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Ali Millar and Penny Wincer are not too busy to write. Except of course, sometimes they’re too busy to write as much as they would like. Join Ali and Penny as they navigate the world of writing, publishing and creativity whilst juggling the demands of motherhood, caring and other paid work, without losing themselves in the process. They’ll be discussing the challenges that often get in the way of sitting down to write, interviewing fellow authors and discussing their latest reads. They'll al ...
 
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show series
 
Ali talks to Tanya Shadrick about her forthcoming book, The Cure for Sleep: A Late Waking Life. Described as an electrifying voice, The Cure for Sleep details Tanya's transformative near death encounter after the birth of her first child, and how this became the catalyst to transforming her life. In this intriguing conversation Ali and Tanya talk a…
 
Rebecca Schiller is the author of four non-fiction books, a freelance journalist and the co-founder of the human rights charity Birth Rights. We take a dive into Rebecca's latest book Earthed - a memoir about returning to the land and how it refuses to follow the usual "good life" tropes and instead documents an unravelling of a woman whose problem…
 
Jessica Hatcher-Moore is an award winning foreign correspondent specialising in women's health in conflict zones. After moving back from East Africa to North Wales with her husband to have their first child, she was shocked to find a deep problem within her home country around silence after birth and a lack of care and support for women in the post…
 
Olivia Sudjic is the author or two novels and a non-fiction long form essay. Her latest novel, Asylum Road, is a darkly unsettling story of a newly engaged couple unraveling. In this episode Olivia talks about the lure of control that drove her to novel writing as well as the risks involved when shouldering creative responsibility largely alone. Th…
 
We usually talk about getting the work done and being productive. Today is a counter episode - rest. Ali thinks she's bad at it, Penny feels she's pretty good at it. We talk about how it's easy to always measure your productivity but rest is needed is we are to keep going. When we're on deadlines or are afraid of losing momentum on a project, it ca…
 
On the podcast today, Christina Sweeney-Baird, talks about her debut, The End of Men; a prescient debut about the effects of a virus that only kills males. Not only did Sweeney-Baird write her debut before the pandemic hit, she also balances writing life with the demands of being a full time Corporate Litigation Lawyer. Christina tells us how she m…
 
Annie Ridout writes in multiple genres including non-fiction, poetry, journalism and now fiction. Her latest non-fiction book Shy: How being quiet can lead to success explores the positive aspects of shyness as well as how to manage some of the more challenging sides of it. We talk about embracing our natural personalities, expanding our comfort zo…
 
Reading and writing go hand in hand. In their most conversational episode yet, Ali and Penny talk about what they read to inform their writing practice; and Ali discovers she owes Agatha Christie an apology. Some books act as guide books, others as inspiration, others as companions to the writing process, all are vital ways to breathe life and dept…
 
In Episode 9 Ali and Penny talk to Jodie Chapman about her debut novel, Another Life, out now on Penguin Michael Joseph. Another Life tells the story of Nick and Anna, and the one seminal summer the pair spend together that marks each of them in its own way. Years later, tragedy brings the two back into each other's orbits, but is it too late? Jodi…
 
When life is busy, we don't always get the long stretches of time we would ideally like to have to write. So how do you train yourself to write in tiny spaces of time? Ali and Penny discuss the techniques they have used over the past few years when time is short. From keeping up the frequency so your mind is never far from the project, to using min…
 
In Episode 7 Penny is absent due to self-isolation, so Ali takes the helm. She introduces their slightly ambitious plan to read the Women's Prize longlist before the announcement of a winner in July. Ali talks to Tetyana Denford about the first in her new trilogy of books, Conversation with Grief. Conversation with Grief was born after the death of…
 
The blank page can be terrifying, paralysing even. How do you overcome the fear of starting something new? In Episode 6 Ali and Penny - both at the start of new projects - talk about the different tools they use to make a strong start on something new. They examine artistic considerations as well as more practical techniques including: goal setting…
 
How does perfectionism hold our writing back? From not sharing our work, to not getting started at all, Ali and Penny dig into how to manage our perfectionism as writers. Asking can perfectionism ever be a positive thing for our work? We look at avoiding comparison, when to ignore your inner critic (and when to listen) and allowing yourself to be v…
 
Aside from sitting down to actually write, where else do we get our creative energy and ideas from? From solo afternoon trips to the cinema, visits to modern art installations and long drives alone, this episode is all about how we feed our creativity, spark new ideas and solve creative problems. Becoming aware of how we feed our creativity is one …
 
This week Ali and Penny are joined by debut author, Ilona Bannister, whose novel, When I Ran Away, is released in the UK on 4th March by Two Roads books and on 30th March in the US with Doubleday Books. When I Ran Away is a startling novel, funny and hard hitting, it tells the story of GiGi, an American mother of two living in London who just can't…
 
The myth of ideal conditions can discourage us from getting on with a project, it's tempting instead to wait until things get easier or better. Just how do we let go of this idea and get down to work? Ali and Penny talk about how they've learnt to dismiss ideal conditions, instead accepting where they are, even if it's a bit shit. They examine the …
 
In the first episode of Not Too Busy To Write, Ali and Penny introduce themselves and how they came to writing and ask the big question - how the hell are they managing to write at the moment? This episode was recorded in London in January 2021 during lockdown (not, as Penny accidentally says, January 2001!!!) and between them Ali and Penny have a …
 
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