How to Recover After a Setback

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] This year I’ve experienced a constant stream of setbacks, of varying degrees of seriousness: minor administrative life hassle, major family tragedy, missed career opportunities, painful emotional entanglements, idiotic breakages, unexpected financial demands. At times, it’s felt as if the universe was sending me regular doses of deliberate punishment. […]

Why Goals Aren’t Enough—You Need to Set Directions Too

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Recently, I caught up with a friend I don’t get to see often enough. Neither of us were in a Major Life Crisis, so we were doing that thing where we swap minor problems back and forth—everything from busyness to boredom to the various ways our ageing bodies […]

Exhausted and Unproductive? This Might Help

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] As a kid, I never understood why adults were so slow. Surely it would be more natural to run around and bounce and clamber – what was wrong with them? Why were all adults so lazy?! Now I’m (allegedly) an adult, I get it: We’re not lazy… we’re […]

How Tiny, Unconscious Habits Can Lead to a World of Pain

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] “Look after yourself,” suggests a well-meaning friend. “Um, thanks…” I respond—but privately, I bristle. What else am I going to do?! Not look after myself? And yet… I absolutely need to be told this, because every single day I fail to take care of myself through dozens of […]

What I’m Doing in July 2018

[post status: a brief life update] When  Walking on Custard came out in 2015 (aside: I cannot believe that was three  years ago! What on EARTH is happening to the flow of time?!), I needed some sort of online home. I considered all kinds of wild, imaginative ideas, like interactive websites which would act as companions to the […]

You Probably Need to Do This One Thing More Often

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Do your attempts to be kind to yourself ever backfire? I’ve noticed lately that my moments of self-generosity are occasionally actively unhelpful to me: “Fine, I’ll watch another episode.” “I’ve worked hard, I don’t need to exercise today.” “If I eat a second dessert… then I can free […]

Freedom vs Security

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Today: some thoughts about life decisions. But First: Let’s Talk About Fourier Transforms, [WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MATHS! (It’s optional, so skip it, if you like.)] A few months ago, I was making a decision, and every time I thought about it, a mathematical analogy sprung to mind.

How to Choose the Right Path When There are SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] To my great surprise, I’ve written two books. The first was non-fiction, and I spent the entire process worrying about making factual errors. I checked and rechecked (and rechecked) everything obsessively. At the very least, I wanted to be able to honestly say that I’d done my best […]

Wasted Time Isn’t Wasted

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] We can’t control whether to spend our time, only what we spend it on. This thought has echoed around and around in my mind ever since I read the story of Opus 40 – a sculpture park created by one man over 37 years(!). Part of me recoils […]

I’m Anxious – What Do I Do Now?

Quite often, I get asked “what should someone do after they realise they’re anxious?” There’s no definitive answer to that question – every person and every situation is different, so it’s impossible to give one-size-fits-all advice. But there are a few ideas which might help someone figure out the next step for them…