Time to stop self doubt

Although I have been seriously writing for well over a year now ( blogging even longer), I’ve always introduced myself s an aspiring author, or would be writer. A short time ago someone took me to task over this. I’ve had several short articles published, as well as numerous letters, I also produce a monthly column in the local paper. That makes me a writer! Just because I have yet to win any competitions or get a publishing contract doesn’t alter the fact that I am a writer. Although yet to earn any money from it, I am a writer. I write everyday in some form or another, run a creative writing group as well as a writing for wellbeing one. Finally I accepted the title. However I was still slightly apologetic, almost sidled in, hoping that no one would ask about my qualifications. Why?

I left school at just 15 with no qualifications. I didn’t stay to take any exam. I was expected to go to work, which I duly did. I didn’t mind at the time, exam certificates didn’t mean much in the world of hairdressing, back in the 60s.
As my family came along, I began to regret not having anything behind me but told myself that I could do evening classes when I had time. It didn’t happen. By then, although I regretted it, it no longer seemed important.
Less than two years ago, being retired & living alone, I decided to take a creative writing class, then another followed by various workshops. I was hooked. I took a further class where grammar was high on the agenda. A stroke many years ago has erased most of my ability to put the correct names & terms for grammatical correctness. The teacher, although inspirational unintentionally caused me to feel inadequate. I already felt an outsider when friends discussed literature, my knowledge, by comparison was very limited. I enrolled on a Grammar course.
As I began the coursework, I realised that I knew what I was doing, knew how to use the correct formulation of sentences etc. Why was I doing this? At school I had always been an A+ English language & literature student, who was I doing this qualification for?
I decided to drop out. I have far more important things to do with my time. I was doing it to wave a piece of paper & say
” look, I’m as good as you now.”
I didn’t need to do that.

Of course there are gaps in my knowledge but nothing that I can’t get around. The stroke can’t be undone. Is it vital for me to remember what the correct terms are?
I write because I love it. I didn’t want it to become a burden.
Shortly afterwards I set up a creative writing group. I stressed at the outset that it was non teaching. I simply wanted to encourage others to have a go, to have fun. It has been an overwhelming success. Occasionally I get lost when some members discuss the classics or talk about writing styles, but I refuse to pretend to be anything or anyone that I’m not. Generally people appreciate my honesty, even if they don’t understand my reasoning.

One problem though, I still was an aspiring writer only, playing at it, not really serious. Except that by then I was.
I needed a change of mindset. When I’d begun, I had no intention of using it for anything other than pleasure/ therapy. Now I felt very differently about it. I intend to write for the rest of my life, to be successful too. A would be, will remain a would be. As a believer in affirmations & the power of positive thought, I decided to ‘rebrand’ myself.
I updated my Facebook profile photo, showing me writing. I introduce myself as a writer. I think in a totally different way.
I am shortly going to produce a collection of writing from my creative writing group, which we are going to sell for Children In Need. I am entering the NanoWriMo challenge to produce a 50000 word novel within the next month. I will, without question get some of my work into print. Whether I have to self fund, self publish or get a publisher, who knows? It’s not vital for me to know. One thing’s for certain – You’ll be hearing more about me in the coming years. I may never reach the heavy heights of a number one best seller, but I will definitely be producing some worthwhile work.
My name is Rosie – I’m a writer.

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An unexpected Inspiration

imageThis morning I felt compelled to walk into town, despite having planned to do more to my book, ready for publishing. The urge was so strong that I didn’t even bother with my hot breakfast drink, made do with water. I felt really driven,  had no idea why.

Writing from home can be difficult with my playful cat, so I decided to go to the library  And get some work done in peace. On my way, I popped into the Oxfam bookshop with  more books to donate ( another batch  of decluttering !) Needless to say, I had a quick scan at the available literary books. Nothing leapt out at me, I turned to leave but a book in the spiritual section caught my eye. It was small & a little bit battered, I was intrigued!  It was ‘Opening the Doors Within’ by Eileen Caddy, founder of Findhorn.

Although I know about the work that Findhorn does & have great admiration for them, it’s not been right for me. I am extremely comfortable with my chosen path, albeit an ever evolving one, yet I just ‘had to’ buy that little book. Heading to the nearby coffee shop, I ordered my tea & settled down to read my purchase – WOW!

I could barely put it down, so inspirational! More than that though, it confirmed that I am on the right path and doing what is right for me & that things are turning out as they should.

Every one of Eileens’ words resonated with me. We could be working from the same script, with the exception that she refers to God, whereas I use Goddess. I also tend to use the term ‘the Universe’ or ‘Universal Energy’, as it seems to be more readily understood by those of differing faiths.  I’m in no way ‘precious’ about my religious  beliefs, it really doesn’t matter what it is labelled. What is more inportant is the issue of inner peace, humility & love, which is shared by most ( if not all) of the Worlds’ genuine faiths.

I now feel even more convinced that my writing & sharing of my love for life is the right path for me. I am frequently ridiculed or labelled  as a do-gooder, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s no insult because it means nothing!  I do what I do because it is right for me & I find that sharing my inner peace & Joy is a route to fulfilment!

This morning I listened to my intuition, I trusted myself. I was led to this wonderful little book. It will, without doubt enable me to do my work more effectively & with a better understanding of true humility.

It’s a really wonderful, empowering feeling.

Blessings & love to you all,

until next time, stay safe, be happy.

Rosie x

 

 

 

Inspiration is everywhere!

I am frequently asked where I get all of my positivity & inspiration from, the answer is really very simple -in this beautiful, ever changing world of ours, inspiration is literally everywhere!

Far too many people rush around, barely noticing what is going on in the natural world around them. They fail to notice the diversity of trees in their neighbourhood & probably have never even considered the differences between them all. Each Country tends to have it’s own ‘signature’ tree, in Canada a large percentage of people would say ‘Maple’, in England the Oak is synonymous with our countryside – ( can you imagine Britain without it?)  However, I wonder how many of us consider the differing attributes of these beautiful features in our landscape?  How about the way they move in the wind?    The Willow, for example is fexible, graceful with strong sweeping branches that sway & rustle in even the slightest breeze A tree with similar structure but very different characteristics is the tall & slender Silver Birch. Like the willow , it too sways easily, but is extremely hardy & is said to be the first tree that would re-emerge after some form of world devestaion ( although I’m unsure how this could be substantiated!)   The Oak just oozes stability. In fact all plants & trees have qualities of their own.   People make jokes about tree huggers, but it’s not as bizarre as it sounds.  If you are feeling particularly stressed, which tree would you seek solace underneath?   Most of us have a favourite.   When you consider how long they have lived, what storms they have been through, how widespread their roots & yet they need no special care. They get all that they need from the Earth, Air, Water ( rain) & Fire ( sun).  No one teaches them how to grow, or whether they need to drop their leaves in the autumn. Like all living things, they do this automatically.  Their knowledge is inbuilt, as is ours, yet we have learnt not to trust our instincts, we rely on ‘facts’, books, tutors & other information sources. Have you ever wondered why?

How does all of the above relate to my search for inspiration?                                                           When I have a problem or am looking for something to motivate me, I don’t turn to technology, I normally can find my answers during silent meditation, a stroll around the garden or even just gazing out of my living room window.  We all know the answers to our problems, we just need to trust ourselves.  Our intuition works on most occasions,             (although unfortunately it rarely works for choosing lottery numbers!)                                   How often has an idea/ solution popped into your head, only for you to dismiss it as ridiculous?  What if you’d tried it, could it have worked?  Quite frequently the answer would be yes.  Fear & doubt stopped you, you didn’t want to be considered idiotic or different.  You didn’t listen to your inner voice!   Of course, unlike trees & plants, we have the ability to use common sense too, which sometimes we need.

I use symbols from the natural world for a lot of my inspirations.  If a notice a feather, I may walk past, however if I keep on seeing them, I may ask myself what it could mean. A traditional suggestion could be that a departed loved one is trying to make contact. I see a differing idea – to me, the feather is a sign of lightness of thought, or ideas that already floating around in my head , maybe I just need to pluck that idea from it’s resting place & work with it.   If I notice a lot of drooping flowers, despite rain, it may well indicate that I need to take more care of myself, or of someone else.   If I notice a single bird flying away from it’s flock – that one is easy – it is a sign that I must follow my heart & not follow everyone else. * Readers of ‘Jonathon Livingstone Seagull’, wonderfully  written by Richard Bach will probably understand why! A single sheep, running away from it’s flock, to me means the opposite – it makes me ask myself if I am just being stubborn!                      I use similar tactics when deciding whether something is good or bad for me, if something looks bright, healthy  & inviting, I’ll eat it, if I really fancy something yet it feels heavy or looks uninviting, then I’ll leave it.  Sometimes I surprise myself by trying a food that I’ve always refrained from, simply because it seemed to call me.I haven’t been disappointed once! If I get caught in the rain unexpectedly, maybe I need to consider if I need to clear away negativity. Symbols & signs are everywhere & just like inspiration they are just waiting to be noticed. When I write, I rarely plan anything, I trust that the right words & ideas will spring into life. I allow my inner voice to speak it’s wisdom, which only makes sense to those who need or understand it.

Yes, I’m aware that this all sounds a bit fanciful & weird, but that doesn’t worry me. I’ve learnt to trust my instincts. I don’t need approval or permission, this is my life to live, in the best way that I can. As long as I don’t cause harm to anyone else, then what reason could there be for me to stop? I spent far too many years of my life toeing the line, being unhappily ‘one of the crowd’. I conformed & absolutely hated it. I felt so stifled & unfulfilled. Years later I went to the other extreme & made a point of standing out & being different. I wore dramatic clothes, huge jewellery & wore my hair very wild & long. In it’s own way that was equally unfulfilling – I ended up just playing a part, still not finding a way to express myself.

Things are very, very different now. I write about my emotions, I bare my soul & risk ridicule, but finally I am being myself! I wear my hair short,wear very bright clothes, whether they are suitable for a pensioner is open to debate! I changed from vegetarian to vegan, but in a form that I am happy with. I live a fairly simple, uncomplicated life, don’t drink, smoke or gamble, but don’t feel the need to justify my choices, why would I?   I’ve been called a rebel, but I’m not really, I just live my life in the way that seems to work for me.   I don’t mind being considered an oddball or eccentric, ultimately  I have the last laugh.I have confidence by the bucket load. Very little frightens me. I’ll have a go at most things, does it matter if I fail?

I live a very contented, uncomplicated & stress- free life. I am extremely happy with the way things are going. I now need very little & feel comlete. I rarely get depressed or upset, have a good social life & plenty of friends. What more could I possibly want?

Love & blessings to everyone,

Rosie x