Love in the time of Covid-19

Photo by Shelby Deeter on Unsplash

12 months ago, the UK went into lockdown and I know many people are using this anniversary to reflect on what we’ve individually and collectively lost- and in some cases gained- during that time.

A million other writers will be attempting to assemble their thoughts into words today and I must admit, I wondered what I could possibly have to add to the conversation.

I’ve been so fortunate during the pandemic in so many ways, chiefly that I’ve stayed well and haven’t lost a loved one, my livelihood or my home. I felt certain then, that the world didn’t need…


Hell hath no fury like a riled reader

a young woman bites the spine of an open book
a young woman bites the spine of an open book
engin akyurt on Unsplash

On the whole, we bookworms are a gentle, forgiving bunch. It’s all that empathy we’ve accrued from the thousands of lives we’ve experienced through the pages. There are a few things, though, that really get my goat.

Hold tight as I unleash the wrath of a book nerd against my 10 biggest bookworm bugbears.

1. Changing book size part way through a series

Seriously, why would you do this? Can’t you see we’re trying to build a collection here?

I understand that at some point during a book series, editors are going to get a little less brutal and books are going to naturally pad out so I don’t…


When it comes to a writing career, slow and steady wins the race

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Everywhere I look these days I’m bombarded with well-meaning advice encouraging me to ‘write better, faster!’ or promising me a formula to write 5 blogs in 3 hours or suggesting I sign up for a course on how to write an e-book in three weeks or a recommendation for an e-book that will tell me how to publish a novel every month.

Frankly, just typing all that has me feeling exhausted.

It seems every writer in existence just wants to get those words done and out there and be finished with them, whatever the cost.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s…


In search of Happily Ever After

the image shows a plain piece of paper alongside a broken pencil and 4 balls of scrumpled-up paper
the image shows a plain piece of paper alongside a broken pencil and 4 balls of scrumpled-up paper
image by allasizintesva https://www.canva.com/p/allasizintseva/

This is not a piece I ever imagined myself writing, but as Allen Saunders, and later, John Lennon said — “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Or in this case, life is what happens when you’re busy writing a book.

It would be over-simplistic, and somewhat dramatic to say that I looked up one day from the pages of the romance novel I was writing and realised my own relationship was over, but in many ways, it felt like that.

It had been a tough and busy year with…


It’s not all pyjamas and coffee (at least, not all of the time, anyway)

BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash

It’s now over two months since I officially turned my side hustle into my main hustle and made freelance writing my sole source of income, so I want to share 7 things I learnt in my first 7 weeks as a freelance writer, in the hope it might help anyone else who is about to take that great big leap into the unknown.

1. Yes, you can wear your pyjamas to work and drink coffee all day…

…but you’re going to have to actually do some work too!

Images of freelance writing often include hip coffee shops with industrial decor, expensive mac laptops, flat whites and glossy notebooks while online articles extoll the virtues…


21 articles in 31 days…can I do it?

a spiral bound calendar sits on a bed
a spiral bound calendar sits on a bed
Photo by Kyrie kim on Unsplash

I’m not in the habit of writing Medium articles about writing Medium articles but I’ve decided to make an exception in this case.

I joined Medium in August 2020 and had an enjoyable couple of months writing here and finding my feet before life got in the way. I took a few months away from the platform — and writing in general — before starting afresh last month.

I’m not one of those writers who came here to get-rich-quick. If I were, I’d have to concede that at this point my plan is failing horribly since even my most popular…


Let’s banish the term ‘Guilty Pleasure’ from our reading conversations

Gabrielle Dickson on Unsplash

The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘guilty pleasure’ as:

“something that one enjoys, despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.”

I.e. something we should feel embarrassed about enjoying.

When it comes to books, most of us could name a so-called guilty pleasure, either our own or someone else’s. We’ve certainly been told often enough what sorts of books qualify for the title. But I’d argue that these books — and we as readers — deserve better.

I think when it comes to reading, our pleasure should come without a side-order of guilt. …


Lessons from a debut novelist

a black and white image of a young woman sitting at a table writing in a notebook
a black and white image of a young woman sitting at a table writing in a notebook
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

My debut novel came out on 28th March 2020, just five days after the UK went into its first lockdown. My launch party plans were launched out of the window and instead I held a virtual party on Twitter, all-dressed up in my living room with nothing but a hashtag and a cocktail to buffer my nerves and excitement.

One year on, I’m reflecting on what my first year as a published author has taught me.

1. Nothing in life is ever how you imagine it will be

At least, not in my experience anyway and especially those things that you’ve spent countless hours daydreaming about and imagining down to every last…


My new approach to self-care

the image shows a young woman sitting in long grass holding up a mirror and smiling at her reflection
the image shows a young woman sitting in long grass holding up a mirror and smiling at her reflection
Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

My previous attempts at self-care have mainly involved wine, chocolate and bubble baths, usually resulting in a migraine and a mild case of thrush. For 2021, I’m mixing things up and taking a radically new (for me) approach.

Some of you may have already realised this but for those of you, who like me, conflated the notion of ‘self-care’ with ‘self-indulgence’, I want to share how flipping the concept entirely on its head can have a more positive impact on your life.

‘Do something today that you’ll thank yourself for tomorrow.’

That’s my new motto when it comes to self-care.


#sorrynotsorry

Photo by Rachit Tank on Unsplash

We’re living in the age of group chats and really, how wonderful. I know you’ll read that as sarcasm, given the title of this piece but I genuinely mean it. How fortunate are we that in a matter of seconds we can communicate with a large number of people all at once by swiping our fingers over a touch screen in order to stay connected with those we love in these strange, difficult times?

Truly, modern technology is a wonder.

And yet. The group chat. Can we talk about it?

Because sure, in theory, it sounds great but in reality…

Rebecca Laura

Bookworm, author, freelance writer, mum of two. Figuring life out as I go.

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