Tag Archives: happiness

Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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TASKS AND PASTS

I have this book called “365 Ways to get you writing daily, inspiration and advice for creative writers” by Jane Cooper.  I have been thinking about what to post on my blog to keep it active, I am not sure I want to post up my snippets for actual things I am planning as I find it a bit personal, but I thought that perhaps these tasks would help me show you my creative writing so you can critique me, thus help improve my style or enhance my work. 

I don’t lack confidence in my writing, because each to their own and I understand that not everyone is going to like my stuff, but I do want to be more involved with my blog and I do want to know if my writing does need more improvement.

I don’t want to worry about grammar and punctuation at the moment, because the priority for me is to get writing and be more active in the creative community than be a pedant, because being a pedant (and coming across many other pedants) was what made my writing stop for several years.

I have many friends who are artists and not many that are writers and the artists tell me that the worst thing that any artist can do with their creativity is to try and make it too perfect before it’s finished, because then you lose the heart and soul of your work and nobody will like it then; writing is not different, many writers like to look at themselves as a form of artist and visual artists like to consider anyone who is creative as an artist too!  Actors = performance artists, writers are verbal artists, painters are visual artists, singers are music artists, you get the picture – if you are creating something or trying to show something in a new light YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

One big thing I learned recently is that my writing from 2002 is completely different than the writing I did in 2008 and though you would think that I had been writing that time and had obviously improved my craft, you would be wrong!  I became a pedant and people who read my work were also pedants, they were grammar Nazis and they were not interested in my genre and they were going on about honing in on my style of writing before I actually wrote the stories I aimed to write to the extent, I found I lost my heart and soul and so did my stories.  I became a show don’t tell writer who turned into a tell don’t show writer and I didn’t know it until only last month, when I was revising three neglected stories to revive, two of which came from before 2002 and were rewritten in 2008 and 2016 – that is how I could tell that I had lost my way. 

I also sat back and wondered about why I had lost my passion to research, read and write?  I blamed a lot of things and people for it, but ultimately it was because I had lost heart and I was no longer giving momentum to those three things that used to bring me joy every day.

I lost contact with several of my favourite forums and journal sites because of some spiteful bullying I endured at the beginning of 2009 from a scorned ex – that broke my network big time, I had developed decade long relationships which were broken down very quickly with his childish games and I just didn’t want to be anywhere where his energy had been at the time.  This caused me to go into what I call “Creative Isolation”.  I had only two creative friends who stuck by me after that event which spread across thirty websites!

But anyway, the blame still lies with me.  I allowed this to affect me in such a way that I created this creative bubble around myself, thus my writing suffered due to lack of oxygen and lack of oxygen made me lose momentum and once momentum is gone it takes will power and a lot of pushing yourself to get it back again, but you can get it back again. 

This is why I mentioned the above book.  I am going to do tasks in the book and post them on my blog for you to critique, I may not respond for a few days at times, as I often forget to check my mails and comments, but I will get to you in time.  I take my craft very seriously, sometimes too seriously that I forget sometimes that it is supposed to be fun.  I know the book has 365 ways, but I will not do one task per day, I may do many a day or my own random tasks whenever I can.

Another post may follow tonight, dependant on what’s going on with the family tonight; We’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s not just me who appears to be sick either, so bear with me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily goals as a lifestyle

I no longer want to be in the league of procrastinating artists and writers, things are going to change.

For the past three weeks I have been living my life on a goal based lifestyle, thanks to some very motivational videos I have found on YouTube and the book I purchased last month called “Think and grow rich” By Napolean Hill.  Now I don’t fool myself for one second that art and writing is going to make me “rich” at all, don’t get me wrong – I am not just focusing on the money aspect, I am focusing on the aspect of happiness and feeling like I am achieving something, even if the rewards are purely emotional.

Obviously money would be nice, but ultimately, health and personal achievements for me, leads to a happy life and that is more important to me right now than financial gain.

I have had these talks before on my blog, the “No longer procrastinating personal prep talks” and they have always reached a point of returning back to old comfortable habits with excuses after excuses after excuses – I am sick and tired of failing myself and I watched on one of these videos last week that when you reach a point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired that’s when your life will start to change and I have reached that point in my life.

Living life day to day with goal based intentions for every day, is working out for me.  On the nights I forget to give myself a goal for the next day, I notice I go back into old habits, so I am almost paranoid that the last thing I do before I go to sleep each night is to list my goals for the following day, so I don’t slip up again.

Most of my goals are simple and may seem like nothing to anybody – how much do you think you are going to achieve in a day by doing these things which in their eyes, could be procrastination anyway – but for me, it is constructive.  It keeps me doing the “good habits” which make me a productive person.

My usual day to day goals are;

To write my morning pages via a site called 750words.com – this is non-negotiable, this is a must do, everyday forever.

Revising at least two pages of my old NaNoWriMo attempt from 2016, this was abandoned and forgotten in my drawers since 30th November 2016.

Writing two poems for advanced schedule posting on my blog, I am a month in advance at the moment, so the poems you are currently reading were written approximately a month before you are actually reading them.

Practise some sketches and art pieces in my sketch book, at least half a page a day.

Then there is a fifth random goal, it could be anything, such as take a walk, do something particular in the garden, bake a cake, visit someone, anything really.

This isn’t all that I do in my day, this is part of my daily goals, the idea is to get me into the habit of having something to wake up for, something to do.  I lost my purpose in life by allowing sickness to dominate me, but now I am trying to take back some kind of control in my life again and so far it is working.   I would never have thought about living my life in a goal based day to day way, if it wasn’t for the motivational archive on YouTube.

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I feel alone & broken

I feel alone, though there is someone like me

Others like me

I feel alone

I can’t carry burdens

I won’t carry burdens

I have my own burdens

I have my own

I feel broken

I feel alone

And broken

And I need to find an escape route

A place to feel at home

I need to find happiness

I need to get away

I need to find happiness

I need a better place

I feel alone, though there is someone like me

Others like me

I feel alone

I can’t carry burdens

I won’t carry burdens

I have my own burdens

I have my own

I feel broken

I feel alone

And broken

And it’s not your fault…

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Filed under Poems G - I

The Watchers of the forbidden world

copyright Tina Cousins FantasyFed 2016

copyright Tina Cousins FantasyFed 2016

 

The cloud rises, twists and twirls around the forbidden mortal world
Hues of blue and grey and white forbids the passage to their sight
Unseen we are the hidden ones, forbidden to enter, forbidden to come
No one knows we are here, their cries of sadness we often hear
Forbidden to answer their prayers and cries
Forbidden to help them, unless they die
We cannot go to take their pain, we can only watch and hear in vain
We cannot cross through their gate

We can only watch their terrible fate
We are the gods they pray will come
But it’s not our world, it is not our sun
We cannot control what goes on there
Only guide them to the heavenly stair
We are forbidden to touch and be, where the mortals live and breath
We are the watchers of their endless plight
The protectors of eternal light
We are your warriors we are your knights
We tuck you into dreamtime at night
We are not evil, we are not cruel
It is not our place to rule mortals
We aren’t heartless, we aren’t depraved
We are there and ready to save
You are mortals and we are not
We are the ones that you’ve forgot
We are tender and we are true
And we’ll always be there for you
But we cannot enter through the mortal gate
We can only watch your fate
And lend a hand to the path of death
At the time of your last breath
So carefully we will take your hand
And take you to our immortal lands
Where life has set you free to be
Another watcher like me

 

 

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Filed under Short Story Series

home to paradise

I was floating above my shell last night

About to travel to the world of my dreams

But then I stopped

I don’t know why

It’s frustrating that I do not fly into that other realm

Maybe it’s because the idea overwhelms?

Oh is it real?  I can’t tell

But I know it’s a place that’s put me under its spell

Maybe they’ll call me tonight or maybe not?

I hope so; to me it means a lot

Though I worry that it’s not all real

That a game is being played

I sometimes think that way and I shouldn’t

But I think I’m mentally frayed

Well one day I shall know

And if it’s real my happiness will overflow

But if it’s not, then my soul will die

Because for many years this place has made me cry

For I want to go home

I want to go home to my paradise

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Happiness regrows

Gently the wind blows

Gently I follow

Softly I gaze into my dreams

Baby there’s sorrow

But maybe tomorrow

All my tears will be washed into the stream

 

Ho ho

There they go

My tears have become the stream that flows

 

Away into the sea

I am now free

 

My sorrows away

Now I can now play

Into the meadow

I go

Running in play

 

Surrender today

May your happiness regrow

 

 

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I am committed to my self

There are dreams I have forgotten and places I’m meant to go

But didn’t go there, I go with the flow

The flow takes me anywhere, anywhere it knows

It takes me into happiness or terror I suppose

People say it’s not a structure

You need that in your life

But I can’t bare normality

It’s rigid and boredom runs rife

I need the flow of nature to guide me in my way

I will not fall into categories, me I shall stay

I won’t lose my sense of self

And become a uniformed girl

I will travel to know myself and this vast wide world

I will not allow myself to become blemished by the ones

Who say I am not normal and normality I should succumb to

I will not fall into patterns and I will not submit

I will only flow with life and to myself I will commit

With nature as my guide and friend, I’ll know of love and play

I will be guided by her majesty in each and every way

I will become who I was meant to be and not follow the rules of man

And if I had a choice, I’ll chose to do it all again, amen.

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