Photo Inspiration for January

This month's photo inspiration is a shot I took while out walking the dog.

It was one of those days ('brisk' as my father would have called it) that pinches your cheeks and hurries you along.

The grass was crisp over the frozen soil beneath, and as my dog investigated a nearby tree, I took a moment to, well, just take a moment.

Normally, I look up. On that day, I looked down.

Peering up from beneath the layer of frost were three daisies. While the winter world lay dormant and still, these tiny flowers dared to show their faces.

This year is all about (more) change for me and these daisies, surviving in the chill, reminded me that to make progress, I will have to run the risk of poking my head outside my comfort zone.

What do these daisies in the frost mean to you? Survival? Hope? Perseverance? Let me know. I'd love to know what they inspire you to write.

7 ways that walking the dog makes me a better writer

Now that my teens have returned to school and my husband and I are settled into our working routines, my morning dog walks have fallen back into place.

As soon as I get home after ferrying my teens to school, the dog takes her usual stance in the hallway ready to be fitted out for her daily adventure.

I have to admit that faced with a grey, rainy morning, the prospect of donning the wellies and baring my face to the elements rarely appeals, but once I'm out there it's a different matter. I enjoy the time with my (mostly) silent companion, pootling along muddy paths.

Want to know why our time together makes me a better writer? Well, I'll tell you.

1. Physical health

Life as a home-based worker can be sedentary to the extreme. Add to that the fact that I work on a computer and there's a recipe for piling on the pounds.

I'm not old, but I do fall into the 'middle aged' category, so not everything works as well as it used to. I need to work harder to stay fit …

My Storytelling Superpower

Ever wondered what your storytelling superpower is? When I received an email from diy MFA asking just this question, I was intrigued.

The email was two-fold, offering a fun quiz but then asking us to celebrate our strengths as a writer.

My quiz result was this:

The Underdog

You are the quintessential underdog storyteller and your superpower is creating relate-able charaters who have a deep desire to change something in themselves or in the world around them. From rags-to-riches narratives to epic David-and-Goliath-style battles you craft stories with high stakes and compelling characters your readers can't help but love.

I wasn't sure if I liked this to begin with but then, as I began to apply the idea of 'underdog' to my novel, I realised that my result was spot on.

My teenage protagonist, Steve is bullied at school and when he's thrown into an underworld of magic and crime, he's way out of his depth. He feels powerless and yet he struggles to not only right th…

Choice Words for January

There's plenty of choice creative advice out there at the moment in the enthusiastic light of the new year.

I recently came across a wonderful article by brainpickings, Margaret Atwood's 10 Rules of Writing. It's not new but it's well worth a read. Have a look.

In My Personal Zero Moment: How I became a writer I mentioned that I'd signed up for Gabriela Pereira's diy MFA book club. Well, now I have a wonderful TED talk from Gabriela for you too.

'Creativity is a craft and it belongs to everyone' Gabriela Pereira of diy MFA

My Personal Zero Moment: How I became a writer

Today, I joined the diy MFA Book Club. Run by writer Gabriela Pereira, the Book Club is a way to improve your writing through regular prompts, work as part of a community of writers, and grow your audience.

The first prompt arrived a short while after I joined and starts like this,

How did you become a writer, word nerd?
Gabriela explains her own 'zero moment' when she first started writing at school after her teacher became aware of her love of books.
"I fell in love with writing because I loved reading. It was my love of literature, of getting lost in a story, that pushed me to put pen to page in the first place. I suppose that's why they say all writers must be readers first. I know it was this way with me."
Now it's my turn to share. Here goes.
How I became a writer
To understand how I became a writer, you first have to understand the home I grew up in. 
An only child, born to parents who were the age of most of my friends' grandparents, I grew up in a …

What I'm doing this month - January

It was back to work for me today and I have to say that 2018 feels very different to 2017. Maybe, it's the 'new year vibe' with all its associated intentions and resolutions or perhaps it's starting the new year in a new home. Whatever it is, I feel motivated and raring to go.

January, never mind 2018, is a very different world to the one I lived in a month ago.

I've joined a new Facebook group for creatives which encourages its members to assign a word to 2018. My word is 'growth'.

So what am I up to in January? My main focus will be setting up my copywriting business.

Although I started down the freelance copywriting path in 2017, this year I want to solidify that path with an actual named business. I also want to set up my business in the right way this time round, not just flitting around the issue and missing critical areas that tripped me up further down the line when I was setting up Murdering The Text. There's legal steps to take, a website to …

Here's to 2018!