1. This week I read an article by David Cain on How to Become a Luckier Person Overnight. We’ve been hearing for a while now that consciously practising gratitude makes us not only nicer but happier too, and David suggests a radical approach – can we be grateful even for our misfortunes? And if we can, what does this mean for our happiness, and even our luck?

I’ve been thinking about his approach this week, wondering about applying it to my own thinking. At times, I’ve felt a bit fraudulent – all my woes, it turns out, are so tiny, and insignificant – husband late home to take over with the children, a frustrating hold up on a project at work – and this leaves me realising how blessed I am.

Which I suppose, after all, is the point.


2. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to follow E is for Erin‘s honest and gently thought-provoking blog. Erin is a great writer and skilled illustrator, and presents an autistic-centred view of the world, writing about parenting, politics, home schooling, creativity, and the media.

Although my own personal experience of Autism is limited, there’s something about Erin’s writing, honest, passionate and nuanced, that always leaves me feeling I’ve read something of universal importance, something about the nature of being human, and the ways in which we understand people who are different from us (or, sadly, fail to).

human illustrations

Her personal account of the experience of one of her illustrations going viral (and being interpreted differently to the original intent of the work) is also really interesting reading for bloggers.


3. I’ve been listening to Start Up, a podcast by Gimlet Media about the process of setting up a new, creative media company: the highs, the lows, the decision making, the arguments, the dilemmas over funding, values, and structure.  This is great radio, and particularly interesting to me as I’m currently involved in establishing a new structure for a tiny, creative company, with all the joyful freedom and terror that entails: How much hierarchy do we really need? Where’s the money going to come from? What happens if we fall out with each other?

And for writers, the episode on editing is one of the most amazing live demonstrations of what the editing process entails, why it’s important, and what’s possible if you get it right. Doesn’t really matter that they’re editing a radio show on Chumbawamba (of all things) – anyone interested in story-telling would do well do give this a listen.


4. You couldn’t miss Banksy’s new artwork critiquing the treatment of refugees at the Calais camp. Banksy cleverly combines old and new media, including a QR code in the graffiti which links to a video online of French police using tear gas to intimidate refugees inside the camp, and referencing both high and low culture in his use of an image of Cosette from the musical Les Miserables, from the beloved classic novel by Victor Hugo about poverty and injustice.

If you ever needed a reminder about how lucky you are, and all the things you have to be grateful for, a few moments thinking about the plight of people stuck in the Calais jungle in the middle of winter might just be it.


5. And finally, I’ve got to talk about That Dragon, Cancer. Ryan Green is a games developer and his wife Amy Green is a writer and comedian. One of their sons, Joel, developed a rare form of cancer as a baby, and at a gruelling and desperate point in his treatment – during a night in hospital when Joel was thirsty, but couldn’t keep any liquid down, and nothing his father could do to comfort him could stop him from crying – Ryan had the unlikely idea to create a computer game about their family’s experience.



This is an extraordinary example of someone taking hold of an unfathomably painful experience and transforming it into something beautiful, creative, unexpected, and deeply moving. I never knew or imagined computer games could be like this: to see what the Greens have achieved feels like nothing less than the birth of a new creative medium, and I urge you to check out their website.


Thanks for bearing with me with through some weighty and emotional topics in this post.

If there’s anything thought-provoking or inspirational you’ve read, seen or heard this week, I’d love to hear about it.

Writing Bubble

15 Comment On 5 things that got my attention this week

15 Comments On 5 things that got my attention this week

  • Mummy Tries Reply

    Wow Becky, just WOW! I hardly have the time to read blogs at the mo, but found myself with ten minutes to link up to what I’m writing and found this. I’ve literally gobbled it all up! Now following E is for Erin and will check out The Dragon Cancer asap. Seriously impressed with the amount you manage to read as well as write 🙂 Hope you’re having a fab week xx

    • Becky Reply

      Thanks Renee, really glad to hear you are following E is for Erin, she’s very thoughtful and I think some of her stuff would resonate with you.

  • Rachael Reply

    Another Wow! From me – so much stuff to check out here… I’m going to bookmark especially E for Erin and That Dragon, Cancer.

    I’ve also admired Banksy’s artwork – I actually work semi voluntarily for a refugee charity in East London (doing comms) and they recently went out to the camps to deliver supplies. They also sent messages via the Birds Crossing Borders project, which you may be interested in.. Here’s the blog in which I mention it:

    • Becky Reply

      Thanks Rachael, I’ll check out the link you posted – just had a quick look and the organisation looks great.

  • Zoe Reply

    I am bookmarking all of these! What a brilliant list – I have never even heard of them, how do you come across these sites? Thanks for sharing xx

    • Becky Reply

      Thanks Zoe, I find a lot of interesting stuff through listening to podcasts tbh (I’m a bit obsessed with podcasts, as you will see from some of my previous posts). It probably means I do less proper book reading than I used to, but I still read a lot and I get a lot of inspiration from radio.

  • Maddy@writingbubble Reply

    And a big Wow from me too! I’ve just had a look at three of these (will return to the others later!) and That dragon, cancer particularly floored me. Any problems I have have been thoroughly put into perspective. Thank you so much for sharing this thoughtful and inspirational post with #whatimwriting

    • Becky Reply

      Thanks Maddy. You’re so right about perspective.

  • Carol Cameleon Reply

    And yet another wow from me! Consider them all bookmarked 🙂 #whatimwriting

    • Becky Reply

      Thanks Carol, enjoy!

  • Alice @ The Filling Glass Reply

    This is such and amazing and inspiring list! I’m all for weighty and emotional topics, so I’m really glad to be introduced to these things that caught your attention. I don’t seem t have enough time for reading let alone finding new stuff at the moment, so thatnk you., I’ll go check them out. xx

  • K.D. Jennings Reply

    No wonder these five points got your attention this week. They are all so inspiriring, in their own way. Thank you so much for sharing. xx

  • Nicole (The Brightness Of These Days) Reply

    This is such an engaging post, really fantastic. I want to check out all these links now and learn more. Thank you for sharing #WhatImWriting

  • Verily Victoria Vocalises Reply

    What an absolutely brilliant list of things to share – I am definitely going to take a look of all of these. Such a wonderful mixture of interesting topics #WhatIAmWriting

  • Sophie Lovett Reply

    Such an interesting collection of links. I am really struggling to find time for anything at the moment (hence my comments being a whole week late!) but I will definitely be back to check these out more fully. I had a sneaky peek at Erin’s blog which looks well worth exploring, and I’m intrigued by ‘That Dragon, Cancer’ too. Thank you for sharing – even if it does mean my to do list just got even longer! 😉 xx

Comment Form

Scroll to Top