Peace and fear and the fine line between

by Mhairi Simpson on July 11, 2014

I am curiously at peace this morning. The paintings still look as I remembered them, even in daylight. I have filled in a form which will bring me several hundred (very well-timed) pounds. The new banner also still looks gorgeous. I feel very proud of yesterday’s creative achievements, even though there was no writing.

I do, however, feel a little discomfort at the idea of going back to the story I started the other day. It seems ironic but I think this is just the same old fear of ‘getting it wrong’ that has plagued me throughout.

I recently decided I was only going to do what I wanted in future, what I enjoyed doing. (Thankfully I enjoy my day job or I’d have had a problem!) There is, however, a distinction to be made between what you really don’t enjoy and that which you are afraid of doing wrong. Just as I will no longer allow others to dictate how I spend my life, nor can I permit my own irrational fears to control me.

I look around and nothing has changed. If anything my home is far less tidy today than it was two months ago, but all things move in cycles and I cannot be anything but grateful for the calm and peace and quiet joy currently pervading my soul and my world.

So now I’ll go and write that sex scene my mind keeps shying away from. I suspect the fear means it’s worth doing, otherwise I wouldn’t care if I got it right or not and where would be the challenge in that?


Rejoining the community at ROW80

by Mhairi Simpson on July 9, 2014

I’m actually a sponsor for this round. If you haven’t heard of ROW80, it stands for A Round Of Words In Eighty Days and you can find out more about it here. You can also join the fun whenever you like, just jump in :)

Right! Here are my goals for this round:

- to get two stories published by the end of the round. One, Indigo, is ready to go – now into the stage of needing cover art, formatting, etc. The one I’m working on at the moment, which we shall for now call Dragon, may be done in time to go as well. I don’t actually know how long it will be and for the first time in possibly EVER I’m genuinely not concerned about that.

- write 2k of fiction a day. If I stick to my new goal of doing what’s fun, this should work out fine. More on that goal later.

- record and release the first two episodes of the Be A Bard podcast (also more on that later)

- draw and paint for at least an hour twice a week.


As you may notice, this isn’t just a list of goals to further my writing. It’s also about making myself happy and furthering a number of goals I have. One is Be A Bard – a personal project which I think could have a big impact. I’ll be talking more about it as time goes on and I see how it develops. The other is the drawing and painting – the drawing actually relates to yet another project (or two) I have on the go. The painting is purely for me, really – another way to encourage and express my creativity.

Because in the end, that’s what it’s all about, finding that convergence between what you want to do and what you want to achieve. The former must, in my opinion, inform the latter or else you’ll just be miserable and get nothing done at all. Or you will get stuff done but resent the hell out of it. I can’t think of anything worse than resenting your creativity, or, for example, a contract which allows you to express your creativity for a living but only within particular parameters (ie, continuing an established series). So I intend to do what makes me happy instead.

It’s worth noting that simply making this decision has already made me happier than I’ve been in a long time.


What’s so good about you?

July 7, 2014

The little voice inside says, “Seriously? You want to help people? You? You can’t help yourself out of a wet paper bag! What’s so good about you? Who are you??” So I sit, miserable, staring at my computer screen and wishing would just kill the little voice or take me away from it forever. Like […]

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The knight’s daughter

July 6, 2014

Minnie stands on the balcony, cool night air caressing her face, tilted towards the stars. Her eyes are closed but she does not need them to feel the grandeur of light wheeling so far above and yet so near. She has always felt closer to the stars than to the world she walks. She learnt […]

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The voice murmurs evil

July 3, 2014

The voice is back. Maybe it never went away. It tells me I am nothing and no one. More specifically it sneers at my dreams. “Who do you think you are?” Its lip curls. “Why would you be able to change the world?” It tells me I’m weird and a freak and no one will like […]

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The dragon’s tale

July 1, 2014

Dragons dance, silver in the moonlight, love and wisdom and delicate fire lighting their way. The way to another world. Here it is drawn in colder lines, harsher colours and ruder scents. The world of men is not for dragons. And yet… There is a challenge, a tale, a weaving of words and meaning older […]

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You know what this world is?

June 10, 2014

It’s AMAZING. And TERRIFYING. And HIDDEN. But OVERWHELMING. And because of all those things, we like to hide away from it. In our little, limited, familiar bubble, there is nothing unknown. We can handle what we find there because it’s normal. Expected. VISIBLE. Of course, it can also be terrifying but one is better than […]

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A letter to the Universe

June 6, 2014

Note: It has occurred to me that after this post I should maybe delete this site in its entirety. How is anyone going to take me seriously as a professional author with so much bleating about my depression? But then, maybe someone else will find it and know they’re not alone. In which case it’s […]

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New plans. Somewhat mirroring old plans…

June 4, 2014

Mildly miffed that Armani have decided to use the tagline “Scent of Freedom” in their new ads for Acqua di Gio. My Google alerts are very conscientiously informing me every time it comes up on the web. Gets me all excited and then… meh. Of course, maybe this is the Universe’s way of reminding me that […]

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Finding the fun in writing again

June 3, 2014

I look back on 2011 with fond memories. It was the year I happily pounded out three thousand words a day, every day, until I had a finished story. I pantsed the whole thing and it had some, ahem, gaps, but it was fun. Writing was fun. I can’t remember when writing stopped being fun. Probably […]

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