I give you permission…

January 31, 2015

Categories: Writing Days, writing habits

Dear reader

you know who you are… (more…)

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August 21, 2011

Categories: writing habits

The best excuse for spending a Sunday outside on a balcony in the sun with friends instead of doing the myriad of things that need doing at home?

When it comes to my last breath on Earth, I don’t want to be saying, ‘My goodness my skirting boards were clean…’


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A hard habit to break

June 23, 2011

Categories: Huck Finn, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, writing habits

Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man,
but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
Mark Twain

Mark Twain – he looks grumpy, doesn’t he? By all accounts the man had a wicked sense of humour and I would have like to have met him. Huck Finn was one of my childhood companions, Tom Sawyer another close ally.

So, to the habit of writing. I’ve been told that if you do something every day for 30 days, it will become entrenched as a habit. I guess this might be some of the thinking behind the NaNoWriMo idea. I know that it is easy to get into the habit of not writing, but that is not a habit that I would like to encourage. A little bit of writing every day. Down one step every day. It’s not a lot to ask…


Writers can learn from Olympic Athletes

June 16, 2011

Categories: Olympic athletes, ray bradbury, writing habits

“Quantity produces quality.
If you write only a few things, you’re doomed.”
—Ray Bradbury

When strangers learn that I write books for children, two responses that continually pop up are:
1) When are you going to write a book for adults?
2) I’m going to write a book one day — I just need to get around to it.

I’m going to skip the first response today and move right on to the second. When talking to students about writing, I always equate writing a book with running a marathon in the Olympics. Participants in this arduous sport do not wake up one day, don their Olympic gear and decide to take part in the gruelling race. Athletes at this level undergo years of training, exercise and mental preparation. They will lose some races and there will be times when they wonder if all the effort is worth it. There are many things you can do to help achieve your goal of ‘writing a book one day’ and one of them is to write, write and write. Consider it as a way of warming up your muscles, testing your limits and preparing yourself for the big race to come.

Happy running.

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