How to be Awesome

I’ve always been a perpetual starter. So many hobbies, instruments, sports, arts, languages, begun but never mastered. Yet I’ve just finished the third draft of my first novel, and have completed numerous half marathons and two full marathons. I don’t think I started out particularly better at these two things than any of the others, […]

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The Enemy

The nugget of something Is there But in the act of putting it on the page It disappears No flare of wit or will Nothing to separate Me From all the other people struggling to take bits of language and string them together in a way that is meaningful Wavering in the face of the […]

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Editing Backwards

I find myself in the glorious position of having completed the second draft of my novel. It feels infinitely more satisfying than the first. Then, I knew there was a mountain of work still to be done, endless shuffling about of scenes and ideas, and there was a long road ahead. Already, this one feels […]

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Encouraging Thunder

  Blogging sometimes feels like throwing a pebble into a tunnel/cave (insert metaphor of something large and dark). You tap away, have a flurry of excitement each time you put something up. Dutifully read by friends and family of course, but you’re never entirely sure that it’s reaching anyone else. However, it would appear that the […]

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Wasting Time

Sometimes it feels like the more time I have, the less I get done. I’ve had an erratic work schedule for almost two years now, doing everything from paternity leave in a school which took up five days a week, to doing nothing but evening and weekend tutoring to make ends meet while I write […]

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How to be Both

What are the conditions needed to be truly moved by something? I like to think it’s intensely personal, like falling in love. The intricate web of circumstance, location, what you had for dinner that day, your mood, how difficult it was to get where you were going. All of these elements can combine to produce […]

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The View from the Other Side

I’m trying to write a book with a dual narrative. It seemed like a good idea at the time. When I found myself wading in a sea of post-its, spending three hours on a Thursday afternoon shuffling them around to try and figure out how to intersperse the two stories I’d written independently of each other, […]

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Office Politics

I’ve never worked in an office. I remember a teacher I used to work with swapping for a more ’normal’ job. She spoke of the euphoria she felt when she could go to the toilet, literally, whenever she wanted. Non-teachers don’t understand the true meaning of bladder control, that feeling when you look at your […]

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Writing the Unwriteable

So what’s your book about then? It’s the obvious question, once you’ve fessed up to what you spend a large chunk of your time doing. There are several options here. You can keep it vague, although you run the risk of sounding pretentious: It’s about gender identity. You can make it very specific, more about […]

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How Does a Completed First Draft Feel?

It is done. The very last words of the first draft, complete. What a…well, I’m not sure really. In the first case, it’s not actually the first time I’ve got to the ‘end’ of it, so to speak. I did that a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve read back through the whole thing and […]

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