A reminder that the second part of The Sins of Literature is available to hear on the Radio 4 website: 

This edition is concerned with how writers go about their business, the benefits of solitude and so forth. Will Self has been the stand-out of the series for me so far and his advice this week is to ‘cultivate your autonomous sergeant major’, which reminded me of an idea I had a while ago to run a course called ‘Creative Writing Boot Camp’. Maybe I’ll do that one next year but in the meantime the brochures are out now for the 2013/14 session – my classes are listed in those, on the Centre for Lifelong Learning website and also on the creative writing courses page of this website. As the sage voices in the programme point out – albeit somewhat obviously – you need to be on your own to get the writing done. But the courses are there to help you along – more than anything they’re designed as a framework of support for your efforts so please have a look and sign up for what you fancy. As ever, book early to avoid disappointment and if you’ve got any questions feel free to drop me a line. 

P.S. The programme is bookended by a not-very-good cover of John Lennon’s ‘Isolation’, one of his best songs, with a set of those lean, direct, personal lyrics he tended to write in his early post-Beatles career. The fan in me can’t resist posting his so-much-better version here. Just don’t listen if you’re alone, had a tough week and are feeling a wee bit fragile.

Cheery bye for now!




  1. Lesley P Lyon · · Reply

    I’ve managed to record the first two programs! After some months of nothing but pain, I feel ready to pick up the keyboard again. I’m reading Conversations with Myself – Nelson Mandela’s thoughts about his time on Robben Island. Hell, if he can write such wonderful stuff under those conditions, there’s no reason for procrastinating, right?
    Thanks for your moments!?! May I say re Parenting – yes, read what you can, but the main thing you can give your son is LOVE, stimulation, LOVE, and LOVE. Good Luck.

    1. Oh, there’s never any reason to procrastinate Lesley, though we all do it. Glad to hear you’re feeling better – and thanks for the advice!

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