Glimpses Author Hugh Roberts Shares His Story
Hi Hugh, I am so excited to have you here on Always Write. You write from your heart, and when you answer a comment, I feel like we communicate. One of the first things I read about you on your blog Hughs Views & News is that you struggle with a mild form of dyslexia. I never was tested, but I love to blame my typos and oodles of mistakes on that problem. You haven’t let it get the best of you, have you?
“Not at all,” Hugh answered
What is the ONE thing that you do, that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes, so far?
Without a shadow of a doubt, Marsha, it has to be blogging. Yes, like you, many of my readers know I’m dyslexic. For a very long time, I allowed the condition to get in my way of wanting to write and become a published author. I managed to hide my dyslexia very well because, from the age of 18, I was always in full-time employment (apart from a short spell, which is another story that I hope to tell one day). My dream of publishing a book was born at the same time as me. It stayed with me and then, on February 12th, 2014, I discovered the world of blogging and published my first post.
It took a long time for you to come face to face with this issue. But you set your mind to doing something and you dive right in and make learning your goal. I admire that in you, Hugh. It is wonderful when bloggers validate your efforts. That is what makes many of us try so much harder at blogging.
Can you walk us through how to be wrong?
There are lots of reasons I could give here, but the biggest thing I get wrong is not to believe in myself. We all suffer self-doubt. We wouldn’t be human, would we, if we never allowed self-doubt into our lives? However, there have been many occasions when I have allowed self-doubt to stay in my life for far longer than it should.I’ve shouted and screamed at people when I have had self-doubt and learned that it doesn’t get me anywhere. When we get angry, we produce negativity and that, for me, only feeds our self-doubt even more and makes it stronger. I asked myself if those I was shouting and screaming at really wanted to see me like this. Is this how I’d want to see them if they were coming to me with the self-doubt I was having? No! I soon realised that I’d want them to sit down with me and talk to me calmly about what was going on. Having somebody listen to your problems does help, but not when you are screaming and shouting at them.
It sounds like you learned that lesson the hard way, Hugh. It almost seems like blogging was something like the movie Anger Management for you. I probably should not even ask this next question because you say you have a lot of self-doubts. But it sounds like you have come such a long way. I can’t even imagine that other Hugh.
Tell us about something that you do not do well.
I’m not good at Beta reading. I get asked to beta read a lot but have come to realise that although I’ve managed to stop letting being dyslexic from stopping me write, I’m not at all good when it comes to spotting mistakes in books and stories. I’m not an avid reader, which I know many writers and authors will frown upon, but I do read every now and again and enjoy the relaxation it brings. For me, you must have something very special to be an excellent beta reader and to be able to spot the mistakes or the things that don’t add up in a story. Some say that reading more books makes you a better beta reader, but I can vouch that it doesn’t work for everyone. For me, watching T.V. movies and going to the theatre help me with my writing.
“What does this say?” She did not look or sound happy.
“Brian,” I answered.
“Brian.” I answered again.
Nobody would sign his name Brain on purpose. So my “brian” reversed the letters and made it right. She changed my job that night.
Hahaha. OK, so you DO understand my problem.
Yes, I think I understand, Hugh. But let’s skip forward a few steps. You’ve been blogging almost three years. You’ve written a book. You have hundreds of new friends. You get at least 65 comments on every post you write.
If your blog or career ended today, what would be the legacy that you left behind?
My short stories and the twists and turns contained in them. I’ve always been a big fan of T.V. shows like ‘The Twilight Zone’, ‘The Outer Limits’, and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected.’ Rod Serling, who created and wrote many of the episodes in ‘The Twilight Zone’ is somebody I look up to and admire. I want to follow in his footsteps and produce stories that have the reader and viewer guessing all the way to the end; being led up the wrong path, and taking that sharp intake of breath when that twist at the end of the story is revealed.I also like to think that my stories have readers in suspense. For this, I look at somebody like Alfred Hitchcock who, for me, is the master of suspense. I’d love to be able to jump into a time machine and go and visit Mr Hitchcock and try to persuade him to do a class on creating suspense in writing and movies. How cool would that be? My dream now is to have one (or more) of my short stories made into an episode of a T.V. show or even a movie. Yes, I’m already thinking Hollywood!
What was your first job?
I was an Office Junior for a steel stockholding company. I helped out with any clerical jobs that needed doing, but the job also involved going on the mid-morning cake and Cornish pasty run and running errands for the Office Manager. In those days, there were no desktop computers and no mobile phones. Each desk had a typewriter, and changing the ink ribbon was one of the messiest jobs I had to do.One of the secretaries in the office taught me how to type, but it was on a big machine known as a teletext that took up a whole small office of its own. I had to copy type what needed sending and then watched the machine come alive as it typed and sent what I had just written. I was amazed by what this machine could do and how, at the other end of the country, somebody was watching what I had just typed come through on their teletext. Those were the days where we worked to the strict hours of 9 to 5 and had a whole hour for lunch. All the work got done, and I’d never heard of ‘stress in the workplace’ or people working overtime/turning up early for work and not getting paid for it. We had time to relax and enjoy ourselves at the weekends, and everybody had time for you.
Thank you, Marsha. I’d love to come.
Hugh W. Roberts Bio
Hugh W. Roberts is a first time published author, who lives in Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.
He gets his inspiration for writing from various avenues including writing prompts, photos, eavesdropping and while out walking his dog, Toby. Although he was born in Wales, he has lived around different parts of the UK, including London where he lived for 27 years.
Hugh suffers from a mild form of dyslexia but, after he had discovered blogging, he decided not to allow the condition to stop his passion for writing. Since creating his blog ‘Hugh’s Views & News’ back in February 2014, he has built up a strong following and now writes every day. Always keen to promote other bloggers, authors, and writers, Hugh enjoys the interaction blogging brings and has built up a group of on-line friends he considers as an everyday essential.
Glimpses author Hugh Roberts has now built up his first volume of short stories and is working on the next volume. A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing most evenings with a glass of red wine.
Hugh shares his life with John, his civil partner, and Toby, their Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
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