Taking that un-guilty break from blogging

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Taking that un-guilty break from blogging

In a busy world that never seems to stop or slow down it can often make us feel as though we are behind in our lives, we are constantly out looking to achieve that goal that will get us that one step closer to where we want to be.

And so often because of this we either forget to take little breaks or we choose not to have them, convincing ourselves that it makes us weak in some way or stressing ourselves by thinking of how far behind we will be if we take that little break.

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selfie with cat mug

But at some point we all have to put down out work\activity\project and pick up a cup of tea with maybe a book or two in order to give our minds a little rest. If you are anything like me then you too find it difficult to justify taking a break, to relax without feeling guilty for it. For the sake of our mental health though, it such an incredibly necessary thing to do.

Last week after experiencing a few very difficult few months where my mental health slipped a little, and after making a tweet and receiving some much needed advice… I made the decision not to give up on my dreams, not to let my mental illness and dark cycles take over again and took a week away from blogging.

Day one, I felt incredibly stupid. Thinking to myself, ‘are you seriously going to take a break in the first year of your blogging days? Are you really that breakable that you can’t handle the responsibility, work and stress that comes with blogging? Are you really that weak?’…

Day one, I found myself in a self-hate thought loop.

Day two, was a little better. I was able to break easily from the self-hate thought loop, however the fact that I was able to break from it made me hopeful that the next day would get better. I still didn’t really want to blog, only wanting to do it because I felt like I HAD to and not because I WANTED to.

Day three, was MUCH easier. The self-hate thought loops came less, I was able to actually enjoy my time away from my laptop and enjoy the present moments.

As the days wore on the less guilty I stated to feel and that was mainly because I realised two things in that week;

  1. I notice a big improvement in my mental health. I’ve even managed to gain the most weight this week than I have probably ever and although I have mixed feelings on my body changing, it’s made me feel more positive and hopeful.
  2. Time way gave me time to refocus, re-plan, re-brand (I’ll be doing a post shortly on what I mean about this) and re-approach how I blog. It’s also helped to give me new ideas for new blog posts!

When taking this break I didn’t pick up a book at first, knowing that if I did I would have picked up one of the ones that it’s my TBR pile and I’d probably end up having written up a review on it and posting onto my blog. And so with that in mind I set myself some rules, some boundaries, because the temptation to do something I told myself I wasn’t allowed to. The temptation of carrying on even though it was stressing me beyond even what I realised was ALMOST too much to resist. Don’t get me wrong I have NO self control what so ever and that usually is my biggest flaw but thankfully I have fallen in love with someone who probably has the most self control I’ve ever witness in one person and he helps keep my temptations kept aside so I am able to focus on the bigger picture.

So what did I do to ensure that I would not dive back into blogging?:

  1. I kept my laptop hidden away inside of two bags and placed in the cupboard (yes I am that bad that I have to resort to such lengths to assure I don’t give into temptation).
  2. I started focusing a little more on my candles, how I really want them to look, how I want them to appear, the labelling and picking out the names of them. A lot of that got swiped aside as I was also focusing on how to make my blog and go through with becoming a blogger.
  3. I focused a little more on planning my WIP (Work in progress) and writing more in my notebooks (yes I did mean I had to buy more notebooks, that part actually made me really happy. I’m always happy to have a reason to buy a new notebook or two).
  4. I took a lot more nature walks with my boyfriend as well as spending a lot more quality time with him (rather than sitting in the same room while I work on my blog and he does his thing).
  5. I started to read for pleasure again. A year or two ago I had stopped reading, finding myself unable to focus on the story line any longer I just stopped reading. I lost my love for reading for a while. That was until I read Olga Gibbs fantastic page turning book Heavenward and Hallow. But even then with my love of reading returned to me I didn’t look for books that I wanted to read and I limited myself to reading ONLY books that I was going to review. If I wasn’t reviewing it, then I wasn’t reading it.
  6. Lastly, I’ve started getting back into all the things I used to love when I was younger. (Reading, Writing, writing music, playing the piano, writing my own poems again and tracking my dreams through a dream journal, and so on).

With everything in mind, I’m VERY much aware of how difficult it can be to make the decision to take that break, to let yourself relax and to accept that you can re-grow from your time away.

But when your mental health is suffering, when you find yourself no longer able to enjoy the things you used to, when getting up in the morning feels like a chore again instead of a blessing to be a wake, to be alive and this opportunity to do something new, something different, something fun or exciting. That’s when you need to be able to step back and think to yourself, ‘I need a break,’ and you need to do so without the guilt.

No one should ever feel guilty for looking after themselves, for being able to say stop when they need to. No one should feel guilty for giving your brain that break, your creativity side that much needed rest to refuel.

No one should feel guilty for taking a needed break.

I want to thank everyone who spoke to me, gave me words of encouragement and advice. I could never repay you for your kind words or for helping in stopping me from making probably one of the worst decisions of my life this year.

I came very close to giving up on my dreams and on my blog but with the support from some incredible people and strangely timed WordPress “achievement” that reminded me a year ago on the 10th August 2018 I made a WordPress account and for 2 months even created a free blog site before quickly deleting it due to self-doubt and insecurities.

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1 year Anniversary of having WordPress

This year wasn’t about giving up, that was last year, this year is meant be about fighting the fear and fighting for what I want. The biggest fight will always be with myself but I refuse to let that side of me win any longer, I’m ready to live the life I want.

Like my yearly quote says;

If you can’t fight fear, fight scared.

And that’s exactly what I pan to do.

I also want to thank you all so much for sticking by my side and for taking the time to read my post. I hope everyone has a wonderful week a head of them, and don’t let those Monday Blue’s get you!

P.S – I have a Harry Potter giveaway running on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter, where I will be picking not 1 but TWO winners. So be sure to check that out!

Twitter – @Tinkableeblog

Facebook Page – LittleTinkablee Blog

Instagram – @Littletinkablee

Author Interview with Olga Gibbs

Before releasing my book review on heavenward and my post on joining the Hallow book tour and my experience with it, I thought I’d introduce the author herself. The wonderful and amazing writer of the captivating dark fantasy series ‘The Celestial Creatures’ Olga Gibbs was kind enough to take time out of her busy scheduled to answer a few questions for us, isn’t that great?

So, I understand that You’ve published a book called Heavenward (The first book in the Celestial Creatures series) and will soon be publishing another book following Heavenward, was that planned from the beginning or did inspiration for a book series hit you after you had finished writing Heavenward?

It was originally planned as a series. Although it was planned as a trilogy, but now it’s shaping up as four books series. I even have titles ready for each of the books in the series: “Heavenward”, “Hallow”, “Harbinger” and “Halo”.
“Heavenward” is a dark fantasy with elements of high fantasy and paranormal fantasy. “Hallow” is a dark urban fantasy with some paranormal elements, and the last two books will be high fantasy as I intend to take all the action into my fantasy realms, into my created worlds.

Could you share with us one or more of you’re writing ritual/s?

I write every day. Every day! Every single day that I don’t work, I pack my children off to school, have breakfast and sit down – ready to write. No excuses. No reason was ever good enough for not doing it. Even when I was ill (well, still sick). Every day. From 9am until at least 3pm – before children will get back from school and will need their mother – I will sit and write. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes all that I will show for so many hours of work is just 500 words, sometimes even less, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that every day I have driven my story forward.
And I don’t begin to write without a plan. I have a rough plan, then make a more detailed one, might even expand it by the chapters (what will go where), but I don’t begin on my story until the plan is done – I hate wasting my time. You will see in the next two answers how valuable my time is!

Where did the inspiration behind Heavenward come from?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heavenward-Dark-fantasy-Celestial-Creatures-ebook/dp/B07HCNK2M8/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=heavenward&qid=1554821699&s=gateway&sr=8-1


At first I had my character – Ariel. I had her with me for a few years now. She lived with me, inside me and one day when I was ready to write, I wondered what I could do with her – for her. Some parts of her is me. Some of her stories are my stories; some of it is from my childhood and my hurt (sorry, that’s as much as I am prepared to share now).
Ariel lived an incredibly tough life and I wanted her to have something good for a change. I wanted to give her her power back and for a good measure to throw humanity in it, to put us at her mercy, to turn the table. I’ve written this book for all girls out there, like Ariel – like I was once – powerless at that moment, struggling, emotionally and mentally. With this book I wanted to tell them, that they’re an incredible universe of their own, an archangel, who can change the world if decided to do so. I wanted these girls to know that their past doesn’t have to define them – I make sure every day that it doesn’t define me.
I find it incredibly sad that there are almost no books for girls like Ariel. There are books written for adults who suffered abuse, but nothing to help girls to push through, to let them know that there’s no shame, to make them feel that they’re not alone – and that’s the main issues: self-loathing, guilt, hate and utter isolation.
This topic is not appropriate for YA market (or so I was told), so here we are.
But I didn’t want to write a realistic book about Ariel’s abuse. I feel that someone who never lived through such things wouldn’t want to read about it, the way it would come out of me would be too disturbing. (You’ve read this book, right? And it’s me diluting it for the YA market), and girls, who lived through it, would never want to relive it, so that how this book became a fantasy.  But I felt it was important to give Ariel a voice, to speak about the abuse that some girls are suffering on a daily basis.
“Heavenward” is a story of empowerment and the promise of hope.  

What do you like to do in your spare time if you aren’t reading or writing?

I have very little spare time. I am writing every hour God sent. I read. I have family: husband and two teenage daughters, who need my support and guidance every day (and help with homework for GCSE year). I work part-time as a supply teacher in a secondary school and as a facilitator for the fantastic charity called “Juno Project”, which is operates in Sussex and is chaired by amazing woman, who I am proud to call my friend, Ali Golds. I am very passionate about this charity. The “Juno Project” provides support and empowers the girls, who are at risk from being excluded from school, to achieve their goals in spite of their challenges. Unfortunately, my illness precluded me from taking groups this academic year, but I am planning to get back swinging towards end of this year.

What does your family think of your writing? Have any of them read your book?

My family is very supportive of my writing. My husband always has encouraged me to write, but after I’ve read a few excerpts from “Hallow” to him, he thinks that I should drop all my other work engagements and spend my time only writing – honing my craft, so to speak. Both my girls read my book. The eldest has read both of my books and helped me with the first book a fair bit, mainly encouraging me, re-reading some parts back to me and quizzing me, challenging me, demanding me to do better. The youngest started reading “Heavenward” but she didn’t go past the scene of essence waking in Ariel. She teared up a bit there and said that doesn’t want to read any further. Fair enough. I always thought that if the book doesn’t bring you pleasure, you should close it and move on. Well, for me that applies to every book, apart from academic or research literature and documents.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Heavenward? And
do you hear from your readers much? What kind of things do they say?

I guess I was surprised to find out that I have such a great imagination – to create these worlds, creatures, clothing, and disturbing to think how dark my imagination can go – how twisted it can be, and that me trying to hold myself back as I still had YA book parameters to work within.
Very rarely a reader might write and say that they have enjoyed the book – I only had two to date – but these messages make me feel that I have done well and I have achieved that I set out to achieve. I love to see that some understood and saw (maybe read between the lines) what I was trying to do.

What would you say was your Kryptonite? What do you dislike writing about?

To write anything sweet and “plushy”. Cutesy things, romance, comedy, happily-ever-after stories – I don’t know how to do that. My impulse is to throw my characters into deep waters, with sharks circling them, and watch them swim. Or maybe they will drown each other?

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the good and bad ones?

That’s a very tricky one, every author will attest to that. I am tempted to read reviews, but for the last few months, I was learning and keeping myself away from all review platforms. With my logical mind, I know and understand that I can’t please everyone, nobody can – that’s simply impossible, but my heart wants to see and read reviews. I want to know if the years of my life and work have paid off, if baring myself to the world was worth the gamble. But I am learning to stay away – just to protect myself. It’s a simple self-preservation.

If you had to describe your main character in three words what would those three words be?

Difficult, broken, unapologetic.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing Heavenward?

The biggest challenge was to tone the story down for YA market (and I think I have miserably failed still). I wanted to write this book for girls of age 12-18 – this book is for them. For the girls, who may need this book so they don’t feel alone, for the girls who need to believe in themselves. This book is for them.

What was your highlight writing heavenward?

The readers who said that it’s the best book they have ever read (or even if it’s just the best book this year). The readers who have appreciated the story and understood what I was trying to do.

And lastly (I swear this is the last question I have) Do you have any piece of advice or favourite quote you could share with aspiring author’s such as myself?

Just two: “Grow a thicker skin if you want to publish your story” and “don’t wait for an inspiration to hit you – start working and the muse will come”.

Wow! Thank you, Olga, for sharing with us today. I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and I have to say this is one book that helped me out of a year reading funk, kept up at night and had my emotion rushing in a whirlwind while reading through it. Considering you’ve made it to #1 in Amazon I think it’d be safe to assume that your book has reached many women and young girls who are falling in love with your story and the world that you have built within your book.

If you would like to check out the book you can now download your copy FOR FREE. That’s right, in early celebration for the release of Hallow you can now get the #1 in amazon for Teen & Young Adult girls & Women Issues Nonfiction eBooks and #1 in Teen & Young Adult Folklore & Mythology eBooks! So don’t waste anytime and CLICK HERE to be directed to your free copy. And stay tuned for the release of the next book Hallow and my book review on it.

Also if anyone would like to check out the charity ‘ The Juno Project’ then please CLICK HERE to be directed to their site.

Foe under cover – when friends turn

Freshman Year of High School

 My name is Karalee, and I am 25 years old. I am from Texas, but I currently live in Denmark. I have a three-year-old daughter, and my blog Tales of Belle focuses on beauty, books, and lifestyle.

    At the start of my freshman year of high school, I ate lunch with a group of friends who I have known since junior high. We were in the same class during the lunch break therefore it made sense to eat lunch together. However, things quickly changed. Every day during lunch, my friends would tell me I am fat and make fun of me while I was eating my lunch. I tried to laugh it off because how could my friends be so mean to me? As the days went on, my friends continued to bring my self-esteem down,

I ended up feeling horrible about myself, but I tried to stick around hoping that my friends would go back to the way they used to be. They did not.

   One day I decided I had enough of my friends bringing me down.

I realised that if they were my real friends, they would not constantly call me fat.

During that lunch break, instead of sitting with my normal friends, I went up to another one of my friends in my class and asked him if I could eat lunch with him. He did not mind, and for the first time since starting high school I felt accepted.

Instead of him making fun of me, we talked about normal friend things.

For the rest of the school year, I ate lunch with him instead of my “fake friends”.

   However, things did not stop there. My ex-friends noticed I was no longer eating lunch with them, and when they would try to talk to me, I ignored them because I decided for my self-esteem it would be best to not socialise with people who constantly brought me down. Shortly after I had started eating lunch with my guy friend, my ex-friends started a rumour about me. They decided to tell our mutual friends that I was pregnant and my guy friend was the father.

I was in shock. Not only did my ex-friends bring my self-esteem down to rock bottom, but they started a rumour that was the furthest from the truth.

I was a virgin at the time and me and my guy friend were just friends. Luckily, our mutual friends realised the truth, and the rumour died quickly.

   Even though I went through a horrible experience in high school, I was able to realise who my real friends were, and I remained friends with them for the rest of high school while I distanced myself from ex-friends. Without my real friends including my guy friend who I ate lunch with during my freshman year, I would probably have a difficult time moving on from the experience of being bullied. It did take me the rest of high school to feel confident in myself again,

but my friends were constantly there to bring me up, and by the time I started college I could finally say I love myself.

Kids really can be horrible one another at times, especially when jealous hits them. I think this experience can who others just how deceiving people can be and I have met first hand some people who may have came across as lovely or nice and then turned out the be more than the exact opposite.

I’m so glad that you’re guy friend could help through such a difficult time, even while he was thrown into their silly little games, some people cower from that sort of thing and when a person can stand tall for both you through it… I think it’s safe to say that’s a true friend right there. I also think its wonderful that you had friends that didn’t scum to your ex-friends silly ways.

You’re experience and the way you handle it reminds me of quote about strength and courage;

A truly strong person does not need the approval of other’s anymore than a lion needs the approval of sheep.

Vernon Howard

Because it takes a lot of strength and courage to estrange yourself from people you once thought of as friends and to stick your ground when they get so cruel, you should be proud of the girl you was back then as she has helped you transform into the woman you are today.

Click here, if you would like to check out Karalee’s beautiful blog @Talesofbelle and read her latest blog post, ‘The Haunting Of Hill House Book Review.’

I would like to thank Karalee and everyone else who has so far taken part in the ‘My Bully Experience.’ If you would like to get involved or take part in some way (you can be completely anonymous in sharing your story if you aren’t comfortable with sharing who you are while sharing these experiences) You can send me an email with a short Bio (or not) any links to blogs/pages/social media’s , any pictures and of course you’re experience with either online/real life bulling, trolling or stalking.

If you’d like to read more ‘my bully experience’ stories then you ‘ click here ‘ and read the other brave yet inspiring stories written by amazing people who have overcome such terrible treatment off other’s.

Writer’s Block

Being a writer isn’t easy and it’s made worse when you get hit by the much dreaded ‘writer’s block.’ An invisible blockage that stops the flow of words and ideas from reaching the writer.

Being an aspiring author myself and becoming a new blogger, I have found that writer’s block can and will hit you more than once. Receiving writer’s block is no fun task, nor is it something I would wish upon any writer/author. Sometimes my writer’s block can last for days, weeks, months and even years! Occasionally the creative flow you had can suddenly disappear without a word, one second you are on fire writing left, right and centre and then the next you’re wallowing in self-pity not understanding why the words are no longer coming to you like flowing water as they once had.

Writer’s block is simply this: A psychological inhibition that prevents creative writer’s from continuing with their work, writer’s block is a problem that obstructs the writer’s ability to tap into that part of their brain that comes up with the ideas/words. Writer’s block can prevent anyone from finishing their novel, poem, deadlines, post etc.

Anyone who has experienced writer’s block will know, fretting too much or trying to force original ideas can cause you a great deal of creative constipation. If you are experiencing anything like this/ or this is your first-time experiencing writer’s block then please don’t be alarm and don’t give up, you can get that creative energy flowing again, you just have to be patient!

I wrote a list below of all the things (you can try) that I do to help bring back my creative flow:

(1). Read a book. Now there is no denying that once I have read a good book or five… I am hit with a tidal force of inspiration and ideas! Filling your head with other people’s words, other people’s worlds can really help to inspire you’re own. After a good book, I can find myself writing for weeks afterwards!

(2). Eliminate all distractions. This one is easier said than done, personally, I get easily distracted and usually by my own thoughts and crazy ideas. To bring me back into “writer’s mode” I like to lock myself in a room with nothing – harder to do when you have three clingy cats that follow you everywhere- but a cup of hot cholate/tea/ coffee (I’m a little obsessed with all hot beverages), some food, chocolate and no internet. Just me and my words.

(3). Go for a walk. This is one of my three favourite things I like to do to help get out of writer’s block. There is nothing like walking along a park or through a wooded area feeling the breeze on your face and the little sunbeams warming your skin. Hearing the birds tweet to one another as you watch nature play its role as you take your peaceful stroll. I try to go for a nature walk at least once-twice a day.

(4). Change your environment. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed! Being cooped up in the same place day in and day out writing and researching doesn’t do anyone any good. Try taking your work to the park, a quiet little coffee shop and do you’re writing there! I have a little cafe fifteen minutes from where I live but I also really enjoy going to the Cat Cafe Liverpool early hours in the morning when my writing is at its peak and my mind is still in a creative haze. Once you’ve gotten over the overload cuteness of cats/kittens bringing your writing to life is almost like magic when doing it there. (Click the link if you’d like to know more about Cat Cafe Liverpool).

(5). Freestyle Write. Every day set a timer for 15-20 minutes and spend that time writing freely with no limitations. This will help stretch your brain muscle giving you the ability to be and allow yourself to be more creative with your writing in turn pushing aside your writer’s block!

(6). Read some inspiring quotes. This is my second favourite thing to do daily whenever I find myself hit hard with writer’s block. The internet is full of so many inspiring and motivational quotes, go out there and read them! I know people tend to overuse quotes but for the art of creativity, this one can be important as artists are forever looking for inspiration and supportive messages. (Click here to be directed to my post about book quotes! This will help get you started and hopefully, help in giving you the motivation to go out there and find quotes that speak to you.)

(7). Do something to get your blood flowing. A great way to prevent or get out of writer’s block is to keep the blood in your body flowing. To do this I like to do Yoga, if you are new to yoga then I’d suggest starting out doing Hatha Yoga (click here to learn about yoga and all the different optional practices open to you). Pilates and light workouts routines.

(8). Drink plenty of water and make sure you are spending time around those you love. Keeping yourself hydrated while surrounding yourself with good energy is another great way to get yourself out of writer’s block. People have a funny way of sparking that creative wick in your brain. Go see some friends, meet up with an old one? Go talk to a stranger walking their dog, I’ve come across a lot of lovely chatty dog walkers. I personally like to be around my family as pretty much most of them are really creative in their own way & I always have a sense of calm and belonging when around them. And my boyfriend, my right hand, my soulmate, a feeling so great I fear my heart may burst at times. The funny thing about being on this earth is that there are other people too 🙂 go out and mingle a little, push yourself out of your comfort zone!

(9). Listen to music. Take some time out of your day to listen to some music, whether you are listening to your favourites, old throwbacks you used to listen to or listening to something new, music is the age-old answer to any creative blockage.

(10). And lastly, go out and do something different. Teach yourself a new skill (I’ve started baking at least once a week with my little siblings), try out a new hobby go skydiving! Writer’s block is partly there because of the same old routine, sometimes you just have to spice things up a bit. Go out and try something new, something else creative and have fun doing it knowing that you may just climb out of your writer’s block after all!

We made blue cupcakes last week (I’ll link the post once it’s up!)

I hope this has helped you out of your writer’s block or at the very least I hope my post has given you a few ideas on how to climb your way out of writer’s block!

If you have any suggests that I’ve not mentioned drop them below in the comments, have a wonderful week!