Writing Process

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…]


cars-cookingSometimes when we’re making dinner, we need to do some pre-cooking.  This  involves an element of preparation that has to happen before the dish can be assembled.  So how is prewriting like pre-cooking?  Here’s an excellent 15 minute podcast which looks at the process of prewriting.  There are some great ideas here about how to prepare even before putting words on the page: freewriting, research, writing monologues for your characters, plotting and outlining. [click to continue…]


The prewriting toolkit: daydreaming

December 30, 2014

In our goal-driven culture, daydreaming often has negative connotations:  we might be accused of time wasting or of losing focus on the task in hand.  This negativity might also have its roots in the influence of Sigmund Freud, who believed that daydreamers were infantile and neurotic.  Yet writers often regard mind wandering as a valuable […]

Read the full article →

The prewriting toolkit: freewriting and looping

December 4, 2014

My previous post looked at prewriting, offering some definitions, exploring what it means for the creative process and posing the question as to whether or not it can be taught. In this first follow-up piece, I offer some practical prewriting exercises, tools that might help to generate new ideas and to unblock ones that are stuck. […]

Read the full article →

Prewriting: rehearsing, converting, transforming

November 28, 2014

I’m fascinated by the alchemy of the writing process, how the writer progresses from the glimmer of an initial idea to the coherence of a finished piece.  I’ve always considered myself to be a planner and list maker, qualities that inevitably help with the early stages of a project.  But it’s only in researching the […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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, […]

Read the full article →

The (thin) line between story and reality

February 17, 2014

Last week my first radio drama, ‘The Cloistered Soul’ was recorded at the BBC in Salford. * Without question, the experience was one of the highlights of my writing career to date.  Tweet

Read the full article →

Reflections on the writing process

January 27, 2014

I was asked by my friend and writing colleague Laura Wilkinson to take part in a blog tour, where writers talk about their processes, and their work in progress.  I’m fascinated by process, and could blether on about it all day so it didn’t take much to persuade me to say yes.  Here are my […]

Read the full article →

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, […]

Read the full article →