I’m Katy Segrove, a children’s author and screenwriter, who has been coming up with stories for a very long time.
As a young girl I would spend hours in my bedroom daydreaming, filling notebooks, reading books, getting lost in worlds, and fantasising about the day when I would grow up to be a writer – a bestselling author, as my Gran believed.
Stories would flow out of me, I scarcely needed an excuse to get out my pens; nothing was more fun than writing. Until one day I grew up, and suddenly writing felt like torture.
I knew I still wanted to write, but on the rare occasions when I would force myself to do it, I would fritter my time away, faffing about, dilly-dallying, doing nothing remotely important, until finally pushing myself into my chair, I would wriggle and writhe about as if in actual physical pain, somehow unable to pick up my pen. When I couldn’t bear the blank page for a moment longer, I would look at the clock, see that I only had 30 minutes left, and convince myself that there really wasn’t any point in starting now. Better to start afresh tomorrow. Tomorrow would be different. I’d have lots of ideas then.
But of course tomorrow never came.
Why? Why? Why was it so hard to write? I used to love it. This was my dream, it was supposed to be a pleasure. What was I doing wrong???
And then I discovered the power of habit.
Twenty years on, I’m a screenwriter and children’s author and I co-run a screenwriters workshop group in London; I work mostly on picture books, animation and the occasional feature film. And writing is a pleasure. It’s a treat. It’s a thrill. It’s as vital as breathing. Some people find exercise invigorating, but for
Habits and routine. Little and often. Deadlines and accountability. This is what makes my writing feel necessary and joyful.
I believe that having a creative outlet gives meaning to our lives and is essential to our health and happiness! We shouldn’t be without it! But sometimes, even when we want, or need to do something, we find excuses not to.
I’d like to share what I’ve learnt with you about developing good writing habits, hold you accountable, and help you fulfil your creative dream too.