“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
Recently, while tapping away at a work-in-progress, I hit the buffers. The ideas that once seemed fresh and exciting began to look dull, and the words that once seemed so alive suddenly became leaden, lifeless artefacts. Matters weren’t helped by the fact that I was beginning to sense a looming deadline – not, I should… Continue reading The Importance of Play
I recently read this very interesting post by Lauren Sapala, in which she argued – very convincingly, to my mind – that writers, by pressuring themselves to achieve goals, can actually hinder their progress. In the post, she made a very simple but, to me, quite startling point, which in turn provoked one of those… Continue reading Linear vs Circular
Procrastination – or time-wasting, if you prefer to call a spade a spade – is written into my DNA, as intrinsic to my makeup as my eye colour. An example: I once just about managed to hold down a dreary office job. Like many a dreary office job, once you stripped away all the highfalutin terminology… Continue reading The Curse of the Procrastinating Mind
I recently listened to this speech by Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love. What she had to say interested me, not least because she touched on something that has been swimming around in my mind for a while now. (Nor am I the only one: my friend Aniko Carmean recently wrote a beautiful… Continue reading The Ups, the Downs, and the In-Betweens
Behind every book on your bookshelf or e-reader lies another story. A story of imagination, effort, perseverance and doubt. A story that, for its protagonist, was not just a story, but his or her entire life.
Comedian and actor Mike Myers once said something that I think many creative people could probably relate to: despite his many triumphs, he insisted, he still expected the no-talent police to come and arrest him at any time. Though few of us will ever know the level of accomplishment (and, presumably, pressure) that Myers has… Continue reading When Self-doubt Strikes…
There’s an old box file in my desk filled entirely with junk. As with so much junk, I’ve a sentimental attachment to it and can’t quite bring myself to throw it away; besides, I can’t help but feel that it might come in handy one day, though it almost certainly won’t. Here I keep all… Continue reading The Ones that Got Away
…the tough get going, according to the famous song. If Billy Ocean was right about this (and who am I to question him?) then evidently I am not particularly tough. When times are hard, and the going is not so much tough as completely stagnant, I just get worried.
Well, here we are again. 2012 is dead, and 2013 is all shiny and new. The much-anticipated End of the World was a bit of a non-event. Christmas passed in a blur of wine and indigestion. And today spent fireworks and party poppers are littering the ground, and revellers everywhere are nursing evil hangovers. It… Continue reading Writing Resolutions