Writing Space

And How To Set One Up

June 12

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I read a question that was asked on Quora earlier, about how to make a writing space. It got me thinking. There are so many different kinds and variations of writing space, which all depend totally on the individual’s personal tastes.

Some people like a very empty, clear and minimalist desk, with just their computer on it. Some can only write long hand. Some use a mixture of the two, and some like a very busy, almost cluttered work space.

I think I probably fall somewhere near the last category here. My writing space is in my bedroom. My bedroom takes up the entire top floor of the house. I have it partitioned, so that I have a craft room and a dressing room on one side, and then my bed, and writing space on the other.

So, my writing space, basically consists of a square of tables, with a small gap so that I can get into the middle, where my chair is. I have multiple screens, so that I can have all the things pertaining to my current wip visible whenever I want it.

I also have a number of books. Many are on book shelves, which surround my writing space, but I also have several piles on the tables, and these are the ones, which I tend to refer to while I am working. I also have a number of notebooks, and any number of pens and pencils lurking on my desk.

The thing is that sometimes, I like to work on a screen, and sometimes, I like to go a bit more old school, preferring to use pen and paper.

I strongly believe that there is room for both, and I generally just try and see where my mood is leaning. The only thing, in my mind, which is non-negotiable, is that I must show up.

We can spend as long as we want creating the perfect space to write, but if we don’t actually show up and get the work done, then really there’s no point in any of it.

I guess I’m not really answering that question very well, but I don’t think that there’s any kind of magic formula for a writing space. As writers, we’re all so individual, and it is only through some level of experimentation that we will find what works for us.

But really, when it comes down to it, all we really need is ourselves, a willing mind, persistence, dedication, and something with which to capture the words dancing within us.

What do your writing spaces look like? Let me know in the comments.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Chronic Illness

And Why Flares Are A Pain In The A**

Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

Anyone with a chronic illness will say that they live with a certain level of that illness every single day. They could live with pain, overwhelming exhaustion, brain fog, migraines, and any number of other things.

The thing is that there are times when these illnesses flare up, and these are the times when the symptoms of these illnesses seem to double, both in intensity and in frequency.

As I have said before, I suffer with TMJD (Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction). Lately, I have been going through a flare. For me, this looks like:

· Extremely limited opening

· Cracking jaw

· Severe pain

· Mouth ulcers

· Migraines

· Neck Ache

· Tooth Ache

· Ear Ache

· Dizziness

· Disturbed sleep

The thing is that a lot of these symptoms sound fairly minor, and if it were one thing on its own, then it would be manageable, but when all of these things happen at the same time, it makes life pretty much unbearable.

Most of these symptoms are not necessarily visible, which can make it even more difficult, as people may tend to think that I’m overreacting, or being a drama queen, but I challenge them to live a day in my life when I’m going through a flare.

So, what is a flare?

Basically, a flare is a time when all of these symptoms are further intensified, and often occur simultaneously. This, coupled with the pressure that I often put on myself to try and push through, can leave me feeling despair. A flair means that doing ordinary activities, and basically living my life can become an almost impossible task. To put it bluntly, a flare is a big pain. We don’t want to be dealing with this, but the fact is that we are, and we have very little choice in the matter.

I know many people with other chronic conditions, for whom this is also true.

The thing is that when going through a flare, the best thing we can do for ourselves, is to try and practice self care. We need to listen to our bodies, regardless of others’ opinions that we might be ‘malingering’, ‘a drama queen’, or ‘lazy’.

If you are going through a flare, remember to try and be kind to yourself. If you need to take a duvet day, then it’s okay to do just that. If you need to just be by yourself, and sleep all day, then that’s okay too. Basically, the best thing that you can do if you’re having a flare is to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

So, be kind to yourself. Listen to your body, and give it what it needs, because, remember, no one else can do it for you and it is okay to give yourself permission to practice self care, even though the flare you’re going through might feel like a big pain in the a**!


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Keeping A Journal

A Practice

June 3

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

I’ve written before on keeping a journal. Probably more than once, and I highly doubt that this will be the last time that I do.

To me, journaling is such an important practice. It gives you a space to spill out your thoughts on to the page. It doesn’t answer back, or judge you.

If you’ve read my past posts, you will know that I have kept a journal since I was about eleven. I don’t think I could cope without it now.

The thing is that when you start, it can seem like a bit of a chore, but as you persevere with the practice of writing every day without fail, you will build a habit, that will, given time, become essential to your mental wellbeing.

I am not going to say that I don’t miss days sometimes, I do, but at the same time, the days that I do write are more than the days where I don’t.

There are so many ways in which you can journal, and I try to incorporate these into the pages of my journal. I thought I’d list some of them here:

· Prayer

· Gratitude

· Reading Log

· Writing Log

· Lists

· Emotions Chart

· Habits

There are so many more than this, but you get my drift. The thing is that you can bend and shape a journal to be exactly what you want it to be. You can mould it to fit your life, and really, when it comes down to it, anything goes.

So, whether you already journal, or if you’re a complete newbie, just make sure that your journal works for you, because at the end of the day, that’s the whole point, and that’s the way to make sure that you stick to it.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.


Invisible

A Poem

June 2

Photo by Rúben Marques on Unsplash

Would you even notice?
 Would you even care?
 Would you even wonder,
 If she wasn’t there?

That girl in the background,
 On whom you depend.
 The girl hiding behind,
 Just looking for an end.

You’re surrounded by people,
 You don’t even look round,
 Will you even see her,
 When she hits the ground.

I know you don’t care,
 No, not deep down,
 You just leave her sitting there,
 With her worried frown.

***

If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂

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.

Happy Birthday To My Nan

She Would Have Been 91

June 1st

Today is my Nan’s Birthday. She would have been 91. Ten years ago in April, she passed away, and sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday. She always said that she was going to live to 100, but she was 18 years short of this.

Her Birthday was always sunny. It was strange… even though the weather got more and more temperamental, the sun always seemed to put his hat on for her Birthday.

We’d wake up and take her a cup of her favourite milky coffee, and sing Happy Birthday. Then, she’d have her presents and cards. Then there would be cake, and it became a tradition that we would have strawberries and meringues after dinner.

My Nan was the best! I know pretty much everyone thinks this about their grandparents, but to me, my Nan was (and still is) one of my heroes. She was my rock. She was always in my corner, and she always believed in me.

When I told her that I wanted to be a writer, she simply accepted that. She never said that I should give up and go for something more reliable. She fostered my interest by making sure that I had access to as many books as possible.

She always had my back. She was generous, and kind, and fiercely loyal. To say she had strong opinions would be a complete understatement. She was unshakeable in her opinions, and you would not have wanted to be caught in an argument with her.

She had a wicked sense of humour, and she could drink anyone under the table, and never have a hangover. She would get herself into some unbelievable scrapes, but somehow, always ended up laughing about it.

She used to keep, breed, judge, and show goats, and was very highly thought of in the British Goat Society circles. She won countless rosettes, especially with her prize winning goat, Hebe.

She was a child of the war, and as a result, all things came in two or threes. She could never just buy one of anything.

She was the best! She was amazing, and my inspiration. I miss her everyday, but there are times when that pain is just that little bit more…

Today is one of those days. I wish that she was here to celebrate with us. I wish that I could bring her strawberries and meringues like we always did.

I love you Nanny. I hope that you’re up there, the centre of attention at a party with Grandad, Hayden, Rosemary, Kiri, and all of your friends, and I hope that they’re spoiling you rotten. Don’t go too wild!

Love you always~


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Accountability

And Why It’s So Important

Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

For a long time, my life wasn’t my own, and revolved around someone else. I’m not saying this to try and get sympathy, or because I resent it, but it’s just the truth. This is the life of a carer. This was my lot.

The thing is that now; as I am becoming accustomed to not being a carer, I am having to re-learn what I’m doing with regards my own personal goals, and I am having to re-learn how to structure my time now that I’m not having to fit things in around my caring responsibilities.

Just lately, a very good friend of mine began studying again. She has been using timers to make sure that she is getting a certain amount of studying done per week. This seems to really be working for her, and so I decided to try a similar sort of thing.

However, I have found that working with a weekly target doesn’t seem to work for me. If I have a bad day, I can talk myself into the idea that there’s no possible way of my meeting my targets, and so I give up and start again.

So, this time, I am trying the same tactics, but I’m totalling up my hours for the whole month, and I’m hoping that this way, I can actually stick at it.

Accountability is so important here, especially with us writers, whose only goal setters are ourselves.

So, I’m posting this here as a practice in accountability, and this is my promise to myself that I will write another post on the 20th of June, where I will hopefully be able to tell you that I have succeeded and hit all of my targets.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Journaling

Journaling

And why I keep one.

I have kept a journal in one form or another, since I was about ten years old.

I remember when I first made the decision. I had told my uncle that I wanted to be a writer, and his response (apart from telling me that there would be lots of rejection), was to tell me that if I wanted to be a successful writer, then I would need to start the practice of keeping a journal. I stated that very day, in a little, spiral bound notebook, where I had to write the date myself.

I don’t look back at those journals often, but its a nice feeling, knowing that they’re there.. pieces of my younger self, preserved in paper form, within a book.

My way of journaling has changed, grown, and developed over the years. At first, I only used words; Now, though, I use a mixture of words, poetry, and images. I’m still learning about new, and different journaling techniques. I don’t honestly ever think that I’ll stop learning, and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Over the years, my journals have been supporter, confidante, and friend, sometimes when I felt like I had no-one.

The thing is that having a journal means that you always have a way to get all of those horrible, messy, nonsensical thoughts out of your head, and, trust me-it really works.

I don’t know if you already journal, or if you’ve never even considered it, but I would really, highly, recommendit. It is a lifelong practice for me, and I can honestly say that it has only ever served to enhance my life.


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.

Timescales In Writing

Timescales In Writing

An Experiment

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I’m taking a writing course, and at the moment, I’ve been looking at genre fiction. The thing is that, while I’ve looked at genre fiction before, and I know what it is, something in the notes made me realise something that I’ve not really considered before.

That something, is time. Most of my writing projects have taken place over a seemingly infinite time period. What I mean here is not that I allowed myself infinite time to finish a piece (obviously, that would be ridiculous) but that the stories themselves don’t seem to have a specific time frame for me to work with.

I plan to change that. Today, I begin planning a novella in parts. Seven parts, to be exact. The idea is that each part will cover one day. The story will, therefore, be told in the time span of a week.

I have a few ideas bouncing around at the moment, but nothing particularly concrete, and you know what? I’m actually okay with that. While I will plan the story, I am quite happy to give my imagination free rein to come up with the story that it wants to tell. My only restriction is that it must all happen within the space of a week.

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this, but I will keep a log during this time, and hopefully I will update you soon.

Have any of you ever come up against this? Have you written something set within a specific time frame?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Fiction

Fiction

And why it isn’t pointless..

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Recently, I was reliably informed by someone who will remain nameless, that they didn’t read fiction; that it had absolutely no point, and that it would not add anything to their life.

Their claim was that there are plenty of factual books out there, and that there was no need for fiction.

As a writer, I took this comment particularly personally. To the person that said it, it was probably nothing more than a throwaway comment, but it wasn’t for me. For me, it felt like, and indeed, it was, someone cutting down my first love.

The thing is that fiction and storytelling in general, have an incredibly important point to them. They allow us to convey things to some people, who might never read a non-fiction, or reference book about the subject.

Reading is so important, and fiction encourages this in a way the no non-fiction book can. Truthfully, it is far easier to get lost in a story than it is to get lost in the pages of information shown in a non fiction book.

This is not to say that I don’t see the value in non fiction, because I certainly do. I read both types of writing, and enjoy them both in different ways, and to varying degrees, but when it comes down to it, on a sunny afternoon, if I am to sit in the garden with a book, it is more likely to be a copy of a Harry Potter novel, than it is to be a book about productivity and sales management.

That’s the thing with fiction. It is, without a doubt, the most basic, and fundamental source of magic that there is, and if you haven’t managed to open a book, and look up five hours later, when it’s three o clock in the morning, then you simply haven’t worked out how to harness this magic.

As a writer, I am privileged enough to be able to wield this magic; to bend and shape it into a story, and this is what I truly love.

I imagine children at bedtime, asking their parents for just one more story. I imagine them slipping from their beds, right inside the story, until it is so real to them that they could reach out and touch the characters.

I think this is what adults have lost over their years on this earth. They lose the ability to see the magic in stories, and this is something that needs to be regained before they can even begin to see and appreciate the value and point of fiction.

So, I guess what I am saying, is that I pity the person that told me that fiction is pointless, because they are closing themselves off from whole other worlds, which would be open to them, if only they were to open a book, and read a story.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Forgiving You

Forgiving You

The battle within

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

Of all the possible emotions to feel, anger is one that I really struggle with. Most people who know me, know that I don’t really ‘do’ anger. It confuses and scares me.

However, lately I have been feeling angry; angry and hurt. I’ve posted a couple of times in the last couple of months about friendship, and I’m now, more than ever, feeling incredibly let down and hurt by someone that I thought was a friend.

I don’t think this person knows this. I don’t think that they are even aware that the friendship has ceased. They are very busy, with an awful lot on their plate, and I don’t think that they actually have any more space for another person.

The thing is, that I don’t mind if that’s the case, but the total inconsideration is something that I’m really struggling to get past.

On Sunday, it was my birthday. The person in question didn’t even realise that I wasn’t where I usually am on a Sunday morning. They didn’t wish me a happy birthday, and I haven’t heard anything from them except to ask for something that they wanted.

And you know what? That. Hurt. It really hurt. Over the last few days, I have found myself dwelling on this, and several other incidences, and I realised today that it’s eating me up inside, and that I really need to let it go.

I don’t have space in my life any more, for things, and people that cause me heartache. I don’t think I’m even angry any more. I’m just over it. I don’t know if I can fully forgive this person yet, but I am going to work on it, but in the meantime, I refuse to let them take up space in my thoughts and in my life. I’m just done.

I’m hoping that by blogging about these feelings, I will be able to release them a little, and that in doing so, it will make forgiveness just that little bit easier.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.