Category Archives: Fear

The Emotional Spectrum of Writing

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The Emotional Spectrum of Writing: Highs and Lows

People often comment about my energy, how I am able to attend and perform at so many events a month, how I write often, they see the shine, the sparkle, the bits you take out to share.

This blog is a writing blog, it is truth, it is highs and lows, rejection and success. Recently I have hit the kind of low with mental mirages, the times when the gremlins get in and you start to believe you are no good. Confidence sky dives and you begin to question whether anything you are doing has any value or worth.

I am not posting this to gain sympathy or to accept kindly a barrage of it will get better messages, feel free to respond, my intention is just this –

to SHARE THE TRUTH.

Part of the writing journey is to accept these lows and ride the waves through them, back into days when you are your own best friend and not your own worst enemy, when you believe in your full potential and recognise your talent and gifts. You will find higher ground again – so don’t give up.

Take a break but don’t give up.

journey This is a photo of traffic from our bank holiday weekend in Somerset. We did get there, it took 5 hours, much longer than it should have, we got there – because we just kept going.

Just keep going.

grayson_perry_vanity_spread1 This is a photograph of the Grayson Perry book I bought earlier this year, his tapestries took a long time to complete – they are incredible works of art for the content but also the act of creating the content.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

I had this quote on a tin as a child and I never really understood what it meant. I do now. It took many authors we know 15 or more attempts before successful publishing deals. The best tool is persistence, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Allow yourself time to feel down, then get back up and carry on. Keep doing what you do best and learn from it. Acknowledge the possibility that improvement can be made, if not send it elsewhere, you need to find a fitting home for your work. If it is rejected more than three times then it may be an idea to submit some different work.

Plan it – Map it – See it – Be it 

Make a new plan.

What will you do next?

Work out your writing schedule.

Do it!

Enjoy the results and if they weren’t the right results and you can’t enjoy it – repeat the above list, until you can!

© Sarah Wilkinson 2014

© Sarah Wilkinson 2014

NaPoWriMo Day 2

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Day 2

You could write a poem inspired by Norse mythology, or perhaps by one of these creatures from Japanese legend. Every time and place and culture has its myths and legends, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Again I started with a search and quite a bit of reading, I know some Greek Mythology but didn’t study Classics. I have several poems in mind, I hope that I can find time to write them all.

The thing I love the most about poetry challenges is the research into things I would otherwise never have heard of or contemplated!

I started this challenge with Thor and Norse Mythology and I finished with a vampire tree! It produced 3 poems and a Haiku – so 4 poems, some were written after the prompt day.

My favourite was based on the Japanese Legend of Jubokko – the Vampire Tree. I was intrigued.

 

Once again *the same as last year, I post only an extract from my poems due to copyright protection and possible future submissions.

 

From this blood

grew this tree.

A tree child.

Jubokko.

Other trees feed on air

and water falling from

the skies.

Blood is the core of

the Jubokko,

the tree child thirsts

for more than

nature gives.

 

When the Going Gets Tough!

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This post is for everyone who has a DAYJOB and is also trying to forge a writing career.

This is probably how your mind feels most of the time.

Culinary disaster

©EmmaC 2014

 

I promise you this is not my culinary disaster (and although my friend posted it on social media, she probably didn’t expect it to be used on my blog!) – this is what happens if you don’t prick potatoes before cooking them.

Today the stress in my head (at the day job, from the day job, from thinking about the writing life I would rather lead, in trying to imagine the evening before it was even lunchtime!) built up to this explosive point… I felt like these potatoes…

If you have ever felt the same read on.

roses

©N Lewis2014

Even these beautiful roses have sharp bits.

No-one can have a perfect life, there are always sharp bits! I know a good few people lucky enough to be full time writers, they no longer have to balance that life with a dayjob, and even they still have sharp bits.

Remember living the life you dream of doesn’t mean you will lead a stress free, smooth edged life.

Dream, of course, but keep your head somewhere in reality.

 

1 denver library

Learn your triggers and have a mental list of how to get over the stress once you have made it home. Any way you can relax and let go of it is good. Here is a list of things that work for me;

 

  • Reading a book
  • Having a lie down/power nap
  • Taking a bath

 

      • Working out (I rarely do this in the face of confronting my stress – but it always works when I do)
        • Rage it out in a free write
          • Phone a friend and have a bit of a moan

 

  • Chill out with a magazine and a cuppa
  • Watch a film
  • Go for a walk

 

And remember why you are in this dual/ split life place to begin with.

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Another idea is to visualise (and manifest) sometime in 2013 I created this board of dreams, actually a board of what I wanted my life to be – not dreams but reality! Some of these aspects are already coming true, it serves as a visual reminder….

 

visual

©N Lewis 2014

 

Almost central are the words THE SMARTEST DECISION I EVER MADE…

giving up my full time career after 14 years and with it the salary and the pension is okay, it is just that, the SMARTEST and BRAVEST decision I have ever made. And no matter how bad my day has been by 5pm or 6pm at the latest, IT  — IS — OVER! Whereas before there  was barely time to grab dinner before working away for another 5 or 6 hours. That 60-80 hour relentless working week is not sustainable – it is why so many teachers took strike action yesterday.

Finding time to write can be a challenge, if you do find time keeping energy up can be hard, but how worth it – think about how writing makes you feel. Better than most things in the world? Then keep going!

Try to hold onto the good days and let go of the bad – in the same way we let go of rejections and celebrate our publishing successes!

Just keep going!

motivation auth

 

 

Black Dog – A Wonderful Advert: World Health Organization

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We do not talk about our black dogs – these are the kind of pets that society doesn’t accept easily, it is easy to feel alone. You feel like you are the only one on the planet with a black dog, but they breed widely.

This is an amazing awareness video from the World Health Organization and timely viewing, speaking with my doctor yesterday he said if more people could recognise the trigger he could help recovery quicker. It is hard to know sometimes though…. What I thought mine was wasn’t really it in the end.
Watching this this reminded me of how it used to feel 2 years ago, how I felt. It is incredible how far I have come. I want to thank my Black Dog though, because without him my life wouldn’t have changed beyond recognition, it was from my mood journals, gratitude journals and depression diaries that the writer in me re-emerged.
I am grateful – because I know rock bottom and I realise the only way from there is UP!

A Great Time Had By All At 42!

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42 Worcester's photo. I accepted the great challenge of writing material which would be suitable for this event – as I am such a scaredy cat that my over active imagination struggles to keep any grasp on reality. Sometimes I challenge myself to read books from this genre but cannot read them after dark!
Anyway I knew I had written some poems this year that would be suitable and I set about writing a few new ones.
I know that often poet’s perform the same set or parts of it – I like the fact that signing up to a new event forces me to write new material.
1 month – 5 events in Leamington, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Birmingham and Worcester.
And my confidence is high – audiences are so kind and other poets are great at giving feedback.
42
*Mid spooky verse
Thanks to Andrew Owens for making me feel so welcome and using my blog tag line in the introduction!
I also saw a writer I met back in April at Keith Lindsay’s Writing Workshop. We got talking and he leant me a book – about writing – will help me through NaNoWriMo for sure!
1 42 So thanks for trusting me with it James.
I had a fabulous night, heard a mixture of stories and poems and had some great feedback on my set.
The adrenalin is surging!
The only sad thing – is about 20 minutes before I was due to leave for the city – I found out that it was optional fancy dress. In previous years I have loved dressing up for Halloween
  hall5  hell3
and this year we hadn’t made any plans to. The only party/ gig we have been invited to clashes with a gig we have already booked so until a few weeks ago I had no need for a costume. Unpacking my fancy dress wasn’t a priority and it is still buried somewhere in the 3rd bedroom (which we will tackle later this week!) … I did have skulls on my dress…. and at least I didn’t have to worry about my make up running!
A spoken word event was the perfect way for me to include Halloween into 2013.
The next one is a Flash Fiction event, so may need to work on some material for a while!

Blogtember 6th September – Day 4 – A Tale of Fear

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BlogtemberFriday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.

 

I was 6 and this is still a vivid memory for me.

 

Running down Drummond Hill the rain lashed like a whip against my face, cheeks red and brow soaking. My clothes clung to my skin. The heavens had just opened without warning. The sky turned from white to grey in a blink of an eye and before I knew it the sheets of rain were lashing down.

I’d not got far to go, past the old school, round the corner and across the street. My feet were now soaked and squelched uncomfortably in my shoes, I could feel rawness rubbing at the back of my heels. I should have stayed at my friends house, why did I choose to run all the way home, alone?

Then it started. The thunder, crashing and rumbling over my head. The sky felt claustrophobic, like a low hung ceiling, everything was closing in. I was getting a stitch. I didn’t want to stop. I knew that after thunder came the lightning and sure enough just as I thought it a bolt lit up the dark sky. I was scared of storms. I hid from them even when I was inside the house. Under my duvet cover, safe, as mum went through the house switching off plug sockets.

Out here I was exposed, cold, wet, alone and petrified.

Nearly at the bottom of the hill, just a few hundred yards to go, more thunder, rolling this time. Another pang of light stripped the sky of darkness. I could see the corner of my road now. Lightning lit up the kitchen window of a house near the end of the road, an old bearded man looked out. Before I could pass his house, he was at the door. I panicked. I knew not to talk to strangers. But I was well mannered, soaking wet and scared. What if he invited me in?

I was only about five houses away from home, he was shouting and waving his arm, standing on his doorstep.

‘The tree!’ he shouted, ‘The tree!’

To my left was the Fosters lawn and a tree as old as the houses. I stood underneath it and shivered. It didn’t offer much shelter, the rain dripped off the branches, cold and unexpected. I was soaked through already. I stayed there. Quiet, frightened and cold, until the storm started to subside. I don’t know how long, maybe ten minutes, felt like days to me at the time. The rain lightened too. I looked back at the window, the man waved. I waved back and ran off down my road.

 

 

 

 

As an adult I know the WORST place to shelter from a lightning storm is under a tree. I think that is what scares me most about this story!

Picture It and Write – Fear

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This is a great challenge – check it out – click the icon.

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by DiggieVitt on Flickr

by DiggieVitt on Flickr

“Tell me about it…” said Dr Wainman.

“I think it all started in childhood, well these things normally do, don’t they?” Eliza looked up half expecting a reaction. She would never get used to the silence he allowed her to fill with her own stories. He never said much and held a mask of an expression, lively enough to show he was listening and deadpan enough not to give away any hint of emotion. It drove her crazy if she was honest, but she still went to her weekly sessions, she knew the only way to get rid of the demon was to talk about it.

“I think it was a problem even before father left…” Eliza wasn’t aware of the tears streaming down her face as she twisted in her seat and tried to fill in the details of her memories as Dr Wainman asked carefully stitched questions, prompting recall from deep inside of her.

In the end she held onto his closing words. She always did. It was the only time he ever said anything. This week he told Eliza that fear didn’t exist.

This concept blew Eliza’s mind – it was like learning that we imagine colour as everything we see is only black or white or some shade of subtle grey. That was the day she wondered why we spent so much on interior design. Now Dr Wainman was telling her she could avoid all her dark feelings if she could let go of fear – which was a manifestation of what might happen and the irrational concerns she had were never likely to become reality. The probability was low, off the radar in fact.

Dr Wainman was trying to focus her mind on something she could accomplish, move her forward rather than allowing her to remain a tortured prisoner of her past.

The truth stunned her. She had created the monster. Her own mind had conjured up fear to protect her from the real harm that was happening to her mother. The fear in this case did not fulfil its role. She could not be kept safe by it. Her mother had nowhere else to go and neither did she. All these years since, reliving the nightmare… that was her hurting herself.

How could she move forward knowing her mind was this broken?

For the first time EVER in any of the writing challenges I participate in I have taken the essence of the image and used that in a non-literal way. (In case you’re still wondering where the birds are!) 😉