Views from the Bike Shed — Mark Charlton
For Mark Charlton, blogging is ‘a road of chance and discovery’, one which has shaped the person he’s become; a journey that is ‘happenstance on acid.’
In Views from the Bike Shed he not only shares a selection of engaging, articulate and deeply-felt posts from the eponymous blog, but also charts his praxis as a writer. Advocating for blogging as a process and form that deserves serious attention, Charlton shows how it changes our writing and opens up unexpected opportunities along the way. Interspersed between blog posts on life and landscape, objects and artistic process there are also ‘Interludes’. And together these interludes not only give insight into how to blog, but dive into the depths of why blogging is such a rich resource in our writerly and human toolbox. Exploring how writing from our experience can become an inclusive and authentic means of connecting with readers, allowing them to make their own discoveries, Views from the Bikeshed is at once eminently practical as well as giving a vital meditation on the ways writers can push their own boundaries through this medium.
Mark Charlton’s Views from the Bike Shed blog has been an addiction of mine for years. Mark’s views are wise, finely expressed, broad-ranging, acutely observed and scintillatingly intelligent. A published collection is cause for widespread rejoicing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did the originals.
Mark Charlton is that rare thing; a corporate professional (with a background in media distribution and marketing) and a creative writer, painter, tutor… some would say polymath.
After nearly forty years in industry, Mark retired in 2018, lasting all of ten days before starting a communications consultancy. He now divides his time between working with clients, occasional teaching and following his passions for writing, the outdoors and walking his whippet Oscar.
Mark’s first book Counting Steps – a journey through fatherhood and landscape (Cinnamon Press 2012) was a critically acclaimed collection, exploring the transformative impact of parenthood and its connections to place and the past. His reflective honesty is allied to a concern to make life writing universal. ‘I try always to write from my life as opposed to about it — for ultimately, it’s not me that matters.’
Talking of his practice, Mark says, ‘It took me years to be confident in what I do, rather than feeling self-conscious about what I don’t. I’m not a novelist, poet or journalist; I’m a life writer, essayist and most of all, a proud and passionate blogger!’