Question Everything

When my daughter was four, we took her to Disney on Ice. As princesses and pirates and heroines and villains swished and pirouetted and twirled, her little face was a study in concentration. At one point, Donald Duck was put into an enchanted sleep by an evil queen. All the children around us oooohed and…

Wordgasms: Show Up and They’ll Come

I've just had a wordgasm. TMI? Hear me out. I've just had the kind of half hour that writers across the world dream of: complete focus, ideas flowing, fingers tapping, two "punch the air" moments, one scream of excitement, a few tears, and 500 pretty good words on the page at the end of it.…

The Pantser and The Second Act Sag (Or, more things I have learnt writing a novel)

I've finished my first novel, and plans are underway to publish it. As I bask in the afterglow (AKA the thank-feck-that's-over, Netflix-saturated, crap-magazine-reading malaise), I've been reflecting on the novel-writing process and what more it has taught me (You may also want to read my earlier post, Ten things I have learnt writing a novel).…

Ten things I have learnt writing a novel

I’m giving my manuscript a final proofread before submitting it to a potential publisher later this month. It’s been years in the making, this novel. It has sat, untouched, for months at a time. Life has gotten in the way, including setting up my own editing business, raising my daughter, becoming single, rebuilding a life,…

I’ve put this post off for weeks: A new way of looking at procrastination

I may be mediocre at many things, but one thing I am brilliant at is procrastination. I seem to make a lot of well-intentioned plans and set myself what I think are realistic writing goals, and I still find myself wandering round the house picking up and putting down ornaments when I should be working on my…

Wrestling the Octopus: how to avoid writing a novel

At a certain point, a novel-in-progress starts to get a tad unwieldy. When you begin, you have a blank screen and the boundless enthusiasm of a puppy. After a few months you have a mountain of scrap paper scrawled with half-finished paragraphs and synopsis drafts, screeds of ideas jotted down and pinned all over the walls in your office,…

It’s OK to be Slack. Really.

  There is so much pressure today to be better, quicker, faster, more efficient, more creative, and to be constantly doing something "worthy". (Oh, how I hate that word.) For writers, the pressure is on to write every day, to consistently be inspired and enthusiastic, to produce work on a regular basis, to be observant…