Following on from my last post, a vital tip – of which I often need to remind myself – regarding writing is:
If you can help it, don’t write when you’re tired!
Fresh eyes are always good, and if you have the chance, get outside sources to check and pick up that rare but annoying – like a mosquito bite – typo. You need that. You also need adequate time to tweak the words, freshen the expression, and enjoy the process, rather than feeling the millstone of obligation.
Read. Comfort read. This reading is the sort of activity that will stick with you in good times and bad alike, with poignant quotes and captivating stories lodging themselves in your memory bank.
My favourite comfort and inspiration read is a beautiful magazine called The Simple Things. It hails from the UK, and while it’s seasonally out of step with Australia, it has enough universally appealing content to hold its own. Every month has a new theme, and this month – fittingly – it’s ‘Comfort’.
From this issue – No. 41 – some of the topics I’ve enjoyed and learned about are:
- Bobble hats (I make these! Kindred spirits)
- How to make cinder toffee
- Lauren O’Farrell and yarnstorming
- Grey Sky Thinking: the enjoyment of rainy days and how ‘…in Botswana, where rain isn’t seen for months in the dry season, to wish someone luck you say “Pula, pula, pula”. It means “rain, rain, rain”…’
- The festival of lights in Mumbai
- The history of arboretums
- Wildlife photography (complete with the most captivating shot of a Northern Gannet soaring over the Shetland Isles)
- Indoor gardens
- Subversive cross stitch
- How to make a magazine stool (I could probably create a few dozen of those)
- The anatomy of a tree trunk
- Pasta shape identification
…and a few other bits and pieces besides.
I often dip into a bundle of The Simple Things as a supreme but necessary indulgence. In fact, in the New Year I’m planning to make my way through each issue, from No. 1, and try at least one project or challenge a month. There is too much goodness in this magazine for it to idle away in my bookcase.
I look forward to sharing it with you!