Why I blog

I’ve been asked to speak to a writers’ group about blogging.  Cue imposter syndrome telling me I’m not a proper blogger, let alone one who can tell other people how to do it.  But then I realised: they are wanting to know how I blog, not how anyone else does, and besides, I’ve been blogging…

Writing’s like marmite…

…it’s a divider of people.  I’ll explain.  When I say I’m a writer, I find people fall into three categories: The person who changes the topic of conversation in order to escape from a subject that either disinterests them or is so alien to their world they haven’t the vaguest idea how to even appear…

Write it wrong

Writer’s block is an opinion-divider.  Some writers say there’s no such thing.  Others are afflicted by it regularly but come to know that it’s part of their personal creative cycle.  For me, I’ve found that writer’s block is a bit of a coverall for the times when I’m unsure. My blocks fall into these reasons:…

Tips on writing a first draft

This week I have the possibility of finishing a first draft.  It’s tantalisingly close.  But I am aware this is when I have the potential to freak myself out – tell myself the story isn’t strong enough, that it won’t be what editors are looking for, that the story has been told before [enter self-doubt…

Fearless storytelling

Several writing workshops I’ve run recently with a fab group of year 6 kids have been enlightening.  Their ideas and what they’ve written have dazzled me. Last week’s workshop was to edit a deliberately pedestrian seven sentences: There was a full moon.  Tyra and Jason were sat under a tree.  They were in Jason’s garden.…

What’s in a name?

Naming characters, I find, can go one of two ways: either ludicrously easy or nigh impossible.  Some characters arrive in your head, fully formed, chatting away, named and ready for you to jot down.  Most however are trickier.  You wear out the ‘find and replace’ function as you flick through Maisy, Morgan, Mimi.  You eventually…

Writing feel-good teen

In case you haven’t been a teenager for a while, let me remind you – the teenage years can be tough.  There are hormones, important exams, the shifting sands of friendships and parents who sometimes forget what’s important.  And that’s on the good days.  On the bad days there can be challenging mental health issues,…