Writer’s Block?

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I have been away from here for a couple of weeks now. This was an unintended break not because I had something else to do but simply because I didn’t want to write. I’m not even sure that this was because I didn’t have anything I wanted to say as it seemed to apply to answering emails and other aspects of my work…..I just didn’t want to write anything. As I don’t consider myself to be a ‘real’ writer i.e I don’t write fiction, I have no idea if this was writer’s block or not but it certainly stopped me dead in my tracks.

I’d like to have something to blame this on as then I would know what to avoid another time but I don’t. Anyway, yesterday I answered emails and today I am here again so hopefully this has now passed. I need it to anyway as I have work to do, some of which involves writing 🙂

 

Writing can be hard work

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I am not at all sure I am a natural writer. Ideas do not pour out of me nor am I bursting with things that I need to get onto paper. At school I enjoyed creative writing but have never had a burning desire to write a whole fiction book. Non fiction is more my scene but hampered a bit by not really enjoying research. Not a lot going for me really is there 😦

The thing is that I actually enjoy writing when I get down to it and I loved somehow managing to produce a book that someone actually wanted to publish, but now I have a half finished manuscript that has been gathering dust and taking up space both physically and energetically. At the start of the year my guides gave me an ultimatum; either finish it or throw it away. No messing about there it seems yet three months in I have done neither.

This week though two things have happened that seem to have made a difference:

  1. A fellow author told me that they thought I was a good writer
  2. A friend who has written a book and has several publishers interested, keeps asking me if I have finished my book

Today I have pulled the draft manuscript off the bookshelf where it has been languishing since last October. I have blown the dust off, have deleted all other versions from my laptop so I am more focused and I am just about to read through and see how far I have got. On a word count I am about half way through so I know there is much more to do.

I may do no more than this today but that’s ok. My interest has been reawakened and the energy of the potential book stirred up. What I need to do now is keep this moving.

It has though got me wondering why the two things this week made so much difference and I think it’s because writers do not always get a lot of feedback. It’s hard to get people to take the time to write reviews on Amazon or on their blogs and I am as guilty of not doing this as everyone else is. As writers we also don’t often tell other writers what we think of their work and so we do not get real feedback from our peers. When we are creating we tend not to share what we are doing, holding our work close to our chest and nurturing it in private, so we may have no one to keep us going, no one showing any interest in where we are and what we are doing. Much of our feedback is in actual fact, based on book sales and if you write, as I have, for a small niche publisher, then getting sales, maintaining the drive to get your book seen and even better purchased, can be hard and it’s easy to run out of stream. When book sales are slow then confidence can quickly fall and it can be difficult to remember that this is a marketing issue and not a reflection on the quality of what we have produced.

So this is a plea:

  • If you have read something you like please write a review somewhere, anywhere.
  • If you can let an writer know that you like their work either by commenting on a blog, clicking the ‘like’ button, or in some other way please do.

Think of us writers as pet dogs or cats, sometimes we need stroking and by doing so you can  help encourage us to write more. It doesn’t take much 🙂

Time Flies

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What would I do without Facebook reminding me that it has been three years since my first, and so far only, book ‘Web of Life” was published as part of Moon Books Shaman Pathways series 🙂

Although I haven’t written another book yet I do write a column ‘Shaman Moon’ for the magazine Indie Shaman which if you are interested in a shamanic lifestyle is the best shamanic magazine around.

A ‘New’ Challenge :)

I need something to keep me blogging otherwise I have a tendency to drift. The challenge I found the first year worked brilliantly as it was flexible enough for me to always find something to write about. It was simple and used the alphabet, so week one was a post beginning with A and so on. I also had a Facebook group in which to share my blog which I also liked. Last year the only challenge I found didn’t suit me at all. I actually found the pressure of searching for something to say about things that were outside my experience quite stressful so I stopped and consequently so did my blog 😦

I thought I had found a challenge for this year but its mainly about tarot which I don’t use but today I discovered this:

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I’m not sure where its from as I couldn’t find the Facebook group when I searched but that doesn’t matter. I have 52 headings that I can use for blog prompts, if it doesn’t link to anywhere I am under no pressure to write when I don’t have anything to say and both of those points make it flexible enough for me this year 🙂

So I am going to start with the first prompt and sometime during the week will be back with a new post.Lets see if I can keep this one up.

Pagan Planet

The brand new, hot off the press  ‘Pagan Planet’ published by Moon Books, is now available.

It is so new I haven’t had chance to read and review it yet but it does contain a contribution by yours truly amongst others.

Follow this link for more information: Pagan Planet 

Blood, sweat and tears

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing here, what I’m writing about even, but it just seemed right to stop by and say something, whatever it turns out to be.

I’ve actually been doing a lot of writing the last few days, just not here it seems.

I had an article to write for my publishers for a compilation they are planning. The deadline for this is the 8th January which, when I put myself forward to do it in September, seemed a long way away. This week though I realised that it wasn’t a long way away at all and that with Solstice, Christmas, New Year and all goes with it, in between, the time would soon vanish.

Writing for me isn’t something that rolls off the pen, or in this case, keyboard easily, it really does take blood and sweat although I usually avoid the tears. I need to generate an idea, let it breathe, germinate and then grow into something that has the possibility of being a column, an article or something more. In terms of the aformentioned article I’d had the idea, it had had plenty of time to germinate but it refused to grow. I’d researched, made notes, started and stopped over and over again but nothing much happened with it. Sometimes when it gets like this I take a shamanic journey for guidance and usually I get the spark that tells me where to go with it all but this time…….nothing.

Then yesterday, on a brighter, less dark day than we have had for some time that spark came and despite distractions that included a walk on the beach and getting ready for a night out with the locale women’s group the article wrote itself at long last.

Today I sent it off in to the ether. Hopefully it has arrived at its destination and is acceptable as that would mean I can concentrate on other writing, that half finished book or on new ideas perhaps. Or who knows, it may even free me up to get back here more often.

Monday Musings – Resolutions

imageI have quite honestly never made a resolution in my life until this year when, as part of my publisher’s blog we were all asked to write some. My main one was to spend less time on Facebook and more time working on writing something other than my blog. I’m not sure how this will pan out as I enjoy writing my blog, usually in the morning over coffee, whereas I really have to make time and space to write anything else.

So in order to write more, then Facebook needs to take a back seat, which is hard as that is where I do most of my networking which is important for my work of course. As I write on my iPad I always have access to the Internet so I think if this is to work then I am going to be need to be much more determined and self controlled.

So why is it that I don’t make resolutions?

It’s because the less I plan or try and control it the better my life pans out. In the past I have tried to control what is happening and have got myself into more and more of a mess by doing so. Neither do I set myself goals or targets preferring to go with the flow, being aware of the signs and messages I am being given, listening to my guides and trusting that everything will work out as it should. If I fight against the energy of where I am being taken then that is where I really do have problems.

I do though believe strongly that nothing new can come in unless we make space for it and so throughout the year I hold fire ceremonies whenever it feels that one is needed. Here I usually write down on paper whatever it is that is no longer serving me and then burn it, thus releasing it to the energy that is Fire. At others I energetically tie what I wish to release into string and then offer that to Fire. From time to time I may also hold a Despacho ceremony, making a Despacho or prayer bundle to honour the spirits and also to release whatever I wish to. Although Despachos can be buried and given to the Earth, once again I usually use Fire if I am releasing.

Sometimes I am clear about what it is that needs to be released, at others I will do a shamanic journey to work with my allies and so gain insight into what is holding me back. I may also sit and talk with my guides to see what advice I am being given or even look back through my journal to see what patterns are there that can inform me.

So no resolutions, goals or targets, but lots of releasing to make space and then being aware so that I know where my path is taking me.

image The Pagan Experience

Radio Interview

An interview I did with Cas Lake of My Spirit Radio about my book Shaman Pathways Web of Life can be listened to now by following this link

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Pagan Blog Project – Keep Calm and Carry on Blogging

imageI have just returned from a month away travelling in Ghana and Namibia. I have had the most amazing time and have seen so much but less than 48hrs after arriving home am struggling with the idea of writing a blog post this week.

Before I went away I was full of inspiration and determination, so much so that I wrote my blog posts in advance and scheduled their posting so that I wouldn’t miss a week out but now I am back…..

Maybe it is just the letter K which for me at least, is less than inspiring. Words beginning with K do not easily spring to mind and from the short list of ideas sent this week I’d say it’s not just me.

Maybe though it is the post holiday lag, getting back into the normal routine. If I’d been really smart I’d have written this before I went away wouldn’t I. I could of course just let this post pass me by, take a break and start again in a week or so, maybe when we have moved on from K.

One of the reasons for me joining the Pagan Blog Project though was to help me keep my blog going and to blog regularly, at least once a week. If I give up now does that mean it’s ok to not blog whenever it’s hard? I think it probably would. I also feel that with this as with other things in my life, if I have started something, committed to it I should maintain that commitment and not give up the first time it becomes difficult.

So there it is, I can’t give up, I can’t just skip this week for it probably wouldn’t be just this week but odd weeks here and there until I gave up completely. This may sound dramatic but I know myself and how for me these things work.

I’m not going to beat myself up about the lack of content of this blog although I apologise to my readers for this and do promise to try to do better in the future. Instead I’m going to use this as a chance to keep blogging so that I don’t skip a week, in the hope that a better K will leap into view by this next week.

Pagan Blog Project – Journaling

imageI have never ever kept a diary and when I was first required to keep a journal during my Reiki Masters training I fought against it tooth and nail. In the end I worked with loose sheets of paper in a ring file for that way nothing was permanent and I could, if I wanted to, remove and throw away anything that I decided not to keep. This resistance to journaling continued for a long time……until I began to see the benefits of keeping a journal.

The first thing I realised is that journals are not diaries. They are not a record of everything that you have done, instead, for me anyway, they are a place to write about anything that seems important at the time. This might be thoughts or ideas, something that I have noticed happening, messages from or conversations with my guides, a card I have drawn from a pack, a line of a song that keeps popping into my head, in other words anything that I feel I want to jot down.

All of this then provides me with a snapshot of where I am at any particular time. It gives me something to look back on and see how far I have come when it feels as if nothing is happening. It gives me some way of seeing patterns that are occurring and which need acknowledging or healing. It gives me a way of making connections between things that happen at various times and for me it also gives me a way of making sense of my life for all too often it can be months or years after something happening that I get the eureka moment where it all clicks into place. At times like this it is so useful to be able to trace back and see where it all started and what has happened in between.

I have journals that contain my own thoughts, ones that are work with my guides and also journals that are linked to what is happening while I am studying something or on a course. For me these need to be separate as that way I can find things quickly and know what they are connected with. It is easier this way for me to see the bigger picture.

I no longer have loose leaf files, I have progressed to something a bit more permanent now. I still don’t have expensive leather covered journals but use whatever is on offer as I get through them so quickly, and for me it is what is inside them that is important, not what they look like.