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Sunday, 29 May 2016

This Blog is Moving

Gooood evening (or morning, or whatever...). 

I am moving/ have moved this blog. It is now heading over to Tumblr, along with my other blog 'Introverts Have Souls'. 

Blood, Sweat and Ballpoints:

Introverts Have Souls:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

An Anxious Person's Guide to Life

Life is a long, winding road of which
we never see the end, until it is upon us.
Like many of you out there, your eyes fixed on the screen, darting right every few minutes to check the time (you just did it again, pay attention), I am a self professed victim of a fast paced society.

The world today, more than in any era before, seems to be moving faster and faster. It appears we are expected to make the best use of every possible second. A single night in on the sofa becomes a waste of an evening as opposed to the recuperation you so desperately needed.

People race along the streets, running for trains when they know there will be another in two minutes time. We, as a generation, want more out of life than we have ever wanted. We want money, power, objects. Yet, with this increase in material things and perceived status, there has been a significant rise in mental health problems – breakdowns if you will. When did we stop caring about our bodies, our minds, in the pursuit of happiness?

Now, as someone with a degree in Psychology, I feel we daily under value the power of our brains. The poor organ, the control centre for our entire bodies, gets next to no credit.

Take a breath.

Let the air flow through your nose. Picture something nice, whatever makes you tick (I don’t judge), as the oxygen reinvigorates your system.

There, you have just taken a split second for yourself. Not so bad, eh?

Let’s seize back the power we have over our own bodies, our own minds, and throw aside our societal shackles. Let’s choose to be happy.

That may sound strange to you, choosing to be happy. As if a person would choose to be miserable.

Let me explain.

We each have a million decisions to make in our life, right from the minute we wake up. Even our sleep is governed by our subconscious wants and fears. Happiness is simply about focusing on what really matters. Not stressing, as I do on a daily (if not hourly) basis, where each decision will take us in the end but about what we could encounter along the way. Even about what great things are happening at this very moment.

For example, last year I entered my novel into a publishing competition, along with 200 other manuscripts. I didn't win. Naturally, I was disheartened. What I often forget is that by entering that competition I gained a wealth of positive feedback and reached fourth place. I also met my best friend and editor. In short, it changed my life, albeit not in the direction I had previously imagined.

That's the thing with life, it constantly takes us by surprise. Who knows what could be around the corner?

So, breathe. This is our most basic, instinctual need. Why is it something we ignore? We place it to the back of our minds until it is all but forgotten. Let's start paying attention, to everything – the people, the nature – it’s all trying to teach us something if we only open our hearts and ears towards it.

I want a lot out of my life. But mostly I want to be happy. The only way I can do that is to make it happen. To choose it.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A Cottage Abandoned in the Past...

To see pictures please follow this link:

In the middle of sleepy Wales, amidst the rolling, cloud covered hills, sits this cottage.

The cottage is cute enough from the outside.  Idyllic people might say - if in need of some TLC. However, step inside and you step straight into the past. This unassuming little house has been left completely alone for decades. It has remained trapped inside its time period, whilst the rest of the world has moved on around it. There is no computer and no internet, just a lonely piano, decaying in the corner.

When I first came across the pictures of this house, on the BBC News website, the other day, my imagination came alive. I imagined the hands that would have glided across the ivory keys of that rotten piano. I imagined the sound of the pocket watches, now rusting alone on the table, once ticking in unison. I heard their song, their part in the ever running play of time.
It is sad to see so many amazing pieces of history falling apart as they are in this house, yet on the other hand, it is stunning. It is the very height of symbolism. It is not the rose tinted imaginings of Downtown or the staged action of a documentary. This is what the everyday world used to look like.
Perhaps what I loved the most about this house, was the feeling of possibility it possessed, whilst still holding that heavy sense of futility. One day my own house, wherever it ends up being, will be decaying into oblivion. One day I too will be that rusting pocket watch, the ticking forever silenced.

So what happened?

Why were the pocket watches abandoned mid-tick, the piano mid-song?

Well, I guess I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

To Write or Not to Write, That is the Question...

This week I was at something of a loss with regards to blog post ideas. Thus, as all self respecting twenty something year olds do in times of crisis, I hit Facebook. Whilst I was there, I discovered there had been a subconscious theme to my posts this week...working.
Obviously we all have to work (or at least I do until tomorrow. Tonight I'm going to win the euro millions. Why are you laughing? It's a flawless plan!) but I'm specifically talking about writing. I have met countless people in my pursuit of writing greatness (again, why are you laughing?) with a whole host of excuses behind them.
Now, I am not perfect, nor will I ever claim to be. I have made my own fair share of excuses. Take now as a prime example. This post doesn't have to be up until Thursday but I am composing it to avoid the endless drudgery of editing a novel I have now edited at least a million times.
Excuses come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are truthful, all of them avoidable.
The single way to finish a novel is simply to sit down and to write it. To battle the odds and to work regardless is what makes you an artist. This logic can be used in all forms of dream chasing.
Day after day I meet people who are unhappy with their lives as they are. I meet people who want a better job, want to earn more money, we live in a world of want. Mainly, it's just people who want to follow their dreams. However, I've found that none of these people ever do anything about their wants. Their dreams become just another thing to talk about to their coworkers and friends...they have become comfortable.
What I would like to know is, when did we stop caring about our own destiny?
I'm not religious. I believe God to be a personification for our own conscience, so I don't believe there is any divine being that will whisk me, fairytale style, into the life of my wildest dreams. No-one has ever achieved greatness by waiting for fate to take control of their lives, by staying squarely in their comfort zone until instructed otherwise.
When did we all resign ourselves to the nine to five?
Possibly the most common 'excuse' for this I have ever heard - and quite a common way of trying to talk me out of achieving anything - is the old "it won't happen to me/you." My answer: "Why not?"
Big things have to happen to someone. Someone has to be a bestselling author. Someone has to star in a blockbuster film. Someone has to be in radio one's top forty. Why not me? Why not us?
In conclusion then, I will follow up with what I have been posting about all week on Facebook. The best way to write is simply and purely, to write. To stop talking, thinking, dreaming and start doing! For surely, to start following our dreams is far more satisfying than lying in wait for them.