from the truth.


The Truth

Writing is a slog, no denying it, but that’s not all there is to it. Consider the building analogy – it’s as good as any I can think of at the moment. The site is cleared, the rubble is removed and all that’s left is that blank area of dirt and patchy grass waiting for your attentions. At this point, you’re scratching your chin, sucking on the end of your digital pen, wondering how to start.

And then you do. You write. You type. You put words together and sketch out a bit of a plan. No, no, that’s not right. Three bedrooms, one upstairs. That’ll require better foundations. Little by little the fuzzy blur of the end result coalesces into something tangible, something you can work toward.

With the lines marked out, the foundations get dug and poured. As soon as they are solid, you find yourself walking around the floor, imagining the walls, the decor. There’s a sense of happiness in the anticipation of what’s to come. You see, at this point, you’re not preoccupied with the lengthy nights that are looming. You know full well what they’ll be like, yet there’s a sense of duty that comes with having everything cut out and ready to go.

You’re committed. You’re anxious to get started. That first wall that goes up, that first vertical delineation that says, “I have now begun!” is, believe it or not, a very satisfying moment. It’s only bare-bones, a mere truss of wood sticking up in the air, but it’s real and it’s solid and it’s just one of the many thrills you get.

This is how it goes as you write: You write some more, you erect another wall, you complete a room, your revisit the rooms and add the bricks and plaster, then you paint and decorate and, at each stage, you revel that what you’re doing is getting you closer to the goal. The things you make converge to that ideal image in your head.

The point is this: When you’re heading down the road of creating something, don’t focus on how hard it is, or how long it’s going to take, or how many times you’ll need to revisit pages. Focus instead on how much you’ve achieved, on how close you’re getting to the end product! The book didn’t exist before you thought of it and now it’s being brought out of the abstraction of your mind and made manifest in a physical form. That’s pretty cool, right?

It is cool. Writing is cool. It’s hard, it’s a slog, but it’s fun. Keep it fun, keep looking at your progress, keep your eyes on the end goal and you won’t mind the drudgery. This post, really, shouldn’t be called ‘The Grind’, it should be called, ‘The Adventure’, because that’s exactly what writing is.Mini Jeztyr Logo

An Epiphany

A few weeks back, I hit the well-worn “stuff-it” button and began that familiar routine that involves sniffing about for something quick for dinner. Pizza was the order of the day. What would it be this time?

Then a wave of realisation swept up behind and smacked me fair across the sconce – I was a moron. A dunderhead. A moon-calf. A nincompoop. A dolt. For there was I, sitting at my desk, looking once more at the monitor, ordering like the chump that I was from Domino’s Pizza.

It hadn’t always been that way but slick ads and tantalising offers and convenient interfaces were just too much for my work-exhausted brain to resist, and so I’d dutifully click those buttons and order those pizzas and wonder how I ever did without.

Until that fateful day. What spawned the notion, I’m not sure. Maybe I had actually had a decent sleep the day before, or maybe some forgotten trace of caffeine had wormed its way up, but the result was undeniable.

I marched to the telephone, picked it up and rang the number of George’s Pizza, and was greeted with an actual human – amazing – who has always been so polite. I had their dog-eared brochure handy in the little folder under the coffee table. Twenty minutes later I was marching back in the door with two steaming hot examples of how pizza should be. We ate like kings. We savoured perfectly cooked bases. We enjoyed actual anchovies and proper sausage and real bits of seafood. We fought over the leftovers the next day.


My point is this: Those big brands do everything they can to cut their costs, have slick websites and call-centres and television adverts and sms reminders and phone apps, and they don’t give a rat’s about quality. They make it too damn easy to purchase what really is inferior quality food made poorly at inflated prices.

Meanwhile the mum and dad battlers who actually give a damn, who actually know how to make a great pizza, who actually bother to learn your name and are interested when they ask how you are, those guys are getting squashed. They are feeling the pinch as the bright lights attract the masses (yours truly, regrettably, included).

Support the people who live in your town. Support the people whose business is their livelihood, not just an investment. Support those who are selling their time, traditions and skills to you.

Support your locals, dammit!

And eat good pizza.

Mini Jeztyr Logo