What I’m Up To

Like most people whose work is hard to sum up very well in a single word, I find What I’m Doing Lately conversations quite difficult, but have to have them constantly. I made this page to make them easier…

Things I’m up to lately: 

  • Freelance copywriting, proofreading and journalism. I’m also interested in internal comms work for charities and mental health related organisations, work for contract magazines, more journalism generally, and everything described in this post.
  • Editing my book over the summer. Big woohoo!
  • I entered this year’s Mslexia Short Story Competition with a short story monologue, Why Catch A Moving Train? Which they didn’t seem to like. But I’ve decided to feed it into Book 2…
  • Learning to drive! As in literally; not a short story title. ALL the best people learn in their early 30s, don’t you know.
  • Generally grabbing life by the wotsits and trying out various new things that aren’t natural to me.
  • I’m a trustee of The Dyspraxia Foundation, and support several mental health charities through fundraising, volunteering and paid copywriting/comms work.
  • I’m running the London 10K for the second time in May and doing the Gherkin Challenge (OhGod, etc) later this year.
  • I’m in my fifth year of Pilates and I get quite annoyed when people are snarky about it.

Things I was up to:

  • I ran the 2016 London Marathon for Mind.
  • Some of the reasons for that led to Being There, a guide to supporting a friend or colleague who has been affected by someone’s suicide, which I co-wrote with Dr Alexandra Pitman from UCL.
  • My first concerted attempt at writing a novel was The Blue and the Gold, about a Lib Dem-Tory marriage during the early years of the Coalition government. It developed over five years until, for several reasons, I sadly decided to stop writing it in 2015. If you like politics, current affairs, theatre, Radio 4, Durham and Twitter, you might have liked it. If you hate all those things, you might have liked it too. A screenplay version of the novel also made it to the advanced stages of the BBC’s Script Room.
  • In 2015, before the Marathon, I ran the London 10K and the Oxford Half Marathon. Both were fabulous.

Things that are “on hold”: 

  • Deciding what to do with Who To Follow a short play about social media, personal tensions and political differences, set in the aftermath of the 2015 General Election.
  • Learning Beginners Russian and Spanish with Duolingo. And restoring my German fluency (at the moment, I can follow the news and read election thinkpieces but barely remember how to have a simple friendly conversation . Mind you, that’s also pretty true of English. Boom boom…)
  • Learning Beginners Tap.
  • Learning to horse ride.
  • Finding a choir.
  • Volunteering for SOBS.

Fuzzy ideas which haven’t formed into anything remotely proper yet: 

  • An unnamed play about two Remain-voting English women on a post-Brexit bender in Brussels…
  • Developing Why Catch A Moving Train? into something bigger.
  • Swimming lessons, going wild swimming in Lefkada, and hopefully giving anxiety attacks a good kicking. Running Like A Girl by Alex Heminsley was my big-sister pep talk and bible rolled into one when I took up running. When I heard she’d written another book, Leap In, about swimming, I thought “I’ll read it but you’ll never get me wanting to swim.” And guess what.
  • Doing Creative Writing workshops with children and young people.
  • Volunteering and possibly retraining to work with bereaved children.