The Hyphen: Stuck In A Creative Void During Lockdown

Hi friends—

How are you doing?

I feel like I have NO new ideas this week (slash… the past few months). Nada. Zero. Zilch. I know this happens sometimes, and is very normal but still, it is very frustrating. The reason I’ve noticed is that I am actively *looking* for a new idea. In true Big Magic style I’d love a good juicy idea to track me down and whisper itself into my ear. I wouldn’t even mind being woken up d the night.

Then, I realised something. The lack of usual stimulus. I normally get my ideas from meaningful chats, overhearing things, visiting new places, looking at strangers on the tube, aeroplanes, pubs, dinners, parties. Life outside my flat basically.

A lot of people replied saying they felt the same way — that it’s hard to find ‘inspiration’ when your staring at your own four walls all day long, but people also replied with some suggestions, so I thought I’d jot them down here, in case anyone else is feeling a bit lost with ideas and inspo right now:

  • “Try some interesting non-fiction books. Favorites: The Moral Animal, Mindset, Brandwashing, The Paradox of Choice, Sapiens... That's a very random selection, but a few that got me thinking.” — Paulette Perhach

  • Turn on the radio randomly and see what comes through!’ — Julie Brixley-Williams

  • “When I'm idea-less, I read — articles, books, fiction and non. Take in new shows!” — Jen Kirsch

So perhaps this means it’s time to stop actively looking for the next idea and instead sit back, switch off, and consume.

It seems very fitting then, that this week’s guest on Ctrl Alt Delete podcast is the amazing iconic Julia Cameron, creator of The Artists’ Way, a guide that has helped millions of creatives unblock their minds and create more art.

Hope you enjoy today’s newsletter. (If there’s anything you’d like me to share in next week’s newsletter, you can email me at

Emma xo

So exciting that I am this week’s guest on Fortunately! One of my absolute favourite podcasts. I loved chatting to Fi & Jane about my debut novel OLIVE. (As well as make-up tips, what I’ve been cooking, self-help, caterpillars and ear-syringing!)

You can listen here — enjoy!


What’s New on Ctrl Alt Delete Podcast?

This week's podcast is with Julia Cameron, bestselling author of The Artists’ Way.

CAREER MOMENT ALERT!! Julia is a guru, legend, icon — all the words. In this episode we talk about The Artist's Way which has a new revamped cover which is very exciting. The book first came out in the early 90s and provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the 'I'm not talented enough' thoughts that hold so many people back. The Artist's Way demystifies the creative process by making it a part of your daily life.

Listen here (or via any pod apps!)


Elizabeth Gilbert recently posted about the book BREATH by James Nestor — I downloaded the audiobook this week and it’s super interesting. There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly. Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

I really enjoyed listening to Munroe Bergdorf on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast. They discuss forgiveness, progress, the media, Nandos, bad first dates and fun facts about crustaceans. You can listen here.

Marketing consultant Ayo Abbas has just launched a new podcast called 'Marketing In Times of Crisis' where she interviews interesting business leaders about the marketing that they've been doing during lockdown. The podcast has great marketing stories, with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. You can listen here.

In Case You Missed It ☝️

You are invited to my online book launch for OLIVE!


Click here to join 50,000+ students by signing up to my Skillshare class! "5 Exercises To Build Creative Confidence"


Thanks for subscribing! I'm Emma, the person behind this newsletter. I am the bestselling author of The Multi-Hyphen Method and the soon-to-be-published novel OLIVE, and creator of the hit podcast series Ctrl Alt Delete. You can also follow me on Instagram here, and Twitter here.

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