Category Archives: Stunted

SOL (Slice of Life) – Refresh


I have enjoyed slicing for the past year or so, although I admit I don’t post a weekly slice, just dip in from time to time (usually when another blogger’s slice has caught my eye)… but as I came home from my appointment this morning, I got to feeling excited about the day I have planned and I realised (to my horror) that one of the reasons it feels so good is because it has been so long coming!

A few years ago I changed my life, gave up a regular full time career with a good salary (and 80 hour weeks) for a life! I have until recent months balanced my teaching and writing lives quite well, I need one to pay the mortgage and the other to feed my soul, I hope that in years to come the writing life will have the bigger portion of pie, but I doubt it will come with a golden wage…. although it might. I realised when my health suffered that there is more to life than money and a career and emotional wellbeing plays an immense role in our physical and mental health. I would rather be alive and get by, than sit on piles of cash, exist on 4 hour sleeps, exhaust myself to the point of collapsing, take the brunt of negativity in the workplace, wake up hating everyday before it begins and not have any time or pleasure cells left to enjoy spending my HARD earned extra cash.

Today I have a LOVELY day off! I was looking at the work in my diary so far this month and due to numerous cancellations by rights I should have managed a writing day before now. The universe threw broken cars, broken phones, sleepless nights, masses of chores, a few poetry events and weekends with Mr G (as he is currently working away I like to keep the weekends free as best I can to plan stuff together). I also pretty much took the Christmas Holiday off too (from writing/ internet) which means that it has been about 5 weeks since my last day of great creativity and action. No wonder I feel rusty!

Today in between appointments I am working on submissions for this month and listing new inspiration and ideas in my notebook (yes, you should always carry one around). I also have tomorrow morning off and hope to get productive on the laptop before going to work.

inkspill notebook

I called this post ‘Refresh’ because we live in a world of tech – we refresh pages all the time online, we sometimes forget to refresh ourselves. You know how the computer struggles when you have 11+ windows open and you’re waiting for it to load, well life can get like that too.

Think about yourself this – what do you need to do to REFRESH?

As far as the past week – you can read the relevant parts here:

the rest of my week has just been work (although I did work in an interestingly named location – ‘World’s End’ … it was a bit of a tough day too) and box sets – Mr G and I finally finished watching Dexter.

Join in with the SOLC here:

slice of life

When the Going Gets Tough!


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.


©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.

motivation closer





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….



©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



Bad News


I am offline, our only internet working laptop has a mouse that has given up the ghost. We need to get a new one. My old ones won’t do…. Grrrr to advancing technology.

I have worked thes last 3 days, attended a book launch, two poetry events and a Premier film showing.
Tomorrow I have a poetry workshop and a spoken word event in the evening. After that… I have a day off and I thought I would update the blog.
I may have to go to the library for public access.
I have much to post.

So have a splash about, use the categories and backwaters menu tabs at the bottom of the screen and go and find old gold-dust to read.

Happy writing!

Current Issues – Writing and the Summer


imagesCAWTNYTO I spent a lot of time in the garden today reading articles and thinking about what was happening to me and my writing life. I scribbled some notes for a blog post in the boarders of the magazine before coming indoors to get my writers notebook!

Now I have spent a few hours processing my thoughts and what was originally a ‘woe is me’ type of post became a positive one about how to get over hurdles.

FOR ANY WRITER WHO IS STRUGGLING… or for any reader who may be interested in my writing life. (Or lack of it!)

*It’s important to represent a writer’s life honestly, it isn’t always a story told by words alone.*

© N.A Lewis 2013


Part 1


I have struggled to produce any work or do any writing for a while. Maybe this is burn out fatigue post – Camp NaNoWriMo, which although I won I am still disappointed in myself for reducing my word count from 35000 to 20000. (Time restraints and summer visitors/ socialising/ moving house… my list of excuses could be longer!)

The truth is I haven’t written ANYTHING except blog posts and comments for the whole of August so far. I forced myself to spend some time researching and looking for new opportunities. I had to force myself to complete a writing schedule for August (they haven’t been completed since June!)

I started to put this into perspective the only person pushing me is myself – but I think freelancers have to drive their own workload – there aren’t many options for delegation -although, as I have learnt in my working life – BALANCE is also important!



There is a reason that I am not writing. It could be;



lack of energy

they are all the same thing really!

All I know is that a lack of energy coupled with the act of NOT WRITING has left me feeling deflated and depressed. I cannot allow the happiness writing gives me and my passion for creating it slip. I know negative emotions will eat away at any energy I can muster. My writing spirit is under attack from the gremlins that exist in all writer’s heads!

I have considered a write away day – especially in the light of the fact that our new home is still in boxes and a bit upside down and I do not have a designated writing space organised yet. I have considered visiting the library for a 2 hour slot on a public access PC. I have lots of ideas about this and will link up with a specific blog post soon. <LINK TO COME>

All I have managed to do so far to combat this WALL I have hit is to dive into research and reading. I question whether this act is another way of avoiding the writing altogether. I am frustrated that I am no longer producing writing. I have as yet no income from the writing and progress is slow.

THIS IS THE POINT WHERE I STARTED SHOUTING AT MYSELF (not literally) for being so hard on myself!

I could list all the changes that I have experienced this year, but you have probably read all the posts and have a good idea what’s going on! I should be grateful that I have found any time at all to write so far this year!

suggestion box


There is no place for you here!

Keep on going. Stay at the desk and write or take your writing elsewhere and get it done and MOST IMPORTANTLY … enjoy it! Acknowledge that this is part of all our stories – we all know writer’s block exists. It is part of the creative process. It is not the end of the world. Keep on. Keep on.

There are plenty of failures well known and successful authors have overcome in their time.  Failure is a theme, it exists and it is there for us to overcome.

It is part of the ‘journey’ and it will be familiar to many of you!

pencil paper freestock

In Part 2 I address negativity and share what I have been doing today to ‘get over it’ and what you can do about your own writing monsters!