Blog 53: One Year In A Book Shop.

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So it’s the one-year anniversary of when I finally moved out on my own and started volunteering part-time in a book shop, and it has been an amazing and rewarding year, both for my general confidence and my writing. I’ve learnt more about the world through direct experience and talking to people in one year, than I ever did at school or university, and I feel that that is a really important thing to note. I’m not saying that traditional education doesn’t have it’s uses, it does, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that our educational systems are somewhat lacking in life skills. But enough about that, education is a topic I could talk about for forever and I want to share with you what I’ve learnt in the last year. read more »

Blog 51: What Writing A Novel Looks Like.

When I tell people that I’m an author and that I write YA fiction, I am often met with looks of wonder and awe. Most people seem to think that writing a book is an amazing feat, something that ordinary people just cannot do. It is flattering to say the least, and as much as it does take a certain type of person with a good imagination and determination, a lot of it actually just comes down to hard work and perseverance. These looks of wonder and awe are often followed by questions about my work and life. Questions which I struggle to answer adequately on the spot, so here is a picture instead.

This is a conservative picture of what my work and life looks like when I’m working on a novel. I say conservative because this picture is minus the caffeine, sleepless hours, hundreds of binned crumpled notes, dozens of typed draft versions, culling of characters, the rewrites, and the final edit. This picture is just part of what it takes for me to write a story, a story I’m not sure anyone is going to read or like at the end of the day, and as for sales, well, I hope so!

People often ask me how do I write a book and what is it like? read more »

Blog 13: How to do Tax as a UK Author.

I’m sorry this is a boring and long blog but it is REALLY IMPORTANT, so you should read it.

I’ve touched on this subject briefly in Blog 2: ‘Becoming a Writer is Like Climbing a Mountain’ and now I am going to go into more detail. In the UK and certainly during my school years, tax was and is, that evil little subject that never really gets covered, but you’re expected to know what it is and more importantly how to pay it regardless. Makes total sense right? Not.

If you work for yourself and earn money from what you do, then you are self-employed. You could be an artist, writer, builder, yoga instructor, pretty much anything, but if you do not work for a company or an employer who already sorts out your tax for you (you will need to check this out if you are employed, particularly if you do contract work), then you need to register as self-employed and you need to do your own tax returns.

So, for the benefit of pretty much every self-employed person, I’m going to do my best at explaining how you sign up for tax as a UK resident, and how you complete a Self-Assessment form. read more »