Few things in life are more daunting than attempting to write a novel. Leaving aside the amount of words you have to write (novels are usually around 80,000 - 100,000 words), there's the enormity of having to create an entire world, peopled by characters that have come straight out of your imagination.
2015 was the year of the adult colouring book. Their popularity caused a spike in sales of physical titles as they sold in their millions, providing stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts nationwide. Bestseller lists remain full of them well into 2016: wild flowers, swear words, Jeremy Corbyn - you name it, you can colour it in.
Authors get writers block. They hit a wall, a creative blockage whereby they simply cannot write, no matter how hard they try. Journalists don't get writers block. How can they? Stories move too quickly, new things happen every day. Journalists have it lucky. There is too much to write about. Right?
One of the few things I have done right (eventually) was managing to get a deal with Harper Collins and having my debut novel "The Darkest Hour" published in the USA and UK. Finally, I did something right. Except I didn't. I made a ton of mistakes as a debut author... so I thought I would list them here...
As feverish NaNoWriMo writers across the globe step back from their overheated keyboards - some with 50,000 words in the bag and others with rather less - how do they keep writing come December when there's no deadline to hit?
The main secret I learned was there's no escaping the fact that the key to getting a book written is hard slog. But if you're going to do it, you may as well do it with copious amounts of cake and good company. I'm already planning my next escape, even if it does mean working on another novel to justify it.
This week I'm not housesitting. Here at home in South Devon I'm writing, creating, running creative writing workshops and musing on one of my favourite topics: creativity. In particular I'm thinking about inspiration for writers. Looking for some suggestions to free up your writing/creativity? Read on.