Need inspiration? Go for a walk..


debspoons via

Imagine the scene…you’re staring at your computer and you know what you want to say but will those words come?

No, of course they won’t.

You try harder, you type a few lines but still it doesn’t feel right.

You get frustrated. Yesterday the words flowed from your finger tips but today those fingers feel like lead.

Ever been there? I’m sure we all have.

One great tip that I was given for such a moment is to go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be far and it doesn’t have to be anywhere exciting, it just gives everything a break for a while and allows the endorphins to do their thing which, incidentally, they are great at doing.

On one such occasion I went for a walk down the main road which is a short distance from my house. A ladder was leaning up against the wall of one of the small two-up, two-down terraced dwellings along this road and the pavement on which the foot of the ladder was resting was narrow. This left anyone walking along the pavement with two choices: to walk around the ladder and onto the main road or to walk underneath the ladder and remain on the pavement. I watched for a moment and was unsurprised to see every single person step into the main road rather than walk underneath the ladder – clearly the most dangerous option. So, why did they all do that?


In the UK there is a superstition that says you will bring bad luck upon yourself if you walk underneath a ladder. There is also a superstition that says you should never stroke a black cat with green eyes, nor should you open an umbrella indoors. It is also considered bad luck to have a bird relieve itself upon your head and if you break a mirror – well, you’re in the mire for seven years. I think I was out walking for less than half an hour but by the time I returned home my brain fog had cleared and I had the bones of an idea for an article about superstitions, purely from a ladder leaning against a wall.

I know it feels like all our time is precious and that we should take advantage of every possible writing moment that we have, yet it really is amazing how taking just a few moments out to observe our surroundings can kick start the creative flow. Try it next time you’re stuck.

Oh, and I guess it’s not bad for our health, either.








I am not fit for human company…

traffic_signal_2Yesterday was not a good day. It started with me driving through a red light – at a junction where I am well aware that there is a red light. Thankfully there was no one else around and no major damage was done, but it was the first clue that something was definitely off.

A while later, accompanied by my parents, I went to one of the most beautiful canals in Wiltshire. At the small cafe I filled in the details on the form for car parking and we went off for our walk. Upon our return we visited the cafe once more and ordered some beverages at which time I looked at the car parking list once more. Out of habit, when I had filled in the form, I had also signed my name next to my Mum’s car when in fact that box was purely for the colour of the car. So, instead of writing ‘white’, I had signed my name. Not only that, my error had forced the person below me to do exactly the same which meant that the form no longer contained the colours of cars, just lots of signatures.


Caen Hill Locks – view from the top

Okay, we did laugh about that but really? I am supposed to be an intelligent writer.

Finally, at the same cafe, I was accused of throwing a dirty look at a dog. Is that even possible? I admit, I did look at the dog, but purely because it was whimpering excitedly upon its owners return. The owner, however, interpreted this as a ‘dirty’ look and proceeded to moan about people being intolerant of dogs etc..etc..



Caen Hill Locks – view from the bottom

By the end of the day I had decided it would be best if I no longer went out in public and am thus spending today in the company of my laptop only. Hopefully it won’t get upset at the looks that I give it.

In my defence, this week has been incredibly stressful and will continue to be so but yeah, if you see me anytime soon, I would turn the other way.

PS. Anyone else have a spider living in their car wing mirror?





Article writer? Think Readly

Helpful tips and advice on a yellow office noteAs a keen article writer I was thrilled to recently discover the Readly app. Essentially a magazine reading app it is linked to literally hundreds of magazine titles around the world. By downloading this app you can, at the touch of a button, read the latest edition or even a back copy of any one of those magazines. You can also download the magazines so that they are available when you are offline.

Readly is free to download and offers a free trial period which allows you a couple of days to test it out. After that it is a monthly fee of £7.99 (UK) but when you consider the sheer number of magazines that you can digitally read for that price, it is worth its weight in gold. You can also link multiple accounts to one app meaning that more than one member of your family can enjoy Readly  for the same monthly fee.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing better than physically leafing through your favourite magazine. Seeing the articles in all of their glory and inhaling the unique scent of glossy paper cannot be beaten, however, if like me you need to purchase a number of magazines for research, then it can be a costly activity. The last time I bought several magazines it cost me almost £20 and that was just for one edition of each. With Readly I can now access multiple editions of all of these magazines (and many more) at a price which is considerably more affordable.

serge bertasius photography

serge bertasius photography via

If you haven’t tried out Readly yet then I really suggest that you do. As a source of inspiration for magazine markets then it is tough to be beat and once you get reading, it is oddly addictive. I have found myself reading articles in magazines that I know I never would have picked off the shelf and as a writer that can only be a good thing.

Does anyone else use Readly? Would love to hear your thoughts.