Carys Shannonis creating stories.
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Thank you so much for helping me create secure roots for my story work. I value your belief in my writing and I'm thrilled that you want to be a big part of the work that I'm doing. As above you'll receive a personal thank you message, patron only access updates on writing, monthly photos of my notebooks and writing space and a monthly paragraph of original writing/ WIP. You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.
I want to write from the most authentic place, for it to mean something. I want to create, to play, to give life to ideas and let them be free in the world without inner or outer censorship. I want to empty my heart and mind onto the page and take you on that journey with me.
Why now? / Why Patreon? / Why me?
Over the coming months I hope to share a lot more about myself as a writer and the writing process itself. It's taken me a long time to believe in myself and my writing enough to be in this moment of writing regularly, prioritising my work, sharing it, honing it, crafting it and treating it with the respect that it deserves. Here's a short post about overcoming inner blocks and writing about writing and life online. Thanks for reading.
What was I afraid of then? Was it just that the inner critic was too loud or the 'who am I to do that' of self confidence was too low? Perhaps. After a little reflection I came to the following conclusions:
One. I'm a writer. I write. I think a lot about people, life and the reason why we do things. Some of those thoughts make it into notebooks but others don't. But oh I love to write.On paper. It struck me that the main reason I couldn't get started on the blog was because typing 'reflective thoughts' seemed alien to me. The pencil to paper connection was essential, sensory, and without it I felt lost. So, I started making an effort to note down my ideas in rough on paper first before expanding them on screen.
Two, I'm a writer. I write and that is a very private process. A blog is a public space and that's scary. I got over that one by just getting fed up of my own rhetoric. I also wrote 'write a blog post' on my To Do list until I got sick of looking at it and added in brackets (about why you can't write a blog post) until I finally had nowhere to hide from myself and I just got on with it (this is it by the way.)
Three. I stopped worrying about what I was going to write.
I'm an idealist, a vegan, an animal loving, empathy promoting, save the world in small acts of love kind of person. I thought if I wasn't blogging about the definitive answer to world peace then I wasn't using my space well. I'm over that. The small acts I talk about are just that. Things that we can do authentically. Small steps. A word. A sentence. A smile. An appreciation of something or someone. It doesn't matter. A small act of devotion can be anything that is done with reverence to the act and the subject - with love and care. I care deeply about what I write and I promised myself that I would only write truthfully about whatever was on my mind (or in my notebook.) If I lived my values through my writing then maybe it would connect with other people who are looking for similar values, or acts, or who are maybe just looking.
Four. I tried too hard to categorise myself.
In the first draft of the blog I had a top level page for things that are important to me, travel, writing, language, veganism, past projects etc. I was running in circles trying to define myself and what I'd done before almost as an explanation or apology for what I was doing now and all this before I'd even started. To get past this I got back to the 'why' of it. Why am I writing this blog? To connect. To share. To offer. To be authentic. Ok, well then scrap all the extra info and let the writing speak for itself. I left a few pages to help people get to know me as a writer and a creative. The rest, I hope, will follow.
Five. I have great friends.
One friend has been asking me to write a blog ever since I moved from Wales to Andalucía. I have a lot to say about this on such a deeply personal level that I wasn't sure I could blog about it. For me it was a second chance, a liberation, a rebirth if you like. But I didn't want to write a pure travel blog either, that's never been me. I went to a travel writing class once and fell in love with 'the interior journey' instead which was always the stronger and more interesting part of travel writing. I wrote my first published piece in that class, 'Departure and Return' where the only travel I did was to my mother's funeral and then to the beach afterwards. It shouldn't have 'counted' as travel writing but the inner journey did count and that got me into an anthology with some of the best female nature writers from the UK in 2008. I wrote with the numbness I felt at the time. It was as authentic as I could have been in that moment. That's who I am. This is something that I like to forget about when the self doubt monster (SDM) is stalking around shouting 'Who do you think you are missy?!' whilst beating a drum and generally being distracting and doubtful.
That said friend at the beginning never gave up, she's brilliant like that, and as well as the travel element she asked me to blog about becoming a vegan and how happy it's allowed me to feel. She thought other people would find it helpful. Inspiring even. Now that was something worth writing about to me. Anything I can do to talk about veganism and how incredibly beautiful it is to align personal values with actions (i.e. diet, conscious living, consumer choices) seemed like a really good idea to me.
Six. I read other blogs.
Obvious really but rather than looking at snazzy branded blogs I started to be on the look out for the blogs that I really connected with like, Sharon Blackie, OnBeing, the Woman Who Married a Bear or Laura Munson, most of whom talked about anything they felt like as long as it had a genuine connection to them and they also refused to be defined by labels or categories. Finding your kin, online or off, gives you more confidence to say no to the things that don't feel right and yes to the things that do.
Seven. I got out of my own way.
In the end it's either just you and your excuses or you and what you got up and did. So here's what I got up and did - my first blog post, about why I found writing a blog post so hard. There. I've broken the ice. I've shelved the rhetoric and send the self doubt monster packing with his drum up his ass. Anything is possible. One small act at a time.
Thanks for reading,