Likes and dislikes

One of the most valuable networks for writers I know of is Lapidus. It’s here at if you don’t already know about it. I’ll declare an interest; I’m a member of its board and I go to meetings of the London regional group whenever I can. London Lapidus meets in the basement of the Poetry Cafe in Betterton Street, … Read More

A delicate balance

A couple of weeks ago Rachel Cusk wrote a piece in the The Guardian in which she examined the question of whether creative writing can be taught. It’s a thought-provoking read. If you missed it, here it is: I enjoyed many of the ideas in this article, including the observation that although writing is a solitary activity, many writers and … Read More

Gather round…

Where do ideas come from? When faced with the challenge (or the promise) of a blank page, where does the writer start? It’s the question I’ve been asking my classes in the past couple of weeks, as we set sail into the new term. The conversation often takes us into the difficulty of knowing how and where to start; at … Read More

Read your way into writing

At the start of a new course I often ask people what they are reading at the moment. Sometimes I’ll ask them about a favourite book, or something they’ve read recently that has inspired them. It’s a great way to learn about people’s tastes, what they enjoy and what feeds their writing, but often several in the group will say … Read More

The sound of silence

We are half way through the first week of the new term and already I have been reminded of at least one of the reasons I love my job. Over the Christmas break I read Sara Maitland’s A Book of Silence. It’s a meditation on the meaning of silence; whether as the absence of noise or as  something more powerful … Read More

New year, new blog

Some people paint, some make music, some run fast, some kick a ball around… and some of us write. I’m one of those who write, but that’s just part of what I do. I also teach, train and counsel others. When I’m involved in writing, or enabling others to write, I’m in my element. It’s my work but it often doesn’t … Read More