A Writers Retreat

What do you get when you combine three published author bloggers and me, a converted hospital, rolling countryside, pig farms, beautiful beach huts and a spare weekend?

A self-made writers retreat.

Yes, I’ve just spent the weekend in a gorgeous house with my blogger friends Sacha, Helen and Geoff with the purpose of using some rare free-time and utilising each other’s knowledge, experience and skills to not only attempt to catch up with our writing goals, but to take the opportunity to throw a few ideas around and get some immediate feedback on what we were working on. Geoff had very kindly offered to host us at his home, which was part of a converted former hospital. Continue reading

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Eight Reasons Why I Write

imageI started this little blog about two-and-a-half years ago. I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I began with no expectations, initially using it as a therapeutic tool during quite a difficult time in my life. Since then, the act of writing seems to have taken on a far different role than I ever could have imagined. Of all the creative things that I have started in my thirty-three years, writing is one of the only things that I enjoy and I strive to improve in – I never get bored. Indeed, it hasn’t just improved my life, it’s changed it beyond all recognition.

My blog, like my life and mindset, does not have a particular niche. I like the freedom to be able to discuss lots of different ideas and thoughts and I’ve always avoided remaining on the same topic for too long. I don’t consider myself to be a fictional writer and find it very difficult to create characters and stories (my greatest attempt to do this resulted in a long, drawn out story of a lonely squirrel that I created when I was eleven years old for a school assignment – it was just as boring to write it as it was for others to read it). Instead, I write about things that entertain me, news stories, experiences and adventures within my own life: things that I can relate to and interest me. The lengths of my posts always vary – sometimes, I will write a 2,000 word essay on a major news event, others I will simply post a photograph of something that is important to me, and similarly the response that I receive varies in return.

So why do I write?

1. I love the process of creating a post – thinking, researching, experimenting, creating, editing, publishing, re-editing, interacting and promoting – and I’ve been extremely lucky to meet lots of inspiring people along the way. I often get a sense of gratification from pressing the ‘publish’ button and reading the comments that are left in response.

2. The urge to share. Essentially, writing on a blog invites others into your world. It provides a small window into your life – who you are, what you stand for, your interests and your passions. Through the blogging world I have been introduced to all sorts of topics that I had very little knowledge of, I have shared fellow bloggers ups and downs, seen their families, their traditions, their homes. I’ve learnt about their favourite things in life, books, films, food, music, and have shared my own.

3. Writing is therapeutic. It helps me to work out my problems and concerns, organises my thoughts and allows me to vent any frustrations that I may be having without having to burden those around me. The pen, or in this case, the keypad, is indeed mightier than the sword.

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4. In life, I am not a leader. In groups I am often talked over and interrupted by more dominant people, and I am not one who will openly voice opinions on a subject that interests me for fear of being perceived as dull. However, a blank page on my computer screen offers me a million possibilities without fear of interruption, boredom or a change of subject. It gives me a voice.

5. I like the fact that others appear to enjoy what I write. It’s a purely egotistical thing, particularly as I initially didn’t expect anyone to read it. To receive a positive comment almost provides a sense of validation that we don’t often receive as adults.

6. Writing helps me realise that I am not alone. The world can be a lonely and confusing place sometimes – the trials and tribulations that complicate all aspects of life can leave us feeling. Writing, and the interaction that follows has taught me that there are thousands of others that have had similar thoughts and experiences.

7. A legacy? While I don’t feel that my life is in the least bit inspirational, there is still the idea of leaving something behind after I’m gone that appeals to me. Life is short, it could end tomorrow, and if this is what is left behind, then this little blog is proof of my existence.

8. Ultimately, it allows me to reflect on the journey I have travelled and the progress I have made. When I feel negative thoughts creeping in, I revisit my early posts to appreciate how much better things are now and how lucky I am. It’s evidence that I’m going in the right direction.

What about you guys? Why do you write?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to like check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks