Every writer needs a happy place.
I've been spending a fair bit of time at mine lately. It's been one of those weeks.
I had a couple of writing issues which I couldn't quite crack. Then, just to help, I managed to get myself a cold (right as the sun came out and the weather turned kinder, naturally), which just made the thinking even harder.
So, I turned to my Happy Place -
Sitting by the magnificent River Exe one evening, I was privileged to be joined by some of my goose friends. Taking the warm air, listening to their contented muttering, gazing at the blue and amber sunset...
And suddenly the world feels a better place, and the ideas finally start sorting themselves out.Read more
Instinct - utterly invaluable...
But also all too easy to overlook.
I should have learnt the lesson by now, but sometimes I still forget. So maybe writing it down publicly like this will help.
I'm working on a new project, my first TV drama.
I had an idea for the theme, the setting, the main character, and it was all going swimmingly.
I loved the way it was coming together, I could see the visuals, the drama, the storylines, twists and turns...
And then I started to question it all. Because it was happening too easily, far too smoothly. Too much by instinct, perhaps?Read more
I do my best to keep the rundown old body fit, with visits to the gym and panting my way in a stumbling jog around my beloved River Exe.
Which also brings the benefit of fabulous sights, like this week's dramatic graphite sky -
But one of the less celebrated delights of writing is that it keeps the mind fit, too.
There's a fair bit of research to say that exercising the brain helps ward off degenerative illnesses, and keep the thing sharp. Just as we're often told how important physical exercise is.
Which makes perfect sense. As the old saying goes - like body, like mind.
Whether it's thinking up a new plot, characters, or a whole new setting, it's all hard to beat for stretching the mind.Read more
When talking to a group of aspiring writers this week, I was asked a very good question -
How do you cope with the frustration of interruptions to your writing? Like when you have to do your day job, or even something so mundane as going out for some shopping?
The answer is simple.
I believe writers are always writing, whatever else they may appear to be doing.
For me, when I'm running around the joyful River Exe, or walking to get a coffee, or driving, or even laying back in bed, I'm always thinking of writing.
Whether it's some element of the story I'm working on, ideas for teaching, or planning my next project, it never stops.
Just because you're not sitting typing, it doesn't mean you're not writing.Read more