I dashed something off about my then obsession: Aristocrats. My favourite film at that time was The AristoCats; I don't know if I was confused, or just a terrible snob.
If Jasper represented writer's block, then what I needed was a bigger, meaner cat that represented inspiration. I decided to call the bigger cat Maximus. The question was, what did Maximus like to eat?
Be outrageous! When I was your age my writing was very conventional. I wouldn't offend anyone or express any controversial statements for fear of offending someone. Word would get around, I thought.
Running creative writing workshops for a variety of different groups, ranging from people in care homes to firefighters, has been a challenging, but also enriching, experience for Anna Woodford. Here, she describes some of her best and worst moments.
Each time I return to Middlemarch l find it has changed; on first reading it was the story of Dorothea, nowadays she has to share my interest with less glamorous characters.
The life of a writer is always provisional, uncertain, insecure, fluctuating, and I cannot tell you how you might avoid that floating state; there are no shortcuts.