Sometimes I come to a blank page because I have something to say; at other times, I come here because my mind needs excavating before I can move forward. Today is one of those days. Writing fiction is a strange beast. Readers have an idea of what it might be like: writers working on their […]

As many of you know, this autumn Evolved Publishing will be releasing my first novel. The past few months have been a whirlwind of getting to know the Evolved team and editorial work. It’s been an eye-opening experience, and I’m so grateful to have the curtain lifted on this side of the business. But that’s […]

I’m a language purist at heart. You know the type. I know I’m not alone. How many of you insist on writing out words in full, even when you are texting? I like seeing every letter painfully spelt out. It brings me joy, masochist that I am. Not for me, the LOLs, TIAs, BTWs and […]

Many moons ago, I wrote about the benefits of journalling. I journaled as a child, continued sporadically as a teen, and then with increased regularity after reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which recommends morning pages as a conduit for creativity. Then I had children. Often, it’s not an alarm that wakes me up, but […]

Happy new year, readers. I hope the coming year finds you healthy and hopeful, that you uncover pockets of laughter, reach into your potential and fill the spaces of emptiness that sometimes haunt us all. I’m late with my well wishes, I know. I have an excuse though. Littlest Stelter was born a month ago, […]

National Novel Writing Month begins tomorrow, a heady rush of 30 days in which writers across the globe attempt to write 50,000 words of their project. When I look back at the milestones that have propelled me along my writer’s journey, NaNoWriMo is a key one. For newbies, NaNoWriMo is great for building a writing […]

If you promise not to tell a soul and agree to share a red-faced moment of your own in the comments, I’ll let you in on one of my childhood humiliations. I must have been about fourteen, and had been asked to recite a prayer at mosque. That day, all the ceremonies were being performed […]

Some of the oldest stories that exist centre around curiosity, and what happens when our thirst for knowledge is indulged. Take the story of Eve taking fruit from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Or Pandora unable to resist opening her box and allowing the world’s evils to escape. Or fairytales such […]

I’m less patient than I used to be. Some of it has to do with personal growth. I know what I want, and who I want to spend my time with, and while I have compassion, there is more of an edge to me than before. My antennae are finely tuned. I am more likely […]

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve lost my place in the world. It happens rarely, this feeling of being in limbo, but when it does, it is a reassessment of who I am and what I have achieved, and often I’m not kind to myself. The best approach is always to give myself some breathing space, […]

Over the last few weeks comments from my novel beta-readers have been trickling in. It’s the first time I’ve been through this process for a long project. Common wisdom says I should collect the responses and read them all at once. This way, it’s easier to get an overarching view of the novel’s reception and […]

The processes we use in our creativity are individual. None of us work the same way: creativity is intuitive, our thoughts and approached vary. That’s not to say a template isn’t useful to guide us. Besides, it’s tempting to look over the fence and see what the neighbour has done with her garden. To this […]

One of the ways we perceive those around us is by categorisation. Like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. We label people to understand them. She is ambitious: he is laid back. He is adventurous; she is scared of her own shadow. She is a ski bunny; he is a couch potato. She is black; […]

There is a time to be silent. I value it more as I grow older. The quiet after I close the children’s bedroom doors after kissing them goodnight, or when I sink into the bath. I don’t need to fill the space with noise, like I did before. It reminds me of my maternal grandfather, […]

This blog dips into my thought waves, and often I spill onto the page what I am discovering myself. In that way, it’s a record of my learning and journey to publication. It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally within sight of finishing the first draft of my novel. I am both […]

We’re hurtling into the new year, like a comet coming into land. The past twelve months have flown faster than the ones before, while Old Man Time, scythe in hand, gleefully waits. We make vows to welcome in the fresh year, hoping at the end of it we will be fitter, happier, more successful. Setting […]

I know the answer to this question, and if you are like me, you will be jumping up and down saying: everything! Everything is fair game in art. It is the role of the writer to imagine new worlds, entertain, explore themes, and ultimately to hold up a mirror of truth. It is why the […]

When I was a child I hid under the covers after lights out with a pen torch, determined to finish one more chapter. I took books with me into the loo because I couldn’t bear to be away from the characters for a few minutes. I read in jumps and starts on car journeys when […]

It’s been two and a half years since I started blogging. Two and a half years during which I’ve learnt an incredible amount. Some of it is unmeasurable. It’s the result of Twitter conversations, writer friendships, reading blogs and craft books, research, workshops and self-practice. It’s the result of the shift that happens when the […]

I’ve been thinking recently about how responsibilities grow with age. Freedom too, in many ways. When I was younger happiness came readily, bubbling and buoyant, easily read from the smiles on my face. That happiness is no longer a constant effervescent source. It has eased instead into a contentment I have to work at. It’s […]