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Monday, 4 September 2017

Black Hole Blogger

It has been almost two years since I wrote a blog post. I can't quite believe it when I used to be such a regular blogger. So why did I stop?

Basically, I think it was because I didn't think I had anything interesting to say. For some reason my confidence has taken a knock in recent years and I've been struggling to keep my head above water. It's as if I fell into some kind of black hole.

Hopefully, I'm back to stay now. If any of you are friends with me on Facebook, you could be forgiven for thinking that I'm living the life of Riley and that I'm always away on trips. As we all know, we can present any facet of our lives on Facebook and give a false impression. Yes, I have been away on lots of 'jollies', either visiting friends, attending writing events or having a night or two away with my husband. And great fun all that has been, too. However, I have been struggling with my demons and I haven't been as prolific on the writing front as I could have been.

I have had some wonderful writing successes in the two years I've been away from the blog. I've had more stories published by Woman's Weekly and The People's Friend. I've had one or two competition successes, although I haven't entered very many at all. I've also done a lot of competition judging, including being on the reading panel for The Bath Short Story Award and one of three judges of The Rubery Book Award.

In February this year I started volunteering as a room guide at a National Trust property in Northamptonshire. This has given me a great deal of pleasure and I've made some lovely new friends. I love the role and enjoy chatting to the visitors. This has given my self-confidence a much needed boost and it's something I hope to continue with for many years to come, despite me 'losing' a whole day's writing a week. I do think it's good for the soul to get out of the house and interact with real people instead of fictional ones! It has also provided me with some great story ideas (even though I haven't written them yet). They've even asked me to run a 'Spooky Stories' workshop for children during October half term.

I recently signed a contract with a publisher for a Flash Fiction Collection. I probably shouldn't say much more about this yet, as it's early days, but I'm hoping it will be published next year.

Today I have been out cycling (something I love to do and must make the effort to do most days, as it's brilliant for my mental health) and I've done some writing. I hope to have something to send to The Writers' Forum Competition and I'm working on a new story with no idea of where to send it yet! I've also got a second novel on the go. I'm having fun writing it, but we'll see... I don't think I'm a natural novel writer.

On Thursday I'm off on yet another trip, this time to Reading. My lovely friend, Mandy Huggins invited me to The Retreat West Anthology launch. Mandy has a story in the anthology and I believe other lovely writer friends have, too. I'll be meeting up with Diane Simmons and Jude Higgins again as well as meeting Amanda Saint for the first time. I can't wait.


  1. I know just how you feel, Jo, especially when it comes to self-confidence and Facebook not telling the whole story. I keep up my blog from time to time and often wonder if anybody out there is reading it. And keep up the good work!

  2. Great to see you back! I've always enjoyed your blog posts - and your honesty. (And it's nice to get a mention too :-) )

  3. Sorry to hear of the confidence dip, hope it's well and truly over. Seems that even successful writers - and I include you in that group because you do have success under your belt - have these confidence crises. Been there had that! I look forward to the next blog post.

  4. It sounds like your out of the dip and on to good things. Well done.