January Anxiety

January is tough. I always tell myself that the start of the year will be good and it never quite happens.

I love Christmas. I love staying at home with my family and spending time off together. Turning the corner into January I can see the entire year stretching out in front, and that intimidates me. I plan some of the things I’m going to do, I get my work things organised, and brace myself for getting back to normal. Continue reading

High Standards or Nitpicking?

There’s a fine line between wanting to do your best and being overly-concerned with tiny details.

I was particularly determined to get a high mark in one Creative Writing assignment; I didn’t want to leave a single stone unturned (oops, my tutor wouldn’t have liked that cliché). Before that point in my course I had written two assignments, and had received a higher mark for the radio-play script than for the short story. For the third assignment I could choose either medium.

Commonsense, and hints from the tutor, pushed me in the direction of script-writing, but I wanted to write a short story and I decided to go with my instinct. I set out to prove that I could get a higher mark for short-story writing. Continue reading

Favourite Songs in 2015

Every month in 2015 I chose a favourite song and put them on a playlist – only a couple of them actually came out in 2015 and most are much older! It’s an odd mixture. Most of them now remind me of things that happened last year:

January – One of Us by ABBA

February – Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA

March – The Blue Danube by J. Strauss II

April – The Man With The Child In His Eyes by Kate Bush

May – Last Hope by Paramore

June – Diggin’ Up The Heart by Brandon Flowers Continue reading

Planning My Rest

I had a day off on Saturday.

It’s rare that I don’t have something I need to do, or something I specifically want to achieve – a writing agenda, a reading agenda, an exercise agenda, or maybe an idea for band. As a result, if I don’t plan myself some time off then it’s never going to happen.

As we moved into the New Year I was thinking that I rarely give myself time to breathe. I thought about everything I do and wondered if I’d feel better if I stopped doing some of it. The autumn term wasn’t particularly stressful, but it meant that I had time to fill with other projects, including finishing a first draft of my book. I ended up as busy as ever. It was satisfying, but at the same time I found I couldn’t wait for a couple of weeks off at Christmas. Continue reading

Running Before You Can…

This is a difficult post to write.

By nature I seem to swing easily from being strictly disciplined to a layabout (ok, that’s an exaggeration!). So when I set a goal and manage to stick to the process it’s a massive deal, particularly with running, because I find it difficult.

I can’t believe that I built up to a 5k race from nothing. And then 10k. All year I’ve had my sights on the local Half Marathon at the start of March, because that’s what kicked the whole thing off for me: I saw the runners last year and had an adrenaline rush. I wanted to be them. Continue reading

Migraines and Me

I’ve suffered from migraines for years. Many people don’t know what they’re like – unless you get them it’s difficult to imagine. I’m not a medical expert or a scientist; this is just my personal experience of migraines, sparing none of the gruesome details (sorry).

Migraines are not the same as headaches, and neither are they mild. For ‘normal’ headaches the ‘glass of water and couple of paracetamol’ remedy might work, but it is unlikely to work with migraines. The symptoms of migraine are different for different people – I get a headache and nausea; others have visual symptoms instead or as well. It can be completely crippling.

Often I can feel the migraine coming on the day before – I may be unusually tired, hyper, or feel like there’s a weight on me.  I almost always wake up with it in the morning. I haven’t found anything that will stop it by that point. The headache itself can be anything from a dull, queasy ache, to a sharp pain in the right side of my head. Continue reading

Migraines and Limes

The last two days have been horrible; I’ve had a migraine the whole time. I’m blaming it on the beginning-of-the-year anxiety, of which I was particularly aware on Monday.

My migraines usually only last for one day, so I was going crazy by the end – I had a stabbing pain in my head, I wasn’t able to eat anything without being sick, and I had to stay in bed the whole time. There were so many things I needed/wanted to do, which accounts for the frustration and occasional bit of hysteria over the two days! I’m not good at relaxing at the best of times…

I’ve been to the doctors about my migraines on several occasions, but I’ve never found anything that helps – I just have to wait for them to go. I get plenty of suggestions from other people though. Today a friend of Mum said I should put lime juice on my head, and Mum asked if I wanted to try it out. I answered in my haze of migraine-suffering – I wasn’t fully awake, so I can’t remember my reply. Continue reading

And Then Inspiration Hit…

I rarely get inspired to write at convenient moments. A few weeks ago I arrived home from my Crossfit workout and it just came to me as I got into the shower. Before I knew it I had five perfectly-formed sentences whizzing round my head (on entirely different subjects, by the way).

So the six minutes I would have spent in the shower turned into three. I threw on some clothes and ran round the house, wet hair flailing, trying to find any scrap of paper on which to scribble before I dropped the metaphorical juggling balls. I managed it, just, and collapsed with a cup of coffee.

I recently had some inspiration late at night, and that’s even worse. I switched on my light, picked up my notebook, which I’ve learnt to always have nearby, and jotted down the thoughts. Light back off. Eyes shut. By the time I’d switched my light on eight more times, and it was past 3am, it had lost all of its charm! But I didn’t want to risk losing the ideas; so I kept writing. Continue reading

Birthday Books

Today is my birthday and most of my presents were books – if you saw my last blog post then you’ll know that’s a good thing! I asked specifically for some of them, and I also had a few ‘how-to-write’ books from Mum that look interesting. I was given a pile of books for Christmas as well…I’ve been reading one every couple of days! I’m trying to finish as many as possible before ‘normal life’ returns.


Here are the books I received today: Continue reading