Passion for New Projects | Blog

I started a new story this week. A long one. Well, technically it’s a short story, but considering that the majority of tales I write here are under 500 words, it’s gargantuan in comparison.

And I’m so excited about it!

It’s one that came from a daft little scribble in a notebook; a single line that I felt had potential to be something interesting. And now it’s all planned out and a third of the way written and I feel like it’s my wee baby – something to love and nurture and make wonderful. Continue reading “Passion for New Projects | Blog”

I Don’t Know What My Genre Is (Or If It Matters)

Something that I’ve been struggling with recently is defining my genre. Right now, I pitch my tales as “speculative” because this seems to me to be the most professional way to define “weird shit” which is, apparently, what I tend to write.

People have told me I have a “style,” but when I ask them what that style is, they say, “Um, well, I dunno. It’s just kinda weird.” Helpful. Continue reading “I Don’t Know What My Genre Is (Or If It Matters)”

How to Overcome Writer’s Block | Blog

Last year I wrote a blog post about how to overcome writer’s block, in which I recommended ignoring it and writing anyway. I mentioned that I try to adopt the attitude that writer’s block doesn’t exist, because resigning myself to writer’s block only makes the problem worse.

I do still stand by that to a certain extent, but I wanted to expand on it because overcoming writer’s block isn’t always as simple as completely denying its existence. Even if we don’t call it writer’s block, we can agree that there are always fluctuations in our creativity levels, the number of ideas we have, and the amount we write on a regular basis. We’re not all super inspired and eager to write every single day. We all go through phases in which we struggle to write, and it’s perfectly natural and normal.

But what’s the best way of dealing with it? Is overcoming writer’s block possible? Continue reading “How to Overcome Writer’s Block | Blog”

Is a Degree in Creative Writing Worth It?

In 2012 I graduated from Royal Holloway University of London with a joint honours degree in creative writing and drama. Pretty much ever since, I’ve wondered if it was worth it. Continue reading “Is a Degree in Creative Writing Worth It?”

Quantity or Quality in Fiction Writing?

I saw a Twitter thread at the start of the year in which people were discussing the Ray Bradbury Challenge (I’m not gonna share it ‘cos I can’t find it… bad blogger alert, sorry), and it got me thinking. So naturally, I’m going to ramble on about it for a few hundred words or so.

The idea behind the challenge is that you write a short story ever single week for a full year, because it’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row. At some point, you’re bound to come up with a gem, right? Continue reading “Quantity or Quality in Fiction Writing?”

Writing Makes Me Miserable: On Writing and Mental Health

Writing makes me miserable. But I do it anyway, because sometimes it’s just the tonic I need.

I’ve suffered from depression on and off since I was a teen. There have been moments where I’ve thought, “Shit, this thing is going to kill me,” and times where I’ve thought, “Wow, I’m so happy I can’t imagine I’ll ever be depressed ever again.” I was wrong on both counts. I’m still here, but I’m still working on my mental health every single day. Continue reading “Writing Makes Me Miserable: On Writing and Mental Health”

What Querying Feels Like

I’m currently querying my first ever novel. It’s stressful, to say the least. It feels like there’s so much at stake and the thought of getting it wrong is horrifying, never mind the fear that the book is just pure rubbish which no literary agent in the history of time would ever be interested in representing. Okay, we’re getting into rant territory now; focus, Ellie. Continue reading “What Querying Feels Like”

My Writing Playlist

Do you like to listen to music while you write? I know some find it simply too distracting, while others need some background noise in order to focus. I’ve even come across folk who like to write in loud, busy environments like coffee shops or trains or planes, but I can’t imagine trying to concentrate with other people’s conversations going on around me. Personally, I do like a touch of music when I’m writing, but not while I’m editing. When editing, I need to completely focus on the words, and I find music, particularly music with lyrics, stops me from taking in every sentence and analysing it to the nth degree to check that it reads right. Continue reading “My Writing Playlist”

Shouting Into the Void

Hello? Is there anyone there?

These are two questions I’ve often felt of asking since I first started posting short stories and blogging with earnest here last August. Building an audience from scratch is hard work, and I’ve still got a long, long, long way to go before I’ll feel like I’m reaching a satisfying number of folk with my tall tales. However, over the past few weeks I’ve felt validated in my efforts, and it feels like the right time to reflect on the weeks I spent shouting into the void. Continue reading “Shouting Into the Void”