Write about what you know (part 5)

It’s two weeks since we were coming home from a week in Marrakech, bodies bronzed and brains shimmering with ideas for articles and projects. The people we met, the places we saw, the air we breathed (both foul and crystal clear according to the mode of transport – spluttering old Merc taxi or mountainside mule) were just the inspiration I needed after a summer of teaching. (Did you know that…

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How to Sell a Book

Did I mention that I’ve got a book coming out on Friday? Maybe not, because I thought the publication date was the 30th. But hey, it was orignally supposed to be out in May… So, next week, I shall be doing the rounds of radio, TV, newspapers as I’ve done pretty much every year for the last 13 or so with launch of a new book. Then there’s the bookshops,…

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500 words a day keeps the block at bay

One of the things that we shall teach on our retreats, and which I am only now promising myself, is the discipline of writing every day. Splurging your dream-state onto a messy bedside diary is the best of course, a kind of Dumbledore’s ‘Pensieve’ in which he stores all his extraneous thoughts. But only for one short period in my life was I able to set the alarm early enough,…

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Writers' Retreats

My head is buzzing with the idea of our writers’ retreat(s). We shall take our charges to write about food in Tuscan villas, music in the desert around Fez and travel in the olive groves in Marrakech. Our firepits and parties will become legendary and inspiring to writers just dipping their pens for the first time and old hacks finding our welcome enough to remind them why they began to…

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What I Did On My Holidays

So there we were, trying out the tent for our first ever family camping holiday on the same strip of Welsh sand as I used to sift between my toes as a child, when a job comes in from an inflight magazine. Damn. I had vowed that I would fly no more,leaving carbon footprinting for the much more childish who just won’t take responsibility for their role in climate chaos.…

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