black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on


By Natalie Nera


I am very bad at taking my own advice, such as write every day for at least fifteen minutes. I have not done that for the past two months. Writing a blog at least once a week is a good incentive to keep going even though muses are not with you. When I say muses, I mean in actual fact, I don’t have a headspace to be creative.

Several months ago we made a decision to move house and move countries. Ever since (and several years before that for other reasons), my life has been a roller coaster. As lovely as my parents are, living with them is not easy. Not having my own chair or desk, or bed for that matter does not help. I do not sleep well. When staring into the ceiling in the early hours of the morning, I constantly churn in my head if I made a big mistake.

I also work. On top of that, I try to manage the completion of an anthology back in Newcastle. My sons, especially the older one, find the transition hard.  I need to pay the property tax for the apartment we are moving in January,  completing a form that is barely comprehensible. I still have to book appointments for my sons at a dentist. And myself. And an optician. And a GP. Plus work, cleaning, cooking and a lot of criticism for not hitting some impossible standards for a housewife. And a mother.

It is a place from which it is difficult to start working creatively and believe that somehow you are good enough, or at least all right. You cannot use your precious half an hour with a mindset that tells you that you are a complete failure. How do I survive this? Just keep writing even a blog entry once a week. Or a letter. Keep reading. And keep waiting for the storm to be over and to have your own desk and chair that would give you the happiness of creation and return of your own self.  For it is easy to lose that sense when everybody demands a piece of you and everybody expects perfection.  It is safe to say that I am beginning to look the way I feel.

So for those of you who recognise these struggles, please do not despair, there are many of us like this. There are many of us who have had struggles, pauses, breaks or even breakdowns. You bounce back. You always do.

On that hopeful note, I would like to open our blog to submissions. Please watch our website this week for the guidelines.  Natalie Crick and I will make an announcement about our projects next year soon.