Read our posts about creativity

Writing Fiction Airs My Demons

Writing Fiction Airs My Demons

Writing is a form of therapy. The creative act seems as necessary for my mental health as a social life and exercise. And beyond that, I find that my deeper, darker soul emerges in my novels in ways I never expect… We all know that diary and letter writing can be cathartic  -  and certainly my own teenage diaries were where I worked out the passions and indignities of life – but writing longer fiction works as therapy on several different levels. I’m not proposing that we should all attempt to write full-length novels, because it’s horribly difficult and takes...
» Read More
Intuition: Unlock the Power

Intuition: Unlock the Power

Philosophers and scientists have endeavored to understand intuition for thousands of years, and many of the great spiritual leaders have talked about intuition. Psychotherapist Carl Jung classified our experience into thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition, and he described intuition as being like a ‘compass’ in life. Intuition also involves the input of nerve networks around the heart and gut. Modern psychology and neuroscience has identified that the non-dominant part of the brain (your right brain if you are right handed) is the site of visual,...
» Read More
Writing a Diary Saved My Life

Writing a Diary Saved My Life

Imagine getting to the end of your life and there's no record of who you are, where you've been, no trace of the range of emotions, feelings you’ve experienced at various points or stages of your life. What if your memory slowly melted into candy floss, too soft to recall the intricate, sometimes simple and other times significant details of your past life? Leaving you without hard evidence and data of what you’ve lived through, the obstacles you'd overcome and the success you'd achieved over the years? A point brought home in an advert I clipped out of a magazine for...
» Read More
Culture Tip: The Pale Fox at Chisenhale Gallery

Culture Tip: The Pale Fox at Chisenhale Gallery

The Pale Fox, the first UK solo exhibition of the French, New York-based artist Camille Henrot, is currently on show at Chisenhale Gallery a publicly funded space that garners awards and frequently punches above it’s weight in terms of its programming and outreach work with local communities. On the day I saw the show there had already been a visit by members of the East End Women’s Institute and the gallery was filled with comprehensively tall-haired students from Wimbledon College of Arts. Henrot was awarded the Silver Lion for most promising artist at the Venice...
» Read More
Knitting Therapy

Knitting Therapy

The feel of soft yarn between your fingers, the rhythmic click-click-click of knitting needles, the satisfaction of watching your work growing inch by inch while at the the same time your breathing slows, your body relaxes and the cares of the day slip away with every stitch. No wonder knitting is so popular. People knit for four main reasons - relaxation, stress relief, therapeutic qualities and in order to be productive. The rise of this old-fashioned hobby over the last few years has very little to do with thrift - after all, you can buy a scarf on the high street...
» Read More
My Mad Fat Diary: Journals as Therapy

My Mad Fat Diary: Journals as Therapy

It doesn't matter in which decade you were an adolescent, My Mad Fat Diary will resonate. It's dark, funny, touching and painfully true. I was never fat (though I thought I was, agonising over my weight when it crept over – shock horror! – 9st) and never mad (though it's jarring to re-read my diaries and see the young me passing off casual mention of suicidal thoughts as "nervous tension"), but watching this programme is a sweet agony. It transports me right back to those teenage years of acute self-consciousness and vulnerability when binge-eating followed by...
» Read More
Why Writers Need Retreats

Why Writers Need Retreats

 Most writers develop the ability to block out noise and a certain amount of chaos. Complete peace and quiet is a rare commodity, so in the interests of getting any work done, this is a skill worth nurturing. What writers don’t always manage is to block out the endless nagging feeling that there is something else they should be doing. And this feeling is invariably made worse when the writer is working from home – as so many writers do. The answer of course, is to leave home for a while and go on a retreat. Preferably a writing retreat. A jobbing journalist, as I was...
» Read More
Can Exercise Make You More Creative?

Can Exercise Make You More Creative?

I’m tangled in the threads of an idea for a story. Everything’s there, but I can’t bring the different aspects of the piece together in a meaningful way. I need to free up my thinking, so I go for a run. After 45 minutes I have worked out what’s missing, where I’m going wrong, and how I’m going to start.For me, running allows thoughts to bounce around my head and sort themselves out. If I don’t have a specific problem to solve, I often find ideas for stories wandering into my mind – some of the best have come while running. There is no definitive answer as to whether...
» Read More