Dr Seuss: The Lorax When you try to visualise your ‘ideal life’ or ‘ideal job’, does your inner critic jump in before you’ve even had a chance to get inspired or feel excited? Me too. My inner critic is marvellous at pointing out helpful things like: “You can’t do that!” “That would never work” “How… Continue reading A fun way to figure out what you REALLY want to do
Cave painting photograph © Maxime Aubert An interesting thing happened this morning: I got up at 6am and went downstairs to make a cup of tea. As I waited for the kettle to boil, I checked the weather (to see if a walk was on today) and the BBC News (to see whether Trump had… Continue reading Are you being guided by something?
I came across this recently in a book and I’ve been pondering it ever since: Steve Chandler is a transformative coach. He teaches his clients that situations themselves don’t cause our feelings. Only thinking can do that. E.g. Thrust a microphone towards a group of people and some will run a mile while others will… Continue reading What if our fears aren’t quite what we think they are?
I’ve just realised I’ve been doing something totally ridiculous. In the corner of my bedroom sits a pile of notes for the novel I am writing/not writing (depending on which month you ask me). Every time I look at this pile (see photo above), I feel stressed. The pile itself cannot be the problem.… Continue reading Creativity, stress and made-up pressure
Like many people, I wrote poetry when I was a teenager; pages and pages of torment and angst! Then I grew up and stopped writing poems. I'm not sure why. Maybe I ran out of angst :-) But recently, little poems have been coming to me. I say 'poems'; they're more like mini affirmations really.… Continue reading Poetry and the great unknown
I don’t know about you, but I’m not massively keen on the unknown. Every time I stare at a blank page (or a blank future), I feel anxious. My brain feels a compulsion to know things for certain. Not knowing = uncertainty = danger. But here’s the annoying thing: uncertainty is the gateway to possibility.… Continue reading A magical way to step into the creative unknown
I have been conducting a little experiment. For the past few months, I have been doing a quick doodle every day. Nothing major. I simply pick up my pen and draw whatever wants to come out. Sometimes what comes out is great. Other times, not so much. It doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. The… Continue reading The joy of making stuff up
I had an interesting conversation with my friend J at the weekend. It went like this: ME: Do you ever narrate things in your head? J: What do you mean? ME: Well, I was watching the pigeons on the roof this morning and then a voice in my head started narrating the scene. J: Sure,… Continue reading A question only a writer would ask
Something unexpected has just happened. Since 2012 I have written and submitted 5 picture books to a few carefully selected literary agents. All my submissions have been rejected, though one was a “near miss” according to the agent who represents Julia Donaldson (guess how much I treasured those two words!). Rejections don't faze me; they’re… Continue reading Writing a picture book in 3 days
Last year, my friend Julia Barnickle invited me to be part of an online community project in which she asked various writer friends to share their thoughts on the topic of, What if life were meant to be easy? My initial response was an old habitual one; to turn the invitation down (i.e. hide).… Continue reading What if life were meant to be easy?