This one’s for the girls!


I’m a bit of a tick box freak. I can’t help it. I’m like the Roadrunner (meep, meep). I like to get things done. That’s why Lauren Laverne’s recent post on writing a ‘done-it’ list, as opposed to a ‘to-do’ list struck a cord with me. Immediately, my world spun on its axis. Instead of feeling like an underachiever, I suddenly became a success story. That is the power of the mind people (or the power of a good blog!) It really is that easy to be kinder to yourself, to think positively, to think glass half-full.

So, in the spirit of my ‘done-it’ list I swallowed back my reservations, silenced my inner critics and hit enter on the Mslexia novel competition. Despite more women studying literature and attending writing courses than men,  far fewer women actually put their writing forward for competitions. It’s the same old, same old; women are more self-critical and therefore less likely to put themselves forward for promotions, jobs, and competitions than men. We cower in corners and hold ourselves back listening to our inner critics telling us we’re not good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, clever enough etc. etc. So, hitting enter felt like I was bucking the trend and while my courage was riding high I completed my first homework for my new writer’s group. I only joined a couple of weeks ago and reading out my work to ten other accomplished writers makes me want to dive for cover, like standing in the stocks waiting to be pelted with tomatoes! But, alongside my brash and noisy inner-critic, there is a quiet persistent voice that reminds me, ‘what’s the point?’ What’s the point of all the hours, of all the sacrifice, of all the hard, hard work if I never share it?’ So, on Friday I’ll read it to the group and hope there’ll be no tomatoes! This week I’ve ‘done-it’ in the hope that the next generation of literary women can believe they are every bit as good as the men!

Impress yourself and compose your own ‘done-it’ list followed by a glass of something to celebrate how bloody great you are. #girl power

For Women Who Write.


I always make time for my Mslexia issue.

You’ve heard it all before; being a writer is a solitary pastime filled with huge tsunamic waves of self-doubt and a stack of odds so large they block out the light from time to time. That’s why, six years ago, when I discovered Mslexia magazine it was a bit of a eureka moment. Suddenly I’d found a whole community of writing women who where trying to do the same thing as me! If you don’t know it – get it. This quarterly magazine is packed with all the latest from the world of writing, and crucially, written by women for women! I never fail to learn from it, in fact it led me to find my agent. In the current issue there are articles by two of my favourite writers, Sue Gee and Louisa Young, and the brilliant winning entries from the short story competition. I always read it with a pen in my hand so that I can highlight notes of importance – it’s a bit like having a helpful big sister to guide you through the pitfalls of puberty.

When I’m shut in the spare room, sitting at my corner desk, late at night, or during a few precious hours when both children are at school, all too often I ask, “What the hell am I doing?” And when Mslexia falls onto my doormat it never fails to answer,”This is what you’re doing – just like all the others – this is what you’re trying to do.” and it girds me to keep on going. It connects me to something and encourages me to do things like… start a blog!