CLEVER STUPID’ is a memoir about coming to terms with a different mind, coming of age online, and living life out of order.


I did my first journalism before I could legally drink, but was old enough to be a mother before I passed my driving test.  Queen of the essay and the one-liner, but joke of the science lab and the sports field, I was always clever when it came to words and stupid when it came to everything else. Although, strangely, I didn’t find the word to explain why until my early twenties, when I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia while at university. Or the help to deal with it until my early thirties, when, too broken-headed and hearted to write, I discovered I could run for many miles and feel better. For years, I grappled with ambitions I could never quite live up to, in a world where I seemed destined to be known as  “A good writer BUT…”. My uneven abilities led to depression, anxiety, constant feelings of otherness, and a belief everyone else was better at living than me  – before I was shown to be wrong in the most emphatic way possible. In the background to it all was the internet – from LiveJournal and Xanga to Facebook and Twitter – where a generation of young people arrived in search of MP3s and understanding; creating and solving many problems at once… 


CLEVER STUPID has been supported by The Arts Council through The Literary Consultancy and New Writing South. It needs some more editing and time to breathe, and I’m holding it while I concentrate on fiction, as recommended by a couple of agents. But I’d love to hear from anyone in publishing with an interest in Dyspraxia and neurodiversity. Or anyone interested in women’s life writing which isn’t a nineties-style misery memoir, a Millennial self-help book, or “for fans of Bridget Jones.”