Author Confessions: Bridget Khursheed
Bridget Khursheed has published extensively in anthologies and magazines, including New Writing Scotland, The Rialto, Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, The Eildon Tree and Gutter and Southlight. In 2014, Bridget received a New Writers Award for Poetry. She is the founder editor of poetandgeek.com: the Scottish-Australian online magazine and blog with an international poetry perspective. She works in software in Edinburgh, having pioneered intranets and online information in the UK in companies ranging from Eurostar, John Laing to BT. She is a Community Councillor for Melrose and District and lives in the Scottish Borders.
Discover Bridget's guilty writing pleasure and more below!
1. What is your worst writing habit?
Stealing time from any other occupation I should be doing.
2. Have you ever read a friend’s work and lied about enjoying it?
No – the very opposite – I am too honest. Be warned.
3. What’s in your essential writing toolkit?
Computer, lots of notebooks, audio equipment, camera, at least one good biro, pencil, scissors, view of the birdfeeders…
Don’t just write about what you know but what you feel as well.
4. What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve received?
You’ll never make it – you’re much too nice.
5. What is your daily writing routine? (Be honest!)
Get the kids to school and start the chores, sit down and write – I don’t have enough time to do otherwise plus I am technical writer professionally so I am used to churning it out. If I am in a thinking phase, I will go for a circular walk or drive the car somewhere preferably up and down Winston Road in Galashiels. They have closed it to build the Borders Railway at the moment so I am having to go up to Hawick and back instead.
6. What’s the best excuse you’ve used to avoid social occasions in favour of writing?
Subconsciously I just forget things I don’t want to go to. So I rarely actively have to make excuses. I may have claimed to be hosting some goats on one occasion.
7. What is your guilty writing pleasure?
Nerdy stuff – like QR code poems - that combines poetry and computers for my blog poetandgeek.com - luckily it makes other people happy too!
8. Is there anything you’ve secretly tried to write before?
Once I wrote a wonderful romance, typed it on my Dad’s typewriter quietly and sent it to Women’s Own. I got a lovely letter from the Editor saying that it was well-written but I should probably send another one in once I got a bit older. Sadly all I remember about it is that the hero and heroine were called Lewis and Solitaire. Sound names even today.
9. Is there a piece of writing you’ve never been able to finish?
Now that is the advantage of poems…you can always make them short; or a sequence.
10. What honest piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t just write about what you know but what you feel as well. Walter Scott had the right attitude when he teasingly suggested he had never seen Melrose Abbey by moonlight himself – even though his description in the Lay of the Last Minstrel started a tourist boom. Keep people guessing.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out our lists of books about writing. If you're facing a writing conundrum, send your question to Miss Write, our resident writing agony aunt! You can also catch up on some previous Writing Confessions blogs.