My last post was about setting intentions for the new year, inspired by my recent reading, and the practice of choosing three words to help focus those intentions. Here, I reflect on the first word in the list of three: clarity. What role does it play in creativity, and how do we achieve it in order to best do the things we want to do? [click to continue…]


I love January, don’t you?  Crisp, sharp mornings and cosy nights by the fire.  I realise I’m in a minority as a fan of winter. But, at this time of year, I relish that feeling of emerging, mole-like, blinking in the dark.  It’s a time when we can reclaim and rediscover ourselves.  Everything can feel old-new. It’s a season for taking stock, and, of course, to start again.

This festive season was especially hibernatory for me.  It meant I took a proper midwinter holiday (as opposed to the trawl of travelling to visit lots of people).  It also meant the luxury of lots of time to read.  If, like me, you’re curious about the ways in which we can really engage with our purpose, then I highly recommend three of the books that were part of my Christmas reading diet: Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly, Mihaly Cziksentmihalyi’s Creativity and Grace Marshall’s How to Be Really Productive.  Each, in its different way, is full of wisdom and valuable insights; perfect reading for renewal and reflection at the point when the year turns from old to new. [click to continue…]


3 words for 2016

January 17, 2016

There’s something special for me about winter: the stillness; the turning inward and time for reflection.  At the turn of the year I always try to reflect on the twelve months just gone and the ones still to come. I’ve never really been big on goal-orientated new year’s resolutions.  But recently, inspired by Chris Brogan, […]

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‘I Have a Dream….’

January 14, 2015

What do these words mean to you?  Tweet

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Effortless Writing

November 12, 2014

Earlier this year I moved house.  Five months later, most of my books are stashed away in storage but I did keep my creative writing books to hand – and have finally managed to unpack them and get them onto the bookshelves by my desk.  I couldn’t resist stopping to flick through them, my eye […]

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Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and the myth of genius

October 29, 2014   ‘Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your […]

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Glasgow Women’s Library: 21 Revolutions, Jackie Kay

October 22, 2014

Over the past year, Glasgow Women’s Library have been running a brilliant project to celebrate women’s lives – by having contemporary Scottish women writers respond to pieces in the library as inspiration for their work.  Here’s a podcast from the fabulous Jackie Kay, reading the pieces inspired by the collection (scroll down the page a bit […]

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Welcome to my website

October 21, 2014

Welcome to my website.  I’m a novelist, dramatist and prize-winning short story writer.  My novel Sisterwives is published by Crocus Books and also available on Kindle.  My first radio drama The Cloistered Soul was broadcast by BBC Radio 4  as part of the ‘Original British Dramatists’ series.  You can read my prize-winning short story (winner of the […]

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Cultivating a garden together

March 22, 2014

This month I co-wrote a post for Something Rhymed with my friend and writing buddy, Antonia Honeywell.  Dedicated to literary friendships, ‘Something Rhymed’ is the brainchild of Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, who are themselves friends and writing collaborators.  Mine and Antonia’s post is in part a testament to our shared experience of writing, […]

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January: Objective-setting for busy writers

January 10, 2014

I’m an inveterate deviser of schedules.   At school and university, I’d spend ages devising revision plans, colour coding and decorating them.  They were the answer to my prayers.  I’d have an optimistic surge, each time I did one, that a carefully crafted plan would see me through and be the answer to my success.  Mostly, […]

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