Scratching that itch

British “ghost story” writer Montague Rhodes James.

I haven’t written on a daily basis for almost six months now.

As a journalist, that could be grounds for a nervous breakdown. So, satiating that yen for the pen is getting to be a necessity.

In an effort to get my creative juices flowing after a summer vacation, I’ve decided to use my website as a source of motivation. A crutch to which I can answer this crux … this dilemma of needing to write.

If you follow me on Twitter (@brianbaker79) you might notice I’ve been reading some old Gothic era horror. There’s a reason why I’ve been pulling my Lovecraft and Stoker books from their shelves and reading them. I’ve added Ambrose Bierce and M.R. James to that list of must reads.

My genre of choice is horror. I find it is the best vehicle in which to drive social criticism home. Unfortunately, some of the uppity in CanLit circles find any genre writing to be worthy of disdain.

I find there’s no one out there — minus King and his contemporaries Richard Matheson, James Herbert — that is writing horror for no other reason than cheap scares. Please point me in the right direction if I am offensive in my comment. Still, I want something other than zombies and vampires, so if there is a hole to be filled, fill it with your own words.

Granted Stephen King referred to his work as the “Big Mac and fries” of the literary world, but that can be shrugged off quite simply with the question: Was he sober when he said that?

No disrespect to one of my all-time favourite writers. Horror needs a revival, one that doesn’t involve a Mormon writing about whether a teenager wants to love a vampire or a werewolf.

Without giving away too much of my current novel project, I’m going to skim over articles explaining the process that goes into closing a prison.

My biggest fault when I go into writing a novel is I research too much, plan out everything before actually writing. I’m all research and no production. I need to remedy this by just simply writing.

Then I’ll give the lowdown on what I’ve written. Consider this my NaNoWriMo word count. There is no ceiling for my word limit, only until I’m finished the story.

Like Sean Connery said in the film Finding Forrrester, “You write your first draft with your heart. You write the second with your head”.

That reminds me. I’ll keep track of some of the other media I’ve watched, read and listened to over the writing process. As an editor with Sun Media, the news and sports world will factor in greatly. This past week, I’ve watched the films Finding Forrester and The Lovely Bones.

So you’re welcome to come along for the ride, which will include intermittent showers of Top 25s here and there.


  1. Are you the Brian Baker who interviewed T. Maitland Fletcher for a Pioneer series for a Barrie newspaper back on the early 60’s ????