Dear Writer, don’t give up your day job… embrace it!

Are you one of those many writers who dream of writing full-time? (Yes!) Do you sometimes resent the time at your paid work that takes you away from what feels like your real work, i.e. writing? (Yes! Often!) Do you nonetheless need to keep working because of, you know, the fact that writing doesn’t pay, … More Dear Writer, don’t give up your day job… embrace it!

The price of books

Last week I read an interesting article by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, on what he expects to be the big publishing trends in 2017. Smashwords is an online platform for distributing independently published e-books. As such, the article has a strong focus on the year’s forecast for the indie book market, and in … More The price of books


What I want to say tonight is this: Every writer needs an angel, crouching near them as they work, batting away disturbances and doubts, and whispering for now, this is enough as the words bleed onto the page. I imagine mine is a scrawny thing, pot-bellied, scruffily feathered, and no bigger than my tea-cup. But … More Angel

The Blog is Back

The thing about a break is it gives you a new perspective. I’ve been thinking about where I was when I started when paper met pen in August 2015, and how much I’ve learned since then about writing, about the process of pitching and dealing with publishers, and about the book community more broadly. Learning … More The Blog is Back

Writer’s Envy

People talk a lot about writer’s block but they don’t talk so much about writer’s envy, which is surely something many writers struggle with. Oh there’s a lot of it around! For years, when I was trying to finish a novel to a point that I was happy with it, I ached with envy for … More Writer’s Envy


It would suck being a writer and being an extrovert. Think about it – as a writer, your job description involves sitting for hours and hours alone, or as near to it as you can get, and writing. Interaction equals distraction equals procrastination equals no words equals failure as a writer. I’m sure there are … More Introversion

The hook and the heart: pitching a novel to publishers and agents

Don’t worry, I’m not dead. The past few months of silence here on when paper met pen was just me finishing my novel. (CUE TRUMPETS CHAMPAGNE FIREWORKS ETC) And boy was it intense. I went through about eight major drafts, each of which included significant revisions to the plot, characters, or structure. I did three … More The hook and the heart: pitching a novel to publishers and agents

Why write?

Really, honestly? If you’re somebody who, at some point each day, or on a decent proportion of your allotted days, sits down and picks up a pen or puts your fingers on a keyboard and strings words together of your own free will: why? It’s a strange thing to do. You do realise you’re basically … More Why write?