I am working on an article which I hope is destined for the European Journal for Qualitative Research. It is a literature review on Writer's Block.

And, as I start to write it, I find myself stymied. I know what stops me, mainly; two thoughts: What have I got to say which anyone wants to read? Will it (I) be good enough? And generally I can work round it.

I have read about Writer's Block from the writer's perspective before, now I am also getting the academic's angle. They appear to put the causes under three headings: cognitive (the rule-laden part of the brain fighting with the imaginative); emotional (the feeling of not being up to the task in some way); and environmental (including the physical, social and political).

Using a completely 'unscientific' method (and having just discovered I have three instead of two followers to my blog), I wondered if any reader out there might be prepared to email me about their experience of Writer's Block (knowing that it might be published, though anonymity could be maintained)? Email:

Thank you.
I have been a little slow in getting into the on-line social (and professional) networking and I have certainly never quite understood the attraction of 'tweeting'. However, I do seem to have ended up on Twitter by default:

I wonder if this will open up a whole new phase for me?


I'm so excited. This morning we recorded my poems for the Edith Sitwell installation, Words in My Head ( in a real studio. My collaborator, composer Matt Barnard, was sound engineer and was very calming and competent. I had two friends from the Scarborough Poetry Workshop, Felix Hodcroft and Rosie Larner, reading the poems and they did an excellent job. Even when Matt wanted to record them breathing in different ways!

It felt like I was in one of those docu-films of all night-ers putting down an album with the ba-i-and. Every now and again I would go over and press the intercom with the studio and "direct" with a little suggestion on a word being emphasised or not.

I also get a huge buzz from hearing my poetry performed well. I quite enjoy doing it myself, but when I do that I can't hear them properly as the nerves appear to make me slightly deaf. So it's an enormous treat to have them gifted to me as Felix and Rosie did this morning.

I'm still more than a little carried away by the moment.


I went to see the film Made in Dagenham last night. A surprisingly upbeat tale about strikes! Namely, the industrial action taken by women machinists at Fords in the late 1960s which eventually led to (along with other pressures) the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

It made me think that we can engage with any story as long as it is well told and there is the human interest; in this case, in particular, the relationship between Eddie and Rita and the shell shocked (a reference to unrecognised dementia?) veteran and his wife.

For a relatively feel-good movie, it did try to present some of the complexities in the situation and in people's motivations. I did enjoy the the 'old style' union leader characters, I remember them from the university Labour club. Quote Marx but still expect the "girls" to make the tea.