From the Lochaber News: “The John Muir Trust has announced the winners of its 2008 prestigious Wild Writing competition at this week’s festival. First prize of a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor went to Kay Sexton from Sussex for her piece, Cleft, a tale about a challenging climbing incident and the relationship […]

Posted by on Nov 15, 2007 in good writing, Steve Vai, writing | 4 Comments

What has Steve Vai’s guitar playing got to do with a man trying to have sex with a bicycle? Well, to begin with, they were both drawn to my attention in the same week. The former, by my teenage son, the latter by blogger Steve Kane ( to whom I am indebted. As I began […]

The Champagne Method of Writing Picking up on both Sara and Martin’s comments, I want to grab this chance to reiterate my belief system (or part of it) in relation to writing. I didn’t train as a writer, and came to the profession late. As a result, my techniques are based in other disciplines and […]

Posted by on Mar 6, 2007 in coaching, editing, good writing, revising | 8 Comments

Rushing to judgement When I finish working with a coaching student, or teaching a class, I’m quite often asked, what is the one piece of advice I wish writers would remember? ‘Don’t give up’ springs to mind, but much more important, to my mind, is ‘don’t rush to judgement’. It’s the judging, more often than […]

Posted by on Dec 11, 2006 in good writing, music, procrastination | 7 Comments

A Room without a View Where do you write? My PC monitor faces a blank corner of the room, not a single picture or postcard alleviates this boring view and to see out of the window I have to turn through nearly 360 degrees. I’m not one of those writers who can cope with distraction […]

Posted by on Nov 27, 2006 in good writing, grammar | One Comment

The best prose I know … Is to be found in the Chiltern Seed catalogue. It’s not an original discovery, and I’m indebted to Beverley Nichols, my favourite garden writer, for talking about how seed catalogues could produce spring in the gardener’s mind in the depths of winter. Here’s an example of their elegant, informative […]