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How to Get Creatively Unblocked

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This paragraph in The Artist’s Way is the most heavily underlined and starred in my whole copy of the book: “Shadow artists are gravitating to their rightful tribe but cannot yet claim their birthright….Shadow artists often choose shadow careers – those close to the desired art, even parallel to it, but not the art itself. Noting their venom, Francois Truffant contended that critics were themselves blocked directors, as he had been when he was a critic. He may be right. Intended fiction writers often go into newspapering or advertising, where they can use their gift without taking the plunge into…

create good 3

You don’t have to create something good, in order to create.

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When you were younger did you ever just spend the afternoon with a big box of crayons and a pile of white paper? Or open your own “Mud Cafe” in the treehouse in your garden, serving a selection of delectable offerings made from different coloured dirt, leaves and twigs (just me? oh.). Or go over to a friend’s house to make up stories about what happens when their collection of toys meets your collection of toys and the future of the world is at stake? We all took art classes, and design classes, and wrote stories and poems in English,…

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Wabi-Sabi, or The Art of Imperfection

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The Japanese language has some really good words: Komorebi, sunlight filtering through trees. Irusu, pretending to be out when someone knocks at your door. Tsundoku, buying a book and leaving it unread. Shinrin-Yoku, visiting a forest for relaxation and to improve your health (it translates literally as forest-bathing) But by far my favourite is wabi-sabi, or the art of imperfection. Aside from it being a uniquely pleasing word to say out loud, I love what wabi-sabi signifies. It describes the beauty found in imperfect, humble and slightly broken things. It reveres authenticity over perfection, and the natural and organic over…

Bad novel

I wrote a really bad novel and I’m not ashamed to tell you about it.

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In March this year I wrote a novel. On the 1st of the month I had 0 words, on the 31st I had 53,297. Pretty much all of them are terrible. And I really don’t care, because I WROTE A FUCKING BOOK. IN A MONTH. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way proud of it, and no one, under any circumstances whatsoever, is going to read it. It will hide in my laptop forever most likely, but that was never the point. The point was quite simply to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of a…

Fresh start painting 3

A Fresh Start

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In November 2012 I hit publish on my very first blog post. It was on a blog called The Very Hungry Londoner, and I was sat in Ginger and White in Belsize Park at the time. I remember my hand shaking as I pressed enter, a fact that was less due to the three flat whites I had just consumed and more due to my extreme nervousness about putting my writing out there. I felt completely exposed, overwhelmed and, quite frankly, paranoid about people judging me. I had to treat myself to a slice of carrot cake immediately afterwards to…