Edit Kindly

There is no substitute for a kind reader. You must find a person, or even better a group of people, who are willing to read your work kindly. To read kindly is to give a writer the benefit of the doubt, to sympathise with their intentions, and to meet them halfway. This kind of reader […]

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Write Regularly

‘Write regularly’ belongs in company with other notorious writing advice, such as ‘show don’t tell’ and ‘kill your darlings’. Academics are brilliant at unpicking this kind of advice, and showing the complex ways in which writing regularly – or showing not telling, or killing your darlings – is neither possible nor desirable in the real […]

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Utopian Reading

I am a utopian reader, in both senses that the word is understood. My dreams of the reading I will do are eutopian, a vision of a better world, but also utopian: this reading exists in no place. I have no place for it in my time. This is why my office, living room, and bed room look like […]

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Stylistic Correctness

When it comes to writing, style is political. One of the challenges about the theme of the upcoming conference in Bristol in July is the question of what is political about ‘creative history’? I’ve heard more than one person wonder out loud whether a turn to creativity is politically empty, whether trying to do more […]

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