Four Days of Silence

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I took four days off social media a few weeks ago. I was finding myself completely overwhelmed. Something I’ve always struggled with, but since 2020 it’s only gotten worse. So I gave myself permission to take a break.

I thought I’d share a few things that I learned in those four days.

  1. I check Social Media, Twitter especially, far too often.
  2. I have no need for social media apps on my phone. And I’ve removed them.
  3. A constant deluge of ‘news’ is terrible for my mental health.
  4. The world didn’t end because I wasn’t immediately informed of things happening.
  5. I am in control of my social media timeline. There’s nothing wrong with muting/blocking people and tags. Boundaries are healthy.

The biggest takeaway for me was that I need to be giving myself a break from social media more often. I never realized how often I was just doomscrolling for no reason at all. So I’m trying to learn to set boundaries.

Do you struggle with too much time online?

The Biggest Mistake I Made…

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…when I started writing.

I thought it might be fun to think back over the past six or seven years of my writing career and think about the mistakes I made, especially at the beginning. No one is perfect.

Everyone screws up in one way or another.

I’m no different.

When it comes to writing itself, my biggest mistake, in the beginning, was trying to be a non-autistic author. And by that I mean, I read lots of advice in blogs, books, and online. All of it was geared towards neurotypicals (as is most self-help.)

Much of that advice is great–unless you’re autistic or neurodivergent.

And the mistake I made was trying to make myself fit into that mold. A mold I was never going to be able to fit into. Setting goals and tasks for myself that I was never going to be able to complete.

It led to burn out. Disappointment. And put me into a bad place mentally for a while.

I had to fight my way back to enjoying writing.

The biggest lesson I learned was finding what works for me.

Finding it and accepting that what works for a non-autistic author will likely not work for me. And that’s okay. It’s okay to need a little extra help from my publisher. It’s okay to not be able to do ‘all the must do things to be a successful author.’

It’s okay to just be me.

And to just do what works for me.

My Fave YouTube Channels

Motts and I have something in common. We watch loads of YouTube. I thought I’d share some of my favourite channels.

In no particular order…

The Try Channel:

Emma Thorne

Amal Jama-Williams

JulieJo

Rachel Maksy

Alexandria Ryan

Savannah Mari

Micky Atkins

All of the Welsh brothers channels

Briannah Jewel

What is failure?

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I don’t know is the short answer.

2019 was a year from hell, personally. Hospital visits. A husband diagnosed with heart failure. A death in the family. A car accident where my aforementioned husband almost drove off a mountain (only being mildly hyperbolic.)

If it could go wrong, it went wrong in 2019.

And I remember thinking fuck, 2020 has to be better, right?

I set goals. Intentions. A word for the year. I was so hopeful about 2020.

Or maybe, cautiously optimistic.

And to borrow a quote from George RR Martin…”ah, sweet summer child.” How wrong I was.

2020 hit like a wrecking ball and hasn’t slowed down since.

Initially, I found myself feeling like a failure because every time I set a deadline or goal, I had to move the finish line. It’s been three years in a row of taking longer to write novels that I did in 2017 or 2018.

It feels a lot like failure but it isn’t.

The thing is that finishing any creative project in difficult times takes strength and resilience.

So what if I didn’t cross the line I set for myself within the time frame that I thought I would?

I still finished.

Maybe it takes months longer than expected but finishing a project is success.

Not failure.

And seriously, if you’ve managed to complete any sort of creative project during the trashfire of the last few years?

You should consider it a massive success.

4 Things I Love about Motts’s Cottage

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One of the main characters in my Motts Cold Case Mystery Series has to be the cottage. I know it’s not a person but it has a personality all its own. Here are just a few reasons I love it.

The Garden

Vegetables, fruit, herbs. Cactus adores running around the garden. It very much is a safe haven for Motts.

The Fireplace

Motts spends a lot of time in front of her fire. She tends to run cold outside of hot flashes, so keeping warm is important. And also, Cactus is very sensitive to the cold.

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The Bathroom

Despite being a little cottage bathroom, Motts loves her tub. Cactus, however, is highly suspicious of water.

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