A Week of Silence

“The world is only tolerable because of the empty places in it…when the world’s filled up, we’ll have to get hold of a star. Any star. Venus, or Mars. Get hold of it and leave it empty. Man needs an empty space somewhere for his spirit to rest in.” Doris Lessing I spent almost all of […]

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Finding My Voice

Over the past few weeks, something strange has happened. In the tiny bubbles of time I get between work and baby, I’ve started to write again. At first, it wasn’t much. A few scenes that barely reached 300 words. Some thoughts, a memory, nothing substantial. But it was something. I opened up ‘stickies’ on my […]

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Non-Fiction (like pie) is your Friend

My shelf is in danger of falling down. We put it up to replace the bedside tables, so it hovers above our heads, laden with all the stuff I used to cram into those drawers. A basket filled with far too many tubes of half-finished hand cream, assorted earphones, toe separators, the tiny glass pig […]

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All Change (Shift Your Focus to Re-Energise Writing)

The leaves on the tree outside my window are dying. But they are so beautiful in their death. Near the top, they still have green hearts, tinged with an acid-bright red. Towards the bottom, they’ve faded to yellow, as if dipped in custard. Every year this tree stands for months with naked branches. Not until […]

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Is Borrowing from Mythology Cheating?

When I was a student at University, I took a composition course. Bashing away at the keys of a piano in a quiet practice room (it was 11pm, I had homework due the following day), the impossibility of creating anything genuinely ‘new’ suddenly struck me. There they were, 8 little keys, with black ones in […]

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Windows – The View from my Writing Desk

Each time I’ve moved in the last five years, my writing desk has always gone next to a window. In four different houses, in four different boroughs of London, I’ve looked out over the street for inspiration, a quiet moment, or sometimes just to be nosey. I did try having it in another room in […]

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Unplug – How to Step Back from the World

On a dog walk with my sister recently, she vented an uncomfortable but pertinent truth. Why is it, she asked me, as we trudged through a bracken-crusted wood, that people throw themselves into work, spending hours and hours doing things that make them stressed and unhappy? More than that, the proceeds of this treadmill of […]

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