The Writer's Cookbook

Writing, productivity, publishing.

What will Brexit mean for the publishing industry?

How Will Brexit Affect Publishing?

It’s been over a year since the UK voted to leave the EU in the EU Referendum, and we still don’t know what that means for any of us.

We have no idea how it will affect the Brits, the Europeans, or those further afield.

So far all we really know is that it means we have less money to spend abroad.

Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU, the value of the British pound has been under $1.30.

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We need the Creative Writing A Level: here's why

Why We Need the Creative Writing A Level

There was no such thing as a Creative Writing A Level when I chose my A Level options aged 16. The closest thing was English Language or English Literature. I hated being told what to read and having to analyse the work of more established writers (and also Wuthering Heights), so I opted for English Language. Whilst I enjoyed studying English Language, I didn’t get to do nearly as much creative writing as I would’ve liked.

Unfortunately, the Creative Writing A Level in the UK will soon come to an end. The last A Level exams for it will be sat in 2018. There’s an increasing focus on academic writing in schools, meaning that those of us who are more creative are left to believe we’re less intelligent because we’re writers, artists, or musicians.

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Writing helps me to deal with my depression.

How Writing Helps Me Handle My Depression

I never used to talk about my depression much. When I first wrote a draft of this post—back in October 2015!—there was only one person I discussed it with.

Since then, I’ve tried to be more open about my experiences in the hopes that it helps other people, too.

It’s not easy, though.

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Find out why multitasking is a myth and what you should be doing instead.

Why Effective Multitasking is a Myth

They say that women are better at multitasking. Who this ‘they’ is, I’m not sure, but they shouldn’t be encouraging women—or men—to multitask.

Multitasking isn’t good for productivity. It’s terrible for it.

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Why you'll never achieve perfection as a writer

Why You’ll Never Achieve Perfection (And What to Aim for Instead)

Some people see perfection as a badge of honour; a cross to bear that they just have to carry the burden of.

They use it as their biggest weakness in a job interview, as if wanting everything you create to be flawless is even possible.

But it’s not.

Perfection should be treated like a snake that wants to bite you.

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Find out why you need to embrace rejection in this exclusive excerpt from Productivity for Writers.

Why You Need to Embrace Rejection

There isn’t a single published writer out there who hasn’t been rejected at least once.

In fact, I think you’d struggle to find a writer who’s only been rejected once.

Even Stephen King had short stories rejected when he first started out.

Harry Potter was rejected by numerous publishers, and J.K.Rowling had some pretty harshly-worded rejection letters for her Cormoran Strike novels, too.

Some authors get to the point where their name alone is enough to attract the attention of a publisher.

To get to that point, though, you have to go through what feels like endless rejections.

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Find out why it's important for blogs of all sizes to embrace HTTPS.

Why Do Blogs Need HTTPS?

I spent my days surrounded by software developers.

In my day job, I work as a content marketer for Cronofy.

Our security features are important to us and our customers, and it’s one of our biggest selling points.

(I’m not going to go on about them here, but feel free to have a read if you like calendars.)

When I get home, I spend my time with Boyfriend, who also happens to be a software developer, albeit for a different software company…

…in the same building.

But that’s besides the point.

The point is that spending time around developers means that I’m involved in lots of techy conversations and I read a lot of security-focused content.

If you’ve ever found yourself pissed off by something auto-updating, you’ve found yourself caught out by a security update.

But please, don’t turn auto-updates off!

Auto-updates are crucial to keeping your devices protected from nasty viruses that can harm your computer. (WannaCry, anyone?)

But how can you protect your website?

And how can you protect the users of your website?

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Are you on the brink of burning out? Discover the signs of burnout and how to cope.

How to Deal With Stress and Burnout

Think of your energy levels like a battery.

Certain things recharge that battery, while others drain it.

You may find dealing with people draining, while alone time recharges you.

You may find that some days writing helps you to recharge, while on other days it drains you.

It can depend on what stage of the writing process you’re at, or what’s going on in your life outside of your writing.

Just like when you let your phone battery get close to 0%, the lower your battery levels get, the longer it takes to recharge.

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Discover how to write about long-term stress in this blog post.

How to Write About Stress

In the words of Bartok from Anastasia, ‘Stress. It’s a killer.’

And it actually is.

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. And more than 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.

Chronic stress can affect your brain, suppress your thyroid, cause blood sugar imbalances, decrease bone density and muscle tissue, raise blood pressure, reduce your immunity and ability to heal, and increase fat deposits around your abdomen that are associated with heart attacks, strokes and elevated “bad” cholesterol.

Source: Miami Herald

Short-term stress can help us to achieve our goals and is the reason many of us work well under pressure.

Long-term stress, meanwhile, can affect our physical and mental health temporarily and permanently.

Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

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Can Toxic Friends Kill Your Productivity?

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Productivity for Writers.

If you find this post useful, please take a minute to share it with your (non-toxic) friends 🙂

Think back for a moment to when you were at school.

What was life like?

Were you popular?

A teacher’s pet?

An outcast?

I was somewhere between an outcast and a teacher’s pet.

Most of the teachers knew who I was, although I only paid attention to the classes I liked.

Some of my classmates knew who I was, others didn’t.

For the most part, this didn’t bother me.

I was perfectly happy with my circle of friends.

Or was I?

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