To Plan or Not to Plan

self-publishing, writing

To plan or not to plan - make your writing style work for you

There are two kinds of writers.

Well, okay, there are a heck of a lot more than just two kinds of writers (the one who can’t write more than 500 words a day, the marathoner who racks up 7000 words in a single sitting…) but there’s two kinds in particular that I’m talking about here.

Planners versus free writers.


5 Quotes from Famous Authors to Get You Writing

quotes, writing

5 quotes from famous writers to get you writing

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all the amazing writers out there? By how much others have done when you can barely write a paragraph? Reading an amazing book can be hugely inspiring – and sometimes it can thrust crushing self-doubt on your shoulders. Theodore Roosevelt said that comparison is the thief of joy, and he was absolutely right. It’s a killer of creativity, too.

Here are five quotes to help you get back in touch with your muse and away from self-doubt.

Make Colour Theory Work for You


Make colour theory work for you

What’s your favourite colour? You can probably answer that easily enough, but why? 

Mine’s blue. The lighter shades, usually. Why? It reminds me of the sky, of the sea, and that in turn makes me think of freedom and good times.

We make associations like this all the time, and it’s important to remember this when it comes to design work. This could be choosing your book cover, or setting up your blog, maybe arranging a photoshoot – colour theory is always important.

While colours can mean different things to different people (especially those with different cultural backgrounds), here’s a quick overview of some common colour connotations:

5 Inspiring Quotes to Light You Up

feel better, motivation, quotes

5 inspiring quotes to light you up

Sometimes you just need something to light you up. I’ve been so busy lately, and trying to work on my businesses alongside working full-time has been tough. It’s been hard to find passion and motivation. I know a lot of you will be in the same situation – a lot of writers juggle writing and work, relationships and kids.

If you’re feeling that way, I’ve curated a few quotes to light you up and keep you going.

Writing Advice Resources: Books

self-publishing, writing

Writing advice resources books

There are so many writing resources out there that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Especially these days when there are not only books, but writing blogs and websites are everywhere.

To start with, here are some of my favourite books on writing. I’ll add, though, that I do believe that the best way to improve your writing is to read. Yeah, I know – that’s what everyone says. But it’s so true! Read as much as you can, as widely as you can, and you can’t help but improve.

Having said that, I love these books:

Ten Ways to Get Unstuck

feel better, motivation

Ten ways to get unstuck

I’ve been struggling lately.

Not anything major – just down in the doldrums. A lot of people suffer from random attacks of the sads, and having anxiety definitely exacerbates it for me. Even worse, it seriously brings on the ol’ writer’s block. If you make your living with your words, that just won’t do, but whatever you do there’ll be times when find yourself stuck in a rut.

Here’s what helps me break out of that headspace:

Travel and Design: Seattle and Portland

design, personal

Travel and design Seattle and Portland

Continuing my design-driven travelogues, I wanted to keep going with a Pacific Northwest theme.

In the first of this series, concentrating on design in Vancouver, I said that the city could best be described as a flannel-wearing, bearded hipster. The same could be said of much of the PNW, but I might say that it gets weirder the further south you go. After all, Portland’s slogan is Keep Portland weird!

But here. Take a look at some of the design I spotted and see for yourself (photo-heavy under the cut).

Travel and Design: Vancouver

design, personal

Travel and design Vancouver

I love to travel.

That’s actually an understatement. I really love to travel. To see new places, as well as to revisit old favourites. Vancouver is definitely an old favourite; I lived there for a year, and I can definitely agree with the polls that name it as one of the top 10 cities in the world.

As a designer, one of the things that I love to spot when I’m travelling is the different design. I don’t just mean architecture – though I do love that – but the recurring styles and themes that you see as you walk around the city. You’ll see this in shop signs, in posters, in the sort of merchandise you see and even in the sort of people you see. To use Vancouver as an example, if the city was a person, it would be a flannel-wearing, bearded hipster who loves craft beer, and the design you see around the city reflects that.

Here, take a look at what I mean (photo-heavy under the cut):