Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Writing

An introduction to my newsletter…

I’ve been writing this post since January, I’m ashamed to say it’s my first newsletter of the year and somehow it still hugely applies. I’ve been writing a newsletter monthly (sometimes more often) for a while now where I speak of my writing achievements, my goals, writing tips, book recommendations and, as you can see below, plenty of other stuff!

Most of the words you read my subscriber’s received in their inbox a few months ago in my non-regular but hoping to be much more frequent newsletter. If you enjoy and want more then you can sign up to get exclusive news and extra blog content here. Or by following the link at the bottom of the page, OR by heading to my sign up page on this website!

New Year, No Motivation…

I read recently on Dawn O’Porter’s Patreon how she too was struggling with writing motivation. She made a really good point in that: How can you write meaningful, authentic stuff when you aren’t living? Nothing is happening in life. Yes, we are more free and there have been less rules and restrictions lately but I know so many, myself included, who are still reluctant to venture out. Home feels safe. The virus is EVERYWHERE. Even when out it isn’t how it was. You’re always on edge. Feeling guilty. 

Merely by going for a walk the other day I sparked up some ideas and motivation to write. That was just a walk on my own by the sea. Imagine what a whole day or weekend out and about would do. 

I’m very lucky with my place of work as that alone provides so much life from all different parts of it. Reading also does this but has anyone else struggled to chill out and read?!

I have and it took me the whole in between bit between Christmas and New Year to get back into the practice of it. Recently I’ve hardly read at all. I really think we are all just COVID/ doom and gloom news consumed and burnt out. Here’s to 2022, third time lucky!! And look how that’s going already……

The moment…

My sister and I had a really good conversation the other day and, as this is my newsletter, I will relate it to writing. She is very different to me in that her choice of read is usually non-fiction over fiction. She’s currently reading a book about the moon. While I haven’t read the book, my understanding of the particular part my sister was explaining was living in a cyclical pattern and the benefits it has. Living like the moon. There are times in the month to be productive, to reflect, to get busy and to unwind.

I liken this to living in the moment. Of course, planning to a certain extent is useful, but getting bogged down with it is unproductive. Take writing for example. If I get het up on the fact that I’ve not written as much of my third book and haven’t nearly been as disciplined of late then I will just continue in a downward spiral. If instead I put that on the long finger and focus on what I have achieved and seize the day then that is far more helpful in achieving my goals. Live in the moment like today and take advantage of opportunities like being on a walk and ideas flowing, having the motivation to go back and write, and feeling good at the end of the day with a big fat glass of wine. YES.

Time

A line on a friend’s Facebook page struck me the other day: ‘The thing is, we always think we have time…’ Maybe we do, maybe we don’t but one thing that is certain is that nobody knows how long we’ve got or what is going to change suddenly. I refer to above… live in the moment. 

Be happy. See the good in the little things in life. Speak to the trees, smile at the birds, take photos of a particularly pretty sky. Don’t dwell but embrace. That is what is going to get me to my writing goals this year. I plan to produce a lot more varied content for you while also working on novel number three. Watch this space…

Has anyone else had really weird dreams?

You heard it here first, unless some scientist has already written a paper on it, there is going to be a whole lot that makes more sense as more studies go into how much COVID/ the news is taking up our brain time.

I’ve heard so many people not sleeping who have never had problems before. I’m sure it’s because our brains unknowingly are on override. For that reason I’m cutting myself a bit of slack for not putting much time aside to write.

Then there’s the content…

There is none.

While I always bang on about the fact that my novels are NOT autobiographical in ANY SENSE of the word, obviously to write about things, I have to experience or observe things. I have to live. That proves rather tricky when frequently I go weeks on end without leaving my village.

Shall I just write about my walk on the beach?

On that note, this walk has ignited my writing motivation. It took longer than usual as with everything since March 2020, but eventually ideas started to flow as I silently plodded along the beautiful Suffolk coastline. I came up with the notion for this post, for example, and actually wanted to write it. I was enthusiastic. My next newsletter has also been written in this sitting. In this one sitting?! That hasn’t happened for ages.

What I am trying to say is for all you writers out there, for artists in any form, for people working on things for years who have felt that lately the mojo has vanished – I hear you! You are not alone. Go easy on yourself. What we are living through is HUGE.

I think we are all a bit burnt out. Take care xoxo

A note…

Book 2, Don’t Tell Jack is out. Order your copies now on Amazon!

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is available on Amazon along with the sequel Don’t Tell Jack. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey, then please subscribe to my newsletter by filling in the form at the bottom of any page of my website. There will be plenty of giveaways, news hot off the press and an honest insight into life as an author. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Help!

Lately I have asked for a lot of it. For things in life where I haven’t a clue and others are experts. For guidance from those more experienced, both young and old. For myself. From myself.

I have asked for help from friends and from strangers. From colleagues and customers at work when I’m trying to do too many things at once.

I’m certainly someone who struggles to accept help. I feel guilty for owing people an invaluable amount. Obviously I thank them but I feel forever I will owe them when you can’t put a price on the guidance they’ve given me.

It is a strange one isn’t it because the nature of my job is helping people. We help the elderly by delivering goods and a bit of conversation/ company along with it. We help the young by giving them jobs. We help those lost in reality by directing them and others lost within their soul by providing a sounding board in times of need.

Whenever I help someone the last thing I think is about how they are going to repay me. It is the last thing on my mind. Yet when someone helps me before they’ve even done so I’m thinking of what extravagant gift I can buy them which won’t come close to how grateful I am.

Claudia Winkleman addresses this in her book, Quite. She says ‘Here’s the thing with help. People want to do it. We get really stuck sometimes and just need to unload, to spill the dirt, to share the burden. Think about you. Do you get grumpy if someone asks for advice, if someone sends you their justgiving.com link, if a friend calls to have a little cry? Do you mind? Of course you don’t. You race round, you donate, you offer services. Help. The more you give the more you get.’

The fact of the matter is I’m so lucky to be surrounded by good people. If you surround yourself with good people then you become better and they are always willing to help.

That’s my thought for today – Happy Tuesday Everyone!

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is available on Amazon along with the sequel Don’t Tell Jack. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey, then please subscribe to my newsletter by dropping your name and email at the bottom of any page of my website. There will be plenty of giveaways, news hot off the press and an honest insight into life as an author. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Stop!

For so long now I have maintained this blog. It went from a travel diary which folks at home waited eagerly upon each new entry. Then it became a way of deciding where I want to go with my writing. Through Uni, I saw the importance of having an online presence in order to be any form of writer so I began to set myself targets of posting more.

I think it went from whenever I bloody felt like it to once a month to once a week to three times a week and back to once a week. Wow. To you they might just be a little snippet of life, to me they are a few hours work.

Lately life has become a little frantic to say the least, I think that’s just part of the course of growing, but I’ve changed my blogging ways and I feel so good about it. What is the point of me sitting on a Friday morning after a frantic week and delivering you a few lines of nonsense when on a Sunday morning sometimes my sparks are flowing and I produce wonders. Far more interesting to read. I have for this reason decided to put no time pattern to my posts, no ‘I will post on Friday every week’ and therefore my posts will be of much better quality and exciting to read.

Perhaps I will go weeks without posting but then I’ll be back with a gem. Perhaps I will have a particularly creative week and write to you every day.

This is the nature of writing and who better to portray this on their blog than a writer!? Some days words just don’t happen. On others you can’t shut your mind up with them overflowing out of your head. It is why my novels haven’t had strict deadlines. You need to feel creative to produce the goods.

How artsy is that?!

Book 2, Don’t Tell Jack is out. Order your copies now on Amazon!

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is available on Amazon along with the sequel Don’t Tell Jack. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey, then please subscribe to my newsletter by filling in the form at the bottom of any page of my website. There will be plenty of giveaways, news hot off the press and an honest insight into life as an author. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Writing

They had an off tasting bit of orange, they weren’t judging your life. Possibly?

I sometimes (who am I kidding) quite often question what I am doing in life. My work, my love life, the social side of things – basically everything that makes up life. Usually this happens very late at night or very early in the morning but question I do. And fret. Oh gosh do I fret.

Another magnesium and I’m usually fine!

It’s that timeline thing again. That thing you see so often all over social media and in books. It is not a race. Claudia Winkleman put it straight in her book that I wrote about a few weeks back.

IT IS NOT A RACE.

I think we all have goal posts and given the world in which we live, it is hard not to compare. I find with my writing my questioning is highlighted hugely at social gatherings when most there went to university, on to grad schemes or into a trained profession and are all very successful. I quieten when I say that I write books. I (wrongly I am sure) feel the ‘what’s the point’ eyes from those who don’t read.

Isn’t it crazy how much we make up stories that probably aren’t even true?! Try to control others actions which will have a detrimental part to play in our lives?! Mad.

Anyway I sometimes think the momentum has dried up with Dear Brannagh as I look at work at my shrine slowly browning and curling at the corners. The copies left sitting there. Everyone who wants to know has bought.

Then this happens.

I get home from work, rush to get ready for yet another hen do and receive a text from a friend looking for furniture on Facebook Marketplace. The text is a picture of my book. My book on some strangers gorgeous chest of drawers, helping to display for a sale.

I sell three copies in a day.

I recieve a message late at night from someone who quietly follows me thanking me for being an inspiration to her and encouraging her to continue her writing.

All that happens and I am back in the game.

It’s often easy to forget these things but deep down they are always there. Be strong in your decisions. Be bold with your choices and live that life for you.

Obviously be happy for others but remember that they too are also probably happy for you. They had an off tasting bit of orange, they weren’t judging your life. Possibly?

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is OUT NOW. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey as I self-publish novel number two, then please subscribe to my newsletter by filling in the form at the bottom of any page of my website. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

A year on, what I would say (and add)

This morning someone ‘liked’ a blog post that I had written last year in June. I had obviously had a lot more time on my hands last year or because we were only just getting used to lockdown and doing nothing when not at work, I didn’t feel so guilty. Clearly I was listening to lots of podcasts and reading lots too. Bliss.

The idea of the post I had written was giving myself advice for one year’s time. A letter to self. It was called ‘In a year I would say’ and most of it still stands.

I would still tell myself to worry less.

I’m yet to decide whether certain attributes I hold are life long or whether there is anything I can do to change them. I will most probably always be a born worrier but if I could weaken the worry a little more it would make my days far less stressful!

Enjoying the moment is still so important.

If the pandemic has done no other good (I’m sure it has) the necessity to seize the moment is a huge lesson to us all. It might be on a walk, shutting out life’s worries and focusing on the birds, the trees and all of nature that surrounds you. Perhaps it is turning your attention over from an anxious feeling to children happily playing over there, a dog enjoying a paddle in a pond, how soft your hair feels after a fresh trim.

Stop trying to change the unchangable.

There are certain things that you can’t control. Other people’s words and actions, the weather, the future, the past – I need to stop trying to.

Always take time for a pamper.

Every six weeks I get my hair cut like many women and men across the world. I have the same conversation with my friend each time saying how I’m not that fussed, my hair can wait. She always follows with the same: “take half an hour out of your day to get your hair cut, you will feel better for it!” She is always right, I always do.

Nothing (rarely) is as bad as it seems in the mind.

I’m going to use a recent example to illustrate this point. Now that things are opening up a little more my social life has been injected with plans. I am also at the age of weddings and hen dos. For three weekends on the trott I have had plans. Most involving more than three hours travel, crowds (or more people than I have associated with in over a year), new places, new people and socialising. All of which I need to get back into practise of. I was surprisingly worried before the first weekend away. I didn’t realise how stressed the thought of it would make me.

Once there I loved it. My worries instantly vanished despite Bournemouth being pretty crowded. I wore my mask where I felt necessary and kept sanitising but apart from those extra precautions I felt perfectly safe. The evening was perfect spent on the beach with games and wine. It showed that things are never as daunting as they seem and it applies for most things in life.

Don’t give up on your dreams.

For me this is writing. I go in waves of loving every aspect to my writing life to not seeing the worth in my efforts or having a really bad time of not getting much down. I’ll then receive a message from someone I have inspired, I may see my book online in a place I wouldn’t expect or a stranger comes into the shop and buys a copy. I soon pipe down and continue, determined never to give up.

Take another minute.

I wrote about this a little while ago on this blog and I feel it is SO important that I am going to write about it again. ALWAYS take another minute. “I don’t have time!” I hear you say. You do. Make time. In bed in the morning take another minute. Go a little further on that walk to take another minute. Sip for longer on your coffee break and take another minute. It is only a minute and you will notice the benefits.

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is OUT NOW. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey as I self-publish novel number two, then please subscribe to my newsletter by filling in the form at the bottom of any page of my website. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

In case anyone is interested…

In case anyone is interested, I am a little nervous

About the easing of restrictions and the opening of the world again.

In case anyone is interested, I can’t get fully excited

About social events, big events, because there is always the risk looming.

In case anyone is interested, I may still wear a mask

To protect others, to protect me, to feel safer and secure in environments.

Environments we’ve not experienced ‘normally’ in well over a year

In case anyone is interest, I am going to take it steady

With life, in work in all that I do.

In case anyone is interested, I am going to allow

Allow for tiredness, feeling intimidated, overwhelmed, all of those feelings that come with this.

This thing we are living through that nobody quite understands

In case anyone is interested, I get it

I get why the government feel there is no other option, why now is time.

At some point we have to move on, to continue, to live with it

In case anyone is interested, I find writing therapeutic

So much creativity will come out of these times, some bad some good.

In case anyone is interested, I will always remember

These times, those lost, key workers, inspirations along the way.

If you’re not interested, that’s fine. Move on.

If you are please stay, I have lots to say!

(blogging weekly, Instagramming even more)

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is OUT NOW. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey as I self-publish novel number two, then please subscribe to my newsletter by filling in the form at the bottom of any page of my website. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see’ – Henry David Thoreau

A quote to live by. Quoted in a book that should live by your bedside. Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

So often in life we see things differently to how other people see them. Things, words, situations can all be interpreted in various ways and it is important to establish this.

There has been so many times in my own life when I have thought something or taken what someone has said a certain way and not until I openly spoke with them about it did I realise that I had got it entirely wrong.

Or I’ve seen something as totally negative and the end of the world then on speaking with someone about it, they flip the entire thing on its head to make it totally positive and brilliant. Not the huge disaster I had it down as.

The picture above is of the sea and one of my favourite places to be. This is for many reasons but one main one is that being by the sea forces perspective on me. If I’m stood looking out into the ocean I can feel how tiny me and my problems are within this big beautiful world. It pushes me to look at things a different way. Flip them on their head.

Perspective is beautiful.

We all need to remind ourselves of it, ground ourselves with it and remember the quote above.

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is OUT NOW. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey as I self-publish novel number two, then please subscribe to my newsletter by filling in the form at the bottom of any page of my website. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

A global pandemic and a trip to the dentist

Like many others, I hadn’t been to the dentist for well over a year. In fact, when I asked my dentist on arrival into the room when I was last seen she told me it was November 2019.

I paused a moment to consider all that had happened in the time between visits. My gosh. A global pandemic. Nature taking over as the world stops. Numerous lockdowns. Restrictions on our lives that still remain. Mask wearing. No hugging. Lots of wine consumption. Relentless working. No holidays. The same news on repeat.

I was sure to have many cavities.

I didn’t expect to be so anxious about my first visit to the dentist. However, on the drive there which is about forty minutes, I tried to soften my anxiety with a podcast. I was in fact quite worried.

I’d read on the email the procedure to expect which wasn’t much different from going to a supermarket. Wear a mask at all times, except from when they are examining you, obviously. Take your own pen to sign. Sit away from others in the waiting room. They might take your temperature.

Well, that started a hole heap of worries.

What if I appear hot because I am running late and then I have to get tested and realise I actually have COVID-19? What if they find something horrendously wrong inside my mouth because I haven’t been seen for so long? In fact I think I can feel a root canal is needed at the back. Yep, definitely.

None of this was true of course and, by some miracle, I had no holes. The whole procedure was smooth and I couldn’t fault the surgery at all. They made me feel very comfortable, extremely safe and I was smug that I hadn’t got to go back for any work. It would have been a long wait if I needed anything done.

Until next time. I wonder what will happen in this crazy world between now and then. I wonder if I will be thinking the same as I sit in that chair next year.

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is available on Amazon along with the sequel Don’t Tell Jack. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey, then please subscribe to my newsletter by dropping your name and email. There will be plenty of giveaways, news hot off the press and an honest insight into life as an author. Thank you x

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Take another minute, always

One of my bugbears is always being in a rush. Or, more accurately, trying to cram so much into the little time I have that I end up running about trying to fit it all in. Stressing.

Take this morning for example. I start work at 10. I woke at 7:30. In the time between I have fit in:

  • a twenty minute workout
  • breakfast
  • a shower
  • 4 blog posts
  • feeding the cats, the dog and the birds
  • filling in the work health and safety sheet

All done in a panic because I am constantly against the ticking of the clock.

Why do I do it?!

Though I do feel good when it’s done.

The other week I was at the caravan. My favourite place. I had given myself an extra night there which is always lovely and aimed to leave at around 10:30 in the morning to get back in time for work. To get back in time for work with a little bit of time at the other end of the journey to casually bring my bags in, put a wash on and ensure the dog has a pee.

STOP!

Of course my mind went into timetable mode and I had allowed myself until 9:20.a.m. (pretty generous if you ask me). That’s right, I’d allowed myself free time to read in bed, chill, walk on the beach and enjoy the last morning before tidying up and leaving.

9:20 soon came around and I had about twenty pages left of my book that I was loving.

Do you know what I did? I took another minute. And you should too, always.

It felt amazing just to say: “sod it I will finish my book, what’s the worst that could happen?” I doubt I’d be late for work. I felt good after having finished the book. That feeling is wonderful and so much more wonderful than shutting the covers with twenty pages left to go.

I wasn’t going overboard. It wasn’t another day or even hour I was giving myself. Just a minute. A short period of time that left me feeling so smug and so fabulous.

Just one minute, always.

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is OUT NOW 

linktr.ee/HJMWriting

Categories
Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

If the dilemma is other’s opinions, it’s not your dilemma

After four long months I have finally spent a weekend at the beach – yipee! Oh how I loved it. I’ve written about this magical place before and each time I visit, I grow to love it more. The peaceful feeling, the space, freedom, chilled vibes, everything that makes life great.

From the moment I turn on my ignition in my car, I smile from within every time I go to this place. The journey is part of the bliss and I treasure every second. Sometimes I choose to listen to my favourite music, sometimes I let Spotify choose and other times it’s podcasts or a chat show that I am feeling more. This time I chose podcasts – On Wednesday’s We Drink Wine. Check it out.

The podcast is very new to the mix and is hosted by Made In Chelsea stars Sophie Habboo and Melissa Tattum. The girls basically chat and drink wine. It does what it says on the tin and because they are the same age as me and love wine as much as me, I knew I could relate. I wasn’t wrong.

As they go they have certain features that will appear in each episode and one of these features is a dilemma section. During this they each pick a dilemma that a listener has sent in. Mostly these are relationship related because, let’s face it, that’s what’s on many 26 year old/ humans minds often and they respond with their opinions on the situation. I agreed with most. It was easy listening.

Then it struck me.

Do I have a dilemma?

I’m 26 years old and haven’t experienced many of these struggles faced. Boyfriends wanting open relationships, not posting me on social media, feeling so jealous that I could kill and so on.

Is that my dilemma? Should I ask them about it?

Then I stopped and asked myself if I am happy. The answer is yes. I then went further and asked how I would put it to them. Every time I tried to phrase it, the dilemma part of the situation was all down to other people’s opinions. Because people might find me weird; because it isn’t normal to be single for so long; because guys may question my motive if I were to find someone I felt I wanted to be in a long-term relationship with; because I won’t have anything to bring to the table when girl friends moan about their fellas. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Am I happy? Yes. Is this my dilemma? No.

If the problem becomes a problem purely based on other people’s opinions and when you remove that factor it is no longer a problem, then it was never YOUR problem in the first place.

FACT. IMO of course 😉

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is OUT NOW!!

https://linktr.ee/HJMWriting