Back on Retreat

I first attended a residential retreat in Devon with Urban Writers’ Retreat in January 2017. Since then, up until January 2020, I went on retreat with Charlie two or three times a year.   Then, of course, retreats weren’t possible for a couple of years – but now I’m back! This is day six of […]

There’s Something in the Air in Sheepwash!

I haven’t really written much of anything since the Winchester Festival in mid-June. I mean, I’ve been adding days to my habit pledge tracking spreadsheet, because I have been working on writing-related stuff, or making notes for projects, or mostly posting reviews. But I haven’t felt as if I’ve really written anything new, other than one […]

Why Do We Do It To Ourselves?

The plan was all there. I spent a month brainstorming, outlining and cogitating. I felt excited about the story, and confident that I could make it good. I booked a writing retreat in the middle of nowhere for the first weekend in December, ready to crack on with the first draft of the new novel. […]

The Luxury of Space and Time to Read

At this year’s NAWG-Fest in September, I met Cressida Downing, who was one of the tutors. She also runs reading retreats with her friend, Sara Noel, and I went on one this weekend just gone. I’ve been to lots of retreats over the last few years – generally for writing – but this was the […]

Really Getting Away

Last week, I took a lovely, four-day trip down to Devon, to attend a residential writing retreat at Stickwick Manor, organised by the ever-awesome Charlie from Urban Writers’ Retreat. It was great to get really away from London, escape the distractions of daily life, and forget all about the stresses and annoyances of the day […]

Learning About Revision

I spent the whole of last week on a writing course at Moniack Mhor, near Inverness.  It was aimed at science-fiction and fantasy writers, with workshops in the mornings, led by the two tutors, Juliet McKenna and Pippa Goldschmidt, and the afternoons left free for individual writing time.  I always find these kind of events […]

The Benefits of Forced Focus

Writing is a tricky business.  It’s the thing I most want to do with my time, and it’s the thing I least want to do with my time.  This seems to be true of all the writers I know.  We desperately want to create amazing things – and in fact can’t imagine life without writing […]