Mindfulness for writers | How to try mindful writing

I’m a huge advocate for mindfulness in all walks of life, not just writing. Everyone can benefit from the sense of calm instigated by yoga, or the self-awareness prompted by meditation. But what’s the relationship between mindfulness and writing? And how can we start to produce mindful writing? What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the awareness…

How long should you wait between writing new drafts of your novel?

When looking up advice about drafting and redrafting your novel, you’ll frequently see writers and editors suggesting that you wait between clicking the cap on your pen after your first draft and reloading the typewriter for your second draft (yes I live in the 1940s). But how long does this wait have to be? How…

Why is poetry important? (An interview)

A mid-month post from me – not JUST to shake things up, but to share a few things that’ve been published recently. (Anyone else really LOVING feeling autumnal, right now? I’m getting really into my knit jumpers, big mugs of tea, and fluffy socks. I’m raging hot – but it’s still worth it.) I was…

How to plot a novel (your first draft checklist)

Trying to figure out how to plot a novel, and not sure where to start? One thing’s clear – if I didn’t draw up a story outline before drafting, my narratives would fizzle away into nothing. No character arcs. No pacing. No flow. No meaning. Nuffink. All writers need to find their own way (we…

Why I write (writing vs philosophy)

PRE-BLOG WARNING: Hold on tight. Reading this post might feel like sailing a punctured life-raft along a stream of consciousness. Don’t worry. It’ll be over soon.   I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how authors label themselves. Authors. Artists. Creatives. Content Creators. Storytellers. Novellists. Poets. But I suppose the label that sticks to…

BBC Radio Newcastle – The Evening Show

The episode’s available to listen to for the next month, so catch up with it here to hear me do my best Marks & Spencer voice and listen to some upbeat tunes.

The best books on creative writing

Look up the best books on writing and you’ll find thousands – all with similar sounding names and blurbs on the back. With limited time and limited budget, how do you know where to start? I definitely haven’t read all of them. No-one has. It’s impossible! But I do have quite the collection on my…

April: Writer in Residence at ‘Moving Parts’

One of the most exciting projects that I knew was coming up in 2019 was my official involvement with ‘Moving Parts’, the Newcastle Puppetry Festival. Ben and I went to a few shows at the 2017 festival, and we were so completely overawed by it that we were half-intending to run away from life and…

What is an art song?

It’s not something you necessarily listen to everyday on Spotify, but I’ve recently been introduced to ‘art songs’. This all started when a wonderfully talented composer, Charlotte Marlow, got in touch with me to collaborate on an art song sequence for a celebration at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. March 19th this…