Category Archives: Writing

Wrong again, WordPress


No, no WordPress. You are lying. That last post does not look good. It is full of horribly ugly typesetting errors that make it barely readable, and you know it.

I’m sorry. I tried WordPress’ ‘new’ blog writing template, and does anyone else find that every time they press a key, there’s an awkward pause before the letter appears? I know, I know, I live in a time of technology that allows me to access the any information  I need share my thoughts and ideas with anyone else in the world who’s interested in them instantly, but I’m complaining that it makes me pause slightly. But it really is frustrating to watch your words appear in slow motion. To make matters worse, when I pressed the backspace key, it deleted several words instead of a single letter, and I couldn’t stop it, so I had to watch some invisible backwards force slowly devour sentences I’d slaved over, like a Doctor Who monster.

In the end, I gave up and started writing the post in Word for the pleasure of being able to type freely, and then copy-and-pasting it – with the disadvantage that the copy-and-pasted bits are the ones in noticeable smaller font, so the whole page is really awkward to read.

Ironically, one of the many things that last post was about was how annoying it was when my ex-housemate claimed she was sorry for trying to make the other housemates and I pay her share of the rent, but didn’t do anything to face up to her responsibilities. So I will accompany this apology with an effort to make it better, and I’ve gone back to the old blogging template for this post. It works much better – I can type easily and you get consistent font size. I don’t know why WordPress introduced a new template that’s much more difficult to use than the old, though.

UPDATED: Apparently the new set-up doesn’t let you publish your post on Facebook, either.


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A man read my mind today

Spoiler warning, if that’s the right word: this post gives away the ending of some of York magician Craig Stephenson‘s tricks.

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Things I learned putting together a writer’s CV

So I’ve recently been pitching articles to magazines and applying for journalism work experience, some of which required me to put together a ‘writer’s CV’ and an online portfolio of existing work. I’ve managed to publish a few creative and factual pieces, all on scattered websites and for free, but I’ve been pretty disorganised about keeping note of what was published where, so tracking them all down meant a lengthy and frequently revelatory odyssey through my preoccupations and writing styles of the past.

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If Virginia Woolf wrote on WordPress, she’d totally use this

I’ve just discovered the ‘Distraction Free Writing mode’. It allows you to write your entire blog post on a blank white slate, cutting out all the side bars,  putting you in a pure frame of mind where you can just concentrate on honing your prose until it expresses the important thing you said with perfect clarity. The way the great writers of the past wrote, on parchment or a typewriter.

Of course, you can still instantaneously open another window. What’s distracting me when I’m trying to blog isn’t the other stuff on WordPress (no offence, WordPress), it’s the other stuff on the Internet. And there’s quite a lot of it.

If I’m never going to be a great writer because I need to constantly check whether The Editing Room has a new script up when I should be writing – would I rather not be a great writer? It’s depressing, but sometimes it looks like it.

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Call in the experts: When solidarity becomes speaking for


One of my seminar groups is made up of around ten female and three male students. This week we were discussing Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which evolved into a discussion about how far gender equality has been achieved in general. One of the male students pointed out that, in an English Literature undergraduate course at any rate, there are more women than men, and another man replied that he’d noticed that the few men in every seminar still speak for at least half of the class discussion. At that point I wanted to contribute ‘That’s because women are socialised to not express opinions’ but before I could speak, the third man in the room said “Perhaps women find it harder to express their opinions?” These three men began to form a tight and confident circle, their arguments flying back and forth with no breaks where anyone else could speak, as they discussed feminism in front of twelve (counting the professor and teaching assistant) women who weren’t included at all. We still have a long way to go before men and women are equal, they concluded. Women don’t speak up so much in seminars because they’re socialised not to trust their own ideas, not to speak up, not to argue with others, they lamented. It’s terribly sexist that women’s voices aren’t heard enough, at university or elsewhere, and something really should be done, these three men, speaking in front of twelve silent women, decided.

There was possibly some irony in that situation which went undetected.

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Filed under Feminism, Film, Social Justice, Writing