Journal

‘Holidays’ in 2020

It used to be that we declared we were ‘on holiday’ upon setting that out of office. And then, often, we might have jumped on a plane to make sure we took ourselves seriously: WE ARE NO LONGER WORKING!!! In 2020, that out of office has been much more challenging to delineate. Home has become…

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Still writing.

Today, rootling around storage, I found a journal I was writing when i was 21. Aside from the cringe factor of much of the content, what is interesting is the sheer output of words. The pull of putting pen to paper was clearly strong even then (unsurprising given I chose an essay-oriented arts degree). Most…

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Creative Habits: Barbara Kingsolver

I am fascinated by the habits of prolific creatives: writers, artists, illustrators, poets, singers. How they get the work done, overcome daily resistance, structure their time. My heart sinks when I read exclusively about discipline that contains not an ounce of family obligation. No pulls from small children, household tasks, relationships. Because then it makes…

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The Creative Experience

Last week I hinted there is something else I want to publish here, in this little space of opportunity my blog has suddenly revealed. I don’t feel ready, but I know I never will. I will post my short stories – one a month, starting from January (date undetermined, but I may announce one to…

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A poem: Up

Up It’s time to pick yourself up from the floor,to look around and discover what’s worth living for. Start slowly, baby steps, there’s no rushtake a moment to breathe, gentle hush. Put your phone down, give your eyes a break,take some time off the screen, for your mind’s sake. Get outside for a walk, alone…

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Word Mountains

Once upon a time, I was at university. That splendid place where adult responsibilities are delightfully postponed: nights spent in general debauchery, days buried in amongst dusty tomes, untangling extraordinary essay titles which made no sense until, in writing, suddenly they did. In those four years, the most phenomenal quantity of words piled up. Essays…

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A poem: Keep Going

On the importance of continuing to forge the path forward, even if sometimes the steps aren’t too clear. The importance of baby steps, and trying, and keeping on keeping on. Keep Going Creature of a higher spherethe muse whispers sweetly in my ear‘Keep going’, she says, ‘you’re onto something’Calmed and soothed, I let her sing:…

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Rookie Errors

My desk was clear. Something started to happen. But it was not what I had planned. That first draft of my second book, that I ‘completed’ back in July? Turns out I had committed an enormous, faintly ridiculous, rookie error. When Will, my book designer, mocked up the book, either the characters were lodged right…

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The Power of Tidying

When in doubt, tidy up (Brian Eno) We had come to the end of the summer ‘holidays’. Finally, it was my favourite month of the year: September. Back to school (for the children). Back to School (for me). The hazy heat of summer moved over, replaced by that familiar fresh tang September air always brings,…

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On the Hook.

I must stop doing this. I must stop reading books which are likely to jazz me up before bedtime. I know this is not a sensible part of good sleep hygiene (something I’ve taken fairly seriously since the diabolical sleep deprivation caused by my two darling boys). So if you’ve got any good recommends for…

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