I learnt a few interesting techniques on building characters and story lines, and met some really interesting people – teachers, producers, new Mothers and recently retired women.
Aside from this, I learnt something more important. I learnt that my fears and self-doubt are crippling my inspiration, and feeding my excuses. The whole point of this blog was to get out of my comfort zone and get some self-belief. And here I am in a stack of half finished drafts and ideas.
The course was at Tŷ Newydd, a writing centre in Wales. I arrived the night before, as it’s a four hour drive from home. The darkness was potent, the leafy drive to the house hidden in a shroud of wind and rain. We were staying in the Annex, a converted barn with a grown-up youth hostel vibe: shared bathroom, no locks on the doors, but beautiful Welsh blankets on the bed.
It howled all night, the window panes sighing heavily with the pressure of the storm. I did not sleep well. Luckily there was wi-fi, and French and Saunders helped me relax and unwind.
I woke up early, and to my delight, the rain had stopped, leaving a sun-soaked and rain-drenched leafy carpet for my first look at the house. It was stunning. I drank a cup of tea, staring out at the cloudless sky and distant sea. Peace.
As it was still early, I decided it was time for a hot date with my camera. Just the thought of being somewhere beautiful, alone with my camera excites me. I headed to David Lloyd George’s grave (how delightful!), because I’d been there before and remembered it was on the bank of a river. I was not disappointed.
Because it was early, the natural light was incredible, I was in my element. Just me, my camera and nature’s ring light. The best thing was that within half an hour, the light had risen, and the autumnal floor looked beige and basic again. I was smug. Hah! Gotcha light!
I walked back towards the house, and saw the small slate plaque at the entrance – ‘Tŷ Newydd, The National Writers’ Centre of Wales’. At the end of the driveway I could see the grand house, peeking through the trees, it suddenly seemed a lot grander, and a lot further. I don’t belong here. I’m not a writer, people are going to laugh at me, this is going to be humiliating.
Cut to- actually that was fine, I was not out of my depth, I learnt some interesting things and felt I was well within my comfort zone.
So what is a writer? Is it being published? Is it being paid full time? Is it writing a best seller? Winning an award?
This brings me to my next point-
My God I love this woman. She is the most refreshing, fierce, tech-savvie, inspiring, fabulous and shameless woman! It always takes someone like this once in a while to slap me in the face with those truth-nuggets and shake me up. If you haven’t heard of Maya, please go and have a look at her YouTube channel.
I’m still relatively new to her channel, but I could binge watch her for hours. She’s all about shameless self-promotion, which I’m beginning to learn isn’t about being a self-centred d*ck. It’s about sharing, learning, and pushing your career/dreams/passions.
It didn’t happen overnight, but I can remember when my confidence wained substantially. I went from being a bright, happy, confident teenager, to being deeply uncomfortable, lonely and self-loathing. I suppose it’s what some people might call ‘puberty’! But it was more than that. I might come back to re-visit this subject in full, but for now, that’s enough honesty! I could list a vivid selection of people, events and feelings which stem back to those initial feelings of self-doubt and introvert changes.
In many ways, I wish I hadn’t let those things get to me in the first place. But if it wasn’t for those things, I wouldn’t have written some of the work I’m most proud of. You have to stop blaming your past, people, yourself and just move on. Honesty is original, because it is mine alone.
I know this will be a long process, and there’s a good chance I’ll look back at this tomorrow and feel insecure and anxious. But that’s life, confidence is a work in progress.
Things I love this month-
Catching the morning sunlight
Ren 1 minute facial