Where do I start? I had the best of intentions to write a post every Monday for months past. Yet the day came and went and then I left it so long, I’m embarrassed to be actually posting this. But I have always believed in biting the bullet no matter what has gone before. I honestly do believe that the pandemic has a lot to do with my lack of motivation and being out of routine. Even still, each day is the same, with the weekend not seeming to exist anymore. One day rolls on to the next and nothing changes.
A lot has happened since I last posted on here and yet looking back I feel it is now trivial news. Still I share with you what I can recall. Oh by the way, I have Covid as I type this, isolation has finally pushed me to do what I kept putting off. Is there a lesson in that? Do I need to give myself space, remove myself from life around me? Have I fallen into the trap of placing my needs second? It’s possible.
After finishing my Masters in Creative Writing with the University of Limerick in 2020, I still had the buzz from my fellow writing friends running through my veins. With this energy I threw myself into finishing all my writing WIPs, (Works in Progress). I finished a novel, a novella and got my short stories in order. I even got all three projects published. I adore the cover of my latest novel, To Live With A Stranger. Check it out and see what you think, https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Mary-T-Bradford/dp/B09KF63SLW/
Once they were dusted off, I got involved with my local paper, The Vale Star and its sister papers, The Mallow Star, and The Weekly Observer. I enjoy writing articles, interviewing people and submitting stories and thoughts, on a regular basis to this day. Plus of course submitting to other publications too. But then the crash happened. It was more of a creeping up on me event really.
I lost all interest, energy, and love for tapping the keyboards. Nothing could pull me from this deep well I had gotten myself into. Although I had the paper to write for, which I will always be grateful to, it only highlighted more to me how much I was ignoring the craft. I didn’t promote or market correctly my novel or novella. In fact, I considered scraping the whole notion of ever writing again. That old chestnut of being overwhelmed was snapping at me.
I turned to my crochet. I love this craft, I find it relaxing and uplifting. I went on a binge of yarn buying, both locally and online. Now I’ve a room full of yarn!! Plus baby blankets and tote bags fighting for space.
So what changed? Allowing myself the break of NOT writing, not letting guilt have a say and instead I just did my crochet and enjoyed family time. Then the University of Limerick invited the graduates of 2020 and 2021 back to campus for a celebration ceremony this month. Plus with the lifting of Covid restrictions, I got to meet some writing friends. Walking across the courtyards of UL, that buzz returned. To cement this feeling, I received in the post the following Monday morning, two letters. One from a reader who loved my latest novel and that “I indeed had the gift” and ordered two more copies for his friends. The other from a lady I had interviewed and who received work and enquiries for her whistling classes on the back of my piece. Yes my confidence was reappearing, but more than that was I knew I could handle my concerns. I deleted three social media accounts, made a to-do list and got hitting the keyboard.
Life has been draining for us all since March 2020 when the Corona Virus spread worldwide. The world stopped and each of us have been affected in so many different ways. I’m blessed that it was only my energy for writing diminished. My family are healthy, I’m surrounded by people I love and moving forward, I know my life will dip and soar. It is I who has to adjust and this I can do. Maybe having read this far, you will now understand the title for my post. I am patting myself on the shoulder for picking myself up. As Julia Cameron states in her book, The Artist’s Way, do not forget to have treat days. For me this step today is a good one, and I hope that you dear readers enjoy many ‘good’ steps in all you have planned.