Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Guest Post from Julie Frayn: Writing is…


I am thrilled to be welcoming Julie Frayn back to my site today. Today Julie is discussing what writing is. I have to say, she has nailed it for me! How about you?

Over to you Julie…

Writing is… a warm puppy?

I have a day job. It’s a lovely job that I’m very good at, at a wonderful organization (charity, theme park, museum, shopping and great food – and a full-size steam train – all rolled into one. Can’t beat that).

In my spare time, I write. Now, that makes it sound like writing is my hobby. Oh, no. It’s so not.

The writing’s the thing. I’m talking THE THING! Get it? But the rest of life finds ways to throw roadblocks up, to prevent accomplishment of THE THING.

There are dishes to do, children to support, laundry and cooking and vacuuming and other such drudgery. As Alzheimer’s eats at my mother’s independence, she needs more of her family’s time to ensure she stays in her home. There’s that day job, of course, along with a myriad of other priorities that keep me away from what I wish was my true full-time career. (That would be writer, in case it wasn’t clear).

Heritage Park with Mom, Julie and Irene Frayn at the front gates.

So on days like this, where responsibility is tugging at me to visit Mom, where the taxes have yet to do themselves (stupid taxes), where I have too much to do and not enough hours in the day, I wonder if it’s time to quit writing.

Oh, hell no.

Why not? Because this is what writing is to me.

Writing is red.  It is the stuff of life, the crimson that flows through my veins.  It is that spark of color in a neutral room.  It is scarlet patent leather stilettos punctuating a black suit.

Writing is my third child.  A child that embodies all the characters I love.  All the broken souls (the ones I broke on purpose for the sake of story) whom I can’t hug in person, whose hair I can’t stroke and tell them it’s going to be all right.  Because, for some of them, it never will be.

Writing is release.  To quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, My Friends, release is peace.  Finding the right combination of words, the perfect sentence, prompts me to moan yes, yes, yes at my monitor. It hits the writing g-spot. Some days I have multiple literary orgasms.  But I am only temporarily sated. I always hunger for more.

Writing is solitude.  It is me time.  Better than any spa day.  Better than shopping.  No, really.  It is that time I can be crazy in private, sing at the top of my lungs, pace the floor and swear at my computer, then pet the screen in apology because, really, is it the computer’s fault when I can’t get it right?  When I do that stuff in public, people look at me funny.

Writing is connection.  When I write, I touch others.  Not in a creepy, get your hand off my thigh before I scream, kind of way. Virtual touching. Emotional touching. Get inside their head and make them feel something they didn’t expect, touching.

Writing is hope.  It is everything I am not.  Everything I am afraid to be.  Everything I can be.  Everything I will be.

Writing is breath.  Without it, I fear I may die.



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Julie Frayn


Julie Frayn pens award-winning novels and short stories that pack a punch. And a few stabs. She has published three novels and two short, short story collections. Suicide City, a Love Story won two gold medals in the 2013 Authorsdb cover contest, It Isn’t Cheating if He’s Dead won the Books and Pals 2014 Readers’ Choice award for women’s fiction, and Mazie Baby was named to three Best of 2014 lists by Suspense Magazine,, and and is currently nominated for a Big Al’s Books and Pals Readers Choice Award in Women’s Fiction. You can vote for her here if you like!

A bean counter by day, Julie revels in the written word. When she is not working or writing, she spends as much time as possible with her two children (grown adults, really), while they still think she’s cool.

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Many thanks Julie- brilliant post!

So, lovely readers- what s writing to you?

Happy reading,

Jenny x 











Novel Progress 5: Novel Interrupted


  1. Marvelous! I can relate to all of these. Especially the breath one. Writing is breath. It’s also a great painkiller. Nothing hurts when I’m writing. Well, except for my characters. Sometimes. Excellent post, Julie.

  2. Thanks so much for letting me loose on your blog, Jenny! The fact it comes with coffee? Priceless…

  3. Oh Julie! What a fabulous post. Humorous, but also straight from the heart. It has so much truth in it, it brought shivers down my spine. Congrats for this article, Julie, it is exceptional. And yes, writing is better than a day spa … better than any other treat in my life too. I feel you. God bless you and your mom. Hugs 🙂 xxx

  4. You speak for so many of us, Julie. How many times have I told myself I am done? Always one less time than the next book. Thank you for voicing what so many of us feel.

    • And you have a lot of books! Have you considered quitting often? Very glad you chose to write on.

  5. KJD

    Super post, Julie. I mean really super.
    I feel the same way about my writing and my cabinet making. 🙂

  6. Wow! Excellent. I get it. It is true when I write I feel not a single ache or pain. I also don’t smell food burning to a crisp or see the kitchen is on fire. I once was writing a Thanksgiving scene dinner and got so hungry I went to the grocery store to buy my turkey. The selection was awful. I called the meat manager on it and asked why he didn’t have a nice 15# Butterball. Because it was April, not November. I so relate to Julie Frayn’s life! I have had to put my writing aside time and again to take care of my elderly parents, aunts, ill children. I often wonder how we ever manage to produce a book. The drive is there, even if we can only get a page today, a paragraph tomorrow. This interview today just really touched a nerve. I’m so thankful for it. Kudos to Julie and Jenny Kane.
    Jackie Weger
    No Perfect Secret

    • That turkey story id gold, Jackie! So far, haven’t burned the house down. Have written through the night and skipped sleep for creativity. But less and less as I get older 🙂

  7. Great stuff, Julie. Love that writing is all of those things to you and I found myself nodding at each one.

    Lovely blog, Jenny. 🙂

  8. This is wonderful! I relate in a different way… really enjoyed reading this, Julie. <3

  9. Wow that is beautiful and so true for me also.
    Writing is definitely breath. And burn. Like Jackie I burn food all the time. Last night it was brocolli. Who knows tonight? Great article Julie and Jenny!:)

  10. Awesome, Julie. Right on point.

  11. Super post to go with a super writer! Write on, Julie!

  12. What a wonderful summing up of what writing means, Julie. I had to take on the carer role for a while and writing was almost impossible. I’m just coming back to it now and it’s like greeting a long lost, very special friend.

  13. Enjoyed your post, Julie, and could identify with you as an author. To me, writing is discovery. With every book, I learn something new. That’s what brings me the most fulfillment.

  14. Lovely! So passionate! I can relate to all of it. Thanks for sharing your feelings, Julie.

  15. Julie, you’ve described what writing means to you so vividly and succinctly. Yet I think much of what you say may resonate with all authors – as it did with me.

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