The Best Things About Being a Writer

As it is time for another blog I was thinking about what the things are I love most about my job (this is what I do when I should be working!).

The best things about being a writer:

  • You can stare aimlessly into space for hours and hours, and as long as you have a pen in your hand, people think you’re working.


  • You can read for hours and hours and people think you’re researching your next book.


  • You can avoid doing anything unpleasant by citing deadlines. People nod understandingly and sometimes bring you a cup of tea.


  • You can bundle your brother, the eminent author, into a car and demand to be taken somewhere exciting on the grounds you need background for your next book. Of course, it’s a good idea to check the weather first. This week’s excursion was to Lydney Harbour – a bit of a surprise for me because I always thought the Forest of Dean was landlocked but we did the Amazon basin in geography and I’m a bit hazy about anything not connected with rubber – and it was cold. It was very, very cold. A Force Ten gale was whistling up that well-known wind tunnel, the Severn Estuary, and at one point I could barely keep my feet. Somewhere in this blog there should be an image of an author slowly freezing to death for the benefit of her readers.

  • You can eat endless chocolate, telling people it stimulates the little grey cells. The extra weight is actually useful as ballast. See the above about barely keeping my feet. Ten thousand Chocolate Brazils have finally justified themselves. And nuts are good for you, too. They stimulate something or other.


  • Any and all bizarre behaviour is explained away as being creative. You can get away with murder (not quite but you know what I mean) as long as you’re being creative.


So let’s hear it for the pen clutching, staring, geographically challenged, chocolate stuffed creatives – well this one certainly, currently staring cross-eyed at her screen and wondering how much a lightly armoured horse would weigh. Sadly, having neither horse nor bathroom scales, I’m a little stumped. I estimate about half a ton, but if anyone out there possesses both items and can actually arrange a merger of the two, I’d be incredibly grateful.

Reluctantly putting heavy horses to one side, I’ve just begun the edit for the paperback anthology of short stories – The Long and the Short of It – which is now available for pre-order on right here! Signed copies will be available at Cardiff Comic Con or direct from Accent Press.

long short pre pre

There are no details for or Audible release dates, but as soon as we have links I will post them here. You are not forgotten!

20 thoughts on “The Best Things About Being a Writer

  1. Half a ton sounds a bit conservative. What kind of horse? A Shire would be even more… looking forward to picking up a copy of… Lots… at Cardiff.

    Hope you survive more research outings. Maybe take some guy ropes. It would be like Gulliver. Or camping with my Dad in the 80s.

    • I’m going with half a ton because that’s 1,220 lbs – 2,240 lbs in a ton – I’m staggered at what wriggles, blinking, into the daylight when I turn over the stones at the back of my mind. Up to this moment I would have sworn I’d wasted my time at school …

  2. Hi Jodi – glad to hear the chocolate Brazils are still doing it for you, creatively of course! Really looking forward to The Long and Short of It.

    Don’t keep the horses standing too long!


    • Chocolate cake is like being thirsty. Apparently thirst is an indication that it’s too late – you’re already dehydrated. A sudden desire for chocolate cake means your cake levels are dangerously low and must be refuelled immediately. Waste no time – hit that chocolate cake!

  3. I’ve been Googling the weight of a lightly armoured horse, but all I get is heavily armoured 🙁 And if I could get a lightly armoured horse into my bathroom, I don’t think my scales go much past 20 stone (I’m only 8 stone, so have no way of finding out) so even if I could get one into the bathroom, the scales wouldn’t weigh it.
    >>> Eats another bar of choc in sympathy.

  4. Have just discovered St. Mary’s, via Audible, and am hugely enjoying them. Keep eating those chocolate Brazil nuts!! 😉

  5. Hello and thank you for the chocolate brazil nut inspired world in which my imagination and delight now often reside 🙂 Re the lightly armoured war horse, having recently had a discussion with some horse breeders and historians – one can never tell who’s going to be amongst one’s friends 😀 – I have come to the conclusion that since a man’s tournament armour weighed in the UK generally up to 6 and a half stones and war armour [field armour] up to 5 stones, plus a horse field armour weighed about 5 stones, and a horse can safely carry a max of 1/3 or its own weight and still be nimble, the horse doesn’t have to be as big as a Shire and so would probably have weighed about 1,200 – 1,300lbs, ie a heavy riding horse. So, eventually, we worked out that a lighter heavy riding horse of about half a ton [UK weight] plus 5 stone of field armour would mean that the horse, sans rider, would be just over half a ton. I hope this turns out to be correct. Again, many thanks for the new world I now have 🙂

  6. Hi Jodi,

    I very rarely post comments anywhere, as I’m never sure anyone wants to read them, but I’m making an exception for you and St Mary’s.

    I discovered those hallowed halls a few months ago on Audible and since then have laughed, cried, choked on my coffee, redecorated the cat with bits of spluttered-out cake and caused people to look at me strangely on buses.

    I just wanted to thank you.

  7. Jodi, Jodi, Jodi, (or should I address you as Dr. Taylor?)
    Please thank your parents for bringing into this world the squishy, pink little human that has become you.
    I am of the age on par with Dr. Bairstow or as I visualize him and have never encountered an author that has maintained such a high standard of excellence. There is not one iota of decline in your humor, adventures, characters or anything else in all of your books.
    I stumbled through various novels until I said enough and made a list of all of St. Mary’s books in order and then started all over again. Since November I’ve come to “My Name is Markham”. And in doing so have stayed up way too late at night reading and have probably woke the wife laughing too loudly.
    I did get to a point where I said, when beginning a new novel, “oh no, not another misadventure by Max” and then oh about two pages in, I’m hooked again.
    Enough blather, when are you coming to America’s west (left) coast?

  8. I never thought I’d find another author that I could love as much as I loved Terry Pratchett–and then I read “Just One Damned Thing After Another.” I was instantly hooked, and purchased everything of yours I could find on

    You are the perfect writer–and a worthy successor to Sir Terry. Thank you so much for bringing St. Mary’s to the world!

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