The Duality of Being Creative

I’ve always felt that my compulsion to write has been a blessing in my life, taking me to unexpected places, having surprising thoughts, and meeting some thoroughly magnificent people. But this blessing can also be a challenge to navigate, not least because living a writer’s life often means inhabiting opposite states of mind, sometimes simultaneously. Continue reading “The Duality of Being Creative”

What’s the best way to learn how to write?

This question comes from Aniko Madi, who is embarking on writing a novel of speculative fiction: — What is the best way to learn how to write?  Should I do a course?  Do I need to go to university?  Is it possible to teach myself? This is a great question, Aniko, and the short answer isContinue reading “What’s the best way to learn how to write?”

Feeling the fear of reinvention

‘…if you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.’ Ray Bradbury I’ve had to reinvent myself many times over the years, sometimes in a way of my own choosing, sometimes it was forced upon me.  However it happened, these transitions have always evolved into positive change,Continue reading “Feeling the fear of reinvention”

…on tradition

68. Tradition is just peer pressure from the dead The dead are powerful.  The dead are invisible but their imprint is everywhere, tendrils of belief that curl and hook into sight and sound, winding their way into darkened rooms and open spaces, into minds still soft from birth.  Tradition wants you to be Mr/Mrs/Ms andContinue reading “…on tradition”

…a hole in the wall

45. The first time you lived alone was in an attic bedsit in Laura Place, Bath.  Your window overlooked the rugby field and you shared a cold bathroom with the woman across the hall.  You were nineteen years old, and for many years you’d longed for solitude and freedom, but now that it was hereContinue reading “…a hole in the wall”

…teaching in the age of Covid

25.You return to teaching after many months away. But this is not teaching as you know it, sitting around a table with your students to debate, discuss and enquire. Instead you are in your living room, meeting your students on a laptop screen. This is teaching in the age of Covid, and this is whatContinue reading “…teaching in the age of Covid”

…soon you will write

23.Books on your coffee table: — The Philosophy of the Bed, by Mary Eden & Richard CarringtonYou found this book in a strange kind of thrift shop, a greenhouse beside a garden cafe, its glassy walls housing furniture and crockery, paintings and books. The book has a tattered dust jacket bearing a reproduction of GrandeContinue reading “…soon you will write”

…things you’ve inherited

15.— Acceptance of people as they are. Your mother lives her life this way, her face young with the kindness she shows others. She runs a social club for the elderly, organising quizzes and lunches, speakers and performers. She is in her seventies herself, and can also be feisty. This is another trait you’ve inherited.Continue reading “…things you’ve inherited”