Those Scary Little Things

It’s not conducting a concert that worries me, or dealing with the emergency when there’s a blackout half way through, but having to phone to book the hall! It’s not going surfing that scares me, as much as the thought of having to hire a wetsuit.

I’m the same with decision-making. I can make important decisions about my future, but panic when someone asks, ‘Is that enough spaghetti?’ I don’t know what that says about me, or if everyone’s the same, but it did get me thinking: I struggle with the initial step.

My character is complicated. In some instances, I need to be firmly in my comfort zone before I have the confidence to edge slowly out of it (that’s a blog post waiting to happen!). Yet I also struggle with the little things – so occasionally I find it easier to jump in headfirst. Continue reading

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Being a Tourist in My Town

I am sitting outside, eating egg sandwiches, at eleven in the morning.

The season has changed since I last went for a walk. Daffodils are appearing in the churchyard behind me – slightly timidly, because there’s still a cool breeze. The gulls try to compete with the sound of traffic from across the strait and the occasional passing motorboat. The sea in front is calm, with waves lapping the beach, and the sky is perfectly blue.

There is work to be done at home, but I can’t waste this weather, and today I needed to get out of the house. The fresh air and sunshine is wonderful after my horrible cold – I feel as if I’ve been trapped inside forever. Continue reading

I’m Not Good at Being Ill

I have a nasty cold – sore throat (hard to talk), blocked nose, slight temperature, get tired quickly… The fact that I’m writing this blog post suggests that I’m not quite at death’s door. I’m in that frustrating situation where if I was slightly better I could keep to my normal routine, and if I was slightly worse then I wouldn’t have the energy to be annoyed!

I hate having to cancel lessons. Each text I send brings a fresh sensation of ‘letting people down’. The fact that my pupils and their parents are the sweetest, most understanding people, doesn’t completely take that away. I still feel it. I hate not being able to work. I hate it that I can’t hold a book up for long. I hate it that honey and lemon is so soothing, when I don’t like the taste. I hate it that writing this will tire me out, even if it’s soothing for my mind. Continue reading

Embrace your Creative Name

What people call you makes a huge difference. And what you call yourself is just as significant, if not more so. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase ‘aspiring writer’ – people use the phrase about other people and about themselves, and the more I think about it, the more I’m confused about why we say it, and what it means. Surely you can only be an ‘aspiring writer’ if you would like to write, but haven’t begun to do so. I would argue that someone who loves writing and gravitates towards it should stop putting themselves down with the phrase.

You can aspire to be a better writer, a published writer, a popular writer, a critically-acclaimed writer, or a bestselling writer. But that is not the first step. Surely being a writer is fundamentally ‘someone who writes’ and ideally does it on a regular basis, let’s say, slightly more than is strictly necessary, and because they enjoy it. Continue reading