Welcome to the New Blog

It feels like a new world, so I’m starting a new blog. This one is entirely inspired by the dramatic changes the coronavirus is making to people’s lives. There are going to be a lot of you who are stuck inside, who can’t go to your work, who have long hours to fill. I wanted to put something out into the ether to cheer you up, to take your mind off things, to divert and entertain. It’s a very small offering, but it is something. 

I’ve been teaching writing, both to individuals and to groups, for a few years. One of the things I’d like to do here is give you snippets of writing advice and inspiration. This could be the perfect time to start that novel you’ve been dreaming of since you were fourteen, or to help your great-uncle write his memoir, or to embark on your great study of 12th century Manchuria. Learning a new skill is one way of feeling that you have some control in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. And I believe that words now are more vital than ever – both the stories you tell yourself and the words you write for other people. I feel it’s a time for touching and connecting human hearts, and that is what the written word can do.

There will be photographs of Scotland, where I live, and a diary of my lockdown. But it will mostly be a blog of writing. I would like you to come and gallop with me across the wide open plains of language and story and imagination. You may be physically confined, but you can let your mind run free.

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