Writing

My First Time

Blogging. Where did it all begin? It was 2009. We had finally moved to the home we had planned to make our own for over three years. I had left a busy, fulfilling office job, got in my car, and driven over 400 miles to a cottage in the country. A cottage I had been desperate to live in full time. No more snatched weekends. Full time, a new life, without daily motorway commutes.

There was much to do. Lots to keep me busy. Painting and decorating. Extensions. A new kitchen. I wasn’t worried about finding work.

Liar!

I remember sitting on the hall floor, painting the skirting board, going through the motions, trying to hold my emotions in. This wasn’t how it was meant to be. I loved this place. And hated it. All in the same breath. I needed to do something. I wasn’t ready to retire.

The next few weeks and months were game changers. I needed to kick myself up the backside fast or this was all about to come tumbling down.

So I started blogging. Nothing too deep. Just somewhere to write about this new life. The place we now called home. In the hope I would begin to love it.

An excerpt from my first blogging

I had just four followers. Not surprising really as I was too scared to make it public. Only those with the link could actually see it. And one of those followers was me.

Crazy hey?

Times have changed

Indeed. Now I don’t need an excuse to write. Three and half years ago I embarked upon a charity challenge. I had signed up to trek the Sahara for a Women’s Aid charity. Then the reality hit home. I needed to train. But am not especially active. Not sporty. Walking for walking’s sake doesn’t float my boat, so to speak. I needed a purpose. Something more than simply increasing my stamina.

Now writing – that ticks the box. But blogging about walking? How was that going to work? Easy – just set yourself a target (one million boot steps) and then blog about every, often painful, one of them.

Snapshot of my charity blogging page

Blogging became my “go to”. My motivation. When I really didn’t feel like crawling out of my bed at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning, I would just think “steps equals words”. The blog is still out there. I won’t ever take it down. It is just too important to me. I was not in a great place mentally at the start of the venture. I was in danger of giving up before I had even got going. This was a game changer. One Million Boot Steps is where you will find it.

Bush Hearts and Minds

Out of that journey came a new experience. I took a couple of weeks in South Africa with my Sahara tent mate, and now good friend, Rosie. Teaching youngsters and tending orphaned wildlife at a place called Daktari.

We funded the trip ourselves, but raised lots of awareness – and two holdalls full of essential items to take and donate. We made a journal of the experience through yet another blog called Bush Hearts and Minds.

Excerpt of our blogging Bush Hearts

And finally it came to this

She Wordsmiths

I came home and was now facing a potential dip in my mental health. I had retired a wedding and event business – a business which had become my crutch, and kept my mind busy since moving up to Glenlivet.

Now I am free to do whatever I want – as the song goes.

But I will never forget just how low I was back in 2009, 2010. With so much free time, I didn’t want to go back to that place. Yet I couldn’t get my head around what I “was” now. Who I was. With no business label to associate myself with, I needed something which would keep me busy.

So many people had said “you should write”. I guess I just didn’t really believe in myself. I don’t think I have a book inside me – at least not yet. But I do have so many experiences which have yet to be shared. And blogging is a great way to release those thoughts. An insight into the person perhaps? Or simply great stories. And that’s where I am today. Just beginning to plot a route through and tell stories which folk will enjoy.

I hope..

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