Tag Archives: job

Stifled writing and a look into my brain! (WARNING – it is not for the faint-hearted)

People who write can often get bogged down with the concept of finding that great idea which will earn them money and quite often when they do this, they lose themselves and in some cases, even lose the love for writing itself.

I am at fault of doing this as much as anyone, particularly in the past five years, this is because financially I am suffering to the extent that birthdays and Christmases have been disappointing and not as traditional as I am accustomed to.  In fact recently I found an old Christmas shopping list, which included food, presents, games and décor and basic normal food to last for two weeks over the festive period so we can focus on more family time and that list was five pages long with two sections on each page; this year it was only 3 pages long with only one section as when I write in an excited state, my letters get bigger than my usual handwriting – which is a bizarre idiosyncrasy that I have.  My lists are quite methodical, I will list food from Tesco, Food from ASDA and food from other places separately within the list; I will list where to buy certain presents too and for whom, which shops, so we kind of plan a shopping map in our minds whenever we go to town.  Along with this list will be a separate length of what kinds of decorations or traditional Christmas stuff we need, such as crackers from B&M and purple bauble at Wilko, you get the idea?  We usually do a massive buffet on an old pasting table in our living room and fill it to the brim with food and drinks as well as the coffee table, because Christmas Eve is the only time in the year where we can guarantee an influx of visitors and we like to feed them – this year it is a no go and I am embarrassed that this may come across as too inhospitable compared to what they are used to, as everyone usually got a bag of food to take with them either for snacks at home that night or jars of homemade stuff, which we just can’t afford to do this year.

I hate pleading poverty, but lately it is getting me to a state of breaking down.  I went for advice on my ESA benefits two weeks ago to a lady who is very kind and runs a charity, I was so embarrassed detailing my struggles to her as she was helping me fill out the forms that I was shaking and my teeth were chattering so badly with the humiliation of it all.  She thought I was freezing cold, but I told her, it’s just that I am so embarrassed by it all and she said that it was OK, but it really isn’t though is it?

Usually I am very good at being calm and self-composed, despite anxiety issues, but lately I just can’t keep it together, I am struggling to hide behind a façade like my normal self would.  Most people can’t tell that I have anxiety issues because I masked it so well, but lately I break out in tears over the smallest of things and what is worse is that I am getting short tempered with it, with people I feel are cold or unfeeling and I have this awful feeling that I will say something out of character at my next medical which will make me lose the benefit.  I am very scared about it.

If I could get a job I would, but no one is going to employ someone with the health issues I have.  I did struggle a few years to get a job, before it got too bad seven years ago.  All of this makes me try to push myself to create something just to get out of this mess, but it isn’t working, it is stunting my creative growth badly because I am not writing what I really want anymore.  I am writing the lesser ideas I have which are the most popular amongst my nearest and dearest and unfortunately what I love to write about, they hate immensely.

What I like writing about are dystopian stories similar to Mad Max, I am Legend and Tank Girl.  I enjoy writing about vampires and their sired offspring as I call them and histories as a massive saga dating back to the Ancient Sumerians and contemporary times too, how they live and how they lost loved ones.  I enjoy writing inane pun infested comedy fantasies where you meet mermaids and trolls with a very Monty Python meets Discworld air to them and I enjoy writing horror that touches taboo subjects.

According to those who are in the know, the only type of book up there I have mentioned that they can barely stomach is the comedy fantasy, not my main love of in depth vampire soap operas and dystopian tribal warfare.

Yes I love my fantasy comedies, but whenever I discuss my writing with those who are privy to them, they always get more excited about any updates on that genre than anything else and I feel if I don’t write this genre more than the others, I am failing to please this specific audience.  I am one of these people who find it really hard to talk to people about my work, those I do are precious to my motivation, if I don’t talk about my work, I can’t do the work.  But unfortunately my discussion circle seems far too niche and not entirely me.

I used to mix and mingle my genres a lot and had a wider circle I trusted to talk about them to, usually as dinner party discussions but since moving to Warwickshire, I don’t have that anymore.  London is a very different place, with very different people with mind-sets very different to Rugby’s.

I have mentioned vampires and horror to people up here I thought I could trust with my writing, but they recoil or give sideways glances to those next to them and simply state “Oh, right, not my cup of tea really”; Then I share my fantasy comedy ideas and they feel that fantasy is strictly for children, surely I should write something nicer for them?  Not drunken elves and mermaids who rip eyes out and swear profusely with such corny puns as well!

Apparently my personality must reflect my work and because I don’t lark around like some tomfool jokester all the time and I seem a pretty calm deadpan person in real life, I can’t be taken seriously in comedy surely?  Won’t I come across as some kind of fake?

Now that hurts, but it has been said to me before and I find it amusing that comedy must be serious… really?  I wonder how we all laugh at serious comedy!  Should we laugh at flippant tragedy then?  I don’t know what kind of world I have tripped into a hole of, but it is certainly quite different here to where I am from, I can tell you!

I think if I was to walk up to my favourite British comedian of today and say “Darling, you are not taking your comedy seriously” he would choke laughing and crying at how stupid that sounds.

*passes a dictionary to said people and points to the word “comedy” for reference*

So, though I am currently in quandary over my work, my main quander is this – “how can I develop a trusting relationship with people online so that they can become my beta readers and I can learn to trust the online community with my plans and outlines”? 

I’m not sure I can.  I am very protective of what I share with people because I have often had entire ideas stolen and published behind my back and that someone became very successful with my ideas and have not produced work since I eliminated them from my social circle a decade ago.

I have thought that maybe signing up to a free creative writing course with the OU would help me discuss work and improve my skills with an online tutor?  But not sure if that is really what I want – improved skills are always good, but not sure if I want straight laced professional opinions which are bias regardless of genre and content.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about just writing whatever, whenever and go back to my scatty ways that were long lost a decade ago.  Paul tried to organise me too much I think?  Tried to get me to focus too much that I lost my way; I don’t really have a way.  I am higgledy-piggledy and mentally a mess when creating.  Paul often said if a hypnotist was to delve into my mind for just five minutes he would run out of the room screaming “get me out here, she is completely insane, she is such a mess, she is so confusing, help me, help me…. And oh, pass the paracetamol that gave me a headache!”

Why the drama?  Because I will have seven documents up at the same time, one is a horror about a cat, two are vampire novels concentrating on two entirely different characters, one is a comedy fantasy with tiny people, and one is a dystopian story based on a religious concept of the apocalypse and angels, the other document is writing notes to eventually put into any work in the future, along with research papers and notes, scribbled papers and notes off the computer, and Wikipedia up on the internet with another internet page looking for the history of Thracian warfare.  If that is not enough, I am also meddling with playlists on Amazon music flipping through them depending on which scene and novel I am working on in those few seconds, whilst daydreaming about food and what it might be like if I was the size of a peanut in my garden.

You get the idea?  That’s my brain in just five minutes.

I am like the dog who is in the garden playing fetch with you then all of a sudden I have ran away chasing squirrels, then coming back to you wondering where the ball is and oh look sausages!

With a mind like mine, it has been said by people before – is there any reason to wonder if I will ever find it possible to get anything finished?

I pass them some books I have indeed already finished and I do so quite proudly.  Then I announce, they are not for sale, they are not edited and they are not good enough.  The person looks through them, finds they do indeed need editing but are absolutely wonderful, why not publish them? 

Because they are mine!  Then I grab the books and hug them close to me with a snarl!

I am like this even with the art I paint too.

Thing is, there are ideas I do want to sell.  But I am scared that those private stories reveal too much about my inner workings.

I feel psychologically exposed, basically.  It brings about the kind of feeling in which I can only sit back and think, it would be better to be physically nakedly exposed than that, then Paul tells me to stop being weird and dramatic!

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Filed under About my work

Daily Pages 1 2015

Daily pages are just that, to be written daily.
If I for whatever reason have forgotten to do so, some day, please email me at misstcousins@hotmail.com and tell me to pull my finger out and write them, if you are a fellow author or artist, because I need some motivation and support in my creativity at times; being lonely and without creative friends makes me lethargic and lazy.
Usually it is required to write three pages per day in your daily pages alone until you have built a habit of writing again; I start these and do it well for about seven weeks but then I lose interest and then I do not write for three or four months at a time; this is not because I have no interest in writing or because I am forcing myself to write because I am interested in the money prospect once published – but because I get lazy, I get ill, I get side-tracked by new games online or 1000 piece puzzles and painting.
I am 32yrs old, I have only one friend offline and I see her less than once a month because I live an isolated life, because of my sickness. I am trying to see her more often, especially as she is only four doors away from my house and her name is Alona, she is Latvian and we became friends because my son and her daughter goes to school together and are in the same class and are best friends.
Alona seems to me to be the perfect friend, one that is there for you during your ups and downs and though I personally don’t see her often, she helps a lot. My husband and my son see her daily and occasionally she looks after Henry for me if I have appointments that are at the times where we should pick him up from school – he enjoys going there and playing with his best friend Alice.
I just wish I could do more for Alona, as I am sorry to say it all seems too one-sided this friendship and I feel like I am taking advantage of her good nature.
Alona’s husband is a builder and has often offered to do our house up for us for free, I couldn’t possibly allow it, he works too much as it is.
I am reading a lot more lately too, I am getting through two to three books a week now, particularly books based on art and how to paint and cosmic ordering.
I must say however, that the more I read, the less I want to write fiction because I feel that I am stealing from someone all the time or many people, I don’t think there are original ideas anymore and I don’t want to come across as a cheating fraud; I have been on numerous writers groups online and they’ve all said that I shouldn’t worry about it and just simply write and get things published as a lot of people have confidence in me that I have natural talent not only in writing but also art. I still feel fraudulent though.
Today is a Saturday when I am writing these daily pages and they won’t be published until tomorrow, daily pages will be published on my blog the day after I have written them because I am trying to get ahead in my writing of this blog.
I am a little confused by myself, I created this blog to be based mostly around fantasy short stories and it has become a personal life and poetry blog instead, fully unintentionally, I am actually disappointed in myself for allowing it to be side-tracked, but it will be side-tracked a lot from now onwards because I do plan to talk about a great number of things, from food, to culture, as well as fiction and poetry.
Horror will be present on this blog too, so if you’re going to be too squeamish it might not be for you.
I am also very spiritual and will talk about various things in regards to spirituality and the occult.
Something random, today I went the hospital for an appointment with my consultant, yes a Saturday morning, no lie ins today; and on the bus I saw a lovely site, sitting on the fence in the beautiful English countryside just outside the East side of Coventry city, between Pailton and there, was a buzzard watching some sheep and it turned its head and looked directly at me, it was amazing.
I was also confused by some hedgehogs which seemed to be up and about at midday, two in fact, in half a mile distance to one and other, I thought they were strictly nocturnal.
I am unhappy with the fur I found outside my house today too, lots of it, looks like some animal had had it ripped right out of them in the night, I was a little unsettled, because I got myself involved a few years ago online with some witch friends and I got myself an American boyfriend who turned nasty and jealous with my offline friendships in the UK and he turned my friends against me and when they hate someone they do curse them and stalk them and tend not to forget them. It makes me wonder, you know?
Though Paul my husband reckons he heard a very aggressive cat fight last night around 3am, I take his word for it because I am nearly totally deaf these days without both my hearing aids in and when I am asleep the only way I can wake up from day to day is to be patted on the rump, I can’t even hear an alarm clock!
It is weird you know to think that it is cheaper to travel 120 miles away to visit a friend to a free entry fete in Sheffield than it is to go to a local adventure playground park, I bought this up because soon it is half-term and I am thinking about doing something with my son Henry; I was hoping to take him to The Conkers Discovery Center near Ashby-De-La-Zouch and it would cost us for the whole day around £90 – 110, whereas a trip to Sheffield to visit my friend at a free classic car show will be £18 return ticket via coach, it’s a mad world.
I then looked into taking him to the nearest zoo, all costs included; train fayre, food, tickets etc. will set us back £250.
We have a leaking roof which will cost us £3000 to replace as we’ve bought this house outright now, we have a new boiler system being put in next week and we are in dire need for a skip that will cost £150 for what we need.
My health is getting really crap now, excuse my French and so, I thought enough is enough and it’s time for a change – so I decided to re-enter my interest in cosmic ordering and ho’oponoopono to get my life back to where I want it to go and not where other people are forcing it to go.
I was told for cosmic ordering to be truly beneficial to you and your life, you must not set yourself limits or be humble in what you want, you’ve got to be completely honest with yourself about what you want from life or else it will feel you are trying to cheat the system and you won’t get exactly what you want – or if you do, there will be things you will still be unhappy about – so I have made a list of the things I really truly want, to the maximum and greediest of my dreams for a perfect life.
My wants and needs are thus;
I want a garden bigger than 1.5 acres not sure how big I am willing to go, but the garden must be able to contain a large area for guinea pigs and guinea breeding and rearing (breeding to keep and show, not sell or give away). The area should contain several pens to separate males and females for selective breeding and each pen should contain 20 individuals with lots of space for toys, and a little tunnel that leads outside in the garden for fresh air. My husband Paul used to breed guinea pigs in the past, so he has the necessary experience to do this.
The garden must also be big enough for me to have an agility training area for my dogs, Paul and I have agreed we must have at least 4; one pair will breed a litter where we will keep at least 1 pup and keep that line in our family for generations if possible. Again I will show my breeding pair of dogs, the other two dogs I won’t because we plan on having a giant breed and a lapdog, the breeding pair will be some kind of spaniel or collie. I have the necessary experience to train dogs, in fact I very nearly got a job as a police dog trainer, but because the job involved me bringing home two pups to live with me during their training my mum wouldn’t let me take the job (I lived with her at the time).
The garden must also be big enough for 50 fruit trees, particularly apples and hazelnuts, as we want to hire dormice to help them breed and work with the national wildlife trust.
We also want a vegetable and fruit patch at least 50ft square.
We want a large patio area with potted herbs that’s approximately 30 by 30ft and a large BBQ area; this patio area might be extended to an outdoor swimming pool that will have a pull enclosure that’s attached to the house so we aren’t limited to using it only in the summer.
We also want a little meadow flower patch to attract bees, we want to hire a beehive, and we also want a pond big enough to take 6 Aylesbury ducks.
We also need an area to put chickens, up to 30 of them.
And a little flower garden, a football field for the kids, another field with several adventure playground apparatus for the kids and finally a little moss garden retreat for me.
Ideally this house will contain a brook or a stream flowing through the garden somewhere.
As for the house we need a lounge for visitors, a family lounge, and a large shared office for me and Paul, a huge kitchen with a dining area and room for a sofa and an island and a walk in larder, as I am Ina Garten in this family.
We also want a separate formal dining room as we will host dinners.
We also need a large art and music studio as I do compose music as well as paint and write.
A play room for the kids downstairs would be an added bonus, a downstairs toilet, an outside toilet, a three car garage, an annexe for a housekeeper, and a minimum of 5 bedrooms because I want more kids and I have relatives that travel down from Manchester a lot who needs a place to stay at Christmas time.
My life will involve painting, writing, composing, and voluntary work, prop making for theatres and going to auction houses.
Ideally I would want for nothing, never to be in the situation again of deciding between going to the hospital via bus or having £8 less in the food budget that week, which is a lot, considering the current food budget, is £50 a week.
I do not want to drive, but Paul wants a large garage for two cars, one that’s large for day trips with the kids and friends, and another little run around for us to do shopping in when the kids are at school, he also wants a RV as we’ll take regular trips to Great Yarmouth and Dorset and the peak district for photography and rock pool reasons.
We’d also like to drive across Europe from time to time.
I would love to go to the fantasycon every year; I would love to go shopping in New York at Christmas time. I would love my health to get better so I can start living now I am away from forced isolation.
I want to be able to be a Goth again (though not a strict one as I get rainbow moments, hippy moments, sexy jazzy moments, steampunk moments and middle eastern harem belly dancer moments) and to afford their plus sizes as I am not a lightweight, I can barely afford normal types of clothes, let alone alternative fashions.
I want to say to my son, yes I can buy you those Disney Cars pyjamas that are £25, there you go – I want to be able to buy things off the rack in shops and not have a buy now and pay later account in some catalogue.
I want to surrender to my urges that one day I wake up and I say to myself, I want to go by bus to town, just to go to the library and sit about for a couple of hours and then come back home without second thoughts that this will cost me £7 out of our weekly food budget.
I don’t want to sit around for 3 months waiting for me to save enough to get more brushes or paints to finish a painting I’ve started, which is a regular occurrence.
I want to make friends that are so at home with me they think they’re family – I don’t want friends that are there just for fun or just to rant about life, I want positive, creative, spiritual and family oriented people who want friends because they want emotional support, they love people, they crave being with others and sharing food and homes with them.
That’s the dream life for me.
This is what I am working towards with my cosmic ordering ideas.
Wish me luck xx

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recent issues

Having second thoughts about taking up NaNoWriMo, I struggle with 250 words a day these days, let alone trying to squeeze in 50,000 in a month – reason?  Migraines, frequent for months now, also I’ve been told that I am showing mild signs of pneumonia which is a worry.  I’ve been ill for weeks now and I am getting progressively worse, been practically bed-bound though for two days, thankfully I have a new laptop so I can do things when I can semi-think.

My main concern is I am unsure how the job center will react to the fact I haven’t gone to the voluntary placement interview yet, particularly as it was supposed to be for the next day and they saw me happy and healthy, but I woke up really bad and it’s not left me for almost 3 weeks now.  I am worried; I wanted to do the voluntary work too as it focuses on a charity I never heard of before but on a subject close to my heart (mental illness and mental learning difficulties and brain injuries) – hope this won’t turn against me?

I am so used to London benefit offices that I worry about every visit.  Unfortunately my husband is unemployed since the National Wildlife Trust could no longer afford him and made him redundant, this is unfortunate because I’ve always had health problems which have made problems with me keeping a job down (auto-immune problems, operations, and rheumatoid arthritis, vertigo and anemia problems as well as panic attacks), needless to say as soon as he became unemployed we had no choice but to go on benefits and they wouldn’t allow him to go on it and support the family I have to go for the interviews too.  Unfortunately even voluntary placements get funny if you have too much time off (even if you’re known to be sick), so I don’t have much of a life as far as social commitments go.

On the positive note my husband is doing home-based voluntary work for seismologists, if at the end of a 9 month period they feel he knows what he is doing he could get employed by them – hopefully the job center will be considerate about this, meanwhile he is trying hard to find work in other places but being aged 57 he is struggling to find anyone who’ll take him seriously, despite his educational and employment history being, Naval engineer, art tutor, customer services, photographer, and having an ecological degree with engineering.

I think my health problems are one of the main contributors to why I am afraid of being published, I cannot commit to anything because of it and really will publishers sympathize with a sick/disabled writer, even if they seem extremely good at what they’re doing?  I doubt it, but I hope I am proven wrong in time.

 

 

 

 

 

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