It’s been too long & getting my mojo back in May…

Firstly, I’m sooooo sorry it’s taken this long to write, but as usual life got a little busy since training to be a Coach which I started at the beginning of this year. And rather than beating myself up about not getting a blog post out, instead I’m going to use the content I write in my monthly newsletter to keep in touch, and then when I have the time, get back to some more topic-led posts too. That way I can still connect with my Blog readers, and hopefully you’ll enjoy catching up with what I’m up to too with the CCC!

This month I feel like I’m getting a bit of my creative mojo back, after a busy April, and that’s mainly down to 2 reasons:

  1. All 3 of my photos are being shown in the People’s Exhibition (my fave is the main picture above)– Loving Nature in Kirklees at the Temporary Contemporary Space in the piazza in Huddersfield Town Centre which I’m really pleased about and…
  2. Going to see Laura Price’s debut book launch for Single Bald Female at Read Bookshop in Holmfirth.
At the Love Nature exhibition

The first gave me a confidence boost in my photography skills, and the second, once again reminded me of my longest standing dream, which is to finish writing a book and get it published.

The aim was to do this before 50, but I’m now 48, and it took Laura 6 years to get hers to this point, so maybe that deadline might need to be moved BUT the main thing I need to do is just get myself back in the writing saddle, and stop thinking that I don’t have enough time – classic procrastination excuse!

With Laura at her book launch

What also served as another reminder was finding an exercise in a notebook that I did just over a year ago with Life After Cancer, where we had to visualise a dream coming true – and here is mine, with the none-fiction book, pretending I was launching it in Waterstones, Leeds – a place I used to go a lot when I worked in the centre.

And the funny thing is, re-looking at this little mind-map gets me all giddy and tugs at my heart because the truth is I do really, really want this to happen. And the reason I guess it scares me, is because I know it’s a long-game project. When I think about it, the rest of my projects are either short-term, on regular, and provide instant gratification.

With a book, there are no guarantees that A) It will get published, or B) People will like it and so that un-known can be daunting, BUT I also bring back to myself the lessons I try and give to others on creative journeys:

  1. You have to enjoy the process, and not let it all be about the result, and
  2. Practice makes progress, not perfection.

Writing it before was giving me so much joy so I need to remember that.

So, if you too, are feeling stuck, or your dream feels pretty big and a little daunting, just have a think about this, and then break it all down and ask yourself,

What is one step you could take this week, to get a little closer to your dream?

And I’m going to let you all be my accountable guides and vow to at least have re-read the 15k words I’ve already written, to get me back into the zone of writing it! I’ll report back next month!

Also, I would absolutely love it if you would share with me what your creative dream is – DM me @thecuriouscreativeclub and we can all support one another to keep on track.

And now on to the rest of the things happening at The CCC this month!

3 things I’m working on

My Weekly Creative Writing Club

I need to get back to marketing this more as with the busyness of life it’s not always possible for the people in my group to come on a weekly basis. Plus, it’s important to me for all the members to have different experiences of other writers and their work too, so that everyone can learn from each other.

I love coming up with the weekly challenges though, as it challenges me too! So, if you are interested in having a go, please get in touch, the sessions happen on a Monday evening 7.30-9pm on Zoom, it’s a lovely group and is just a friendly, safe space for you to carve out some creative time for yourself and I love seeing the ideas that people come up with from my prompts.

Please note you DO NOT need to be a professional writer to join! This is all about fun and creativity rather than grammar and English lessons. If you’d like to find out more, click here.

The end of my Coaching Training is nigh

As you know I’ve been on this Coaching training journey for the last 5 months and it comes to an end very soon! It’s been a complete eye-opening journey, and I’ll be incredibly sad when it ends because of the amazing people I’ve met on this course – but of course we will always stay in touch!

Whilst training, we have also been practicing with other trainees throughout, and this last few weeks my coaching partner has been Alex who lives in Romania and is very wise for his years, and whilst in a session he said something to me that really struck a chord:

‘You do know right that the coping mechanisms we construct that become habits have a shelf life and that the same methods won’t keep working forever?’

And the thing is, he is totally right, I’d just never heard it pointed out like that before, and just by saying that, as if this was pure fact, it almost started to give me permission to consider other ways for me and future clients.

And by the way this is the magic of training with @noorworks who will be re-starting the programme I’ve been on again in July so if you are curious, go check it out, I can’t recommend this course enough for ANYONE in terms of personal discovery.

Volunteering Back to Life After Cancer

As you know coaching training for me was made possible by the lovely Steph who runs Life After Cancer – a support group for people who have finished their cancer treatment and have been launched back into ‘normal’ life wondering what the hell just happened and possibly feeling lost and overwhelmed.

Myself and another lady who trained, now help to run the weekly Support Group and will soon start to also deliver the Community Coaching 6-week programme too which is really exciting. Not only will it give us chance to use what we’ve learned with Noorworks, but I’ll be giving back to a community that I fully want to support, because I’ve been there and I know how hard it can be for some.

If you know anyone who is going through treatment, please do let them know about LAC – it’s a fabulous supportive group and network, who’s range of support and information is growing all the time, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.

Sadly, Cancer isn’t going away anytime soon, I know far too many people either going through or have gone through it, but there are inspirational stories out there too. Just this week I’ve been so touched by the mighty Deborah James’s awareness and fundraising work, even as she is now at the point of hospice care after 5 years of living with bowel cancer.

She is an amazing woman, has saved many lives raising awareness, and I read her brilliant book – Fuck You Cancer, when I was first diagnosed which was brutally honest, but hilarious too. This week she has set up a fund @bowelbabefund, raising well over a million in just 24hrs and it’s now over £5M.

The Instagram post, that she never wanted to write says at the end – ‘No regrets, Enjoy life x’

And I couldn’t agree more. 

What I’ve noticed on my walks:

Firstly, I got an extra special nature dose last month when I went away for a few days with the girls and we visited RSPB Bempton Cliffs near Filey! It was like going back to my childhood – my Dad was a really keen birdwatcher and we would regularly visit these places.

But what made it even more magical was seeing the rarest bird I’ll probably see in my lifetime – the only black browed albatross in the UK, named Albie by locals, who got blown of course from Argentina a number of years ago and now spends his time between Bempton and Germany!

We were all awestruck as we saw this 8-foot-wingspanned bird glide around the magnificent white cliffs amongst the thousands of gannets! A very special highlight of our trip!

Happy 6th Birthday Barley!

Back home,  everything is getting so lush and green now. It’s this time of year that I notice the paths are over-flowing with cow parsley, the birds are even noisier and there are insects buzzing all around. I’m delighted to say we have a pair of wood pigeons too, nesting in the ivy in our garden which are keeping me entertained out of my kitchen window! It’s impossible to get a good photo though, they are very well hidden in there!

And finally, I’ve been taking lots of pictures of Barley in the Bluebells, which I do every year. It was her 6th birthday this weekend, or 42 in human years, still as daft as ever though!

What’s lighting me up!

This is what I’m into or learning from at the moment:

Watching;

Ozark’s final season Part 2 is back! I think I held my breathe the whole of the first episode! Love this series, but watching it slowly as I don’t want it to end!

Davina Macall’s – Sex, Mind and the Menopause – CH4 following on from the first documentary just over a year ago. It’s so important that everyone watches this, and I’m grateful that this year they also included women who have had breast cancer who can’t necessarily got onto HRT – keep up the good work Channel 4 and Davina, there’s still so much more to talk about!

Listening to;

Steven Bartlett’s podcast – Diary of a CEO

Two stand-out episodes lately! One with Jessie J who I love but didn’t realise how much she has been through in recent years, and the other with Marcus Buckingham talking about relationships following his book launch – Love + Work.

Steven, the host, is a master interviewer – the depth of the conversations are right up my street, I love his approach and curiosity!

Reading;

Single Bald Female – Laura Price

Really enjoying Laura’s debut, about Jess who finds herself with breast cancer in the middle of a relationship break up and new job, and all the complexities that entails – however meeting maverick Annabel may just change her life! 

Want more creative inspiration and tips?

Podcast interviews:

I’ve also just uploaded the most recent podcast interviews I’ve done with Deborah Ogden and Jana Oliveira onto my website, so if you’d like to have a listen to these, click here

Until Next Time,

TC Juliet, The Curious Creative x

Ps The Curious Creative Club Writing Workshops are BACK! – Now at the Eco- Hub and running in June and July.

Click here to find out more

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