Freewriting For Healing, Transformation and Liberation

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Freewriting Creative tool

Freewriting Notebook: A Go Creative! Tool

Most of us write far too carefully. We’re trying to do it right.

We’re trying, full stop.

Hanging out on the page doesn’t have to be an effort. That it is for so many of us is largely because since our schooldays, or earlier, even the most privileged of us has been trained to self-doubt, self-deprecation and self-censorship rather than self-expression.

Can’t Write

Those who can’t write know how important it is. “Literacy salvaged my life. It is as simple and fundamental as that,” wrote Sharon Jean Hamilton, now Read the whole post »


Be More Creative… This Week With Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Creative FlowCreativity with a capital C, the kind that changes some aspect of the culture, is never only in the mind of a person…

“Corporations spend a great deal of money and time trying to increase the originality of their employees, hoping thereby to get a competitive edge in the marketplace. But such programs make no difference unless management also learns to recognize the valuable ideas among the many novel ones, and then finds ways of implementing them.

“In order to survive, cultures must eliminate most of the new ideas their members produce. Cultures are conservative, and for good reason. No culture could assimilate all the novelty people produce without dissolving into chaos.

“There is no way to know whether a thought is new except with Read the whole post »

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Be More Creative… This Week With Toni Morrison.

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Be more creative

Go creative with Toni Morrison


Passion is never enough; neither is skill.

But try.

For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light.

Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear.

Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”




Successful Self-Publishing Masterclass

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

UK indie authors. If you’re in or around London on 2nd March (Sunday) I’m doing the keynote address that day at a self-publishing masterclass run by my favourite newspaper, The Guardian.

An audience of 100 aspiring and improving self-publishers will come together with a gang of wonderful UK indies: Roz Morris, Polly Courtney, Ben Galley and uber-author-entrepreneur, Joanna Penn, who’s organising and running the day.

This  kicks off my Read the whole post »

Be More Creative… This Week With WB Yeats.

Monday, February 17th, 2014
Be More Creative WB Yeats

WB Yeats: Talent perceives differences; genius, unity.


“We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.

Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.

Talent perceives differences; genius, unity.”

Another Poet Dies For Want of Freedom of Expression

Thursday, February 13th, 2014
pic: The Independent

pic: The Independent

Please join me in mourning the death by execution of Hashem Shabaani in Iran.

A high-school teacher of Arabic language and literature, a poet in Arabic and Persian, a pacifist-activist who promoted Arabic culture and literature in Iran, a carer to his ill father, and a father himself, Shabaani was a man to admire and emulate.

In July 2012, he and the four others arrested with him were sentenced to death on the charge of  ”sowing corruption on earth”, acting against national security, spreading propaganda against the Islamic “Republic” and an offence no true republic considers a matter of law, Moharebeh (“waging war on God”).

And now – on 27 January 2014 — they have done him to death, executing him along with Read the whole post »

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Why I Prefer ebooks

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The Secret HistoryMy son’s just finished reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and enjoying it so much I decided to re-read it after twenty years.

He gave me his print copy and as I started, I realised I haven’t read a novel in pbook format in a long time.

And as I read the first pages, I realised I was  finding it heavy going in some way. Not the writing, which was just as enjoyable as I remembered it, but the actual act of reading.
I got to page 30 or so and gave in and, much to my own surprise, found myself buying the ebook edition.

And happily settled in.

The only reason I can think of is that the reader offers me one page at a time, not two. Something about that second page being there, just out of sightline, has come to Read the whole post »


Be More Creative… This week with Italo Calvino

Monday, February 10th, 2014

 Italo Calvino Be more creative“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together.

There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it.

The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno.

Then make them endure, give them space.”

― Italo CalvinoInvisible Cities

The Yeats-Gonne Trilogy Covers Are Through

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The Secret Rose Cover LARGE EBOOKA Child Dancing MEDIUM WEBBut a Dream MEDIUM WEB The wonderful Jane Dixon-Smith has just delivered the covers for the Yeats-Gonne trilogy, Between The Words, and yes, I’m a tad excited!  Jane’s done a wonderful job as always.

These novels have been a long time in the writing. WB Yeats was 23-years-old when Maud Gonne came calling and what he called ‘the troubling of his life’ began.

Yeats went on to forge a poetic career out of his unrequited love for Gonne, writing long and often about how he wanted to marry her. To this day Wikipedia accepts him at his word but the emotional truth of this fascinating relationship was a little different.

That’s what’s explored in the first part of the trilogy. The second looks at Read the whole post »


How To Go Creative: H Is For Here And Now

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
Inspiration Meditation

Find the space between the words with Inspiration Meditation



Observe a page of writing. Black marks on white paper. The marks are full of meaning – for the person who wrote them and for the person who reads them. Between this meaning, between the words and between the letters, is space. The words always get much more of our attention, but both words and space are necessary to meaning.

A page with only marks on it is all black, unreadable and meaningless.

In general, the more space around the words, the more meaningful they are, one of the reasons why a page of poetry or song lyrics is more eloquent than, for example, a dense page of legalese.

As with writing, so with life.  In this moment, we have Read the whole post »