When the words just won’t come

Writing

I have been wanting to write a post all week but something has got in the way. I have topics I want to write about. I’ve even had the time to write. But, for some strange reason, something is stopping me.

Even now, as I start to type, I am fighting the feeling that is trying to get me to stop. It’s hard.

I remember how easily the words came when I first began to blog. They flowed from me in pages and the only way I needed to push myself was by pressing publish. But now they stammer and stall.

I can still feel them there, hear them form. I long to set them free but something still seems to stop me. I’m so unsure.

So I force them out. Clumsy and ill-crafted they take their shape on the page until I find myself here. Far from happy with these words but here all the same. Here and hoping that this is not the end.

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Losing myself

Writing

Aspirations can be elusive. Something you should hold solid, clear and strong but something I was stuck searching for. Because there is always that contrived question lurking when and where you want it least;

what do you want to be?

Answering was easy. I knew what I should say. And what I shouldn’t. I may not have known what I wanted to be but I knew how I wanted to feel. And how I wanted you to feel about me. So I shaped my answer carefully and constructed myself in this refracted reflection.

Eventually my identity became defined: a soul shifting herself to become someone whole in all eyes but her own.

Then I found myself. Broken. Lost and alone and looking for a way back to who knows when.

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Looking for a little inspiration?

Uncategorized, Writing

Inspiration often strikes in the strangest of places and, even stranger still, at times, whilst you are off desperately searching for it, you find yourself unknowingly, completely unintentionally, inspiring others too.

Well, at least, that appears to have been the case here.

The lovely Tempest Rose has all too kindly nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. When I began blogging a few months ago, I was inspired to do so by a dear friend (more of her later) but never even dreamed that others, strangers, would chose to read, let alone enjoy, my words. Over those few months, Tempest Rose has stopped being a stranger. When her face appears in my new notifications I smile because I know that she has chosen to come back again. And, with that in mind, I am so pleased to receive this nomination from her. However, this has also arrived at the very moment I needed it. As I come to the end of a holiday where I have neglected all my best blogging habits it provides a perfect opportunity for me to reconnect with my writing and take some time to re-read the words of those I admire. Thank you.

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So, here goes…

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME (although none that are likely to inspire!)

1) When asked to provide a fact about myself (interesting or otherwise), I freeze. I hate the pressure. What should I say? I appreciate the irony of this coming from someone who choses to blog about their life. I should probably discuss it again at length with my therapist.

2) I am a total book snob. If you recommend a book to me, you can guarantee I will not read it. This included my set text for A level English. I am strangely proud of this and ashamed by it in equal measures. I can’t see myself changing.

3) Three is my lucky number. I cannot tell you when or why this became the case, I cannot provide a single example of a time it has brought me good luck and I am not even superstitious but it has been this way for a while and I’m sticking with it.

4) (Sorry Andrew but…) I am my Nanny’s favourite.

5) I consider having neat handwriting to be one of my greatest achievements. When I learnt that my friend, Emma, felt the same way about hers I knew I had found a friend for life. However, please note, she asks me to write the label anything important for her.

6) I am absolutely, unbelievably, hideously vile if I do not get enough sleep. I consider enough sleep to be a full eight hours. To prevent or combat this I am prepared to go to any length including putting on my pyjamas and going to bed before 6pm whenever possible despite having learnt the hard way that you can’t bank sleep.

7) Once I start talking about myself, I find it hard to stop. Strangers know some of my deepest, darkest secrets.

And now, those who inspire me; MY NOMINEES…

Space 4 Mum The lovely Laurenne. The reason why I blog and a wonderful woman writing about the experience of motherhood from a refreshing perspective.

Long and Luxe Beautiful words from a stunning soul.

Love Happy Notes Positivity and pretty, poetic words.

Cogito Ergo Mum Simple straight talking that will make you smile.

Sober is the new black Watching his number rise daily is inspiration in itself!

THE RULES (which I am also being a little flexible with!)

1) Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you (see above)
2) List the rules and display the award (done and done)
3) Share seven facts about yourself (yuk!)
4) Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated (quality over quantity I say… there are many more I love to read but these are the writers whose words I never miss)
5) Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you (I most certainly don’t expect this from my nominees because I am just happy to share their words)

How to make or break a habit in 30 days

Uncategorized, Writing

…or the alternative title: Things I know about blogging by a total novice.

Thirty days ago I bit the bullet and pressed publish on my first post and entered in to the wonderful world that is the blogosphere. At the start, I set myself the challenge of posting every day for a month and, well, here I am! So I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you what I have learnt in those first thirty days…

Everyone has their own reason for taking up blogging. Once you find your personal reason for writing the words will begin to flow. But for me it was also important to take up a challenge. Be it with yourself, your friend or by taking part in a WordPress challenge such as the recent Writing 101. A reason to stick with it when you feel like a failure, can’t be bothered, or simply find yourself face to face with that old adversary writer’s block. Because you will.

However, the greatest motivation is when you realise you have readers. When your stats reveal that there is someone on the other side of the world checking out those words that you, yes you, wrote. Or that day when you are notified that your ‘stats are booming!’ Those are the days that you begin to believe you are a writer. Nothing beats it.

But the next post will always fall flat. It won’t, but it will feel that way. You will spend the day wondering where your readers are, why thy have deserted you and what you have done wrong. The answer will be nothing. Some posts are simply better than others. Or more popular.

So, when you have written something you are pleased with, publicise it. Share with friends on Facebook, tweet a link or just text someone you would love to read it to let them know where to find it. Because the bottom line is that people probably won’t just come looking for you. And if you want to boost those view, an accompanying image of a cute kid usually works wonders!

And if you do have someone you want to read your writing, someone you want to know your thoughts or hear your ideas, then write with your reader in mind. Your voice will begin to speak out and you will start to find your own style. This is a great feeling too but, be warned, the temptation is to trap yourself there. To fall back on tried and tested techniques telling yourself that they did the trick last time around (excessive alliteration for example!). Be brave. Try something new. Have a go at fiction writing, poetry or free flowing streams of consciousness. What’s the worst that could happen?

Because bloggers are wonderful people. They will take time to read your work, like, comment and even share. So make sure you do the same. After all, you can’t be a good writer without reading. Other writers will become your inspiration and testing out your thoughts on a new topic or idea by commenting on someone else’s words is a great starting point.

But a great blog is more than just the words you write. One of the first pieces of advice I read about producing a successful blog was to write a good About Me page. Thirty days later and I still have nothing. It’s hard! And if, like me, you post via the WordPress app, take time to check out how your blog looks on a desktop. I did this for the first time today and realised my page was far from perfect! I can only recommend that you don’t attempt to edit it in fifteen minutes on your iPhone in a car park with very restricted 3G connection…apologies if you are viewing this in a very strange way!

I hope to iron out these and the many other flaws in, what has fast become, my own personal place to grow. But for now I will just accept that my blog is simply a work in progress…

Thank you for reading.

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A photo from my favourite place to write!