Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

King James Bible

There's been a lot of interest recently about the translations of the King James Bible including a recent article in The Guardian Review on 19 February.

My experience was as a child sitting Sunday after Sunday listening to the lessons.  Much of it incomprehensible to me for the longest time but what I began to appreciate as I grew older was the power of the language and the rhythm of the words.

Reading what people including Jeannette Winterston felt reminded me of a teacher I worked with back in the 1970s when I was still a librarian.  Having taught primary school children for 30 years she was firmly in favour of challenging young children with unfamiliar language.  She thought that the more they were given the chance to hear it, the larger would become their vocabulary and the more they'd be likely to express themselves, in their own language.

It wasn't unusual where I grew up.  I went to a church school and attended services regularly.  Nobody said it was difficult, nobody said I shouldn't listen; it was part of our experience. Of course I didn't understand the religious significance of the words but that didn't matter.

What I did enjoy were those colourful expressions and strong images.  Made an impression then and sticks in my mind now, rather than the supposedly clearer but blander text of the 201th century translations.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Monday morning lack of inspiration

It's grey, it's February and it's raining. Mind you it's not snow. 

This is the acid test for me - to find inspiration not only to blog, but to create momentum to shoot myself into the day's work.

I've even done some ironing this morning - displacement activity of a high order.

I'm not glued to my computer like a lot of people but this morning because my brain seemed stuck in some primeval mud, I did some surfing.

I took a peek at some other writer's blogs - in this case Neil Gaiman.  Now I have to admit to not reading many of his books but I did love his short story collection- short stories being more of a favourite genre than novels. 

And after my flippant comment about not having snow, found an entry about him shovelling snow at midnight.  Made me laugh, set off some light bulbs and now I'm off and running.

About to edit an article I wrote for a client Elizabeth Wray, last week about stopping smoking.  She's outrageous in the way she works as a pyschologist and hypnotherapist so I can be, how shall I say, more direct than for some clients. 

So what kicks you off to write, not only what you want to write, but maybe like me what you have to write?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Procrastination: why sometimes it's valuable

Procarstination is often, well usually, seen as a bad thing. 

There are dozens of books telling us how to get over it, be more productive and reach our goals.

So why might I be in favour of it?

Recently I've had a couple of incidents that have brought home to me its value.  One a personal incident and one professional.

On a personal level, I received an email that blew me away in terms of its arrogance and blunt statements.  To say it surprised me was an understatement.

And my fingers itched to reply in the same vein blasting my correspondent.  But I didn't because...

... because if I had done it would have landed me at the same level as my emailer.  Not a good place to be in my estimation.  For whatever reason, and at the time I couldn't see the reason, my correspondent had almost,  like our cat and his projectile vomiting, felt the need to get rid of some stuff. 

So I waited.  Then I replied in a calm tone and not questioning the statements.  Passive?  Maybe but trying to rebut the statements would have been my head against a brick wall.

What I received back was a complete apology for something written after one of those middle of the night blinding flashes and decisions.

I've had them, been there and caused problems as a result.

Professionally, I sent a client a draft of some text which they liked, were about to go with then almost as an aside I tried it in a different format.  Which worked better.

So pausing with your hand on the send button or giving yourself ten minutes, an hour or a day to think again, can prove invaluable.  Personally it can retrieve a relationship.  And professionally it can stop you losing a contract or upsetting a valued customer.

Have you had any moments of procrastination that have turned out well for you?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Sarah Dale hosts

A Day Out for Well-being - April 14th, Clumber Park.

Nothing to do with writing as such except this is one of my clients who is hosting a day of well being at Clumber Park. Sarah has some interesting discussions going on over at her

LinkedIn pages about how we're all coping with current conditions.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Live Lit for Nottingham’s Light Night

Nottingham Writers’ Studio is bringing the comic actress Sophie Woolley to Antenna on 18th February to feature alongside a host of Nottingham’s own writers for the city’s Light Night celebrations.

The event takes place in Antenna cafe-restaurant at 9a Beck Street in Nottingham city centre (NG1 1EQ), starting at 7pm. Entrance is free and open to all.

For more information, see the NWS website:
Enquiries to Robin at Nottingham Writers' Studio on 0115 959 7947 or email

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Literary Consultancy

Received a newsletter from The Literary Consultancy.  Many activities and links to help writers looking to be published. They have some special things happening to celebrate their 15th birthday.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Writing courses

There's a course taking place in Spain, on two separate weeks in April run by The Literary Consultancy.  For more details check out the events page at

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Information leaflets: why you need to update them

When I some meet people starting in business I feel sorry for them when they talk about the small amount of writing they think they need to do.  There is this tendency in all of us to hope that you do a project and it's finished.  No further input required.

I've been thinking about how there's very little difference between that and developing good relationships with those we call friends or members of our family.  On one level it's good to be able to rely on them and in some measure take them for granted.  But too much of that can lead to a sudden blow up becasue we haven't been listening or taking care of something.  All because of us being busy with something else.

You know the kind of thing I mean...

... a simple request to take out the rubbish causes an eruption.

I found that a lot when I used to help clients with stress management problems.  Everything on the surface would be fine, then suddenly...

What has that to do with your business writing?

A lot... because it's something that happens to many new busnesses.  The sheer volume of things to do threatens to overwhelm you daily.  And though having informaiton to give out is important, there's too much of a wish to lean on and take for granted the information that's been written, two years, one year or even six months ago.

This morning I've been checking an information bulletin that one of my clients offers to people thinking of using their services.  I helped them put it together over two years ago.

The core of the information is fine.  But in two years, they've adjusted their staff structure swopping around responsibililities and roles.  My client is wise enough to realise the information needs a wash and brush up.  Of course she could carry on using it and some of the changes might pass over her clients' heads. 

On the other hand, it might lead to if not an eruption about the rubbish, questions about why something is written down that no longer is true.  Vital for the kind of business she's running where trust is a major issue.

And if trust doesn't figure as a major issue in yours, or you think it doesn't, then maybe taking another look at what you hand out to others might be sensible.

I'd hate to see you covered in rubbish.