Tag Archives: jacqui lofthouse

Month of Brave – Week One

Month of Brave – Week One

So, I’m approaching the end of the first week on my month of brave (is anyone else doing this by the way, or am I the only one mad enough?!)

Actually it has been really good and I think Eleanor Roosevelt might have definitely been on to something when she said we ought to do one thing that scares us every day. It certainly does seem to make for interesting times.

So, for those of you who are curious to know how I’ve been getting on here are my ‘brave’ highlights from this week:

  • I took part in a film for London’s Literature Lounge, reading an extract of my latest novel Dear Dylan whilst being filmed with various light projections being beamed upon my face! It took me years to read in public confidently so reading to the camera was definitely a challenge for me. But although I was dead nervous beforehand I had a great day and it was a fantastic experience.
  • I wrote a poem and started two others (see previous Month of Brave blog for what an achievement that is!)
  • During one of my lunch breaks this week I made myself go off exploring rather than beat my usual well worn track to the nearest coffee shop. I ended up in a derelict East End warehouse that had become a temporary home to a photography exhibition. The photos on display were fantastic and I have now enrolled on a photography course for next year.
  • I met up with two other author / writing coaches whose paths had crossed mine online. One of them, Amanda Hampson was over here from Sydney and it was fantastic to discover how much we all had in common. The other was Jacqui Lofthouse, whose own blog had inspired me to embark upon a Month of Brave. The ‘brave’ part of our meeting was that I have decided to launch a range of downloadable products for writers – coming to this website soon!

writing coaches of the world unite

  • I have also made the momentous decision to self publish my novel Dear Dylan. I did have a traditional publisher for it but they had been messing me about a bit so what the hell – why not go it alone again? In my role as self publishing editor for Writers’ Forum magazine I have witnessed so many self publishing success stories it’s been very inspiring. And what better time than a ‘Month of Brave’ to make that decision?
  • And my final ‘brave’ act of this week? I am going to publish one of this week’s poems on this site. As you will have seen from my previous ‘Brave’ blog, in doing this I am overcoming a lifetime of insecurity and poetic doubt, not to mention the post traumatic stress counselling (tee hee). It’s called ‘xxx’ and it’s only a tiny one, but at least it’s a start!

xxx

Like fireflies our texts

Flit through the ebony sky

Every x a spark

Falling to earth to warm our hearts

Like bonfire embers upon the breeze.

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Month of Brave

Month of Brave

I was reading author and writing coach Jacqui Lofthouse’s excellent blog yesterday and it has spurred me into action.

Inspired by the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’, Jacqui has decided to follow this advice for a month, making sure that every day she does something that nudges her out of her comfort zone. Already a week into it, she has seen some amazing results.

So I have decided to follow her call to action and will report back on my progress on this blog.

If you like the sound of being scared witless every day for a month then please feel free to join in and post your results on this site too.

Tomorrow I am going to begin my Month of Brave by writing a poem.

Now this might not sound like any great shakes to some of you reading this – ‘What about bungee jumping or watching Strictly Come Dancing’ I hear you cry. I know some poets who can trot out a perfectly respectable stanza in the time it takes me to sneeze – but writing poetry scares the hell out of me.

Like that great poet Phillip Larkin, I blame the parents – or more specifically my dad, whose feedback on one of my first serious attempts at poetry has scarred me to this day.

It was back in my angst ridden teenage years when I was going through a period of insomnia. As it was before the time of the internet and the joy that is late night facebooking I turned to poetry to pass the long lonely nights. And what better way to deal with your problems than to write poems about them, eh?

My poem on insomnia was called, ‘This Wolf Called Night’ and it started with the immortal lines:

Howling at the moon

It stalks into my room

This wolf called night.

And it got much, much worse, trust me.

At the time however I had thought it pretty damned cool. And had shown it proudly to my dad.

I remember there being a long pause after he finished reading it – in my naive, ever hopeful teenage mind I had imagined it to be the type of pause that is usually described in novels as ‘awestruck’ or ‘silenced in the face of literary magnificence.’

You can imagine my shock therefore when he eventually uttered the immortal words (add your own sarcastic Irish accent for full effect):

‘Jesus Christ, what the hell are they putting in the water over here?!’

My poetry career was over before it had even begun.

But I continued to love poetry from afar – attending spoken word events and occasionally scribbling an elicit line or two of my own on the back of a till receipt – before remembering my dad’s harsh words and throwing my words to the wind.

So what better way to start my Month of Brave than by having a serious stab at a poem – and if I’m feeling really brave the following day I might even publish it on here!!

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