Hello, and welcome to my blog Writing and Breathing.

Usually I breathe without thinking – roughly 15 times a minute. That’s 900 breaths an hour; 20,000 or so a day. In, two, three; out, two, three – nice and steady. But now and then it’s not so straightforward – it’s as if I have forgotten how to do it. I open and shut my mouth like a fish, but no air gets in – or out. I start to panic. Then, just as I feel I’m going to burst, fall on the floor, and die horribly and inelegantly, my throat relaxes and – hey presto! – I’m back breathing normally again. No one has a good explanation for why this happens: (“Panic attack? But doctor I only start to panic when I stop breathing.”)

Writing isn’t like that. I know I won’t die if I don’t write a word all day, or all week. But I do start to panic – a little – if too many days go by without putting pen to paper – or, these days, finger to keyboard. (“Call yourself a writer …?”) Writing may not come easily, and often isn’t rewarded – a peek into the bottom two drawers in my desk for the unpublished masterpieces and rejection letters will prove that. But failing to write isn’t life-threatening. It can actually free you up to do lots more socially useful and lucrative things with your day.

However, I have now had two novels published, as well as a collection of short stories, and seen a few of my plays read or performed by proper actors. So I am indeed going to call myself a writer.

I have been writing this blog for over a year now. I have written about some of the work I have had published, or performed, as well as work in progress. I have invited other writers to drop by and talk about their work. Sometimes I have written about things I have learnt that have helped with my writing, or getting published, or marketing the finished product. Often I have written about words – their meaning and where they come from – as these things interest me. Sometimes I have just written about things in the worlds of writing and reading that have amused me, or made me angry. I’ve enjoyed myself and picked up a few loyal readers along the way – for which, many thanks. (PS: Tell your friends!)

I propose to carry on in more or less the same vein. And if I get to know the cure for unexplained breathing lapses, I’ll be writing about that too.



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