Saturday, 3 June 2017

Lydia Parents: A Weekend Away

So, we took this little trip away recently for a communion. It was a weekend trip to the west of Ireland and we stayed overnight at a lodge. 

(Aiden looked super in his grey jacket (H&M), converse top (TKMax) black jeans (Next) and a pair of grey Nike trainers.)

It was one of those trips that you weren’t expecting to go well, but actually turned out so good. The place we booked was booked on a whim. Places were going fast and needed to make sure we had a place to stay. I basically booked the first place I came across. It was either that or we’d be facing a three hour journey there and back on the same day.

We started our journey at seven in the morning. It was raining, a lot (typical Irish weather), and we arrived just as mass was beginning. Aiden was good, but started to get upset and restless half way through. I took him outside for a little while to get some fresh air and a drink. He was fine after, so we went back inside.

After church we went to check into the lodge to drop off our bags and were surprised by how nice it was. We basically had our own apartment with separate rooms, our own miniature kitchen and an en-suite. The people running it were lovely and told us to help ourselves to anything we wanted.

 It was Aiden’s first stay in a hotel and I loved seeing how excited he was exploring his new surroundings. After dropping off our bags, we went for a meal with the family to celebrate the nephew making his communion. We had a three course meal and then Aiden had a blast playing with his cousins.

Unfortunately, when I got back to the hotel, I vomited. Trying to squeeze a three course meal into the same area as your very active baby doesn’t quite work out. 

The next morning, we had breakfast and decided to go for a walk along the beach after. We were heading back the same day, so we wanted to get as much fresh air and relaxing in as possible before the journey. The scenery was stunning, despite the overcast clouds. After the beach, we went to a cute little market and went to say goodbye to the family.

Now for the reason for this post. I didn’t actually realise how much I needed this weekend trip away. Everything has been hectic. My head has been full to the brim of anxious thoughts over things that need to be done before the baby arrives. I actually forgot what it was like to just take a breather and relax. And that’s what we did. We took a deep breath, we relaxed and it felt amazing. It put things back into perspective; that life is to be lived too.

So, a note to my future self:
Take more weekend trips away with your family. You’ll feel better.

Pinky promise.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Lydia Talks: Self-Doubt

Here’s the thing about self-doubt.

It blows. Really.

At some point in life, whether that be occasionally or all the time, you will doubt yourself. It can be about anything and it can feel like you’re standing under this really big and dark cloud with no light to be seen for miles and miles. It’s a soul sucker. It sucks you dry of everything, leaving you an insecure mess.

And self-doubt and writing seem to go hand in hand.

Inner-critic, or as I like to call it an inner-bitch, is harsh. Really harsh. Now, I’m all about self-love and positivity, but there are times you can give yourself so much self-hate it can make you feel deflated and depressed.

The reality of it is you’re putting yourself down over stuff that’s just in your head.
Nearly every author I know has gone, or is going, through this. It’s apparently normal, but at the same time it doesn’t feel normal. It even feels like self-inflicted abuse at times.

Why can’t I just be positive? Why can’t I enjoy what I’m doing? Why can’t I be happy with anything I write?

Why, why why?

Negativity hinders progress. Fear stops you from achieving goals.

I’ll write something, and after I read it back, I’ll fall into despair because I think it sucks. I’ll then start my own hate campaign and tell myself that I’m not good enough. That I’m never going to be an author if I keep this shit up. That I’m never going to make it.

Just STOP.

I’m putting heaps of pressure and stress on myself for nothing. All this self-doubt and hate is doing the opposite of what it’s yelling at me to do. Write better! Try harder! Do More! Yet I’m clamming up under the pressure.

I don’t like dwelling on the past, but I’ve picked up more broken pieces in my life than I’ve mended. So for me, it’s like I expect to keep picking up these broken pieces and this inner critic I have is like its damn cheerleader. It’s not encouraging and it’s not helping.

The problem is we can’t get rid of it.

I’ve realised there’s very little defeating self-doubt. It’s an inescapable thing. Hello writers block. Unless you’re a super positive person twenty-four-seven (alien), you’re going to go through episodes of self-doubt and uncertainty.

Why? That’s life.

I think we need to chill the f*ck out and cut ourselves some slack. Writing is hard. It’s hard and time consuming, but we do it because we love it. Life’s tough enough without us being shitty to ourselves as well.

Just because Maggie Brownie Brown has released several books in a year while you’re still working on your first six years later, doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be a writer or that you’re not going to make it.

I’ve found it best to approach the whole writing thing with indifference. So what if I’ve got about five-thousand mistakes. So what if my grammar sucks. So what if my plot has holes. So what if my characters are planks. So what if I’m not like Maggie Brownie Brown.


I’ll be Lydia and I’ll do it my way.

Sure, I’ll self-doubt myself and I’ll do it some more, but I think the key is to not give up. Maybe one day it will pay off, and if not, at least you’re doing something you love.