It’s Time to Care & Create

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”
Edward De Bono

In previous blogs we have waxed lyrical about tapping into ideas that are out there just waiting for you to net them, tend to them and watch them grow.  And, Collab Writers can testify to the enjoyment we get from connecting members to collaborate and create. If you have attended our Collab Writers monthly meet-ups, creativity abounds, relationships are formed and we play writing games together. It is pure creative flow and is a fun change from an evening in front of the box.

If you are wondering what you care about enough to create, you could take a macro approach and take a leaf from the Prince of Peace and spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, The Dalai Lama:

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
The Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama doesn’t just write about ‘kindness’ – his raison d’être is to spread the word of kindness through every action and word.

In a world where our politics are becoming more and more divisive by the minute, it’s important for our creations to have a caring element. We have the opportunity to encourage people to come together and to let the world know that there is more that unites us than divides us.

What brings us together?

At a time when it is vitally important to focus on what brings us together, remind yourself just how many things unite us. In addition to kindness, compassion is a lens through which to live your life and create.

Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
The Dalai Lama

Caring about the health and well-being of others is a great place to start showing compassion. Your background, education, ethnicity, culture, experience at work may spark a seed of passion in you. Whatever it is, use your voice and your power to help others in their lives, both now and in the future.

Mental Health messaging

Collab Writers’ recent debut in the world of executive film production was an opportunity for us to inject caring into our co-creation. Fright Fest short film, ‘One in Two People,‘ produced and directed by our Founder Collaborator, Ali Mashayekhi focuses on showcasing mental health issues.

Film and documentaries are a great opportunity to get your message across to a large audience in the same way that books are. It’s one of the reasons I founded the festival 27 years ago.
Elliot Grove, Raindance Film Festival Founder

If a movie or book seems like more than you can chew, you could start by writing a blog or insta essay (if you are an instagrammer) about something you care about. Before co-founding Collab Writers, Jennie Griffiths started her creative caring journey by blogging on ways she had learnt to ease a life lived with IBD including mindfulness and yoga to ease living with Crohn’s disease.

“If I can help to ease the burden and pain of one person coping with a long term illness, then as far as I am concerned my job is done.”
Jennie Griffiths


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu, Chapter 64, Tao Te Ching.

Many of us are put off social media by a dearth of pointless ‘influencers’ we don’t wish to follow. Fear not, you don’t have to be an ‘influencer’ to make a difference. The best advice we were ever given in founding Collab Writers was to conjure up the image of one person we wanted to influence (to encourage to collaborate to create). From our imagination, Collab Writers has grown to hundreds of founder members and collaborators, a community that is growing. Don’t be afraid to start small.

We do hope you find your creative passion and share it with the world. What will it be? i non-fiction offering on well-being, a sustainable fashion brand, helping your community or publicising an environmental concern. Whatever your thing, use your creativity and heartfelt passion to make a difference. Caring is sharing……..

Collab Writers Networking from home

Come and meet fellow writers, filmmakers and other creatives: During the Lockdown – join us FREE at our Virtual Monthly networking on April 2nd 19:00 – 20:00














Anyone game for a ‘Surrealist Revival’?


Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” 

– Salvador Dali

“How do I generate writing ideas?”

…is one of the most frequently asked questions at  Collab Writers meet ups.  The answer we give isn’t what you will read in a ‘How to write‘ text book. Much of ‘Consequences’ (the collaborative work of Co-Founders Alford and Griffiths) is what they call ‘downloaded.’ And by ‘download’ they are not referring to ‘The Cloud’. They are talking automatic writing, the writing style favoured by the literary, intellectual and artistic Surrealist movement.

When we think of Surrealism, we often think of the 1920s/30s movement showcased by Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning and countless others worldwide. Breton led the movement and dreamt up the Surrealist Manifesto so that artists would play by a number of rules and pull in the same direction.

So what has this got to do with Collab Writers and more importantly you?

It has everything to do with us and it could help you to add individuality, depth and intrigue to your stories.

Co-Founder Jennie Griffiths believes that automatic writing enabled the duo to embrace a fantasy world of the subversive protagonists whose streams of consciousness do not conform to language convention. And their actions are surreal, juxtaposed to reality, often defying logic. In the same way that Collab Writers have disrupted the Victorian parlour game Consequences, they also want to disrupt traditional story telling.

Collab Writers encourages you to discover your inner (subconscious) voice and rather than trying to adapt it to a set form of stories that are already out there, create your own journey and style of storytelling.

“The trick is letting go of the fear of having to conform to type to get an audience (and publishers) interested. For too long we have buried the rants and unconscious streams of pseudo consciousness that were the poster child of the Surrealist artists. In the world we are currently living in it is high time that we cast off the shackles of conventional storytelling and dig deep within for ideas and inspiration.”
Jennie Griffiths, Co-Founder Collab Writers.


Streams of pseudo consciousness pervade the Art world

If you are the kind of person who wants hard evidence of how this has worked with examples of the commercial success of surrealism, you don’t have to look far for evidence of  successful subversive artists and writers. Lewis Carroll’s Tales of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland would no doubt have been part of your childhood reading. Whilst he may not have been an official member of the surrealist movement, his writing and illustrations were undoubtedly channeling the subconscious coffers of his vivid imagination, in defiance of logic and creating new words.

William Blake was another of the great poets and artists to have inspired the Surrealists  of the 1930s and been a commercial success. The Tate Britain has a treat in store for us this September with a William Blake exhibition where you can check out Blake’s surrealist success story, long before the movement took it’s name.

Practice downloading your unconscious consciousness by playing ‘Consequences’ 

Collab Writers are keen to encourage a revival in subconscious storytelling and awaken (within those of us who are game), the revelry of the Surrealist movement. Conscious that we live in an increasingly ‘real’ world with popular TV shows that focus on ‘real’ lives, we may need to tread the path of a diluted form of surrealism that weaves the subconscious through structured stories making them more interesting and multi faceted. It’s time to blend our imagination, conscious and unconscious ideas to embrace the ideologies and inspiration of the 21st century. We leave you with a thought provoking quote from Michael Richardson in the Dedalus Book of Surrealism 2: The Myth of the World:

“Surrealism, then, neither aims to subvert realism, as does the fantastic, nor does it try to transcend it. It looks for different means by which to explore reality itself.”

To explore reality through different means, in the spirit of the surrealists why not come and play the game of Consequences the first Thursday of each month at the Library. Our next event is on 5 September – we do hope to see you there.


Collab Writers Networking from home

Come and meet fellow writers, filmmakers and other creatives: During the Lockdown – join us FREE at our Virtual Monthly networking on April 2nd 19:00 – 20:00


Collab Writers presents “Windswept”

Collab Writers was launched in November last year to bring creatives of all kinds together to connect, collaborate, tell stories and get work out there.  As well as encouraging connections and collaborations, we are here to help our members showcase their work off our platform to spread the word about their stories.


Today, we’re launching our Collab Writers presents series where we’ll showcase members’ work, encourage book promotions and facilitate signings. Collab Writers wants to help you grow your audience. We want Collab to be a nurturing space where we encourage one another in a positive fashion. No trolls welcome!

The first Collab Writer to feature in Collab Writers presents is one of our founder Collaborators, Lynwood Shiva Sawyer, an independent publisher. This weekend Jennie caught up with Lynwood across the pond in Charlotte, USA, hot on the heels of his debut book signing tour.

Jennie: “Congratulations Lynwood on getting Windswept out there. Anjali was lucky enough to read an advance copy and was singing its praises. Can you give the rest of us a teaser for “Windswept”:

Lynwood: “Sure, I’ll give you a teaser by asking you some questions…

“How far would you go to protect the only man whom you ever loved who loved you in return?”

Jennie: “Pretty far!”

Lynwood: “What would you do if the man of your dreams had been targeted for assassination by his sociopathic employer, a voracious multinational mining corporation with apparently bottomless resources.” 

Jennie: “I’d go after them…and take them down.”

Lynwood: “What boundaries would you cross?”

Jennie:”More than I should.”

Lynwood: “Which of your most cherished scruples would you violate to save his life?”

Jennie: “Sounds like the girlfriend [protagonist] is in for quite a ride.”

Lynwood: “She sure is. Working class New Yorker Meghan Joyce is about to find out as she discovers herself trapped in a life-or-death struggle for the love of her life, Englishman Thomas Catherton Lockhart against a foe whose seemingly all-seeing reach is beyond her imagination. Meghan, determined to save Thomas’s life, persuades him to flee New York. But everywhere the desperate couple turns, they find Murdock’s well-financed killers lying in wait.”

Jennie: “Wow! That sounds like a seat of your pants action packed roller coaster ride thriller with a bit of romance thrown in.”

Lynwood: “Sure is. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. Come on down to the Library where I will be signing copies on 5 September. Or, if you need a summer read grab it at the Amazon link below and I will sign it for you at the Library. “

Jennie: “Anjali and I are honoured to host you Lynwood and wish you all the very best with “Windswept.”

If you happen to be stateside, you can catch Lynwood where some of the action of “Windswept” takes place in New York this coming Saturday 10 August.
256 W. 38th Street (btw 7th & 8th)
Suite 703 NY,
NY 10018
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Or, if you can wait until September to get your hands on a copy, sign up for our Collab Writers Back to School meet-up on Thursday 5 September at the Library, London. We will host our usual mingling and we will have an original  ‘back to school’ game of Consequences for you to play so get those pencils sharpened and fountain pens filled with ink at the ready. No ink fights and no hair pulling allowed.

ShivaLynwood Shiva Sawyer was born a vagabond spirit and still has yet to learn the meaning of “comforrt zone.” Besides earning a degree in organic chemistry at Florida’s experimental New College, Sawyer was an editorof the underground paper, The Charlotte Inquisition. He also wrote “The Tattered Rose” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine 500th First Story), lyrics for Wombat Productions bands The Mongolords and Moose Magic & the Spoilsports as well as the First Light Stage Company misfire, December Never Yields. He also wrote the cult classic, Space Avenger, one of the world’s last true Technicolor films. Founder and publisher emeritus of Pig­town Books and Hidden Pearl Books, he cur­rently writes screenplays for Norwich-based EQ Films.

And last but not least, credits go to:

The Writer of our first Collab Writers presents:
“Windswept” by Lynwood Shiva Sawyer
Book design by D. Bass
Original cover painting by Nad Wolinska (All rights reserved)
Cover design by Richard Amari
Photo of New York Skyline by Reynaldo #brigworkz Brigantty
from Pexels
Photo enhancement by Becque Olson
Available on Amazon HERE

Constructive reviews please… writing don’t come easy!


Disgruntlement and maliciousness through the ages: from rotten vegetables to rotten reviews…

I’m a firm believer in ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say, shut it.’  Reviews should be helpful and truthful. Constructive, well-intentioned feedback is the way to go. Regrettably, there are way too many self-aggrandizing, inaccurate, bilious rants online.

Online reviews and ratings influence most of us. They impact our purchasing decisions and as they have a wider reach than print – ‘yesterday’s chip paper’ or word of mouth, they appear to have caused a behavioural shift of epic proportions.  I had to grudgingly admit that my behaviour had changed. It was time for me to face up to the troubling fact that whilst I have a mind of my own, I let others make it up for me. These others are a mix of well-balanced and off-kilter strangers who have an impact on the books I read and the films I see. It extends to the accommodation I end up staying in and the restaurants I go to (sometimes).  I have become a snob methinks, not wanting anything with a rating below four stars, or under 8 out of 10.  This needs addressing, stern note to self.

Before the prevalence of the virtual world I would read a book if the fly cover took my fancy, or if someone recommended it. I’d go and eat somewhere if I liked the look of the menu. I’d stay anywhere that was in the right location and price. This led to some great times and experiences and some abysmal ones, but my decisions were not governed by someone who gets out of bed on the wrong side wielding an axe that they have to grind. What’s worse a wayward machine may have posted the reviews, programmed by recalcitrant humans to spread misery at scale. They are indeed raging machines.

What about the harm caused? 

Malicious reviews burst bubbles…

People have been venting opinions for centuries. The act of throwing rotting vegetables originated in the first century AD and became a thing in the Victorian era.  Tomato stains may be difficult to remove but a malicious review cannot be erased (easily or at all in some cases). It is likely to exist in cyberspace forever. Whatever the method used throughout the ages, hostility hurts and derisive reviews are damaging.

It can ruin a person’s exciting new, bold path in life, one that they have strived for. A miffed customer left some scathing comments about a non-fiction novel written by an acquaintance. The reason was not down to content but the way her book was displayed online (not the author’s fault by the way). At that point she hadn’t sold a single copy of her wonderful book, online or printed.  Similarly, a friend had an excellent B&B in Devon and suffered a downturn in bookings after a review was posted that contained inaccurate comments and one blatant lie. The sites that hosted the reviews refused to take them down. The upshot is that the producer of the work or the business owner seems to have little or no control or say in this process.

At Collab Writers we want to provide a nurturing space for creative people to connect and collaborate. 

So what do you think as a writer, film maker, musician or artist about ratings and reviews?

Can anything be done to influence the detrimental digital influencers? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Anjali Alford, Co-Founder, Collab Writers

Collab Writers Networking from home

Come and meet fellow writers, filmmakers and other creatives: During the Lockdown – join us FREE at our Virtual Monthly networking on April 2nd 19:00 – 20:00


It’s time to tell new stories


Gangsters’ Wives‘ is a title of a random book by Lee Martin that caught my eye last weekend in Greenwich Market. The title sparked off wonder as to why marital status features so often in books and films to identify a person by their spouse rather than independently. This is no criticism of the author, the story, or the institution of marriage, it’s merely an observation. Combined with Anjali’s experience from her Deep Characterisation workshop at Raindance with Kira Anne Pelican it got me wondering whether it’s time for a change in how we write stories and portray our characters. 

Yin and yang – The “Hero’s Journey” & “The Virgin’s Story”

Storytelling was traditionally taught from a male perspective with Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey” pattern in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. This was adapted for writers and screenwriters by Christopher Vogler with his best-selling “The Writer’s Journey“. It’s a valuable read if you are looking for a place to begin learning the art of storytelling.

Kim Hudson, amongst others has been pushing boundaries of The Hero’s Journey with “The Virgin’s Story” encouraging the writing of stories of feminine creative, spiritual and sexual awakening. And, such stories don’t just apply to the female of the species. Yin and yang is an ancient philosophy and whether we like it or not, there is masculine and feminine in all of us, regardless.

Think of the majority of female characters in books and movies. They are often bland or one dimensional. A few memorable books and films come to mind that have pushed the boundaries:

Change Maker – Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

We can count on Virginia Woolf  to have pushed the boundaries. At first blush I’d say Virginia Woolf’s protagonist ‘Orlando’ was well ahead of other characters written in the 1920s and since then for that matter. Orlando seamlessly changes gender and sexuality through different identities between 1588 and 1928. Blurring boundaries of gender, sexuality and time travel – there was a surrealist feel to her writing, as if it was what Andre Breton and the surrealists called automatic writing. I’ve yet to read a book or see a movie since that has matched Virginia’s forward thinking.

Collab Writers has been born to be different; to push boundaries, inspired by what Virginia and others did long ago. Let’s collaborate to not just push but to break down boundaries and rebuild to do away with norms and stereotyping.

Boundary pushing movies

The Women in 1939 was equally groundbreaking with an all female cast and writer based on a 1936 play by Clare Booth Luce.  It was remade in 2008 with an all female cast and directed by Diane English. Sadly, no-one took the idea and developed it further.

The movie “The Wife” focuses on the husband’s role in only name as the story reveals how the wife of a Nobel prize winning author wrote all of her husband’s stories that won him the Nobel prize in Literature.

A call to action to Rethink and Reframe

There are so many new and fresh characters to be written following The Hero’s Journey, The Writer’s Journey, The Virgin’s Story or any other story pattern you wish to develop. Hopefully, this blog will be a call to action to encourage you to rethink the characters and stories you are writing.

To this end, we would like to give a shout out to one of our Collab Writers Founder Members, Tristis Silvan who is busy pushing the boundaries of gender stereotypes and norms through her podcast series. Listen [HERE]

There’s a wealth of writers and filmmakers out there who want to do something new. At each Collab Writers meet up we meet many storytellers and filmmakers looking for stories and collaborators.

It’s time to start again…..

It’s a nice day to start again……you have carte blanche to write the characters you want to read and watch. Let them be every aspect of you that you are too afraid to be. Live vicariously through them and watch them grow.

Collab Writers are as forward thinking as our members. We want to hear your ides for collaboration. If you want to share your ideas, we are happy to consider them and if we think it’s ripe for collaboration we will put out a call for interest in collaboration over the airwaves. This is the way the stories we tell will change. Ping us your ideas for change at

Check out the next Collab Writers Networking Here: The first Thursday of each month.


Writers JourneyVirgins Promise

Buy Writers Journey here                                Buy The Virgin’s Promise here

Cannes Film Festival – 7 reasons for writers to attend

Cannes 2019The annual Cannes Film Festival is the annual melting pot for film financiers, producers, distributors, talent and filmmakers. Tens of thousands descend on the small city of Cannes to celebrate cinema and to do deals.

Writers are often less gregarious than their filmmaking colleagues and tend to shun the glamour and sizzle of Cannes. There are, however, seven reasons writers of all forms of content should check out Cannes Film Festival.

1.Cannes is a good marketing exercise

The hype and glamour of Cannes is used by film companies to raise awareness of their upcoming films. Writers can learn from their filmmaking colleagues about how to use the powerful tools of publicity and marketing to promote their own work.

2.Cannes film market is where the business of film happens

There are two parts to The Cannes Film Festival. First, there is the festival with all of the red carpet screenings, the celebrity interviews and of course the parties. Other than rubber necking and trying to catch a glimpse of a big star, this is of little use to a writer.

The part that really interests me is the film market – the Marche du Film. This is where all the ‘action’ happens: film sellers meet film buyers. The similarities between your local vegetable market and the Marche are surprisingly similar. Sellers lay out their wares. Buyers browse, poke and prod and haggle over the price.

It is here that writers can gauge the market trends of what is selling, what types of topics and genres are in demand and what different territories are looking for.

It was at this year’s Marche that I found out that the once-dynamic Chinese market is crumbling due to the impact of the Chinese/American trade war.

3. Cannes is a great place to become pitch perfect

The Marche itself is gigantic trade show – with over 1,800 exhibitors or sellers vying for the attention of the 6,500+ film distributors from around the world. In such a noisy environment a filmmaker needs to be able to pitch their film in a short and succinct way in order to srtand out form the crowd.

Pitching is the most under-rated and most-ignored skill any writer needs to master.

Raindance holds “Live!Ammunition! Pitching Competition on June 24th. It’s your chance to pitch your story idea to a panel of film industry experts – these are the ones who decide which stories get made into movies and which ones get on TV and into cinemas. Come along and see how others pitch and learn. If you are brave enough, why not have a ‘go’ yourself? Collab Writers did it last year during the film Festival.

Details of Live!Ammunition! and tickets HERE

4. Cannes loves a visual image

Whether a film is being promoted on Netflix, your local cinema or in a film market like Cannes, an important asset that needs to be created is the poster, or campaign image.

A great exercise is to look at movie posters – and book covers – to see which ones stand out and then to try and analyse what it is about them that works: the title, typography and the different design tropes that are used.

One of my favourite movie bloggers, Stephen Follows, has analyzed facial recognition as a poster source with fascinating research that could also be used for character development.

5.Cannes is all about the networking

The creative industry is a people industry. It’s not what you know but who you know. If you want to get your book published, if you want to get an agent, if you want your idea turned into a movie – you need to meet people and earn their respect and trust.

Not every venue has a red carpet but Raindance does have red velvet seats and the cute but perfectly formed Library Club. To get comfortable with meeting people and speaking about your creative passions, try hanging out at networking events like Collab Writers monthly meet-up on the first Thursday of every month, and Raindance Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin on the second Monday of each month. Both are here in London – before the year’s out both will be hosting events across the pond.


6. Cannes is about understanding the commerce

Writers like most filmmakers often have no idea at all about how books and films are sold and distributed.

Books, like films are sold to territories. Each territory has publishers and distributors. Cannes is where you go to meet film distribution companies from all over the world. Each distributor looks for specific films: documentaries, educational, narrative and so on.

The same for authors. The London Book Fair each spring is a must for writers too. Here there are hundreds of publishers looking for new material and agented and self-published writers to learn from.

Try and understand the commercial needs of a publisher and learn to tailor your pitch and presentation to them in order to minimise their financial risk.

That’s exactly what filmmakers do. They learn to de-risk their projects.

7. Cannes deals in genre not drama

Nobody in the film industry buys drama. It’s too general a topic. Are you making a crime, rom-com, sci-fi or children’s movie?

The same might be said for authors too. What exactly is your book about? Can you sum up the genre in one or two words?

This is probably the most challenging thing for a new writer or filmmaker to learn. You simply cannot sell a drama. You need to create a genre. When you have tailored your story to fit a genre, implement some of the pitching and marketing tips I have mentioned above and start to get people talking about your work, then they will send the limos.

Everyone is crying out for content. And you are the content creator.

Happy writing.

Elliot Grove, founder Raindance Film Festival


Your creative apprenticeship – Hyperfocus

hyperfocus.jpgLast week saw the start of a series of Collab Writers blogs on your creative apprenticeship. We began with learning from the greats, Hemingway and Stephen King.

You’ve all heard that old adage:

“If you want to get something done ask a busy person.

In the world we live in, that doesn’t leave many people out. In this blog we want to share with you the life skills we have learnt to get things done. It’s as simple as that, the art of getting stuff done.

What is hyper focusing and why is it worthy of a blog?

As busy bees, like most of you are, we found ourselves with lots of deadlines and very little time to get them done. The art of hyper focusing is learning how to grab spare moments of time and using them to do things quickly. You can start with the following methods:

1.Write key points / creative triggers on a single page / notepad on your phone


3.Grab every moment you can to hyperfocus on the task in hand – including when you are on the go.

How you can learn more about this method?

If you learn through doing then just get started. If you need to read more about this then check out Mind Mapping via Tony Buzan’s excellent books.  This is how Collab’s Jennie Griffiths got addicted to the hyper focus world twenty odd years ago. If you haven’t read them, do. This way of thinking changed Jennie’s life and set her well on the road of hyper focusing that serves her well today.

The Multi Hyphen Method is another excellent book. It reflects the portfolio lifestyle that’s so popular today.

The one pager for creatives

Get it down on paper, it’s as simple as that. There are very few ideas or documents that can’t be summarised into a one (or at most) two pager. This tool can help you at work. And it is a really great tool that can help you as a creative, as a writer or a filmmaker.

Write your ideas in bullet points. You’ve heard of Bullet Journals – they’re all the rage. A bullet journals is the brainchild of a hyper focuser. We’ve been using them since we studied for GCSEs (and trust us that was a long time ago!). They got us through university exams, helped with our kickstarter campaign and have become a daily habit.

How to mind map as a creative

As a creative this is where it gets really fun. Grab your notebook and just write or draw your ideas on paper.

If you prefer tech, use Meind meister online – a tool that helps you create your mind maps.

Let your imagination draw your treasure trove of ideas.

You can have sub mind-maps of practical ways to produce ideas. Once they are committed to paper or an electronic mind map it’s hard to forget them. They will likely bug you until you bring them to life.

Believe it or not, Collab Writers original conception was via a mind map two years ago.  Fortunately, it got written down at the time and then nagged and nagged until it was brought to life last year!

Time and habit 

Remember that there are 24 long hours in every single day, 365 of them in every single year.

We don’t want to hear your moans about having to go to work. There are several waking hours before you go to work. And, you get to choose how to spend them. If you decide to spend them sleeping or working out instead of writing, that’s a choice. You don’t have to. Try mixing it up from time to time. Morning is a great time to get into the creative flow as the mind is rested before the onslaught of the day. As the great 13th century Persian mystic and poet Rumi said:

“The morning breeze has secrets to tell you. Do not go back to sleep.”

The 20 minute slot 

A whole 20 minutes is a dream to the seasoned hyper focuser. It is a huge slice of time when you can actually get a lot done. You can skim read a ten to fifteen page document in that time and pull out what you need to focus on. You can also write a poem, an instalment of a novel or a short screen in a screenplay.

If you are on public transport, you can sketch or jot down characteristics of the person opposite you – they might make a fantastic character for your story.

If you are at home, you can set a timer and just write for twenty minutes. It’s hardly a big commitment and the busiest person can spare that amount of time. If you are caring for children, steal some time whist they are asleep. The dishes and laundry can wait!

The commute

Leaving the best to last, this is the easiest way to steal 20 minutes at the beginning and end of your day. That time when you are on the subway or the train – try to stand or lean or something (or someone) and just write or read.

Those of you turning your noses up at this suggestion remember that that is how Collab Writers wrote the first draft of their collaborative novel, Consequences, on the daily commute, every day for 365 days. It’s surprising what you can do when you put your mind to something and hyper focus.

And, if you’ve no commute, lucky you – you have literally ‘bags of time’ so fill em bags full of ideas, pictures and words.

Go get ’em creative tigers!

Collab Writers Networking from home

Come and meet fellow writers, filmmakers and other creatives: During the Lockdown – join us FREE at our Virtual Monthly networking on April 2nd 19:00 – 20:00