10 ways to make ideas happen

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I’ve spent 15 years working in creative industries, a shortage of ideas has never been an issue. This is how I make ideas happen, and keep happening: Observe the world around you. The news, things you overhear at the supermarket, something that happened to someone you know. The best stories are rooted in truth. Write it… Continue reading 10 ways to make ideas happen

Don’t write the first episode, write the third episode

Don’t write the first episode, write the third episode I’ve heard Sally Wainwright say this a few times. The gist of it being that you enter into the throw of the action, not before it begins. You can tell the story of how we got here numerous ways, but it’s the being here that’s important.… Continue reading Don’t write the first episode, write the third episode


Recently, I have discovered a phenomenon called the studyblr. What the hell is that? I hear you ask (unless you already know then, obviously, kudos). What it is, my friend, is a thing that makes my heart sing. A studyblr is basically the same thing as people photographing their lunch and bunging it on Instagram.… Continue reading Ooh…stationery

Ten years on

This week a fresh new batch of design students graduated from the course I completed ten years ago. That time has passed quickly, but graduation still feels a lifetime ago. I find myself reflecting on the value of design education and its relevance to the world we live in. You see, every year there are thousands of design… Continue reading Ten years on

Cultural exchange

I used to teach undergrads on a Graphic Design BA and the most important piece of advice I could give my students was: don’t consume only creative work by your own peers, from your own industry, in order to feed your creativity. That’s cannibalism. Read, go to the theatre, look at art, listen to music.… Continue reading Cultural exchange

Experiences, not things: watching telly get made

Spotting locations from Happy Valley has been a highlight of my recent visits to Calderdale. Not content, however, I embarked upon a journey to see some of it being filmed. It was amazing to see the work and dedication which goes into a single scene of television drama, which will amount to a matter of… Continue reading Experiences, not things: watching telly get made

Experiences, not things: Looking at art

Yesterday I had the very great joy of seeing Terry Frost’s Walk Along the Quay in the canvas as part of the excellent exhibition of his work at the Leeds Art Gallery. I’ve loved this painting for a long time and it was amazing to see it as it was supposed to be viewed instead… Continue reading Experiences, not things: Looking at art

Experiences, not things

You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.” Dr. Thomas Gilovich, psychology professor at Cornell University   There’s been… Continue reading Experiences, not things

Ten books

I was thinking last night about some of the stories which have meant a lot to me, and stayed with me, despite it being years since I had read them. I read most of these books between 1999 and 2005 – a hugely transformative time in my life where I moved out of my parent’s… Continue reading Ten books

Why I write

I have always been obsessed by storytelling. As a child I had a writing desk and a favourite pen and a notebook, and I wrote. I had to write. Pretty much nothing has changed. I write every day. I have to write. It’s a compulsion. Recently I heard the glorious Sarah Lancashire talking about acting… Continue reading Why I write