Autumn/Winter 2018/19

Greetings in what has been a time of hibernation, self-care and contemplation for me over these months since I last posted.

Towards the end of last year I suffered a sudden and unexpected bereavement which has taken some time to process. Grief certainly affects creativity. In fact it’s a m@ther f@cker!

One minute you can be relatively okay, and then grief can creep up behind you, chew every ounce of your normality and spit you out into a broken, fragile mess.

Everyone experiences it. But it can sure take the wind out of your sails for a while. If not, forever.

So, I’ve been struggling with the writing. Actual sitting down on my seat and typing words has felt like a huge mountain to climb for months. A combination of mustering strength to keep the day job in tact has meant emotional exhaustion of an evening.

Resulting in me having to learn kindness to myself. Learning to accept how I am feeling and try not to force creativity. It just doesn’t want to venture out. Made all the worse for those dark winters nights which are a struggle at the best of times. Never mind the worst of times.

Thank goodness for great TV dramas and superb novels and scripts to keep my brain ticking along. Killing Eve, Sex Education, Russian Doll, Keeping Faith and The Haunting of Hill House have kept me occupied from real life.

The words may be currently in drought, but what I have managed to do is to keep meeting my writing tribe.

This has been greatly aided by organising the Manchester branch of the Write Then Socialise group.


This group was started in London to provide a regular meet-up for writers. It’s exactly what it says on the tin. Write Then Socialise. Get a couple of hours writing time, and then hang around and chat with fellow writers.

It can be a lonely business being a writer, so I was delighted when I was asked at last years London Screenwriters Festival if I would organise Manchester’s first group.

Organising is a piece of piss to me. Of course I can organise a writers meet up in Manchester. No problemo.

So I have. We met in October for the first time, and our February meeting last Sunday was our fifth.

It’s a cracking group which I love being part of. We have screenwriters, novelists, creative writers, short-story writers and playwrights.

Any writer in the North-West who would like to join this friendly group can join the main group on facebook and can come along to any of the monthly meets. They just need to reply to the event so that I know how many to expect on the day. Simples.

And my meetup in March is extra special.

Whilst the ‘normal’ meet-up is two hour writing sprints which are followed by a brew and a chat. This month I am extending it to a whole day.
A whole day to focus on the writing. We will have a 2 hour writing sprint in the morning, followed by a one hour break to get food and drinks and then a further 2 hour writing sprint in the afternoon.

This meet is taking place in Ziferblat, Edge Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester – 10:00 – 15:00 on Sunday 24 March 2019.

The reason I mention this is that I have three spaces available so if anyone fancies a writing day.

It will cost you £18.75 which includes all the refreshments you would like over the five hours. A bargain if I may say so. I would also like to add that we don’t read each other’s work. We literally use the time to focus on our work in progress in a supported, kind, safe environment.

Anyone interested in this can email me on it is first come first served as I would love for this day to run at full capacity so that I can run it again in June/July.

Finally I’m currently mentoring a small number of undergraduate television and radio students with their scripts that they will be filming for their final year project. This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I’m delighted to share my knowledge and passion of scriptwriting with young creators. I ran my own playwriting group last year which I enjoyed every second of so to be able to work with young people is a joy.

That’s all for now folks

Join the Write Then Socialise group here.

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