Monday 7 December 2009

What's Next?

I’m still on a high. Lauren is getting sick of me saying things like: ‘I’m an award winning writer now so I don’t need to do the washing up’ and ‘what shower gel do you think award winning writers use?’. The thing is, I want to write and I cannot not write. Take me away from a laptop or pad of paper for more than a day or so and I go a bit nuts. It’s not just therapeutic or comforting; it’s the one thing that I can do so naturally that sometimes it’s scary to re-read (although sometimes it’s bad scary). I’m still learning about beer and trying to form my thoughts on it and communicate them effectively, but for me, I hope this is a reward for the quality of my writing above everything else. A lot of people ask why I get up at 5am, but I do it because that gives me three hours to write in the morning before work. If I didn’t do it then I couldn’t write. It’s an easy decision for me.

This weekend has had me thinking about what’s next, so I will commit them to the page.

I have goals beyond this blog, my notepad and my twitter account. I’ve written a novel and a half but these are waiting to the side for now. I’ve started writing for RateBeer’s Hoppress but I can do more than that. I now need to start trying to get commissions for pieces in papers, magazines and on other websites. I need to travel more, read more, learn more and drink more. I’ve got ideas for small blog projects which I’ll get out there soon and I’ve got ideas for larger projects which I’m working on and trying to hone and perfect (what’s the heart of it? What’s the story?). There’s a lot that I want to do and this, I hope, will be the springboard into my writing career.

Personally, 2009 has been a great year for me. I graduated from my Masters (in Creative Writing), started a career, moved in with Lauren and became an uncle. I think 2010 could be an even better year, but it will be what I make it – it’s in my hands now (or, more precisely, in my tapping fingertips). Ben McFarland is the youngest ever winner of the Beer Writer of the Year and he was 28 at the time. I turned 25 three weeks ago and I believe I’m the youngest to win an award from the Guild (correct me if I’m wrong though). As a goal, let me say this: in 2011 I want to be the Beer Writer of the Year. Now I’ve got almost two years to get there, starting from now.

As for this blog, it carries on the same, hopefully getting better all the time. I want to keep up the FAB POW!s and the As-Live Tastings, I want to do more videos as I’ve been lazy with that recently, there will be more things like Beer Swap where everyone can take part in something, I want to travel more, I want to keep writing different pieces and hopefully I’ll drink more, better beer.

I’d also like to thank everyone again for all the messages that I’ve received - it’s been very humbling. Without any readers this blog wouldn’t be what it is now. It’s also always great to hear from people who read this thing so it was especially nice to hear from first time commenters. Cheers guys. Now watch this space!


  1. I do think you're slightly mad, but in a nice, admirable way. Keep up the creative insanity ;)

  2. Other chaps your age have science fiction watching binges lasting all weekend or stay up until 3 in the morning hunting for old northern soul records on the internet, so getting up at 5 to write isn't that weird. Congratulations again..

  3. Private Poontang7 December 2009 at 09:41

    But move on.
    Blogging is great fun but it is still only blogging.
    Get yourself published and then you can really do the talk.

  4. Yeah, move on and out of my way.
    (Is there an emoticon for 2 fingers)

    But I really think getting up at 5 to do anything is mad. I prefer to stay up until 5.

    Seriously, 2011? That's well brave announcing that Mark. Good luck to you. If I'm there I'll have "Beer Writer of the Year - Mark Dredge" ready keyed into my BlackBerry this time, so don't let me down.

  5. Will do, Private!

    Dave, I like to set myself goals!! 2012 would still be okay though ;)

  6. Mark have you been up to see the guys at Brewdog yet?

    If not, in 2010, if you get to Edinburgh I will do the rest. Been up to get some beer a couple of times, astounding to see how small the operation is.

    Looking forward to seeing 2011 results, hopefully by that time I may be a member of the Guild myself