Ten years of blogging – and a big thank you to my readers

WordPress reminded me that I’ve been blogging for ten years this week. I don’t know where the time has gone. It’s been a tumultous decade. In that time I have made some wonderful blogging friends, some of whom have been around since early in my blogging career, and who I’m still in contact with, including … More Ten years of blogging – and a big thank you to my readers

Explaining the pitfalls of sentence fragments

One of the most ubiquitous grammar traps in English is the sentence fragment. A sentence fragment is a phrase or set of phrases that look like they should be a sentence, but actually aren’t. Usually that’s because they lack either a verb or a subject, making them a ‘dependent clause’, because they depend on another … More Explaining the pitfalls of sentence fragments

Why writing is a learned skill – and a hard one

Back in the 1960s, researchers looking into how people viewed their own ability to drive made a remarkable discovery: everybody over-rated their abilities. Apparently it’s a human thing. We do it a lot, particularly when it comes to ubiquitous actions such as driving, where there’s a consistent implication that we should be ‘good’ at it. … More Why writing is a learned skill – and a hard one

Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests

I’ve got a bit of a brand problem. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in all sorts of things. I began my academic career with music, physics and cosmology, interests I’ve kept up without relent. I have degree qualifications in anthropology and still pursue my life-long interest in human evolutionary paths. … More Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests

Somebody is illegally advertising non-existent pirate copies of my books

I discovered a web page last month alleging that my book Guns and Utu (Penguin 2011) was available for free PDF download from a company named Playster. According to the page I found, some 2048 copies had reportedly been downloaded in the last month. This was odd: I hold the copyrights and publishing license. Neither … More Somebody is illegally advertising non-existent pirate copies of my books

Musings on the directions of mid-career writers

US author Chuck Wendig pointed out the other day that virtually all the ‘writing advice’ these days is about getting started. There’s nothing much offered for what he calls ‘mid career’ writers, in particular about what direction they want their career to take. I have to agree with that. Although I don’t like the term, … More Musings on the directions of mid-career writers