There’s a lot of advice for writers out there, some of it very good. Joshua Wolf Shenk’s “Have the courage to write badly” is essential for any writer who doesn’t want to give in to utter despair whilst reading through their first drafts. Harper Lee’s advice to aspiring writers that they would be “wise to… Continue reading Write What You Know, or What You Love?
Procrastination – or time-wasting, if you prefer to call a spade a spade – is written into my DNA, as intrinsic to my makeup as my eye colour. An example: I once just about managed to hold down a dreary office job. Like many a dreary office job, once you stripped away all the highfalutin terminology… Continue reading The Curse of the Procrastinating Mind
I recently listened to this speech by Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love. What she had to say interested me, not least because she touched on something that has been swimming around in my mind for a while now. (Nor am I the only one: my friend Aniko Carmean recently wrote a beautiful… Continue reading The Ups, the Downs, and the In-Betweens
Alexander McCall-Smith was taking part. So too, according to some tweets, was God Himself. Well, if it’s good enough for McCall-Smith, not to mention the Almighty, it’s certainly good enough for me. So I put on my thinking cap, powered up my laptop, and took part in the 2014 Twitter Fiction Festival, which ran from… Continue reading Short and Sweet: the Twitter Fiction Festival 2014
Behind every book on your bookshelf or e-reader lies another story. A story of imagination, effort, perseverance and doubt. A story that, for its protagonist, was not just a story, but his or her entire life.
Comedian and actor Mike Myers once said something that I think many creative people could probably relate to: despite his many triumphs, he insisted, he still expected the no-talent police to come and arrest him at any time. Though few of us will ever know the level of accomplishment (and, presumably, pressure) that Myers has… Continue reading When Self-doubt Strikes…
There’s an old box file in my desk filled entirely with junk. As with so much junk, I’ve a sentimental attachment to it and can’t quite bring myself to throw it away; besides, I can’t help but feel that it might come in handy one day, though it almost certainly won’t. Here I keep all… Continue reading The Ones that Got Away
…the tough get going, according to the famous song. If Billy Ocean was right about this (and who am I to question him?) then evidently I am not particularly tough. When times are hard, and the going is not so much tough as completely stagnant, I just get worried.
Well, here we are again. 2012 is dead, and 2013 is all shiny and new. The much-anticipated End of the World was a bit of a non-event. Christmas passed in a blur of wine and indigestion. And today spent fireworks and party poppers are littering the ground, and revellers everywhere are nursing evil hangovers. It… Continue reading Writing Resolutions
Having imaginary friends is, like being afraid of the dark, something that you’re supposed to grow out of. According to conventional wisdom, by the time you reach adulthood you’re supposed to be grounded in the real world – whatever “real” means – or grounded enough, at least, to focus on the flesh-and-blood people who inhabit… Continue reading Life with my Imaginary Friends