The short, sweet, and comprehensive guide to choosing a book coach who understands how to get your Big Book Idea out of your magical brain and onto paper
This is where the manuscripts lie; not dead… but asleep. Abandoned.
Languishing in a drawer (or on a hard drive), started but never finished. Not fulfilling their destiny.
We can hear them whispering to us in the dead of night: come back to us! Please! Finish us off. Put us out into the world. Don’t leave us aloooooooooone…
This, I fear, is the fate that awaits most book projects. The ones that…
Around 3,775 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia, a man utters the words, “What do you take me for!” thus demonstrating that humans don’t change.
Nanni was angry. So angry, he went to the trouble of seeking out a scribe to write a letter of complaint for him — quite possibly the oldest letter of complaint we know of. Nanni had been cheated by a copper merchant, Ea-nasir, who had taken Nanni’s money and provided inferior copper in return.
The strongly worded letter is one of the oldest pieces of writing we have and it, along with other ancient personal letters…
There are some people who do not have a fear response. In the face of danger, they laugh and run towards it (literally). One of the causes is an unusual genetic disorder called Urbach-Wiethe disease, which destroys the amygdala in the brain, and with it the ability to feel afraid.
There are others who don’t seem to feel fear — at least, not like the rest of us. On the face of it, it looks like they seek out danger and risk, like those free-solo climbers who scamper up El Capitan without ropes (seriously my palms have just started sweating…
On March 16, 2020, like an unwound clock, I stopped.
That’s the day we went into lockdown in the UK. I only expected to stop for a few days — to recover from the whiplash of a global pandemic — but days turned into weeks and ennui settled in.
Not immediately; for a little while, like everyone else, I was a ball of spiky twigs — stressed, angry, frantically scrolling and refreshing the news, winding my nerves ever tighter, like a chemically enhanced stockbroker.
Along with everyone else, I watched the world burn, protests unfold, people murdered by those who…
We’re hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. And the Earth is spinning at around 1,000 miles per hour. (Sometimes I spin around my office at these speeds.)
That spin gives us days that are 23 hours and 56 minutes long, and years made up of 365.24 days.
We all have that amount of time.
So why do some people get tons of writing done, and others struggle to make any progress at all?
Time is relative. It changes depending on your frame of reference. I’m not talking about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity here; I’m assuming you’re not…
You’ve written a great book, you’re getting wonderful feedback on it, people are contacting to tell you how they’re getting on and how much they love the book, and yet on Amazon… it’s crickets.
Maybe you have a handful of reviews… but other than that — nothing.
It is incredibly frustrating because you’re getting all this private feedback, but you can’t make it visible on Amazon where it’ll really help your book move up the ranks and encourage others to buy.
The struggle is real, my friend. And the last thing you want to do is keep pestering people…
Lust is greed; love is a gift
The punishment for lust, according to the Bible, is being smothered in fire and brimstone, which sounds pretty horrific if short-lived.
I reckon a more imaginative punishment for lust would be to spend eternity naked with the ex you never want to see again. If I were into punishing people for lust, which I am not.
There’s nothing wrong with a little lust from time to time; especially if the object of that lust is Cillian Murphy or my husband. Or, you know, both because I’m greedy.
Lust is defined as a passionate…
One of my favourite songs as a teenager was Every Day Is Like Sunday.
Now, I’m living in a world of eternal Sundays… or at least, that’s how it feels. Honestly, I don’t even know what day it is anymore.
Every day seems to last forever — and yet, at the end of it, I’m left wondering what the hell happened to all this extra time we’re supposed to have now we’re quarantined. I don’t know about you, but I spend approximately 32.7% of it faffing. Ruminating. …
It was a little like something from a horror movie: in the silence among the stacks, where I’d made my nest, I saw the lights start to click off.
But there weren’t monsters coming to get me; it was just the deadline for my degree dissertation hurtling towards me faster than the speed of writing.
I was in my favourite corner of the library, in a fort made from books of Egyptian grammar, archaeology, and out-of-date translations of ancient stelae, frantically researching the role of women in ancient Egypt and panicking about my imminent deadline.
My topic was “did the…
Why pride is a sin and a virtue…
We’re told to be humble, to be quiet, to sit down and shut up. Everything we learn from the day we’re born urges us to be smaller, not to make trouble, and to swallow our pride.
I reckon there are two types of pride.
One type needs nurturing; the other doesn’t.
This is about a deadly sin of writing… but first I have something to say about the good type of pride. The type that will lift you and you work, if you let it.
Let me start with a question or…