First Thursday event in Newcastle

Tomorrow lunchtime (2 March) I’ll be chatting about the Spreadsheets & Moxie project and what Sarah Salway and I reckon it takes to develop and sustain a career from your creative practice.

Part of the NCLA’s First Thursday series, the event is designed to fit into your lunch hour and starts at 1pm in room 1.75 of the Bedson Building, Newcastle University. It’s free, no ticket booking required, and you’re welcome to bring your sandwiches.

A moment of writing zen by a babbling brook #trythisathome

For anyone needing a moment of writing zen, here’s a bit of nature to get you in the mood.

Having recently discovered Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books, I’ve been ignoring the world in airport departure lounges in favour of battling demons and teen angst. I’m a massive fan of YA books and I think they’re one of the best ways for any fiction writer to think about the importance of a strong plot as well as a strong story. Due to travelling up and down the country to see friends & family for early autumn weddings, I’ve also been thinking a lot this week about finding quiet moments to write, think and read.

For anyone else trying to channel a moment of calm to focus on their writing, here’s a recording of a babbling brook taken in the grounds of The Hurst during a recent writing retreat. Perhaps imbued with the memory of John Osbourne tramping around with his dog, or simply the clarity that time in nature brings, stick it on a loop and block out everyday life while you lose yourself in writing (or reading) a book.

*It’s a low quality recording taken on an iPhone so if you’re listening in a loud environment, stick a pair of headphones on.