The Miserable Creature Next Door

The Miserable Creature Next Door

When trolls are real (and not cute and cuddly)

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

The sun is out, and it’s beautiful and warm. Summer remains here, and yet, in some small corners of the world, you find them lingering; faces, which would give Grumpy Cat a run for her money. I have the terrible misfortune of living next to one of these such beings.

If you’re looking for a real life troll (and not the nice, cute kind with brightly coloured hair), then come check out my next door neighbour. Portly, tall, and usually to be found wearing a dirty blue t-shirt, and a permanent frown, he stomps the perimeter of his property, growling at his canine companion who longs for a kind word and a smile.

Barking orders at her, he demands that she “get in”, though she has barely seen the outside of her enclosed yard, and woe betide anyone who tried to speak to her! They are met with sharp words, and miserable moans.

Nothing is ever good enough for this grumbling, grunting creature, and his paranoia has recently reached new heights, as his ten foot high, solid double gates, complete with heavy duty padlock proves. Many wonder what he hides behind them; some suspecting a treasure that he guards jealously, while others ponder the idea that mummified corpses of his previous neighbours now populate the shed erected only a short while ago.

He has a wife. A quiet, gentle creature who hangs off his every word, though these are rarely nice, and never kind. She is useful for feeding the great brute, and for maintaining his ‘Kingdom”, though he will never tell her this (to do so might give her ideas of grandeur). She simpers after him; desperate to please, even though this is never possible.

The house he guards so fiercely has been drilled and hammered and torn apart more times than I can remember when he goes on another maintenance rampage.

No overtures of friendship, or even neighbourly decency are extended as he stalks, forever frowning through his land.

A few days ago, a sign went up:

“For Sale” it reads, and now we wait.

Perhaps a prince shall come soon,

to rid the land of this dreaded dirge;

to save us all from the wrath,

of the troll who lives next door.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Rainbows

Rainbows

When darkness gives way to beauty..

Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

I was up early this morning. A combination of very busy (and not altogether pleasant) dreams, and a poorly dog brought me to the land of the living over an hour before I usually wake up.

It was cold and grey outside; a complete contrast to the weather we’ve had lately, and it struck me how changeable things are. The weather forecast never seems to stay the same for more than about six hours (often differing depending on which website I choose to look at), and sometimes, within the space of an hour, we can have a combination of cloud, rain, and sunshine.

In a way, it made me think about the human psyche, and how our moods fluctuate from one moment to the next. One minute, we’re up on cloud 9, and the next, it’s like disaster has struck and we’ve hit rock bottom. At least, that’s what it’s like for me. .

The thing is, I often curse the low moments, and pray to only have the happy ones, but there is a quote I love, which always reminds me of why the bad times come:

“The soul can have no rainbows, unless the eyes have shed some tears”

This is so true. A rainbow can only occur when it has been raining. Without the rain, we would never get to see this beauty. The sun cannot produce it alone: nor can the rain create the colours without the sun.

This is where the impermanence of weather comes into play. The rapid change of weather allows for the rainbow, without which, our skies would be a far poorer sight.

So when life is hard, and things seem black, I try to remind myself that I just need to wait a little longer, and then, in time, a rainbow will appear.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

My 50000 Word July

My 50000 Word July (Update)

When life gets in the way…

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

So, today marks just past the half way point of the month. It hasn’t been the month I was expecting it to be so far. Life has gotten in the way. A LOT. There have been more times than I can count, when I have failed to hit my word counts for the day, and there have been too many times when I’ve not written anything at all.

The truth is that no matter how much I’ve wanted to write, grief and depression has gotten in the way, and left me unable to type even one word. The novel that I’ve been painstakingly planning for more than three months has remained without a single word in the manuscript document.

That changed today. Today, following some advice from Shaunta Grimes, I gave myself permission to just write, even if it was really bad writing. Even if it was writing that, apart from a select few, would not be seen by anyone other than myself.

So, that’s what I did. I opened up my manuscript document, and I started writing. I planned the tiny goal of writing for ten minutes. Just ten; then I could stop if I wanted to, and an hour later, I found myself still writing, and 500+ words are now on the page (I know, it was a shock to me too).

The truth is, I think I was scared of starting. This story has been going round in my head for the last three years, and it’s grown and developed, and I was scared that when I tried to put it to paper, that I wouldn’t be able to do the characters (that I’ve grown to love) justice, but in reality, the only way I could not do them justice is if I don’t write their story; if I leave them trapped inside my head: caged within the confines of my mind. The truth. The real truth, is that I need to write their story.

need to set them free, and I need to write because that’s what I am. I am a writer. It’s what I do. It’s what I live for. If I can’t write, then I don’t know what the point in anything is. I am writing and writing is me. Call me melodramatic if you like, but to me, writing is as essential as breathing, which is why I always find it so hard when my brain prevents me from doing it.

It’s that classic “Catch 22” situation. I’m depressed and lack the motivation and courage to write, which, in turn makes me more depressed, which makes it even harder to write, and it’s an ongoing cycle, until I remember the advice of “Ten minutes at a time”, and sometimes, that’s all it takes. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But in the times when there’s a big dark shadow looming above you, telling you that you’re not good enough and you never will be, sometimes it’s hard to do.

So, to anyone who is under the dark shadow, I’m going to give you a reminder: “Do the thing! Just ten minutes. That’s all! Then you can stop. You can do it!”

Getting back to the subject of this post. At the start of the month, I took on a big scary goal of writing 50000 words in July. At the half way point, my word count is 19039. That’s 36% of my goal. I have a way to go to catch up, and normally, my brain would have already given up and said that this goal was unachievable, but this time, I’m not doing that. This time, I will not give up and take the easy way out, so here’s to the second half of the month, and to not only catching up, but to reaching my goal and finishing out July in style!


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

It’s coming home…

It’s coming home…

Covert racism in rural Wales

Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

“I’m supporting Croatia” — because they’re playing against England..

Hate on me if you must, but this is covert racism!

“We want England to lose because we’re Welsh”

But Wales aren’t playing, therefore we should be supporting England as the next best option seeing as we’re part of Britain. We always complain about not being counted and recognised as part of the UK and then behave like this. We can’t have it both ways! If Wales was playing I would obviously support Wales, but they aren’t and I’d rather a British country won than any other!

This is the post I made on social media last night during the semi final match between England and Croatia. I am so fed up of seeing the statuses about England losing, and the completely tactless celebrating of their loss.

From what I’ve heard (because, in spite of me writing this post, I am neither interested, nor do I fully understand the rules of football), England played a good clean game, and they played to the best of their ability. They progressed further than they have in a number of years, and as I said in my status, they were actually playing!!

I can understand the historical viewpoint of many Welsh people. I learned about the persecution and oppression of the Welsh people by the English many years ago too. And yet, I will continue to support England in any sporting endeavour, where Wales aren’t playing.

Some people may want to ask me what right I have to speak like this. The right I have, is that I am Welsh. I was born Welsh, and I speak the Welsh language fluently. I am fiercely protective of my heritage and feel privileged to know the language; yr hen iaith; that we still have today in spite of some small minded bigots who tried to stamp it out.

The truth is that, yes, in the past, some of the English people sought to oppress us, but the key words here, are “in the past”. There are probably very few, if any people still alive that were actually involved in this persecution. The English people now, are not the same people from back then. They value their heritage, and for the most part, they respect us, and yet so many people cannot show them that same respect, and that saddens me.

We are a part of the United Kingdom. When Scotland were voting to leave, we were asking them to stay. The caption “Stronger Together” was used, if I am not much mistaken. As part of the United Kingdom, it is our duty to support our other member countries (unless our own specific country is playing, in which case obviously all bets are off).

I always hear complaints from people who say that Wales is not represented in the Union Jack, and I agree that our representation could be more obvious, but why should we be able to expect that, when we can’t support one of our member nations if our own country isn’t playing, and in fact would go so far as to actively support any other team that is playing against them.

The only way to describe this is racism, pure and simple, and it makes me sad and angry to think that people in my own country can behave in this way without any thought or care for what they’re doing.

I mean, it’s only a game, I know. I can hear the comments already, but what if it wasn’t? What if it was something more serious? How many steps would it take before we are no better than the “Baby Trump” himself, wishing to build a wall, expel people of English descent, and hold their children in child detention camps?

I’m taking things to the extreme here, but we live in a world of increasing extremes, and I would be prepared to bet that five years ago, no one would have expected the scenes that we have seen in the news in recent weeks, from the US border. It only takes a very small spark, before you have a raging, and out of control fire, and I for one, don’t want my Wales to become anything like this!


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Summertime

Summertime

In the sunshine…

“Flowering shrubs swaying in the wind under warm setting sun” by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

It’s funny how much difference it makes to people’s moods when the sun is out. I mean, it’s only a burning ball in the sky but the changes it causes in the human psyche can be mind boggling.

We all know we’ve had those days when it’s grey and rainy out, and all of our get up and go seems to instantly get up and leave us; the sort of days when all you want to do is curl up under a blanket and hide from the world.

And then, there are days like today, when everything just seems better and anything is possible. Blue skies just make things better. There’s no scientific way to describe things like this. I mean, I know about the different chemicals, but there’s just something about sunshine that gives you this feeling and that feeling isn’t something that can be put into words.

I know everything is relative, I mean, let’s face it, if you’re living in California, then, chances are, sunshine doesn’t excite you quite as much, but for me, living in Wales, where a little over 90% of the time, it’s raining; sunshine is exciting!

Summer should be about sunshine, sunbathing, cold drinks and ice cream. It should be about sitting outside until it starts to go dark, trying to soak up the last few rays of sun.

The heatwave we’re having at the moment is wonderful, and I’d like to reiterate my request that, should you feel like complaining about the heat in front of me, it might be best if you prepare to be bitch slapped upside the head, because I love this weather, and come on, people! We’ve been complaining all winter about the rain — we can’t now expect to be able to complain about the sun!

Just grab another ice cream, a sun shade, and a good book and make the most of it while it lasts!


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Bravery

Bravery

When a tv show has the ability to break you…


This isn’t the blog post that I intended to write tonight. In fact, I had no plans to write this specific blog post, but sometimes, something happens, and you have to throw your actual plans out of the window. This is what happened to me tonight.

A little later than planned, I sat down to watch the latest episode of EastEnders, my favourite soap opera. I knew that tonight’s episode was to be a special one, with the funeral of one of the characters; a young boy named Shakil.

A few weeks ago, the character of Shakil was stabbed, along with his best friend, in a storyline by the soap to highlight the far reaching effects of knife crime.

I must admit, that although I knew that knife crime happens, living in a relatively rural area, it isn’t something that has really touched my life before. A fact that I am immensely thankful for.

Tonight though, Eastenders really opened my eyes; not to the fact that knife crime happens, but to the impact it has on not only the family, but the wider community as a whole.

In this episode, interspersed with the storyline itself, were real life accounts from real families, now living with the lifelong effects of knife crime. Unlike the characters in the tv show, these people will go home to a life minus children, brothers, family members. These people live with the aching loss portrayed so powerfully on screen by Bonnie Langford who plays Shakil’s mother.

The episode closed with the singing of the hymn “Abide With Me”, sung very softly and quietly, with true life accounts from these brave people who were willing to open up their wounds and relive that pain all over again, in the hopes of raising awareness and preventing what happened to them, from happening to anyone else.

As the camera panned out, away from the graveyard, we see all of these people; this brave new cast; standing there, framing the cemetary, all holding framed photographs of the loved ones they have lost.

There were so many of them. So many lives impacted. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that they must feel every day. Death is hard to come to terms with at the best of times, but to lose someone that you love in such a pointless, futile way must be an unimaginable torture that I pray I never have to feel.

And the overwhelming message from all of these accounts?

“When you choose to carry a knife, it is not going to protect you, and you are taking someone else’s life in your hands”

Nothing I can say will ever do the storyline any justice, so, please, just go and see for yourselves. Watch this excerpt from twitter.

This broke me. Totally. The acting by the official cast and crew was stellar, and to the brave families who were prepared to re-live that hell, I thank you. Thank you for opening my eyes and allowing me to see a small snippet of your grief.

To anyone reading this, who may be (or is considering) carrying a knife. Please, don’t. Shakil is a fictional character, but the people in the photographs held by grieving (because this kind of grief will never fade) loved ones, are real. They are gone; and the pain left by their loss reaches far throughout their circle. Don’t think you are protecting yourself by carrying a knife, because in the end, you are the one who will end up hurting someone else.

So, thank you, EastEnders. You deserve an award for tonight’s episode; and for dealing with the issue in such a sensitive and impactful way.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Be Kind.

Be Kind.

Always.

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

I was talking to one of my bestest (yes, I know it’s not a real word, and no, I don’t care) friends yesterday and she was telling me about telling friends and family that she is pregnant again. I couldn’t believe the responses she’s had. I’ve known about her pregnancy from the moment she found out, and I am so happy for her. She is an amazing Mum, and her kids are completely adorable (even the teenaged gamer dude!).

She loves being a Mum, and lives for her kids. She deliberately kept the news to herself to start with, because she knew what the responses would be and obviously didn’t really want to hear the usual “You’re ruining your life” and “You’re a glutton for punishment” comments that she heard with her third baby.

When she started to share the news with a select few, she had to deal with these comments all over again from some of the people closest to her. She’s putting on a brave face, but she’s obviously been effected by it, to the point that she’s been unsure about whether to share the news (like other parents do) with a creative photoshoot.

I felt so sad when she told me this, and when we discussed it, she asked me if I would take the pictures for her, and when she makes the announcement, she is going to turn off commenting on it because she’s worried about the responses she might get, but why should she feel that she has to do this? And what business is it of anyone else’s. If she’s happy, and the baby will be well looked after, and most importantly, loved, then whose business is it to make any unkind and thoughtless comments.

It got me thinking. How often do we make comments, whether on social media, or in person, where our words might hurt someone else? What is it with human beings, that we find it so hard to actually be kind especially when it’s a friend. When did it become okay to speak words that hurt and wound?

It’s easier than ever to speak our minds, to give an opinion, and to hurt someone, often without even thinking. Social media and the internet in general, allows us to say what we want about anyone, without even ever seeing the hurt that is caused. We can say and do anything, and it doesn’t even really touch us, but it should.

Looking at the words we say, how many of us would be happy for them to be said back to us? How many of us would think it was okay to speak like that then. I’m not perfect. I’m probably about as far from it as it’s possible to get, but I know that I want, in every way, to try and be a person whose words I would be happy to hear spoken back to myself.

So, to my dear, darling friend: Congratulations! I am so happy for you! You are already an amazing Mum, and this little munchkin is blessed to have you as a Mum! I can’t wait to meet him (or her), and be an Auntie all over again! I love you, and I will be here to support you all the way, forever.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Free Your Darlings

Free Your Darlings

On plot boards, and stories, and characters that won’t shut up!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

So, today, I finally got down to making the plot board for The QuickSilver Chronicles Volume One: The Girl In The Mirror. I’ve been putting it off for a while. At first, I wasn’t sure why, but having actually gotten down to it, I worked out why.

I was scared. All the while that my novel stayed hidden away inside the deepest, darkest places of my brain, I was allowing myself to avoid failure. When the characters were only inside my head, they weren’t really real, (and there was no risk of failure). At least, that’s what I told myself.

The truth is that the characters outgrew my brain a long time ago. They’ve been screaming to get out for a while now, and I have been too scared to let them. I was scared that if I let them out, I would have to let them go, and without this story to focus on, there wasn’t much else to think about, except the grief that I feel.

But as I’ve opened myself up and started to write Joey’s story; allowing myself to plot it out and let the story (and characters) free, I’ve worked out that I haven’t lost them. In fact, I actually feel like they trust me more, and are talking to me more than ever.

It’s a nice feeling. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a writer can really understand it, but please, take my word for it. William Faulkner said that writers should “kill your darlings”, and while this is true, I feel the need to add that in order to write; to truly write the stories of your characters, you must first, set them free.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Unoffendable by Pastor Phylip Morgan

Unoffendable by Pastor Phylip Morgan

Here’s the write up I did for my Church blog. Shared with permission from http://abclife.org/listenonline/

Beginning this new series, Pastor Phyl quoted from the song Majesty by Delirious, “Forever I am changed by your love”. He told us that we are forever changed by God, because with faith in Him, comes the ability to not be afraid. God tells us numerous times in His word, that we need not be afraid. In fact, in 1John 4:18, it says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”. God makes us perfect, through His love for us. He makes it so that we need not fear.

Pastor Phyl said that he wanted to introduce us to the three responses to perceived threat: Fight, Flight, and Freeze. Most people have heard of the first two of these, but not the third. The truth is, there are some situations, in which fight, or flight are not viable options. In these circumstances, some people learn to freeze, in order to protect themselves.

Fight, flight, and freeze all have their roots in fear, yet we read that “perfect love casts out fear”. As people, we live in fear so often. Fear and anxiety can be crippling. It can consume thoughts, and minds and how we think. The enemy wants us to live in constant fear.

When we read these words in scripture, we can feel that it’s easy for Jesus to say not to worry, but we have different issues and crises that come against us, and in those moments, it is really hard to let go of fear.

Emotions are very real things, and are governed by our thought life. The Bible is real about emotions. Within the pages, we see anger, sorrow, anguish, among others.

Pastor Phyl challenged us to “get real” about fear, and told us that he was going to bring up a difficult concept, and the title of his message: Unoffendable.

“I’m offended”. How many times have we heard that phrase? The range and spans of what people get offended by nowadays is immense. They can be the slightest things, that really, are completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, though they can seem huge to the person who’s offended. The truth is that the enemy wants us to be offended. If we are offended, then it gives the enemy a foothold; a small crack in our armour that he can start to chip away at, and before we know it, we are not walking with God, but with the enemy instead. What we really need to do is to walk in power with Christ, in a place of love and freedom and liberty.

Pastor Phyl proceeded to give an example of how even facts can cause offence, saying that if he were to post on social media the observation “Isn’t Donald Trump doing a great job?” and follow it with three facts about America since he came into power, then it would be almost guaranteed to offend people. In explaining the facts to illustrate his point, it is clear to see that what Pastor Phyl was saying was in fact true, to some extent, but can you imagine how many people would be offended by it?

People get offended by so many different things, most of which are actually quite trivial, and often it becomes a battle between people who are unable to accept others’ opinions, and who expect other people to change their views to suit them. People have all these opinions, and can be so sensitive. The dictionary definition of the word “Offended” means, “To become resentful or annoyed, typically by a perceived insult”. The key word here is “perceived”. In today’s society, we are even required to temper how we look at people. Our world has become fearful.

We need to change this. We need to change the way we think about people and behavious. As Christians, we need to learn to be mature in these things. We can’t live a life of extremes. We mustn’t be over sensitive, but that being said, we must be permitted to challenge things. Pastor Phyl used the illustration of being out walking and seeing someone littering, and how it is ok to call them out on this behaviour. The key, in Pastor Phyl’s words, is “Don’t be a jerk, but don’t be a doormat either”.

Steven Covey says “Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” To become annoyed and resentful, is generally more about us than the person we claim to be offended by. We determine that response. We have a choice, whether it be action, or words, we determine whether we will be offended or not.

There are times when we can get so emotionally caught up in situations that our responses can become extreme. Here, we are talking about certain pains that we give space to in our hearts, when it isn’t warranted. This gives the enemy a foothold.

Looking at scripture, we see that Jesus, when He was dying on the cross, chose to forgive, rather than to get offended, when He said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” in Luke 23:34.

When we process information in a certain way, we can give ourselves the opportunity to get offended. In closing his sermon, Pastor Phyl asked us whether we could put God in the place of offence in our hearts and be “forever changed” by His love, as it says in the song.

Let us let His love be so deep in our hearts, to the point where we become unoffendable. Let us decide to cultivate our hearts rather than allowing the fear responses of fight, flight and freeze to take root there.

God is always in control; it is up to us to merely guard our hearts and to trust Him.

Scriptures: 1 John 4:18, Luke 23:34

OOTD

OOTD

One Of Those Days…

“A pug wrapped in a blanket on a bed” by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Yup, I know it’s too warm here for me to actually curl up in a blanket, so you’ll just have to imagine, because I am not a dachshund, who, let’s face it, could be in a blanket in the Sahara and still be cold, but you get my meaning.

Today has been one of those days for me. Waking up, and wanting to lay right back down and go straight off to sleep again and wake up feeling less sucky. We all have those kinds of days (unless you’re just crazy lucky), and today it was mine to experience.

Words aren’t coming easily. I feel like I’m so full of them, and yet, even now that I’m sat down to write, none of them want to actually come out and I feel like I am choking on them. It feels even worse, because the weather is so nice and I love it when it’s bright and sunny, and I’m sat here talking to myself like “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

I have a novel series that I’m working on. I have a Church blog post to write. I have Counselling Coursework to finish, and I can’t summon up the motivation for any of it.

It’s torture not feeling able to write properly, but I made a promise to myself that I would blog every day. I am also embarking on a personal challenge to write 50000 words in July, so I’ve picked myself up and forced myself to sit at my desk and open my laptop.

Today I am mostly following Shaunta Grimes’ advice of teeny tiny goals. Write for ten minutes a day. Even if that’s all you do. If you write for only ten minutes a day, you will amass over an hour of writing time in a week, and chances are, when you actually get started, you will write far more than that anyway.

This is some of the best advice I have ever received, and I am so thankful for it, because if I’m being honest, lately ‘those days’ have been more than normal, but it is difficult to skip ten minutes. I mean, it’s shorter than the average television show.

So, here I am, writing words. They aren’t great words; they may not even make much sense, but they are mine and I am writing them. Today. When every part of me wanted to just stay curled up on the sofa with reruns of Law And Order: SVU on the tv, and a dog curled up far too close for comfort, to keep me warm.

And you know what, it’s now been well over ten minutes, and I’m still writing, so I’m going to chalk that up as a win.

So, if you’re in the same boat as me today, please take the advice Shaunta gives to all the Ninja Writers and just do it (whatever your thing is) for the next ten minutes, and see where it takes you. I promise, no matter how awful it might seem, you’ll wake up tomorrow feeling better because you will know that if you did nothing else yesterday, you got your ten minutes in. You did the thing!


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.