Create From The Heart

It was my son’s 10th birthday recently and he only had one request for his birthday present; that I write him a book.

Harvey loves to read and his rather beautiful assumption was as I am a published author, I could write him a book that would soon grace the shelves of Waterstones, alongside one of my latest works.

Not wanting to squish his dream by pointing out that a business writer may have different skills to a children’s writer I accepted his challenge. The pressure was on.

A true challenge it was, I was flat out with work, travelling the globe to events and speeches galore.

It did, however, turn out to be one of the most wonderful things I have been a part of in my life and I am forever grateful for him having given me a nudge to write Bertie and the Bandits; a story about one boys imaginary adventures in an everyday world.

For one, I was writing purely for Harvey’s fun which then also became my own. It wouldn’t be edited or judged or be translated into multiple languages.

It was just for us and our relationship as father and son.

I therefore felt amazing freedom in the process. I wrote it in airport lounges on my laptop with no research, no insight platforms, in fact none of my usual writing process.

I typed whatever came into my head and for once didn’t dictate it. I changed my creative process by thinking more freely & openly and less bound by structure.

When you relax and enjoy the ride, your brain works differently. You can tap into your innate creative genius. Notice how your best ideas always come when you least expect them.: In the shower, walking the dog, first thing in the morning when you wake. Rarely when you are really thinking hard.

As my time was limited, I only achieved 3000 words on that trip so I see it as the opening chapter and yet I feel as happy with what I’ve produced as with any book that has been years in the planning.

My creative process came from the heart not the head.

The moment of him unwrapping the bound version with illustrations is one I will never forget.

I suddenly became aware that probably for the first time in my life I was giving a real gift from me and of me.

Thank god he loved it.


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