An Englishwoman living in Barcelona, Spain, Alison Geldart is a thinker, teacher, learner and writer with 40 years’ experience of being human. She never takes the easy option and likes to figure things out for herself, often ending up following the well-trodden path all the same, but she finds life more interesting this way. Look out for more Smashword books from Alison in the future (time and energy permitting).
When did you first start writing?
I've always written, can't help it! It's how I express myself best and also how I make sense of everything going around in my head. I wrote terrible diaries as a child and it was only studying English Literature at 16 that I really started to learn the craft.
For 10 years I was writing professionally as a marketing copywriter, so I got used to writing stuff for other people for a particular purpose and really good at being concise. Now, I feel like I've found my voice and am writing about what I find interesting, exploring and investigating ideas that have always intrigued me. And stories too! I was always useless at creative writing but now it just flows. I hope I can find the time – I've got lots to say!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write for fun in my spare time, so when I'm not writing I'm working really hard freelance teaching English to business people. Because these occupations are quite lonesome, I'm a member of a coworking space – it's the new 'hip' thing, but I find it really satisfying to be part of a community of interesting people doing interesting things.
Independent cinema is a passion of mine, so you'll often find me in a darkened room bewitched by images on a giant screen. I love getting lost in a film, being taken to different places, seeing the world from a different perspective. Learning Spanish has taken up a lot of my time in recent years, and now I live in Barcelona I want to learn Catalan too. I go and see some art when I can and can lose an hour or two just wandering around the city.
Don't stress! Stop trying so hard! Things happen anyway, you'll be fine, focus your efforts on what is possible. An antidote to most self-improvement advice, Try Less Hard is a philosophical approach to living, a meditation on what makes life important and a realisation that our influence on events is not as strong as we like to believe.