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… Read More Finding Balance: Light and Dark
I don’t often link to blog posts on this website. Usually, Twitter, Facebook and Google + are the places for me to recommend other writers and artists. This morning though the children were woken early by my husband leaving for a meeting. I sent them back to bed for a while, but instead of burrowing under… Read More An Uninterrupted Conversation
This wasn’t the post I had planned for today, but sometimes inspiration happens to make you bump your schedule. This weekend I was inspired by a workshop I attended called On Being Human led by Jen Pastiloff. If you haven’t heard of Jen already then look her up on Instagram or Facebook. You’ll find beautiful… Read More On Being Real
It’s been a long summer and the kids are just settling back into their nursery and school routines. I have yet to find my writing rhythm, the one where I feel no resistance, where I believe in myself and the work is a joy. More than a few days away from my desk and my… Read More Writing Inertia: Did You Work on Your Dreams Today?
It’s been over two years now since I clambered up to the rooftops, cupped my hands together and admitted what I had known all along: I wanted to write, not just for me, but for readers. I thought that learning the craft, finishing and submitting stories might lead to modest sales. In fact, writing stories… Read More Reader Reviews and Big Brother
My mum’s a giver. Instinctively, wilfully, even destructively. That is, she puts herself last. It’s a running joke in our family how often we hear the same phrase when speaking to mum on the phone: “I’ve not had time to brush my teeth yet.” My parents have an open door policy. The phone rings off… Read More On Self-Love and People Pleasing
A few weeks ago I commissioned an ebook cover for the first time. At first, I made my own, but I soon realised that my own skills weren’t up to scratch to do the story justice. A book cover is a reader’s first experience with a book. Readers do judge a book by its cover,… Read More Tips for Commissioning Book Cover Art
Like many of you, I’ve been a keen reader since childhood. Reading was an escape when my loving, boisterous family overwhelmed me, when the world was quiet and friends slept, and the television pixels seemed to zap energy rather than give it. I started with Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Judy Blume and was hooked… Read More The Top Five Writing Decisions I’ve Made So Far
I’ve been working recently on a novel that has grown from a short story I wrote last year. It’s a literary romance based in Mumbai about a drifter called Akash. He continued to fill my head after I wrote the last line of the short story and I realised his story was unfinished. It has… Read More Fiction Writer’s Guide: How much Research is too much?
“One’s first diarist,” suggests psychotherapist and essayist Adam Phillips, “is one’s mother who links facts for one, holds the pieces together.” Forget the priest’s confession booth or your mum. There are more places than ever for confessionals today. Social media is a constant flood of inner thoughts memorialised. Still, the art of keeping a diary… Read More Why would You Write a Journal?
Usually this blog is about creative writing. Sometimes it is about the thoughts that I just can’t get out of my head until I expel them onto the page: an experience that has moved or wounded me, or something that I am angry about. Today though, my post is about the other hat I wear,… Read More A New E-book to Help Freelance Writers be Successful
A few weeks ago I asked my husband if he would take a picture of me. I wanted to update my website. The old avatar was tired, a headshot cropped from a family photo. J was happy to help, and I posed awkwardly. It has always seemed a bit narcissistic to me, individual pictures, apart… Read More On my Blip with Twitter and Access to your Contacts
Hands up if you wrote a list of your priorities at the start of the year and if you have failed to maintain them. A new year holds such promise. Why do we set ourselves up to fail each year and end up feeling miserable? We try to give our lives meaning but what if… Read More On Self-Criticism, Compassion and Progress
In case you missed it, it’s Nanowrimo (I’m hearing trumpets, triangles and all sorts in my head right now). I’ve been writing my socks off and so far I’m on track. Tough spots are lurking for me around the corner though as I tend to get saggy middle of the month syndrome. Still, for now… Read More Not for the Faint-Hearted: Using Critique Groups to Accelerate your Learning
October has drawn to a close, signalled by the advent of All Hallows’ Eve with its ghosts, ghouls, black hounds and masked children asking for sweets at the doors of strangers. Next up November (where did this year go?), and you know what that means. It’s National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), when writers of varying… Read More Let a Grassroots Writing Movement Give you Some Rocket Fuel
There is something enchanting about the innocence of youth. Have you ever noticed how the old take comfort from the young? As if an encounter with youth is a tonic for their own regrets, cleansing, a guard against mortality even. The promise of youth is a wonderful thing. Yet however exhilarating this passionate freefall, disappointments… Read More The Romance of Youth and Romanticising Writing
I’ve spent the past month yearning for time to write, to dive feet first into a pool of creativity and find truths in made up worlds. Today, with the kids back at school, London visits behind me and chores done, I climbed the stairs tentatively to the attic we have set up as my writer’s… Read More Routines: A Door to Increased Creativity
I’m going to be 33 years old in a few weeks. Hardly any age at all perhaps, although the white hair springing up around my temples would tell you otherwise. I remember how at 14 years old those in their thirties seemed to me to be dinosaurs. As a child I was sure that by… Read More Are you a Dreamer or a Tigress?: Setting Goals to Get Ahead
There is a frail old lady in our neighbourhood, who wanders the streets in the afternoon dressed in a sari. The saris are always tatty and loosely worn. The old lady passes fellow pedestrians without acknowledging their presence. It is as if she does not see them at all. If you say hello, she barely… Read More Losing and Finding Stories
I’ve been neglecting my writing practice of late. We’ve had a whirlwind few weeks with visitors and getting our ducks in a row ahead of our move to Switzerland this summer. My husband has been offered a job there and we are looking forward to the adventure. Right now, I’m sprawled across our bed, watching… Read More In Praise of Slowness