I was recently asked to be part of an anthology of writing about fatherhood, whether about being a father, your relationship with your father, and other such angles. Some great writers were included, so I was humbled to be asked to write about the experience of being a step-father.

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‘Father Figures’, edited by Paul Connolly. In bookshops now.

It turned out to be a much more intense task and piece of writing than I had intended. Having said, sure, no problems, I sat down and suddenly realised I was putting down into words what my relationship with my step son means to me, and how important it has become. As well as balancing that intense new father-son relationship with my existing role as a father to my two boys from my first marriage, and the wider family dynamics. And my step-son’s second household and all the issues that come with two-house living.

So yes, intense. I think it landed okay but what I thought was going to be a fun essay saw me sweating blood.

As the famous American sportswriter Red Smith once said about trying to be the best writer you can be, ‘All you have to do is sit at a typewriter and open a vein.’