Post-Swanwick Boost

Last year after returning home from my first Swanwick experience I wrote about the post-Swanwick blues. I was bracing myself for the same deflated feeling this year but actually I’m feeling something else. The post-Swanwick boost. I did wonder whether attending again as a fully fledged delegate (after being privileged enough to receive a subsidisedContinue reading “Post-Swanwick Boost”

Quitting social media. Did my writing benefit?

I have been working hard at building up my writing habit. Sometimes I’ll have a good run of writing every day. And sometimes…like recently, I’ll have a day of not writing which turns into a week and then a month. But, while I still don’t manage to write every day, I am writing much moreContinue reading “Quitting social media. Did my writing benefit?”

Building up a regular writing habit

I realised I haven’t uploaded a blog at all in 2018. Whoops. But, rather than chastise myself I’m going to take it as a sort of positive, because it’s a reflection of the fact I’ve been focusing more on my creative writing. Woohoo. My writing year has got off to a positive start in aContinue reading “Building up a regular writing habit”

Help. I’ve run out of ideas. I’ll never write again.

I’ve just sat down to write a blog post about my recent tough writing patch. About how a busy work and life period has left me unable to scrape the barrel of my mind for any words or stories. Even writing this post seems like a daunting task right now. I know, maybe a profoundContinue reading “Help. I’ve run out of ideas. I’ll never write again.”

What I learned from judging a flash fiction competition

A few weeks ago I received an email with the subject ‘WINNER!’. Like any  intelligent email user, I immediately dismissed this as spam until… I noticed the sender: Zeroflash. It turned out I had been selected as the winner of September’s Zeroflash competition. What!? And they wanted me to judge next month’s competition. What what!?Continue reading “What I learned from judging a flash fiction competition”

Post-Swanwick blues

We’ve all heard of the back-to-work blues. Well I’ve got a serious case of it. More specifically, the post-Swanwick blues. Until a few months ago I had never even heard of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Fast forward to June and a lovely email arrived in my inbox to say I’d been accepted onto thisContinue reading “Post-Swanwick blues”

What TV can teach fiction writers – A masterclass in characters from BBC drama ‘Broken’

I can barely see the screen as I type this because I am sobbing. I am gasping for breath and sobbing…about fictional characters. I am crying because they were so deeply real to me. I have just finished watching a BBC series which was on earlier this year. Broken, starring Sean Bean and written byContinue reading “What TV can teach fiction writers – A masterclass in characters from BBC drama ‘Broken’”

Five things I learned from a book I hated

I’m travelling at the moment and am using the time off to read and write as much as possible. Thank goodness we’re in a car so I could bring a stack of paperbacks with me. I’m making my way through books I’ve had on my list for a while. This included a YA novel whichContinue reading “Five things I learned from a book I hated”

Interviewing family members

A close relative of mine has Alzheimer’s and for a long while, I’ve had the longing to interview her. The way the disease is affecting her means she has virtually no short term recall, but her long-term memory, particularly of her childhood and youth, is intact. I’ve been surprised and delighted on many occasions byContinue reading “Interviewing family members”

How to answer the question – ‘Are you a writer?’

I was on the phone today having a lovely chat, thinking nothing of it, when the person at the other end came out with; “You’re a writer, aren’t you?” I hesitated for a second. A few days ago my answer would’ve rolled off the tongue without a second thought. Something like; “Well, I’m trying toContinue reading “How to answer the question – ‘Are you a writer?’”