A short farewell…I’ll be back!

west cork writer

Gonna miss the sea dog (not so much the barking at seagulls or fish we’ve caught, but hey, he’s cute!)

I’ve been mad busy these past few weeks as I’ve been completing my YA book as well as finishing up my last days in the bookshop, tying up all my freelance work and making sure the last module of my Inkwell Blogging and Beyond course was delivered to my current (brilliant) pupil (you know who you are).

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve delivered my YA manuscript to my wonderful agent, all the bits and pieces are wrapped up and I’m about to shut down. It’s meant lots of long hours and neglecting the blog – sorry guys and gals – but it has all been worth it and I’m looking forward to the exciting changes that lie ahead.

Now for the bad news… I’m going to have to neglect you for a little bit longer because I’m heading off to Thailand with my husband for SIX WEEKS!!!

Yes, I feel lucky – but I also feel so ready for this break, I can tell you. It’s been a long time coming. The last long haul flight we took was almost three years ago when we went to Australia to get married. and for me, there’s nothing like a long haul flight to make you feel grounded.

Lately, I’ve been getting a few neck and shoulder problems because of all the typing – my freelancing requires prolonged time at the computer as well as my writing – and I’m looking forward to stepping away from the computer and getting some time to be in the moment and breathe.

And when I get back I’m going to try some preventative measures with fellow West Cork writer Louise O’Neill that include yoga, talking books & just hanging out. I’ve decided I need more of that in my life.

There are lots of exciting things on the horizon that I can’t wait to share – including a week working with rescued elephants just outside of Chang Mai (in a few weeks time), and a future trip to Cambodia with the Singing Kites charity where I’ll be spending some time teaching and some time writing.

But for now, I just want to say goodbye to my dog before he goes to the kennels and get a bit of sleep. Six weeks will fly and if I can resist dipping into social media when I’m away (which I very much doubt), I’ll be back to the blog within a week of my return.

So in my absence, take care, have fun and make sure you make time to relax. See you in a few weeks. Happy writing!

Recharge!

I just spent a week away in Bergamo, Italy, and I have to say, it was wonderful. Daily doses of sunshine (always desirable if you live in Ireland), great food and gorgeous scenery (think clear blue lakes surrounded by snow capped peaks and winding cobbled streets surrounded by ancient walls), as well as plenty of time to spend with my husband without worrying or thinking about anything other than just being.

Beautiful city of bergamo, Italy

View of the old town, Bergamo

Why am I telling you this? Not to make you green with envy, but to encourage you to take some time out.

Whether you’re a writer, a jeweller, a gardener or a teacher… Whatever your career/vocation, this is a call to arms.

Take some time to relax and recuperate. Right away, if possible.

Running the risk of sounding like a reformed smoker, hell bent on conforming everyone around me,  I think it’s so important to let the batteries recharge. And that means properly…

Try closing the laptop, shutting down Twitter (as well as Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn), and engage in the world immediately around you. Just be for a while. Be spontaneous. Even just for half an hour. See if it makes any difference to your energy, enthusiasm or mindset. It may not, but it’s worth a try.

In my experience, this relaxing malarkey isn’t something people are particularly skilled at these days. We seemed programmed to multi task and achieve, hell bent on keeping going against all odds and never giving up.

Dedication and determination are fantastic qualities – to a degree. Yet like anything, too much can be a bad thing.

As writers, we need to have a clear mind to create. Yes, the jumbled thoughts do contribute to creating characters, plot, dialogue etc – but only if we’re not worrying about other external factors such as money, chores, emails, the number of Twitter followers and the latest funny YouTube videos of ninja bunnies.

One way to achieve this is to shut down, away from it all, and just engage.

Holidays aren’t always a possibility, but you can take a walk, play with the dog, plant a few rose bushes, sketch your surroundings or try something new – take some time for yourself to let your brain recharge.

How do you relax and recharge? Any tips for others?