Ten things I have learnt writing a novel

I’m giving my manuscript a final proofread before submitting it to a potential publisher later this month. It’s been years in the making, this novel. It has sat, untouched, for months at a time. Life has gotten in the way, including setting up my own editing business, raising my daughter, becoming single, rebuilding a life, […]

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I’ve put this post off for weeks: A new way of looking at procrastination

I may be mediocre at many things, but one thing I am brilliant at is procrastination. I seem to make a lot of well-intentioned plans and set myself what I think are realistic writing goals, and I still find myself wandering round the house picking up and putting down ornaments when I should be working on my […]

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Left Brain, Right Brain – can you be an editor and a writer?

I’ve just launched a new Facebook page – one dedicated to my creative writing. It’s called Patricia A Bell, Author (@thebellbirdwrites). I’ve decided I need to separate my creative writing and publishing from my proofreading and editing business, and build my author platform. I used to write a blog post here and then post it […]

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Wrestling the Octopus: how to avoid writing a novel

At a certain point, a novel-in-progress starts to get a tad unwieldy. When you begin, you have a blank screen and the boundless enthusiasm of a puppy. After a few months you have a mountain of scrap paper scrawled with half-finished paragraphs and synopsis drafts, screeds of ideas jotted down and pinned all over the walls in your office, […]

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Fear, change, and how to combat the hate

And I know I am solid and sound;To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow;All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.-Walt Whitman I’m thinking today about the enormous upheavals we have all experienced this year, and about my own fear of uncertainty, and the challenge of change. […]

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Walk The Track With Me

A while ago I wrote about walking the Milford Track solo. It’s one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and one of the most famous walks in the world. Today and for the next three Fridays it’s being published on Stuff.co.nz: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/back-your-backyard/122592580/the-milford-chronicles-taking-on-one-of-the-worlds-most-famous-walks-solo COVID-19 has smashed any possibility of international travel for the forseeable future, and Kiwis […]

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Post Positive

My recent forays into the comments sections of Instagram and Twitter and Facebook have been jarring and brutal. Ignorance. Cruelty. Ignorance. Hatred. Racism. Ignorance. Bullying. Misogyny. Ignorance. Misogyny. Did I mention ignorance? And don’t get me started on the spelling and grammar. Was it always this bad? I don’t know if it’s the discourses around […]

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Endings

Today I’d like to say a brief word about endings. We hear a lot about beginnings, and how difficult/important they are. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” (Lao Tzu) “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” (Plato) “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” (T.S. Eliot) “For fucksake […]

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Heartbeat

I have one beautiful daughter, but making her wasn’t simple. I lost two pregnancies before conceiving her, and three after her, while trying for a second. I started this story years ago and dug it out and finished it just today. It attempts to put into words my belief that our children will always be […]

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Welcome, beautiful boy

A year ago today I was standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre museum in Paris with my daughter, speaking to my ex-partner (my daughter’s father) via FB Messenger, reassuring him and telling him to take deep breaths, to trust the doctors, and to have faith. He was about to witness the […]

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