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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Greater Than The Fear of Failure


I was particularly excited for NaNoWriMo last year. I had recently moved, and in this time of transition from hectic city life to the quiet green of my hometown, I decided that I would dedicate myself to writing full time. I knew that attempting the NaNoWriMo hurdle once more, and this time finally winning, would be a great way to catapult myself to official authorship.

While I mentally mapped my noveling adventure I also visited doctors' offices throughout September and October. Whenever a needle appeared I focused on the details of the bookstore where I imagined my main character working, and as a series of cold hands checked my throat, I plotted a potential meet-cute.

Halfway through October I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. 

It felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me, and my hopes of obtaining my NaNoWriMo winner status went with it when they scheduled my thyroidectomy for mid-November. 

It would have been all too easy to say to myself, “That’s ok, if …

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Did You Hear The One About?

All good jokes usually revolve around three people and, for reasons of balance, so should a good book. Not people in the sense of different nationalities or characteristics but in the sense of different facets of the writer.

The transition from creative chaos to coherent complexity demands three aspects of a writer’s persona to be in complete harmony. To illustrate the point I will term these facets The Creator, The Colourist and The Critic.

There is an inherent chaos about the creative process of writing. The flow of a good narrative often takes a more zigzag path than would be acknowledged by those writers who advocate a fixed structure. But this is The Creator at work and the creative process is, for the most part, an absolute joy. When new ideas come to the writer the writing just flows. Frequently it does not fit within the constraints of a rigid plan and nor should it.

But to create a three-dimensional plot the writer must also add depth through …

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What I Found Through NaNoWriMo


As a novice writer and a complete beginner in the world of novel writing, NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – was a welcoming community and the boost I needed to complete my very first full-length draft.

I stumbled upon the idea of joining when I was lazily flicking through blogs and tweets online. Something clicked for me - I thought committing myself to writing every day for 30 days might help. I had in the past tried my hand a creative writing, getting 20,000 words or so into a story idea. Then returning to it a few months later, struggling to get back into the groove of writing and connecting with my characters again. So I resolved to join NaNoWriMo and write every single day for a month. The effects of that decision was so rewarding that I joined again the next year and why I am now planning for my 3rd stint with NaNo this year.

NaNoWriMo offers a community of friendly fellow writers who are there to help you. Suddenly there is a support system, there are friends to lean …

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Beyond NaNoWriMo


"Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay"

Truth or creation killing put-down? Where would we book lovers be if authors did not have the courage to follow their dreams?

My fiction writing started in earnest two years ago. I had been writing opinion pieces on my personal blog for some time but had not yet delved into fantasy. Like so many readers, I harboured a vague notion that one day I would like to write a novel. I had plot ideas, and had even jotted down a few opening chapters, but had taken it no further. NaNoWriMo offered me the tantalising opportunity to see if I could produce a full script with a beginning, a middle and an end; to see if I had the skills required to create a story that others might choose to read.

That first NaNoWriMo experience was a total buzz. I dived eagerly into the challenge and completed my 50,000 words in just under three weeks. I discovered along the way that I loved writing fiction, that it gave me an outlet for so …

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Kilburn Literary Festival; bringing literature to life

Kilburn Literary Festival

Kilburn is a unique area in London recognised for its cultural diversity, and where there is cultural diversity there is innovation and creativity. This is evident in the work and ideas that have surfaced and blossomed in NW6 and in the characters that have resided here.

The Kilburn Literary festival taps into this heritage: bringing together new and established authors, covering a variety of genres, from crime fiction and historical biographies to poetry and creative writing. The goal: to bring something edgy and diverse to Kilburn – something reflective of the area.

Now in its second year, the festival is the perfect opportunity to explore London’s, and particularly Kilburn’s, rich literary culture. The Festival of Books is the ultimate celebration of all things literary: readings from celebrated authors will bring stories to life, for those who want to learn the ins and outs of the industry there will be a speed event with authors and publishers as well as …

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