Charlie Laidlaw is an author and tutor at Creating Writers

At this time of year, the bookshops are filled with cosy Christmas books.

And quite rightly so because, even with current uncertainties, it’s the Season to the jolly.  (Or as jolly as we can be).

My own Christmas book, Everyday Magic, published a little earlier this year, isn’t really a Christmas book.

But it was inspired by  Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

I’m delighted that it’s received such good reviews.  Author Colette McCormick “Loved it…witty, light-hearted and thought-provoking.”


And author Carol McGrath said that it was “Magical and extremely entertaining.  As satisfying as A Christmas Carol and every bit as perceptive.”

It only goes to show that you can find inspiration from anything, and that includes books published hundreds of years ago.

After all, Shakespeare took inspiration from Ovid.

As I’ve said before, everything under the sun has already been written about many times before. War, love, death, friendship, aliens, zombies or Christmas.

My own heroine, Carole Gunn, leads an unfulfilled life and knows it.

Once she was a promising archaeology lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.  She was full of passion for her subject, and the Neolithic sites of the Northern Isles of Scotland.

But a life-threatening illness to her new-born daughter pushes her away from academia.  Instead, she devotes the next dozen or more years of her life to keeping her daughter safe.

The book is all about how she confronts her past, sees who she has become, and what she could be in the future.  It’s therefore about past, present and future (although without ghosts).

I hope it’s an uplifting book filled with humour and poignancy, and reminds the reader that while the past makes us into who we are today, we can always alter the course of our future.

Strangely, it only took me a few months to write as the idea of it was to strong.


But that’s not always been the case with my other books. I therefore know how difficult it can be for new authors to find inspiration, get started, and finish that book!

And that’s really why I set up this website and the courses on it.  I want other bidding authors to start their writing journey.

Because there’s nothing worse than wanting to write a book, but never getting round to it, lacking confidence, or feeling inadequate.

The fact is that we can all write, and the trick is to learn what makes good writing – plot, character and everything else.

If you need help getting started, Creating Writers has two creative writing courses, an introductory course and our flagship Diploma course – with a real qualification at the end of it.

They’re intended to give you the confidence and skills to understand what makes great writing – and, on the Diploma course, to actually get you started on your novel.

For more information, you can contact us here.

And without bah or humbug, a Happy Christmas to one and all!

Photo by Loren Cutler on Unsplash