Sleep…or not…Eat….Write…or not.


Seem to have a complete block on at the moment.

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Highlighted further by attempting to churn something out on demand at the latest Writers meeting and finding I just cannot do that and remain true to my real writing. When some kind soul drifted over to tell me it was classic Mills & Boon territory I have since given up entirely. Thanks mate!

I also abandoned tonight’s meeting at my original writers club on the first hint of an excuse. So…what is going on? Writing abandoned, more reading has been taking place. Lots of job searching and lesson prepping and even some actual teaching.  Plenty of socialising. So I could be forgiven…? No. Didnt think so

The irony is when I am feeling ok -ish – as in not in Black Dog mode or beating myself up about past misdemeanors – of which there are many – and which we know is a pointless pastime – I DO tend to write LESS

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Its as if I seem to need some kind of injection of sadness or melancholy to douse the spirits and in turn get the creative juices flowing. Sitting at a table with 19 others and grabbing an unforseen topic with a 15min time limit to write just isnt cutting it for me lately. I guess we could call it a lack of Muse. I need my Muse to inspire me, to help me create. She has not been accompanying me to a draughty library of late. Or even at 4am stints of insomnia in which I previously churned out many thoughts but I now douse with banal TV Box Sets!

The abandoned novel lies inert beside the bed … edited and copy proofed beyond its limitless life. I prod it on occasion and finally drift off with a head full of plot revisions or additions but the next day it still lies, inert, unprodded. Guilt hangs above me like a cluttered cloud of calamitous thoughts…until I remind myself writing should be – always has been – my Pleasure. Not another duty. Or obligation. Or a switch to turn on or off at will. Especially in a draughty  library with 19 others also forcing the same forth.

Perhaps its just as well I am taking a break next month from all things written. Tomorrow night I indulge in the spoken word at a local cafe in which a few of us are booked to read out some work or poetry. But this is more organic. We choose our genre, we choose our time and no reluctance ensues. The Spoken Word can sometimes alleviate the need to write. It gives more chance to share the things you cherish or are proud of writing. The things you know are considered pieces. Not in a showing off look how damn good I am at this writing lark way. Not in a need to disguise flaws, all of us have those.

It is a chance to hear a part of one’s soul, a part of one’s person, to appraise, applaud, critique more constructively. Or simply to accept another wine and enjoy a plate of food with others while you share ideas, enjoy the ambience and the lilt of the spoken voice as in times of old folklore and thank this Life that there ARE more like minded people to share your idiosyncrasies with.

Oh, look. I have written some words on  the blank page.

Like Ted Hughes’ Thought Fox I stumbled and fell a little at first, gained momentum and finally left a few footprints.

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2.11a.m


Its 2am. Later

But what do I care – when did I ever care about Time, Constraints, Schedules, Must-be-there’s, Have-tos, – but I am thrilled its 2am – gone – and I am finally WRITING again.

Because I DID it you know?

I finished the NaNoWriMo with an almighty final push that nowhere near equals giving birth – sorry ladies – and actually finished around this same time on the final deadline date of 30th November. And then I slept at last….and slept…and slept.

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The following day I had booked into a Writers Retreat on the island and intended to start editing this pile of sludge I had manifested from my weary mind. No way. I cancelled that and all other plans the entire weekend, and slept.

I didn’t write a thing. I didnt even look at it. I couldn’t .

It was akin to some mad passionate fling you may have, all obsessive, all consuming and yet finally, spent and weary you realise you cannot continue in this mad unrelenting vein!

November has been a blur. Starting NaNo holed up at my friends where he kindly proffered much tea and snacks, if not much sympathy! – I then retreated to my island haven and spent the final 19 days of the month completely immersed in my plotting, my weaving, my tapestry.  I lived it, ate it, breathed it. Even the poor dog was tired of me hunched over my laptop day and night only pausing to finally walk her and myself, or to reluctantly throw some food together. It was sheer total indulgence but it worked! Some days I wrote nothing – but still mused and thought lots, planning in my mind as I walked over the fields and in the woods near the cottage. Each day I updated both Instagram and the NaNo planner online for word count and running total, sometimes checking in with other Southampton writers, even joining in the odd sprint prompted by the teams mentor or on NaNo Twitter feed. Those sprints kinda saved me!!

Everyday too my outer world slipped by unnoticed. Bills and post piled up as did dirty cups from continual caffiene fixes, but still I wrote on. I would break up the day as it headed into night – I think, who knew? – by lighting a real fire in the grate and using it as futher inspiration as I gazed deep into its flickering life, and traced the splintered sparks fizzling into the chimney with sporadic outbursts. Who knew how many hours passed by. Who cared.

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Years and years I had dreamt of  having this luxury. I had seen myself, invariably alone, in my rose adorned cottage by the sea. Writing.

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If you can manifest your total dream – your Heart’s Calling – into reality then I have done so. Oh, it was not at all simple. Yet it always felt inevitable, if not imminent.  It took years.

Years of study, travel, heartache, family, relationships, bringing up children mostly alone, studying again, teaching, travelling, constantly moving but always, always that one constant throughout it all. My Writing.

Cliched. My Love. My Passion.

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Yes I make a living at it too. I teach writing skills, I persuade others to love Literature with the same zealous abandonment I always have, I even entice some over to the joys of poetry. I help them prepare for and pass exams. Sit through endless group and 1:1 tutorials; I help novice teachers find their feet, gain their certs and head off into the wide blue yonder of modern teaching. I loiter on Skype, and Webex, and Zoom trawling through online lessons but always conscious of my main purpose behind it all.

MY Writing.

My dream, long held, lovingly nurtured, and often rescued from the depths, dusted off and resurrected to its original pedestal.  To be away at last, isolated, indulgent, wake up when I want, write for as long and as late – or early – as I want. No demanding kids – although I adore you all and do not regret a minute – no more demanding husband 🙂 urging me to turn out the light, to stop rustling papers, to put down the book. No noisy street below or bellowing neighbours each side. No school runs, no pick ups, no teacher meetings or report days, no football matches to attend, ballet to watch, knees to patch up, tears to dry, faces to scrub.

No nothing . A nothingness. Which sounds a little sad but that is Nostalgia. I have travelled his beguiling path before and where does it take me? straight back to the Present. The Here and Now. Where I am.

The time I always longed for while I was still ostensibly living my life has somehow finally arrived. The coast. The Cottage. The Roses. The Writer.

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Let’s see if I can do her justice somehow at last.

I owe it to her

I owe it to Myself.

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My Freelance Life


Awake since the early hours – nothing new – and suddenly realising as I look ahead across my day – how truly freelance my entire Life has become!

Freelance writer

Freelance tutor

Freelance House Dweller

Freelance Mother

Freelance Lover

Freelance Daughter/sister/aunt.

Even a freelance dog owner!

I am reminded of Dido – My Life is for Rent – nothing I have is truly mine!

Yet how did I get here? Well, for once in my life it was by design not sheer fluke.

Halfway through NaNoWriMo – see my tentative start 2 weeks ago – and I am suddenly overwhelmed by the thought of the final 30,000 words I am committed to and also the epiphany after years of moodling over this novel that there are so many damn HOLES.

I always said it would be faction – fiction and fact combined, but now I am really understanding the depths of blending the line between the two. If I dress it up with speech and other fictional adornments will it remain true to the essence I wished for? If I do not use artistic licence I have already seen that it comes off dry and lacklustre. Yet it’s proving so very difficult to repaint a story I have known, have lived with all my life and now that I finally commit its truth to paper I find myself wishing I had opted for pure fiction. Which surprises me!

Perhaps its the picking open of old wounds, the smattering of emotions that I had not fully delved into like this, the deep hurt that is released when I am in my Character’s minds as past events unravel. The reality of their lives. The nerve of me to enter their world and dare to reinvent their sorrow. Almost like therapy, it is far harder than book one.  Yet book one was only possible because of book two. Its ok …at least I know what I mean. Book two caused the events of book one and yet although I solely own them I feel less ownership of the events that actually happened to me – to us ALL in book two.

I have written this blog post in two parts – 16th and now 24th – I have done very little writing between so am really not sure I will reach my goal. Holed up this entire weekend to push it along. I also went along to my 3rd writers club – a new one – on the 20th and it totally re-inspired me. I found myself writing on cue to the task provided in the club that night, along with 10 other writers, and managed to produce some work of which I am slightly proud. It also allowed me to integrate and externalize the sad events of the past two weeks – the internal feelings and thoughts manifested onto the page into a concrete being – and intriguingly the same thing that seemed to halt my writing reignited it.

Uncannily, the given theme of being underwater was exactly linked. Thus the inspirational tool I needed.

I hope all of you committed to NaNoWriMo this month are doing well – we CAN crack this!

 

Please check me and my writing progress out on instagram – YvieSheaHourihane

Happy Writing moments to you all!

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Getting Geared up for NaNoWriMo #octoprep


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So here I am, long aware that stencilled in my diary amidst work commitments and social promises is the NaNoWriMo start date of November 1st 2018

Earlier, flicking lazily through Instagram, I realise there is now a newly added diary entry of Octoberprep! Mmmm, methinks this did not exist and is also a rather naughty pre addition to what is supposed to be a full 30 days of writing to reach a set amount of words by the end of November. To the unintiated National Novel Writing Month in November gives one a kick up the rear end to get our acts in gear and get writing and finishing that novel. While I want to lament that its unfair to prep a novel you should write in only 30 days…I have to confess my copious notes and character visualisations, my endless plotting and structuring, my playing with various beginnings but I hasten to add, not endings – is surely of the same ilk?

Yet I began years ago I counter in my defence….ah, therein lies the rub. The long awaited novel gets dusted off but its premises and original plot rejuvenated ready for The Big Write. My aspirations then to sit languorously at a neat desk – or was it neatly at a languorous desk – to bang out, churn out, spurn out, force out, 3000 words a day may in fact materialise after all.

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The main planning of course needs to be the desperately required endless cups of coffee, and simultaneously someone with endless patience to keep providing them to my hunched. oblivious to reality figure, to fuel and oil my ceaseless thoughts, stroke or should that be stoke? my brain into further creativity.

Publishing my short story in April with 2 more to add to the trilogy plus a small volume of poetry, entering a local competition and attending to my other blogs makes me sound prolific. Sadly untrue. Those were the culmination of thoughts etched into ink long ago and then botched together when it finally hit me I could indeed selfpublish and that my long held notes and ideas did indeed actually have a structure to slot into. A structure that had eluded me for many years, yet once I stopped thinking too hard appeared to me confident in its knowledge it would work.

The novel is a whole other Entity. It breathes of its own accord and haunts me in shadows, beset by memories and indecision, shrouded in mystery and a very opaque ending preceded by a long drawn out journey.

Lets hope it can breathe Life into itself over November.

Good luck to all else involved!

 

Note to self@2.am the following morning ….its actually called Preptober ….oops 🙂

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Social, social, personal, essential.


Realising you have not written a SINGLE syllable since May!

 

I knew I had been AWOL but not THAT long! I can give myself a litany of excuses – work to earn a crust – you know the REAL work you have to do – family – travel – ya di ya di ya….but seriously all I know I have really done is avoid the written word and in the process denied my very Soul again!

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So many avenues to pursue and so keen to build up my readers – reading tonight on how to improve that I feel I have done almost all the tips to date.  I read avidly on here and follow any that take my breath away or inspire or excite. I realise publishing sporadically is not helping my cause and passion. Oh, to write daily at a neat little desk, within a proscribed time and fulfill the need without Life intervening. But…that is just not ME! This 2am sprint with laptop propped on my duvet and legs akimbo, while relishing the total  uninterrupted silence that only the dead of night can provide – Yep that’s me!

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While I neglect one blog, I nurture or even create another! While I am obsessed with too many accounts on Insta I leave Twitter sobbing for attention. Dalliances with Pinterest suffice for short bursts and please do not even investigate the myriad of work accounts I NEED to update…Linked In, et al.  Perhaps therein lies my flaw….too many, too scattered, too disparate?

Yet all were born – even the ones still left to germinate and blossom forth – from a long held ambition, nay, a dream – to house all my pandora’s box of ideas and interests in one unit, one space, one building. If not physically and tangibly then why not within the pages of a website/blog from the realms of my chaotic mind. A vestibule of virtuality for each, a window to glance in and share, a compartment for other thoughts. If The Seanachai can never be my cherished coffee spot/bookshop with space for spiritual workshops, education, book signings, tarot, self help, writers and booklovers meetings and travel talks then why not host a virtual rendezvous.

There is so much more to do, to add, to combine. Not least to learn how to emulate the glossy pages and technical naunces of some amazing pages I have visited and coveted only tonight! Mostly to adorn these pages with my many and diverse interests and ideas. A place for me to go, to sojourn and loiter.

Should any of you join me regularly, so much the better.

My virtual coffee shop door will always remain welcoming and ajar….

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Go Litel Bok….


Well, its been well over a month since I wrote a thing!

Not a syllable. Nunca. De Nada.

 

After a madly prolific period in which I hardly slept and wrote till dawn mostdays I then fell into a kind of frozen limbo – not a good place to be when your anxietycan often scourge at your inner core as much as your hidden mind.

Something was triggered, and so began the endless, self imposed isolation; the enthusiastically made yet inevitably cancelled appointments; the languid routine of a ”writer’s day” with bouts of research and thinking interspersed with coffees, punctuated with lack lustre snacks yet not a word of print adorned the empty page.

On April the 10th I launched this.

The Cuckoo in Their Nest

Written 15 years ago, when I was living in a similar remote abode, and writing and home replaced nights out and social whirls – I could never decide! – and it was from a rather dark but rawly truthful place.  Not that much of my writing is not.

Coveted for years, I have always been reluctant to release my etchings on an unsuspecting, and perhaps unconcerned world. It always felt so personal and so private, like exposing my Soul to an undeserving – worse, possibly a non understanding and judgemental – audience!

Well, now it has finally been done.

Entrails and all.

 

The initial euphoria as I hovered above the self publishing key and the ensuing plethora of congratulations and sharp intakes of breath, encouraging reviews – even some tears – from close friends and family soon became tinged with a slight regret. Followed hot on its heels by overwhelming Anxiety.

I was, am, suddenly that 8 year old me again.

Afraid, insecure, grabbing at any attention freely given, lonely, isolated, even at such an early age reading and writing became my salve. Long periods of time would be spent alone in my room. Long silences. Who knew then that this was the beginning of the Anxiety that would then plague my entire Life. No labels back then.

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The chatty, lively former me still wore her expected Mask. Still attempted to meet Their Expectations. Yet more and more she cared less and less. And yet cared too much.

The last few weeks have been ones of deep reflection with many uncalled flashbacks.

The book has clearly shifted the Past and unsettled its dormancy. Clouds of memory whisked up and uneasily resettling around me in the Present.

Yet it has been necessary at this point to finally release who I really was.

Who I really am.

I await some recriminations and maybe some Hurt. I carry Hurt within me still but it is not the work of a Victim. Just the truth of a child who clearly still dwells within me.

 

So, in the words of Chaucer –

“Go litel bok, go, litel myn tragedye,”

― Geoffrey ChaucerTroilus and Criseyde

 

and do what you will.

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Reblogging a wonderful lady’s post to inspire you all. She runs our amazing local Writer’s Group – and as you will see – so much more! Well done Krissy!


We’ve all experienced that ‘New Year, what am I doing with my life’ moment. It took a mountain for me to realise what I needed to do, but all you need is some scissors and glue.

via Why you don’t need a mountain to change your life – but it helps — Krissy Lloyd