Carys Shannon is creating short stories &novels based around animal rights/veganism/nature
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I'm a writer. I write. I have always written since the day I learned how to string words together with full stops and commas on a page. Before that I was a storyteller.
Sometimes I still am.

I want to write from the most authentic place. I want my words to be worthy of being in the world. I want them to mean something to someone.  I don't want to be weighed down by worries or norms. I don't want to censor or be censored. I want to create, to play, to give life to ideas and let them be free in the world. I want to empty my heart and mind onto the page and take you on that journey with me.

By supporting me, you are helping me as a writer take the time and focus to do the only thing I want to do, to write the places and people that my mind wanders to, to imagine worlds onto paper, to do what I feel I was born to do - to write.

Thank you. 


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 prolifically, 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. I hope you enjoy it and join me here for many more honest moments like this one. Thanks for reading. 

I thought there were already too many words in the world, too much of the above, everybody talking and nobody really listening or connecting with anyone with more than a 'like' or a 'check out my page' link. I doubted that anything I could write was valuable/useful/interesting enough to be worthy of breaking my virtual silence and sharing with the world. I'd just be adding more noise. I've always been a good listener. Maybe I should just stick to that? That's how it stayed for a while. Occasionally I'd think about something I could write about, usually a question or a reflection about a tiny day to day detail or a personal interaction which I would explore through imagined blog writing in my head. These never made it to paper let alone the screen. I didn't think they were definite enough. 

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 the idea 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 title of blog should have helped give me a clue. 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 authentically 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 for me 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 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 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) seemed like a really good idea to me. Cue another beautiful friend and fellow vegan who appeared like a blessing and asked if I'd like to do yoga and writing retreats with her. The answer was yes. You don't say no to magical people like that. The next question was, do you have a blog...

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 an authentic 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'e shelved the rhetoric and send the doubt monster packing with his drum up his ass. Anything is possible. One small act at a time.

Thanks for reading,
Carys.



Tiers
Seeds
$1 or more per month
Thank you for helping me plant the seeds of my stories. You'll get a personal thank you message and patron only access posts on here with updates on my writing projects and progress. I'll be honest about the ups and downs of the writing process and share inspiration from the writing community.  You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.
Seedlings
$5 or more per month
Thank you for helping me create time and space to cultivate my stories. You'll receive a personal thank you message, the patron only access posts as above as well as a monthly email with photos of my writing spaces, extracts from my notebooks and information about ongoing character and location research.  You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.
Trees
$25 or more per month only 10 left
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 an unedited monthly extract from a WIP with an explanation on where the writing process is going. You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.
I'm a writer. I write. I have always written since the day I learned how to string words together with full stops and commas on a page. Before that I was a storyteller.
Sometimes I still am.

I want to write from the most authentic place. I want my words to be worthy of being in the world. I want them to mean something to someone.  I don't want to be weighed down by worries or norms. I don't want to censor or be censored. I want to create, to play, to give life to ideas and let them be free in the world. I want to empty my heart and mind onto the page and take you on that journey with me.

By supporting me, you are helping me as a writer take the time and focus to do the only thing I want to do, to write the places and people that my mind wanders to, to imagine worlds onto paper, to do what I feel I was born to do - to write.

Thank you. 


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 prolifically, 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. I hope you enjoy it and join me here for many more honest moments like this one. Thanks for reading. 

I thought there were already too many words in the world, too much of the above, everybody talking and nobody really listening or connecting with anyone with more than a 'like' or a 'check out my page' link. I doubted that anything I could write was valuable/useful/interesting enough to be worthy of breaking my virtual silence and sharing with the world. I'd just be adding more noise. I've always been a good listener. Maybe I should just stick to that? That's how it stayed for a while. Occasionally I'd think about something I could write about, usually a question or a reflection about a tiny day to day detail or a personal interaction which I would explore through imagined blog writing in my head. These never made it to paper let alone the screen. I didn't think they were definite enough. 

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 the idea 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 title of blog should have helped give me a clue. 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 authentically 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 for me 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 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 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) seemed like a really good idea to me. Cue another beautiful friend and fellow vegan who appeared like a blessing and asked if I'd like to do yoga and writing retreats with her. The answer was yes. You don't say no to magical people like that. The next question was, do you have a blog...

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 an authentic 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'e shelved the rhetoric and send the doubt monster packing with his drum up his ass. Anything is possible. One small act at a time.

Thanks for reading,
Carys.



Recent posts by Carys Shannon

Tiers
Seeds
$1 or more per month
Thank you for helping me plant the seeds of my stories. You'll get a personal thank you message and patron only access posts on here with updates on my writing projects and progress. I'll be honest about the ups and downs of the writing process and share inspiration from the writing community.  You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.
Seedlings
$5 or more per month
Thank you for helping me create time and space to cultivate my stories. You'll receive a personal thank you message, the patron only access posts as above as well as a monthly email with photos of my writing spaces, extracts from my notebooks and information about ongoing character and location research.  You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.
Trees
$25 or more per month only 10 left
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 an unedited monthly extract from a WIP with an explanation on where the writing process is going. You'll also receive a lot of gratitude - thank you for helping me to write.