How to Succeed by NOT being a Team Player

I’m unusual in that I don’t support a team, football or otherwise. I can’t say I feel any particular loyalty to my home town either really. Neither am I permanently allied to a political party. I don’t feel much of a kinship with a country (I’m British but I don’t feel that Britain is superior […]

This Gun Shot Andy Warhol

I saw this Andy Warhol creation at Tate Liverpool a while back. I liked it even without knowing anything about it but what I didn’t realise was that the gun depicted is very similar to the one used, on June 3 1968, to shoot him. On June 3, 1968, radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas shot Warhol […]

Road Trip to Self Discovery

Robert Pirsig died this week. I loved his novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance so much that I named a character after him in my own book Ghost Road. The book is based on an actual trip taken by Pirsig and his young son Chris. The account is made even more poignant by […]

Getting Stuff Done by NOT making Decisions

  I read that, while he was President, Barack Obama had a habit of never wearing anything but blue and grey suits. It got me thinking about how important habits are in our lives and how I might be able to use the power of habit to get my book written and achieve world domination. I’m working […]

Which Desk Should You Choose For Success (And Which Guarantees Failure?)

This is my desk. I only recently got this set-up so I don’t know yet whether it will help my writing process or not. Of all the aspects of writing probably one of the most banal is the issue of where you sit when you write. And yet maybe it makes all the difference. Personally, […]

What’s so scary about phobias?

  I have three phobias; needles, blood and social. Today I was in a situation involving all three of these irrational fears. I had to go into hospital to have a deep-rooted tooth removed. This involved having several injections in the gum, blood coming from the wound while all the time having to do chit […]

Why don’t I love the new Star Wars films?

Which is the better film; Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Star Wars: Rogue One? Which is the better film Star Wars: A New Hope or Star Wars: A Phantom Menace? A really hard one now… which is the better film Star Wars: Return of the Jedi or Star Wars: Attack of the Clones?

My Ziferblat Experience

Back in 2011, Ivan Mitin founded Ziferblat in Moscow as a community of poets aspiring to progress their work. Mitin shaped the idea for his cafes from a project he ran in Russia called “pocket poetry”, for which he would meet strangers in cafes and together they’d write famous poetry on cards and distribute them around […]

Alan Bennett as The Incredible Hulk

I listened to Alan Bennett reading from the latest volume of his diaries Keeping On Keeping On on BBC Radio 4. As expected it was funny, poignant and perceptive but I also thought it showed that Bennett has an angry side. He’s not exactly The Incredible Hulk, turning green and bursting out of his tweed […]