Welcome To My World!

This is where I keep all my fiction (novels, storytelling podcast, short and flash-fiction). Feel free to dig around.

If you fancy a chat, join the very occasional mailing list, get in touch directly or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime, put your feet up and enjoy the latest collections: So You’re Dead… Now What? and I Didn’t Do It!

Storytelling Podcast

Almost there… In a few weeks (give or take) I’ll be launching the 100% Waffle Free Storytelling Podcast. Put the kettle on. I’ll be with you in a bit…

Blog: Journey Notes for Writers

The blog is where you’ll find random fiction with notes from my own writer’s journey. I’ve been working on cracking fiction since 2003 (I KNOW! Some people take longer than others), so by now I keep things pretty practical and real. There might be something here that can help you along the road. I don’t often send emails out, but you’re welcome to join the mailing list if you fancy. Ways to search the blog:

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At last!! Vindik... vindick... vinedicat... Vindication! ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

When you’ve been working on a number of projects for what seems like years, you’ll try anything to get traction and move forward. That’s what humans do.

Trouble is, we don’t focus on one thing and work it to the end. We try a dozen things at once!

Ever decided that you wanted to lose a bit of weight? Have you ever just stopped eating too much? No, you’ve bought books, gone to therapy, started a bunch of prescribed diets, maybe gone to the gym, fretted about standing on the scales every day… When all you had to do was burn more than you consumed.

But when you really want to do something and you can’t get traction, you look for any and all solutions. And in case one doesn’t work, you run two or three or six in parallel.

In the writing world, that means working on non-fiction, short stories, a screenplay, the novel, building a website, going on courses, doing research for everything…

All you really need to do is sit down, chill out a bit, focus on the most important piece of work, get that done AND OUT THERE, and then move onto the next thing.

Now, once you’re in the flow of writing and you have a few projects out the door, then knock your blue spotted socks off and multi-task. But when you have too much going on and aren’t finishing anything, don’t do it. Just don’t risk it. Don’t overload yourself.

Most likely, you already have a day job along with a pile of other family commitments, so it makes perfect sense for your mind to shut down when you try to pile half a dozen writing projects into the mix.

Choose ONE project. Get it finished. Move to the next one.

Now, your natural instinct might be to say that your novel or non-fiction book is the most important thing. But it might not be! It might be the half dozen stories that are almost ready for sale. Maybe it’s the Kindle book you published but haven’t pushed.

The mental pressure of unfinished work builds a barrier distracting you from moving on. So work out what unfinished work might be blocking your flow and get it done.

Philip Roth said: “The road to hell is paved with Works-In-Progress!”

I’m inclined to agree!

I look forward to seeing you in The Writing Publishing Lodge - the virtual retreat for writers who want to publish. It's free to join: www.thewritingpublishinglodge.com/
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2 months ago  ·  

Happy Friday to you, folks. I know what it says below - but it's the weekend so focus on the fun!! ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago  ·  

“OMG!!!!! It’s been a month/a year/a decade and I haven’t finished my book!!!!!!!!”

We wind ourselves up about the most remarkable things.

It’s all a question of perspective.

The main problem is that our perspective (as a writer) often doesn’t match the rest of the world.

We have a schedule! Don't you get that? We have deadlines!

The thing is, the more you freak out over your book (whatever stage you’re at) the slower the process will become.

So here are 12 ways to chill your boots if your book project starts to freak you out:

1. Do something that’s worth freaking out over. If you’re scared of snakes, go to a zoo and drape one over your shoulders. I guarantee that'll take you mind off your writing problems.
2. Play tiddlywinks. I don’t know what it is… Maybe it’s the comical seriousness required to get the little suckers in the cup. Takes your mind off things.
3. Remove all deadline. Obliterate them. Don’t set them! In the writing/publishing business there are very few deadlines you truly control.
4. Get puppy therapy! The real deal... not a video.
5. Go rock-climbing or scuba-diving or do something that forces you to be truly present.
6. Get a mix of people you like, love and maybe not like so much and go play paintball! Shoot the folk you don’t like and blame your buddy. Mwhahaha!
7. Watch a whole day of TV! Get a box set of something awesome and watch every episode back-to-back.
8. Go on a course. Choose something you’re fascinated in, something unrelated to your book, something you’ve always wanted to learn about. Make sure it’s a real class with real people, not online. Climb right into the subject. Boots and all.
9. SING! Doesn’t matter if you can’t. Just open your lungs like a parrot at dawn and squawk! If you like, join a choir and make a habit of it. Your noise is too great for the shower! Get it out there!!
10. Go to a tap dance class. I bet there is research somewhere that proves that tap dancing is the most liberating of all the dance forms. There is something remarkable about making music with your feet.
11. Get a full on, no messing, hot-stone massage.
12. Pick up a favourite book by your favourite author, find a coffee shop, take your shoes off and enjoy.

Last I looked, writing a book was supposed to be fun. So snap open the goodie bags and jump in a puddle… doesn’t matter what you do, but whatever it is, keep calm. Live first, write second. And remember you have more than one book in you.

See you in The Writing Publishing Lodge - the virtual retreat for writers who want to publish. Click the link to join. It's free. www.thewritingpublishinglodge.com/
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2 months ago  ·