Everybodys free to write (and wear sunscreen)

About 15 years ago I bought a book entitled “All I Really Need to Know I learned from Star Trek”, it became one of several philosophical type books about Star Trek that are scattered around my bookshelves, I’m not entirely sure where they all are, partially as I lend them out or my Uncle takes a particular liking to them from time to time and I don’t see them from one year to the next.

All I really need to kow I learned from Watching Star Trek

Whilst it shares much with he more traditional philosophers, this book can also help you cope with a surprise Klingon attack.

However, I and the other 100,000 who bought this book might have saved themselves some time and money by listening to the 1999 song by Baz Luhrmann entitled “Everybodys free to wear sunscreen”. The chances are that this song answers all of your problems though it doesn’t directly help you with what to do if you a are wearing a red shirt and about to be beamed down to a planet.

This song dominated the UK music charts and much of Europe in the summer of 1999 but strangely didn’t reach any prominence in the USA. I’ve read that Baz is a controversial figure though I can’t quite see how. I’m not aware of anything bad he has done except for his film Australia flopped but then I had already guessed that as I make it a rule not to watch anything with Nicole Kidman and Uma Thurman both two actresses I cannot stand for any good reason. The film critic Mark Kermode explained it well about Thurman by stating that she is the closest thing possible to being human without actually being so.

After watching The Great Gatsby a few months ago, it led me back to Baz’s earlier Romeo and Juliet which I found I enjoyed as much now as then and then that in turn reminded me of this song.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, you might like to click on the link above before you go any further.

In honour of this great song I have taken it upon myself to re-write it to make it more focussed for writing. This is its world premiere so I hope that you like it:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the blog of ’13
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, writing daily would be
it. The long-term benefits of writing daily have been proved by
authors whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering blogging…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your blog; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your blog until it has been archived.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at your blog and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really wrote….

You’re not as bad a writer as you imagine. Don’t worry about the next post; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to write your post by playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook. The real troubles in your blog are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that spam you from the son of a deposed president of Nigeria at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Write one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s writing, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours.

Enjoy it!

Don’t waste your time on checking your stats; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive in your feedback, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old fan mail, throw away your rejection letters.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
blog…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to write about, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Get some keyboard and mouse rests. Be kind to your hands, you’ll miss them when the RSI sets in.

Maybe you’ll be successful, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll get freshly pressed, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll you get writers block at 40, maybe you’ll right a New York Times Bestseller on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your writing, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest talent you’ll ever

Comment…even if you are just writing for fun. Read other blogs, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT check the stats of other peoples blogs, they will only make you feel inadequate!

Get to know your editors, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your followers; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that people who leave comments come and go, but for the precious few you should always reply to. Work hard to bridge the gaps in writing and subjects because the longer you write, the more you need the people you knew when you were starting off blogging.

Enrol in the Amazon KDP programme once, but leave before you go broke; write a romantic fiction book once, but stop before it makes you rich.


Accept certain inalienable truths, internet speeds will increase, pop up ads will annoy you, people will rip off your work, you too will write nonsense, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young, writers could spell, editors understood grammar and writers respected their audience. Respect your audience.

Don’t expect anyone else to re-blog you. Maybe you have a twitter account, maybe you have upgraded CSS on WordPress; but you never know when either one might get hacked. Don’t mess too much with your writing style, or by the time you’ve written 40 posts, it will look a mess.

Be careful whose blogs you read, but, be patient with those who
write them. Blogging is a form of a public introspection, publishing it is a way of making sense of life, feeling better about the bad bits and writing it up for more than its worth.

But trust me on the writing!

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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10 Responses to Everybodys free to write (and wear sunscreen)

  1. Rosemarie says:

    Enjoyable and good advice.


  2. NOAEfame says:

    I really enjoy this post. I hope i really learn something from it, You a are good analyzer,I would love to be more open and vulnerable but I cannot sometimes, good post


  3. stinemaria says:

    Well said. Writing is a great but challenging tool and we all need to be reminded. Thank you:-)


  4. Absolutely great advice, especially giving yourself a rest.


  5. gn0mel0ver says:

    I love this post, Stephen. Such wonderful advice. And I thought your words were truly beautiful. Very well written. Thank you! This was exactly what I needed!



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