Categories
Adulthood Observations Seasonal Writing

January

So, I’ve committed myself to a blog post per month. Manageable for now. If I manage more then that’s fabulous! If not I won’t beat myself up. But twelve blog posts per year minimum beats my current track record of one! Life happens as it has done massively over recent years *see post below, and the post below that and so on!* and I’ve learnt a lot about my writing style. Words hit me like BAM. And I can’t stop. I NEED to get it down in writing. I want to as well, of course I do, but it is absolutely a need. This is where the good stuff happens it simply cannot be regimented and planned.

It happened to me on Christmas morning when I had to take myself off for five minutes to write out the piece that was being created inside my mind. It happens often in messages to loved ones when I really feel the need to express strongly.

I’ll be walking along doing something completely ordinary like delivering some groceries to an elderly lady and, while walking, my mind writes a scene from a story or depicts in words the beauty I just experienced when looking out onto the fields over the pond. Train journeys I find are incredible places in which to let the mind wander and let the creative juices flow. While washing dishes, weeding the garden, walking to and from work, before falling asleep at night, just as I wake up – in fact I write all the time.

People often ask me about my writing habits. Am I working on a new novel? Have I written anything lately?! It’s lovely to hear enthusiasm for something that I adore. While I try my best to make time and I know I’ll never lose the enthusiasm, I’m learning to accept that sometimes modern, fast paced, not-enough-time-in-the-day life gets one step ahead of my putting pen to paper. Who am I kidding? Getting out my laptop and typing…

January is a great place to start this promise to myself and my followers. Month numero uno! Of the year 2024. Some see it as a dark, tiring and sad month. I see it as a month of hope and looking forward to the excitement of spring and summer. We’ve got it all still to look forward to!! And so I begin…

Live each day like it is your last.

Absolutely do that. They won’t all be good days but be grateful and see good in each and every day. Even Mondays.

Help others often.

Smile. Bask in a lay in. Soak up the beauty in nature. Get excited for sunsets, lightness. Enjoy that morning cuppa, enjoy drinking it while it’s still hot. And I mean really enjoy it. Look up at the stars and be totally amazed when it’s a clear night. Scream in joy when children tell you their achievements. Breathe in the freshness of air by the sea. Of cold air.

Love dogs. Like each and every one that comes into your life. Unless you’re scared of dogs. Then love something else but truly love it. And still love dogs. From afar! In fact love in some way every day. Love it like it’s your last chance to love something.

Hug often. We take for granted the power of an embrace. Laugh too. Like a six year old. I read somewhere recently that ‘six year olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15-100 times a day.’ Change that statistic.

Even when it’s dark outside, notice the light. On rainy days see beauty in a mundane drive with music blaring out and sing at the top of your lungs! Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to turn the music down or sing quieter!

Be. Just be.

We have the entire year ahead of us. A year that will be full of so many good, positive, happy days. Let’s be optimistic this January. Let’s not see it as a blue month. Notice hope. Remain upbeat. Rest and relax into this new ride we call 2024. Take time out to be. Just be.

If I don’t see you before, I’ll check back in February. Let’s do this. We’ve got this!

Love always, H x

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 Seasonal Writing

An honest hello

As I wiped away the thick dust covering my blog, I re-read some recent (or not so recent) posts and it appears I’ve been pretty useless on the writing front for about a year! I wrote last March how I hoped to get back into it and write more regularly but sometimes I think you just have to realise that life will get in the way and this isn’t such a bad thing at all.

I haven’t written so much because I have been managing a business, managing a household and bills and all sorts of adult daily tasks. But managing I have, which is a big tick in life especially with everything being in such turmoil in the world and bills being so damn expensive.

I’ve not been so vocal because two of my closest friends moved away so I have adjusted to daily life without them, adjusted to missing them completely but knowing that our time together will be of such quality.

Blogging has been virtually nonexistent because I have been enjoying my new home, hosting with friends, loving every inch of it, sharing the space with my sister, being at peace when with people and without but also learning to be on my own on dark days – becoming stronger.

Free time has been spent in different ways and I have had some brilliant times away. I have visited my family over the sea in Northern Ireland, seen my brother get married, walked for miles non-stop chatting to the people I love, spent a lot of time at the beach.

I haven’t written so much because I have been living and to write good stuff you need to live. You need to have experiences to make up stories. Though I do know the importance of finding time.

So here’s a big honest hello…

I read something brilliant the other day written by Fearne Cotton. She said: ‘I don’t feel necessarily fired up and motivated for 2023, yet do not feel bleak about it either. I don’t want to think of a year as a block of time where it will either be great or awful.
For all of us, there will be good days, bad days, beautiful hours, stressful minutes, peaceful nights, tense 3am’s, plain sailing months, tumultuous weeks. Ebb and flow, peaks and troughs, ever-changing everything.’

Exactly that.

I’m not going to promise a third novel will come out of 2023 I just hope I write more. Baby steps… I hope spring brings joy to all, I certainly can’t wait for it. My wish is for there to be more good days than bad and more sunshine than rain. I hope that by the end of the year we can all hold our heads high and say truly that we gave it our best shot.

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