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

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Writing

My Perfect Writing Day

On my own terms. Preferably a day off from my day job. Waking up on my own accord and consuming two lovely hot beverages; be it tea or coffee, equally lovely, before doing anything else. I would usually begin with reading something entirely unrelated to whatever it is I plan to write. For at least one hour. It gets the creative juices flowing. I then need to change. Even if it’s not a shower-and-get-ready-for-the-day type change, I just need to change. It puts me mentally in the right head space. Next I must walk or inhale some form of fresh air, ideally by the sea. Set up. A desk like setup but not necessarily a desk. A kitchen table, an upright chair and table, I’ve even been known to work at a kitchen breakfast bar and work well. Now I’m ready to begin. Write write write. Until the creativity fades. I often find it useful to have blog post ideas to flit back and forth to. For some reason mixing up what I’m writing so that my mind isn’t solely focused on one project really helps to keep the creativity alive. If my focus is fading after three chapters of novel writing, writing a short blog post or piece for something entirely unrelated helps to recharge the batteries. I don’t know why.

That’s how I do it, that’s my perfect writing day.

fiction Writing

The Perfect Home

As soon as Mary pulled onto the drive, she felt that she was at home. After the chaos and living for so long with her mother she knew that anywhere would bring her more comfort than the current situation that she was in, but this place felt more special than that.

The house stood proudly in the sunlight with its green front door matching that of the garage.

‘My favourite,’ she exclaimed as if someone had painted it that colour on purpose as a selling technique.

She smiled as she left the car and headed towards the fine-looking estate agent waiting happily for her on the driveway. Seeing her face, he thought he had an easy task on his hands and Mary knew that he wasn’t wrong.

‘Hello there Mary, I’m Simon.’


‘I can see from your face that you already like what you see, let’s head on in.’

The place was bright from the entrance with every wall painted in warming but light colours. The kitchen, again with a green theme, the exact green that Mary adored, was spacious and airy. The floors were cool and the whole vibe felt as if she was in a villa in a remote area of Portugal.

‘It’s perfect,’ she said, thinking out loud.

‘Don’t be too hasty,’ Simon replied in a joking but careful manner, knowing that he was told to be gentle as Mary was a vulnerable customer. ‘I would actually like to let you see the garden first and work our way back through if you are happy with that?’


The garden was in full sunlight with different levels and little grass. The small patch that was present was lusciously green and there were all sorts of plants dotted about. Hydrangeas, Lavender, grasses blowing in the breeze and a beautiful Honeysuckle just starting to flower from a deep pink spiky bud. Merely looking at the garden made Mary smile and the feeling of being somewhere relaxing and exotic remained, the pebbles enhancing this.

‘Wow,’ she said not knowing how else to express her happiness. She realised fully that it was a small place and wouldn’t be too impressionable to most, but it was perfect for her.

Adulthood Observations Writing

20 ways that my full time job enhances my creative ambition

Having attended university and obtained an above average degree, people often ask me what’s next. I sometimes think that because they can’t physically see the results of my writing and where it could lead, they feel that I go home and do nothing or that I haven’t much ambition at all.

As good as I’ve got at not feeling the need to justify myself anymore, I won’t. Instead, I will tell you all of the wonderful ways that having my full time job at a Post Office and Stores enhances my creative ambition.

  1. It brings new ideas from the situations I encounter
  2. It enhances the personalities of my characters through the variety of people I meet
  3. Providing a break from my desk work is SO HELPFUL
  4. As is earning money so I’m not stressed while I write, since I don’t earn too much from writing yet
  5. It provides another purpose on days when writing isn’t happening
  6. I find so much blog material through working with people
  7. I have many positive chats through my working days about what I am deciding to do
  8. Peers are always interested and encouraging in my slightly off-piste approach, as we chat over the preparation of a bacon sandwich
  9. Hearing how others have overcome hurdles in life and ended up as successful as they are now provides a huge boost
  10. I add to my skill set outside of writing, learning new things every day (including managing the little time that I have to write effectively!)
  11. I get support from customers
  12. I get support from colleagues
  13. I get support from my bosses
  14. Free (amazing, thank you) proofreaders
  15. Advice
  16. Connections
  17. Book recommendations
  18. Opportunities
  19. Inspiration
  20. Happiness