Does it get any easier?

by Mhairi Simpson on September 19, 2016

The question is both rhetorical and not. In many ways I’m more settled now than I’ve ever been, but it’s been a tough day, and it really shouldn’t have been.

All I had to do today was give blood. Yes, there’s writing and blogging and dogwalking and so on, but the only pre-scheduled thing I had to do today was bleed. The dog woke me up before 6am and I didn’t go back to sleep, so we didn’t get off to the best of starts. When I got to the blood place (half an hour before they were technically open) I discovered they had no walk-in slots available – the internet had lied to me.

So I got about fifty minutes’ exercise which I didn’t need to do (walking from where I parked the car to the donation centre and back), but I suppose exercise is exercise, right?

That being said, I was upset that I couldn’t give blood. Last time I tried I couldn’t donate either – they couldn’t find a vein. The time before that I didn’t even make my appointment as I’d fallen off a kerb and they won’t take you if you’ve got an obvious wound which is still healing up.

Mine was obvious, to say the least.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately, and a lot of work on Bard. The Bard stuff has been more in terms of marketing – there was a get-together for the game last night in Brighton. About fifteen of us were there, which made it a really nice group – we had to run two separate games, which is a definite first! Not that Bard can’t be done with fifteen people but everyone needs to be able to hear what’s going on and have reasonable access to the draw and discard piles, and that’s hard when you’re sitting at a long table. Next time I’ll have to see if I can find a venue with round tables…

I know it’s a very first world problem to have: “waaaaah, I couldn’t donate blood when I wanted to waaaaah,” but I’m pissed off about it, all the same. I guess I wanted to do something tangible to help people, you know? And maybe I attach some of my self-worth to just how much I do help people.

Which is silly but not as silly as if I attached my self-worth to how many dog poos I’ve picked up in a single day or something like that. Mostly because I only have one dog and he’s a goddamn monster whose craps are fucking HUGE.

Where was I?

Self-worth. Right.

I don’t know why I’ve taken this one little thing as a reason to get all down. Maybe because I’m tired. Maybe because I’ve done a lot of writing over the last week and on current showing no one will ever read it. Maybe because Bard: The Kickstarter is approaching and I don’t know what to offer as rewards for pledges apart from cards.

And maybe because I feel like I spend a lot of my time biting my nails about stuff. My writing. Bard. This creative writing workshop I’ve got coming up.

I suspect my latest challenge-to-myself, the 100 stories in 100 days, may be at least partly rooted in my desire to ignore all that other stuff and just bury myself in writing.

And on the one hand, it’s a great thing to do. And so very tempting. And on the other, I need to balance myself out between writing (which is, admittedly, VERY NECESSARY if I’ve ever going to improve) and other things, like the coaching and getting Bard out into the world.

Sometimes I feel like there isn’t enough me to go around, and yet I don’t have to go out to work and I don’t have kids. How dare I complain?

Hence the post title – no matter where you’re coming from, it’s always going to be hard.

If you would like to join me in my Hundred Days of Stories, please do! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll be tweeting at #100DaysOfStories (I thought about it and I think that works as a hashtag, so there you go!). If you’re curious about my mentoring services, please feel free to check out this page. Any questions, you can get in touch with me there or via social media at the links above.


This week has kind of thrown me

by Mhairi Simpson on September 18, 2016

A lot of stuff has happened. I started writing again. A LOT. I’ve done 10k this week. THIS WEEK. It has taken my yearly total over 100k.

I posted on a community board, asking if anyone would like to playtest a game at a gaming cafe in Brighton and a dozen or so complete strangers responded, and all now seem to be bringing four or five people each. Messaged the venue to let them know there’s some people coming. Am now terrified they’re going to tell me I can’t have that many, or they’re closed or they’ve got something else on… :S Should have checked in advance, I know, but I really didn’t think that many people would be interested.

I’ve written every day this week, with the (current) exception of today. I will be writing today. Currently I feel nauseous about the Bard thing but I will be writing. I might work on the story I wrote yesterday instead of a new one – I think it’s fixable and if I’ve got it on the brain it’ll be hard to focus on anything else.

Also possibly easier on the grey matter than slamming out a new story. Although what would be easiest right now is actually chocolate biscuits in front of the TV but I don’t do easy these days, so that’s out.


In short, I am both elated and terrified and can only channel that energy into writing until I leave the house in two and a half hours’ time. Please cross fingers for me!

[Edit – the venue’s fine but the spillover space will cost a few quid each. Am really hoping we don’t spill over because I told everyone it would be free and I can’t afford to pay for the space! Whoops :(]



Day #2 Goals should be made of rubber, not stone #100DaysOfStories

September 17, 2016

I’m about six hundred words into today’s story and I suspect it’s not going to be a one day effort. It seems like it’s only just starting, rather than heading towards a climax. I was sitting over lunch and had another idea about how it could go and that will require a lot more than […]

Read the full article →

Day #1 – It’s about the process – #100DaysOfStories

September 16, 2016

Two stories down. I actually ended up writing one yesterday even though I wasn’t meant to start until today. Just finished the second one and it really wasn’t anywhere near as good as the first. I like the idea but the execution is off. But whatever. The idea isn’t to be perfect. It’s just to […]

Read the full article →

New challenge!! 100 stories in 100 days!!

September 15, 2016

Why, you might be thinking, would anyone do this? Who would put themselves through that? ME. Of course. As I mentioned in Monday’s post-that-I-didn’t-think-had-published-but-it-had, I work well on challenges set by people who aren’t me. I’d like to change that, so that I can work on challenges set by people who are me. I want […]

Read the full article →

You’re not lazy

September 14, 2016

Some of you know I’ve started coaching creative folks on how to get their projects done. I know a lot of people who are intimately connected with their creativity and achieve SO MUCH, but there are a lot of people out there who aren’t as connected. They have half-finished projects lying around, making them feel […]

Read the full article →

Things I have learnt about me

September 12, 2016

I do well with a daily commitment imposed by someone I trust and respect when it’s about improving myself. NOT eating sugar is still not properly programmed into me. I still like to snack. I think maybe I need to because otherwise I get really quite grumpy and I sure as hell don’t get any […]

Read the full article →

Head stuff. Creativity. Also sugar and Be A Bard.

September 10, 2016

This week has been crazy. A lot of stuff has happened, but mostly the craziness is from something clicking for me, psychologically, which meant I finally realised that I really can do whatever I want. As in, I’m capable. Not that I’m a psychopath (although I’m sure some people have their doubts). Went to an […]

Read the full article →

Day #30 The verdict is in. I’m still trying to decode it. #30DaysCreative

September 6, 2016

It was a desperate play, really. I was falling apart. Nothing left to give of myself, whether to me or to other people, and my work had gone out the window. Too much crying left me exhausted and dehydrated and feeling like an absolute failure. Worse, I didn’t know how to turn it around. I […]

Read the full article →

Day #29 Finding my focus #30DaysCreative

September 5, 2016

I might have figured something out. I’m not entirely sure. I’ll come back to it. In terms of work stuff done, I’ve got all the Bard cards sorted with their new borders. I need to sort one small detail on every card, which means going back through fifty cards and doing a thing, but the […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Read the full article →