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Water-powered Writing

June 17th, 2021

Everyone knows how powerful water can be. We’ve all seen footage of waves crashing against a sea wall and of flash floods causing danger to life. But have you considered how water can be a power for good in your writing?

Writers from Shakespeare through Wordsworth and Virginia Woolf to more modern authors such as Neil Gaiman have been inspired by water in its many forms.

I often visit a local reservoir in my trusty campervan, Vincent – given my surname, my van couldn’t be called anything else! A walk along the lake shore can be peaceful or, on a blustery winter’s day, exhilarating. Yet, whatever the weather, I always come away with something useful for my writing, whether it’s the first draft of a poem, the outline of a short story or just the solution to a plot hole in my current work-in-progress. Read the rest of this entry »




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Be Aware Of Awareness Days

September 6th, 2020

This week’s post is a bit of a miscellany. First there’s an interesting snippet I picked up this week from the Sunday Times. Apparently, the pandemic delayed the publication of hundreds of books but now things are back in full swing and 3rd September was ‘Super Thursday’ for the publishing industry with 590 new titles coming out. So if you’re looking for something fresh and interesting to read, now’s your chance.

I know that some people struggle with apostrophes, and wonder if they’re even necessary; others consider the use of semi-colons an affectation. But now there’s news that Millennials and Generation Z don’t like full stops because they can signal anger, especially in social media messages. In fact, the poor old period is regarded as a passive/aggressive symbol. But be warned. (Note the aggressive threat in that?) It might be the norm in tweets, texts and WhatsApp messages but if you’re putting together an email to a client or to go with your CV then it’s still considered best to use proper punctuation! Read the rest of this entry »




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Finding New Ideas

June 29th, 2018

First, thanks to Michela for last week’s blog. I love the way she refers to writing as ‘self-inflicted duty’! It may be for her, but there are many others who want to write but somehow find themselves short of new ideas.

First and foremost, you need to realise that nothing is really new. We’re pretty sure that no matter what idea you come up with, someone else will have already thought of it, or something very much like it. That’s just life. So, it’s not always about finding new ideas, it’s about making an old one fresh – finding a new angle to work from. Read the rest of this entry »




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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

September 8th, 2017

Writers are often asked where they get their ideas. In the past I’ve found this difficult to answer, because sometimes ideas seem to come from nowhere. When this happens, it’s great, but it’s not always the case. What about the times when the well feels empty and as if it may have dried up forever?

Sitting around and waiting for the muse to visit is probably not a very practical approach. I find that reading often spurs me into writing – sometimes a powerful short story, or a particular author’s voice, will provoke a strong urge to write. The potential problem here is that you may inadvertently end up copying another writer too closely, something that Dorothea Brande mentions in her seminal work Becoming a Writer. In fact, she turns this into a writing exercise, in which you deliberately spend time reading a writer with a strong voice, write something straight afterwards, and then observe how they have influenced your own style. Read the rest of this entry »




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Bored With Football?

June 17th, 2016

football-blogLove it or hate it, the football is with us until 10th July! For some of you out there it will be the perfect excuse to put your writing to one side and not think about it again until the final penalties (if it goes to penalties) have been taken. For others, it’s the perfect opportunity to read more and write more. Let’s be honest,  there’s not much on the other TV channels to grab your interest – especially if you’re old-fashioned like me and don’t have Sky, Now TV, Netflix or any of the other subscription packages.

So, I’ve stocked up with lots of great books, bought myself some new gardening gloves and plenty of insect repellent for when I’m working outside in the evening. I’ve also got one or two ‘outings’ planned – without my husband, who’ll be glued to the TV. And it’s this ‘me time’ that I hope will provide some inspiration. Often it’s getting away from the normal routine and trying something different (even if it’s only a local trip) that gives you the inspiration you need to move forward with your writing. If you’re a football widow (or widower) for the next couple of weeks, why not try it? Read the rest of this entry »




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