I’m descending the stairs in Costa Coffee trying to balance my tray and 2 bags. Going downstairs I see two other people in the group I hope to join and suddenly get terrified and almost go sit upstairs, drink my tea and then run away. What am I hoping to do?? Speed dating? Chess club?? Nope I’m about to join a knitting group! Knitting is something I loved as a youth, suffering from a form of Childhood Arthritis it was a way to keep the suppleness in my fingers and I used to love making teddies and dolls (and for some odd reason cable patterned cardies). I stopped when after breakdown number one the doctor told me to grow up! Back in the early 1990’s there was less knowledge of Mental Health issues including depression. The result being that my poor messed up brain decided that growing up meant stopping all the things that made me…me and spending years pretending to be someone else and being thoroughly miserable.

After breakdown number two (and hopefully the last) things are different and I spent the summer of 2012 re-visiting all the things I loved to do before the Dark Times. So I got the knitting needles out again. I started to make beads again. I started to write again. Somewhere around that time I got invited to a knitting club. And I had every intention of going but either life got in the way or I bottled out. But not last night! This time I was going to do it and it turned out to be a fab decision. They were having a quiet night. The usual group of 10 was down to only two. I’d taken an easy scarf pattern to work on while I got used to how things worked, the others far more experienced at this knit & nattering were making jumpers and lacy blankets. I spent the next two hours knitting away and discussing everything under the sun – the awesomeness of Firefly, Circus of Horrors, Hello Kitty theme parks, Disney, tracing your family tree (see my other bog – hint, hint) and telling stories. It was the best chilled out chat I’ve had since…well since last month in the pub actually…

OK maybe the best chilled out chat with strangers I’ve had in years. I recommend finding some group of choice and just diving in. You never know what you might find and who you might meet.

The rest of the weeks adventures were around stories. Keeping with the saying “yes” theme my good writer friend has asked me to read her manuscript and give construction feedback. The thought terrifies me. What if I don’t like it??? I’m thinking I will though as I’ve liked her previous tales of ghosts and vampires. I’m about a quarter through so far and wondering what on earth she was worried about. Another thing to recommend then – try a new author especially an independent one. You never know who will capture your imagination and stay with you.

Which brings me nicely onto my own writing. It’s very much at the beginning stages. I’ve built up so many ideas since the summer and now I have to find ways of bringing these ideas to life which in itself is turning out to be lots of fun. I picked up a copy of this months Soul & Spirit magazine at the end of last week and discovered a competition to write 500 words of a spiritual story. So I had a go. Apart from my published friend this is the first time I’ve shown work to anyone. I almost again pulled out. Trying to be positive and grow in confidence turns out to be a scary thing sometimes but in the end I hit the send button. It should be on the website anytime soon and the winner is chosen after readers vote for their favourite. After sending I went into a blind panic – What if no one likes my story? What if no one votes for me? What if I just stop flapping and let it be. As one rather sensible person told me that of all the people that will come across their website I should get at least one like.

So it’s been a good week of trying new things but at the same time I feel like I’ve tested my nerves a bit. But it always works out in the end and if you don’t like something then, simple – you don’t do it again.

Til next week….

Be creative

Read my other blog –Family Ties


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