Walking On Custard

Mar 25

How to Write a Great Non-Fiction Book, Probably

diary writing by freddie boy, on Flickr; how to write a book

Original Photo © Fredrik Rubensson, froderik on Flickr.
CC BY-SA 2.0

Instead of my usual musing about anxiety & brains & life & things, today I’m going to answer some questions I got sent about how to write a book.

Specifically, my correspondent wanted to know how to write a great non-fiction book.

Before you say it… god knows why they came to me.

I certainly don’t claim to be a world expert in writing non-fiction. At best, I’m probably the world’s foremost humorously custard-based mental health writer.

Even so, my comedy book about anxiety has been surprisingly successful, so perhaps something in my experience might be useful to somebody.

As I started replying to the email, I realised this might benefit from being more widely shared. So here we are.


How to Write a Book, A Bit:

Read more…

Oct 18

October 2016 News

Super quick update today with two bits of news!

On Friday I’m performing at OneTrackMinds in London, an incredible storytelling night about songs that have changed people’s lives.

I’ll be telling a story with at least one joke in it, and a lot of vulnerability. OneTrackMinds Tickets available here.

Also, the wonderful Harriet from ‘The Scribble Bug’ has written the most delightful interview with me about Walking on Custard and what I’m doing next. Read the interview here.

Sep 21

Why Am I Always Repeating the Same Problems Over and Over?

[May be relevant if you feel as if the same problems keep resurfacing in your life without ever being properly dealt with.]

I

Imagine that you’re untying a giant tangle made up of many, many pieces of coloured string.

(I have no idea why you might be doing this. Presumably you’re very bored.)

untangling-1

Read more…

Sep 07

Things I Was Going To Do But Didn’t

I’ve been travelling.

I had great plans to work while I travelled. I’ve done some, but mostly I’ve failed to be the super-productive me I envisioned. Staying on top of food, sleep, exercise, seeing people, seeing places, adventures AND work was always going to be hard.

I haven’t written several posts for this blog (albeit some are sorta drafted). I haven’t finished the draft of a book (although I’ve made progress). I haven’t sent my guaranteed-hilarious* mailing list email.

* not actually guaranteed

And you know what? The world isn’t ending.

I will have to catch up. But the level of guilty anxiety I’ve had over this perceived failure is – as usual – way out of proportion.

Especially when I step back and look at reality: I’ve done a LOT in a few weeks, especially considered I’ve had to handle some sad circumstances at home along with a few setbacks over here. If anything, I ought to be impressed with how I’ve handled everything, instead of beating myself up for failing to magic an extra five hours into every day to write a whole book as well.

Possibly there’s a wider lesson here, but as usual it’s the same lesson: changing my perspective by looking again at reality is very, very helpful.

Jul 22

One Weird Trick For Getting Over Perfectionism

Today I’m too tired to write a proper post, so my cunning plan is “just not to”.

Read more…

Feb 09

How I Accidentally Had an Endoscopy, Or: Anxiety & Me

This post contains excerpts from the early chapters of Walking on Custard. This version was originally published online over at Mindtank, an awesome blog for sharing mental health and anxiety stories. Do check them out and give them plenty of support!


/doh by striatic, on Flickr

Mistakes were made.

Original Photo © d26b73, striatic on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Worrying has always been my primary way of dealing with the world.

For most of my life, I thought this was normal. (When I wasn’t worrying about worrying so much, anyway…)

Read more…

Nov 23

My Day at TED X Leamington Spa

Update: The talk is out! Check it out here after reading the story below.

Saturday was a huge day for me!

I’ve finally made the switch to almond milk, and reduced my dairy intake. It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on my morning digestion.

Also, I gave a TED talk at TED X Leamington Spa!

Me, somewhat awkwardly standing with balloons.

Me, somewhat awkwardly standing with balloons.

My talk was all about anxiety. And custard, naturally.

I had ambitious plans for it. I wanted to get across the importance of openness about our struggles, both for our own benefit and for others.

I wanted to paint an overall picture of the journey from anxiety to less-anxiety, while sharing some mind management strategies.

And I wanted it to be as funny as possible, while not detracting from the seriousness of what I was talking about. Easy, right?

So, how did it go?

Read more…

Jul 14

Win a free personalised copy of Walking on Custard!

As an experiment, I’m running a book giveaway over on Goodreads.

For the next 24 hours you can enter for a chance to win a free, signed copy of Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life. Enter below!

And please – share this post and tell your friends!

All the usual Goodreads giveaway rules apply so check those out if you’re not already aware. (And the personalisation will be a handwritten message to the name supplied via the winning goodreads account.)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life by Neil Hughes

Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life

by Neil Hughes

Giveaway ends July 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Jun 30

The Book Launch Party

Book Launch Prosecco Reception

The Fizzy Reception at the Book Launch Party, courtesy of Otto Lounge

About ten months ago I was writing a book.

(If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already heard of it, but if not… In short, it’s a comedy book about anxiety. Click here to learn more.)

At the time, I had no idea if I could write a book.

Or if I did somehow manage to write one, I was deeply unsure that it would be any good.

As you’ve probably noticed, my inner critic is fairly active. And even though he got featured in the book, he often popped up while I was writing to undermine my morale and make me feel like the situation was hopeless.

Inner critic: “Featured” in your stupid book?! I was the best bit!

And so my search began for helpful distractions…

Read more…

Apr 02

Book Release: Immediate Aftermath

Tired lemur by Tambako the Jaguar, on Flickr

Releasing a book is hard work.

Original Photo © Tambako The Jaguar, Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License

The book is out!

Honestly, it was actually out two days ago. But somehow, amidst the madness, I never actually posted anything on the actual site.

Inner critic: You know it said “Pre-order” on here for two days after it was out? Good god, this is embarrassing.

Well, maybe. I’m not sure the consequences are quite as bad as I imagine them to be.

Reaction has been positive so far – I’ve had some lovely enthusiastic comments from a few keen early readers. I’m looking forward to more people getting through it and letting me know what they think.

Anyway, I’m all tired out so will continue the online series on anxiety soon after recharging my batteries a bit.

In the meantime, I will reshare any news (like the awesome podcast I did with Anxiety United) as it comes up, and after a brief rest I’ll be back with more explorations of anxiety for the site.

Meanwhile, do consider sharing the book around, encouraging people to check it out, and – of course – have a read of it yourself!

I can’t wait to hear what you all think of it.

Inner critic: Oh good. Well, I have a LOT of opinions, actually…

Not you, inner critic. Everyone else.

Talk to you all soon, and thanks so much for all the support and kind words you’ve sent on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. You’re lovely.

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