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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Uncertain Times – How Can We Embrace Uncertainty?

The only thing that’s sure at the moment in UK politics, despite claims to the contrary, is that it’s an incredibly uncertain time. Managing that feeling, embracing it even, is something you will have to get used to if you want to continue to write. Perhaps, something you’ll need to embrace in many aspects of […]

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Lazy Writing

Here it is at last. A stretch of weather we can revel in. Sunny afternoons, barbecue smoke drifting over fences, parks littered with bodies half-dressed. And all that time in the evening. So how do you make it productive? Every year I get excited about how much free time I’ll have. You’d think, after ten […]

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Making Creativity – How to Boost Your Creative Output

You can’t make creativity, but you can make cake. I have two days a week to write. Two glorious, empty, indulgent, frustrating days. Sometimes, the word count is high. My fingers are flying over the keys, I get to the end of it and bask in the glory of my beautiful sentences. Other times, I […]

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