The editor is not your enemy!

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Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

The page is red. It is so insanely red that you can no longer tell where your work ends and the edit begins.

When you first start writing (professionally and creatively), you are scared of people criticising your work. It’s an instinct; your work, even for professional reports, is a reflection of your ability.

You want to do a good job. It’s a fair expectation. When you find out you’re not able to do that, it’s easy to get sucked into the spiral of despair.

“What if I suck at this?”

I have edited for student publications, proofread dissertations for postgraduate qualifications, and critiqued a range of professional reports (ranging from 1,000 words to nearly 25,000 words). …


Free Verse

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Photo by Rachel Munford. Use for any other purpose except to accompany this poem.

Let me hide in the sheets
underneath the table
napkins poised for the performance
our hands moved together
mirroring each movement
set our places
use the best silverware
to carve into the steak

I will crawl across the table
Slinking limbs carefully around each dish
Allowing myself to be moved
pushed through the openings
between the tall wooden chairs
keeping my head down

don’t make eye contact

take my place at the kid’s table
they grin at me with blackened teeth

red lips smile in the smoke
whilst lit candles are stuck into sugary cake
a match in the hand
hands poised to strike again

Let me pull off the table cloth
Let the dishes hit the floor
food smeared across stone faces
we don’t speak

we just stare


PSA to anyone who accidentally ends up in my writing or anybody’s writing…

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Never before had I thought about the potential impact that writing about my life would have on the people who are in my life. That was until one of my old friends questioned me on something I had written.

It’s so easy when writing to become consumed by the need to just get words on the page that we can forget those we are closest with can be the ones worst affected by the ‘truth’ we believe.

It’s true in all forms of writing not just nonfiction. Many fictional characters can have loose resemblances to our family, friends and acquaintances. …


Is taking time for yourself an aesthetic or simply a good idea?

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Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

I recently stumbled into the online YouTube community of self care. It is a place filled with optimism, acceptance and beautiful imagery. Slim women state how sad they are in front of a minimalist bedroom with exceptional lighting. They move through beautifully crafted spaces and advocate for honest emotions.

Despite the authenticity that so many of these influencers curate, I have seen so many articles and blogs tearing down the self-care movement.

In an article by Vice’s Shayla Love, self-help is discussed as a new industry intent on selling aspirational wisdom to vulnerable mentally ill people. Through the branding of luxury brands, a new lotion can make you feel that all of your problems will evaporate in a second. …


The top signs that you’re working with a bad client…

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

In this freelance world, it’s hard to catch a break.

I’ve written before about my troubles with freelancing platforms like Upwork. This time I’m going to talk about my problems with finding the right client and how for some, it’s more dumb luck than a method.

Since starting to freelance 5 months ago, I’ve developed an instinctive system to understanding what are red flags when dealing with new and old clients…


A poem on late night anxieties.

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Photo by Sylvie Tittel on Unsplash

I might
Sleep now
As parents watch
Soaps and sitcoms
Or I might count the
Indents in the aertex
Ceiling

It’s the sounds
That keep me up at night
The ticking of the warming radiator
The car door slam of the night shift

No one’s awake but me
Tripping over the repetitive
Thoughts of real-life
Nightmares
I punch pillows
And duvet
Fighting sleep


I realised I’m on my own path not someone else’s…

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Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

“Oh, that’s what you’re going to do! Are you sure?”

I say yes because I desperately want people to know that I am 100% confident in what I’m doing. The idea of being unsure is definitely a weakness in eyes of every eagle-eyed judgmental acquaintance.

The real answer should be: no, I have no clue what I’m doing…

I’ve made a lot of what are considered untraditional choices in the eyes of some of my family, friends and acquaintances.

I have had people tell me without any hint of humour that pursuing your passion isn’t a good idea and most people just have to settle for a regular job so what’s wrong with that? …


Are you constantly comparing yourself to others online? Yes, me too.

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Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

Facebook is the worst thing to have happened to me. Yeah that’s a slight exaggeration but apart from messenger and being able to share my writing with a lot of people, it is a black hole for all of my insecurities. Seeing acquaintances get married, start amazing new jobs and anything else seen as successful in the eyes of society is infuriating.

This is one of the pitfalls of the internet. …


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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I once broke my wrist

in two places: Radius and Ulna

ornate clean breaks

they didn’t require too much

force

the doctor played with it like

a slinky

my arm was paralysed

immediately after

numb to any sensation

it became a new limb

with the creation of new cells

I could move

re-growing a limb

is an amalgamation

of evolution and biological magic

creating new neurons

and connections

for regeneration

in a pink cocoon

it regrew its bone

then

wrist was revealed to be smaller

than its partner

rewiring systems

takes time

energy of a thousand horses

not stubbornness and…


As a writer I’ve received a lot of feedback over the years, here’s what I’ve learned.

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Photo by CloudVisual on Unsplash

As a writer, I’ve received a lot of feedback. As an employee in communications and retail, I have received a lot of feedback. As an undergraduate student, I’ve received a lot of feedback.

Like most people, I’ve had criticism handed to me in a variety of different ways.

I have had criticism that has made me want to curl up into a ball in shame because I’ve done something so wrong. I have also had criticism that has been unfair, and pretty mean.

Now I’ve gone through roughly 8 years of work and study, I have developed a good system for detecting empty criticism and valid criticism. …

About

R Munford

Freelancer. Writer. Poet. Scottish.

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