What’s the point of Creative Writing?


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I happen to believe – scratch that, I know – creative writing has amazing benefits. Specifically, amazing therapeutic benefits. I also volunteer at S.E.E.D. (An eating disorder charity for those based in the East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull.)

So, when S.E.E.D. asked me to give a short talk on the benefits of creative writing, I gleefully rubbed my hands together and accepted. Actually writing them down and (gulp!) presenting my ideas was a lot harder than I had first thought.

But, yesterday, I finally did it. And I’d like to share it with you:


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Book characters that reflect yourself – Quentin in ‘Paper Towns’


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Have you ever found a book character who helps you to realise something about yourself?


Paper Towns by John Green is one of my favourite books I read last year. It is by no means perfect – its middle is a little slow and if you’re not a fan of Green’s continued use of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in his novels it’s probably best to avoid this one. But it is well-written and thought-provoking.

What I liked best about this novel was the character of Quentin Jacobsen. Specifically, how real he is. He takes his friends and family for granted, thinks almost exclusively of his own wants and a lot of the time makes you want to shake him for being so selfish. But he’s also funny and intelligent and has a good heart.

PaperTowns2009_6A (1)

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The Bookcase of Forgotten Books: Books I Own But Haven’t Read


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When deciding my new year’s bookish resolutions I knew one resolution that without shadow of a doubt had to make my list: to read all the books I own but have never begun.

I seem to have accumulated a rather disconcerting pile of books over the years that languish, lonely and unopened with only dust to keep them company on my bookshelf. At last count I have a round fifty of these such books. And those are only the ones I could find. I know for a fact I have more books somewhere, all probably bemoaning their crease-less spines and their top right corners that have never been folded down.

And the thing is that I want to read these books. I really do.

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Top Ten Bookish Resolutions for 2013


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Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. To complete my Goodreads challenge of reading fifty books this year. So far I’ve got to a grand old total of two (one of which I’m not sure really counts as I began it last year) so I’ve got a lot more pages to be turning.

2. To read more non-fiction. Although I’ve always enjoyed learning new things I used to have a strange aversion to non-fiction. As a general rule I thought it was mostly written by stuffy old professors who spent their evenings giggling with glee at their superior intelligences. (I’d just like to note that I had absolutely no proof whatsoever for this misguided belief.) Thankfully I’ve come to my senses and can’t wait to start learning.

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{Booker} Award!!!


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This Christmas something very exciting happened to me – this blog was bestowed the honour of The {Booker} Award by Asha Seth. A massive, massive thank you goes out to her for this privilege!


The {Booker}Award is a prize for literary and book-centred blogs. And I take this opportunity to nominate all those adorable book blogs that like mine are about nothing but books!

The {Booker}Award is for book blogs only! The deserving blogs must be at least 50% about books, reading, book-reviewing etc.

  • On being awarded with The {Booker}Award, you must share with readers your top five favorite books you have read in your life so far.
  • On being awarded with The {Booker}Award, you must share with readers your most favorite author/writer. Possibly, also the reason why you like their literary work.
  • On being awarded with The {Booker}Award, you must share with readers your favorite genres.
  • (This is self-invented) Why are books SPECIAL in your life? This is optional and you don’t really have to answer it. But would love to know your reasons nonetheless.
  • You must give this award to five or ten or any number of other lucky book blogs that you adore.
  • And least importantly, show-off the award on your site and link it back to me.

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My Bookish New Year’s Resolution


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A new year, a new resolution.

But this year is going to be different. I’m going to make myself stick to my resolution this time. I really am.

It helps that for the first time I haven’t set myself a task I not-so-secretly don’t want to do like stopping eating chocolate or waking up earlier to have more time in the day.

This year my resolution is to complete the Goodreads reading challenge. The mission that I have chosen to accept? To read fifty books by the end of the year.


At university I read shockingly little for pleasure. Pretty much all the books I read over my three years as a Creative Writing and English student were set texts (and even then I didn’t exactly read them all).

Although I started to read much more once I graduated earlier this last year I really want to buck up and start reading properly again.

And that means delving into my once dreaded genre: non-fiction.

I read exactly 1.5 non-fiction books last year: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson and half of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (I’m currently reading the second half).

I really enjoyed and am enjoying both of these books and they’ve opened my eyes to the fact that non-fiction doesn’t have to be what I always thought it was: boring and stuffy.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me


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Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’ve wanted to read this ever since I first heard it was being released. I love John Green’s writing, I love novels that are about death and I love novels that are about life and I really hope I love this book.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve read so many conflicting reviews about this book that I’m not sure what I’ll make of it. I think the fact that it is narrated by Death is genius but could make the novel either very intriguing or very sentimental. I can’t wait to find out which one I think it is.

  1. The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

I love the idea behind this book; that when you die your life is explained to you by five people who may or may not have known you. I’ll admit that I would absolutely love for this to be real.

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WWW Wednesdays (28th November)


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WWW Wednesdays hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

What are you currently reading? 

At the moment I’m reading Paper Towns by John Green. I was bought it in February but wanted to save it for sometime special as I loved the two other novels I’ve read by Green: Looking For Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. However, after too long spent staring longingly at the book’s cover I decided just to get on with reading it. I’m only about fifty pages in at the moment but so far I’m really enjoying it.

 What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. For reasons I discussed in an earlier blog post I’m not really sure what my feelings towards it are. It’s definitely a novel I’ll have to read again at some point to really decide whether or not I like it.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m looking forward to reading Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. My sister has recommended this book to me, saying that it’s a great guide to changing how you think about yourself, deal with life’s challenges and interact with others in a more fulfilling way.

How to ruin a novel with your own expectations: The Virgin Suicides and me


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I’d wanted to read The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides for a long time. Ever since I saw the cover, the word ‘suicide’ above a young girl lying on a patch of bright green grass, brown shoes, white tights and a pink dress conveying her youth and innocence, I was intrigued.

I’d heard it was really good, great, amazing and had seen book posters proclaiming it “bewitching” (Vogue) and even “one of the finest novels in many years – a Catcher in the Rye for our time” (Observer). And so it came to pass that instead of picking up a copy and turning to the blurb or searching for the synopsis on Wikipedia, I imagined what I thought the novel was about.

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Thoughts On: The Hunger Games book trilogy


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I was very late in reading The Hunger Games series – three books and a film late – but I’m glad I finally did. Although I didn’t love the books, I did enjoy them – they’re easy to read, generally fast-paced and they showcase a dystopia that has enough similarities to our own world to be disquieting. I stayed up into the early hours of the morning, turning page after page, wanting to read just another paragraph, a page, a chapter before I went to sleep.

The best thing about the books is Collins’ ability to keep the action rolling with shocks and twists aplenty. In both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, the arena serves as a great tool to hike up the tension and to keep us constantly guessing as to how Katiss will survive. She faces a wide range of deadly threats including tracker jackers, muttations, giant waves and burning fog that keep the momentum of the books high and the nerves of the reader fraught. Without the arena, the pace of Mockingjay is much slower but I found this a welcome change. It meant that when Snow’s men raged war against the rebel resistance on the streets of the Capitol I wasn’t half-exhausted by previous fighting.

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