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Hello ,

I'm Charlotte and I am living in York .

Working as an art tutor and organising a local , annual ,arts event called York River Art Market .

I express my creativity in a variety of ways including writing , mainly poetry over the years.

Around a year and a half ago , I heard Cathy Rentzenbrink speaking on Women's Hour and what she said filled me with 'faith', "Why shouldn't you write your story?" . I had always felt I had a memoir in me .

With no formal 'English /Writing' degree , I have found Cathy's book , 'Write it all down ' very useful and I have also started to attend her Sunday sessions .

Around the same time as discovering Cathy's work , I also discovered Tanya's 'Cure For Sleep' . Such a beautiful , gentle and striking memoir . The platform here on Substack is such a great way to build on confidence . It is lovely that Tanya has made this platform so accessible and she is so generous in her feedback (to even stop and read it in the first place is so kind and giving .)

As I start to carve new writing skills , I look forward to sharing more on here and I look forward to reading other writers work to.

Thank you Tanya

Charlotte xxxx

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Morning Charlotte! I've been saving up the pleasure of reading through this thread for weeks now. Lovely to learn more about you and thank you again for what you bring to this project. xx

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Oh 'Thank you ' Tanya . You are so giving .

I am currently doing a short L2 counselling course , which on top of teaching work is not leaving much if any time to write . So I am looking forward to getting back on board in July when the course Im doing ends.

So happy to have found this platform you have set up .

Thanks again xxx

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Oh my! I did intro to counselling and intermediate course when my children were one and three, and had a place waiting for me on the two year postgrad course - all while still working three days a week at the uni. I remember those introductory courses as being more challenging than anything I've ever done in work or during my english degrees. The most valuable too, even though I didn't take up my place to train fully, but went on into this odd handmade journey of last ten years. I stlll hope to train though, and practice as a counsellor once my children have left home...

All this by way of saying HUGE respect to you for combining that with teaching! Isn't it amazing how we have these seasons in our life when we summon the energy to really go for it...

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Thanks for this Tanya !

Great for you to know that you have this intention set for the future , such a valuable field to work in to and it is clear from all you do on here etc that you have so much to give .

Regards the 'energy' , I have learnt the hard way to balance the work . I went into a 'career' in my late 30s and felt I had a lot of 'catching up to do' , this attitude tipped the scales a fair few times and left me in burn out . I would say since I got sober I have learnt /am learning to properly take care of myself and get the work - life balance and know its ok to say 'no' .

I am unsure if I will take the next course and pursue counselling as a career, though I do find it fascinating and it is already proving useful in my teaching and various life situations , so I am glad I chose to do it.

I am so looking forward to getting back into the swing of writing .

Thanks again for all you do

Charlotte x

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hello, I'm Tamsin, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a writer, walking artist and Shiatsu-ista. Nice to meet you! I write memoir (‘So Hormonal’ anthology, Wild Woman Press magazine), nature writing (Caught by the River, Wanderlust), sound poems (short-listed, Sound Walk September 2021 and 2022), essays (Hinterland place-writing competition long-list), and have authored a full-length book: ‘Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice’. My website and social media are www.tamsingrainger.com , Insta @tamsinshiatsu , Twitter @WalkNoDonkey . You can find my Desire and Faith writing in Season 1 and Play in Season 2. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Ooh we’ve got some crossover !

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi, my name is Muireann and I’m not quite sure what I am!

I am making a tentative return to writing words alongside images and I’m not quite sure where I want to go with it, but it’s making me happy and focused.

https://www.muireannbrady.com/musings/updates-from-the-past-march

I loved the book which prompted me to investigate your work further and I am interested in seeing more.

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Muireann! I've been saving this thread up as a treat for a quiet morning, and I have just started exploring your art via your link - and have bookmarked it too as I plan to look through every project in your Body of Work archive. A shiver of immediate recognition on opening it...knowing I mean that I am going to find things that move me and stay in my mind.

I hope you will find this project a place for some of your words, and your art makes me wish - once again - that I could find a way in future seasons to accept images as well as words...

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Jun 2, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

What a delightful and hugely unexpected message. Thank you Tanya, you’ve put a massive pep in my step on an otherwise not great day!

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Ah! I know that feeling - when we get a good thing come through on just the right day. So very glad if my words were that for you. Lovely to have you here. xxx

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Greetings! Good to meet you. I'm Sarah, based in Cardiff. I'm an artist, writer and trainee psychotherapist. I've focused more on the art for wellbeing side to earn a living over the past few years, but I'm getting back to writing now. I'm interested in autofiction, the mythic imagination (so much richness here in Cymru), and experimenting with form (automatism, the juncture between writing and art etc.). I started out with an autobiographical piece reflecting on my creative journey: https://www.walesartsreview.org/portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-middle-aged-woman/

You can see my photography, art and blog posts at: www.sarahjfeatherstone.com

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Sarah... your portrait essay is so moving to me. How you describe walking around Newport as a new mother, that wild wish for a space of your own. If you've read my book you'll know that this was a shared experience, despite our different landscapes. I don't think you've added a story to the project here yet, but I would be privileged to curate something from you - love how you write.

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Thank you so much, Tanya. Your words mean a lot to me. It was wonderfully cathartic to write about that period of my life, to look back and find that I've survived. It's been quite a journey, and I've found pockets of light in unexpected places.

My next project is to write about my transition to an off-grid community and how these wonderful grassroots ventures offer a glimmer of hope within the volatility of the current environmental, socio-political and economic situation.

I really appreciate the opportunity to connect and share here - what an inspiring project this is. I also loved listening to your conversation with another of my heroines, Sharon Blackie on the Hagitude Podcast, and I look forward to reading your book.

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Hi Tanya. I’m really new here I think someone must have linked me. Your book sounds fascinating I’ve popped it on my wish list. I love that quote on your website where you talk about listing things you love so I’ll do some of that here...

I’m Claire. I’m a creative and I live in Northumberland by the coast with my husband and two children who I love dearly.

We have pet chickens and a pond full of tadpoles and everything is just bursting into life in the garden which I always love about Spring here.

We can see the sea from our windows which is just such a beautiful thing. I sometimes forget to look because it’s in the distance but my heart knows the view in every type of weather.

I’m a creative, a writer, a mentor. I’ve spent my career supporting artists, working on funding bids and in cool and transformational projects and working abroad too.

It’s so lovely to be here and read everyone’s hellos!

Re Substack Notes yes I feel like Substack are really pushing the bigger accounts but I’m hopeful we can hear more voices and it’s used as both a marketing tool and a tool to share beautiful words and quotes - wouldn’t that be nice? 🗒️✨💡

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I can’t wait for you to read the book Claire, it’s stunning 😍

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Oh I’m excited! 📕

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Claire! A belated but very warm welcome! I've been saving this thread up as a treat for my first quiet morning, and it's a wonderful feeling to get a sense of where you and other subscribers are from, and where you are in your creative lives. Please don't feel you have to read my book before starting to write for the project - I designed it to be for anyone who wants to share short true stories on any or all of the themes. x

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Apr 17, 2023·edited Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Oooh I love this idea. I'm Emily- I write things (@emily_c_cooke) and sing things (@spinstersband).

I have played music for years, and started writing poetry after long hiatus from life after getting Long Covid. My first collection "Shadow Puppets" was released a couple of months ago, and explores themes like memory, identity, dementia and what it means to be a messy human animal in chaotic times.

Like many people who get sick, the whole experience broke me open a little, and reading Tanya's book was a wonderful nudge in a direction to explore writing and being vulnerable a bit more. I seem to only be able to write very personal things and getting comfortable sharing is quite the process!

I have started a weekly substack over at https://yourattentionplease.substack.com where each week I write a little, share poems and share a creativity prompt for the week.

Looking forward to reading all your intros later once the kids are in bed 🙂

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Your Substack is great Emily! I have only read one post so far but it was very enjoyable!

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi Emily - I was intrigued by the title of your Substack, so have just been reading some of your posts. I love the way you write - so engaging and interesting. Thank you!

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I'm subscribed to your substack now, and I'll be listening later to your version of Everything Is Free - a song that means a HUGE amount to me: that refrain - 'they figured it out, they were going to do it anyway, even if it didn't pay'.... it bothered me all through the years when I was trying to make or share anything. I knew it was telling me an important truth but it took me a long while to respond to its call! Love that we have it in common...

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Hello, Patricia from Washington state USA. I have been playing with finding my voice here on Substack. It feels very vulnerable and I often want to hide away as I doubt my ability or what I have to contribute. But I continue and trust the process.

As a part of Sharon Blackie's Hagitude program I have so enjoyed the work you are doing with our group on that site! It has been transformative!!

https://preserguzman.substack.com

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This year of being part of Sharon's Hagitude program has been so rich for me - I will be thinking about things we've all done together over there for years to come. And I know I will feel bereft of those conversations in October when my part in the program ends - so it's wonderful to have you and some others from there join me here. I've just subscribed to your substack and will enjoy following your work there. x

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Lovely to 'meet you Patricia. I have just subscribed to your substack. I too and learning to trust the process in this new area of my life!

Tracey x

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I hear you loud and clear Patricia. Vulnerability - seems to me, now in my third age, that is the place where the magic emerges. I love that you trust the process.

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Hello everyone!

I’m Elena. I grew up In Moscow but now call Bristol (UK) home. I’m a huge fan on Tanya’s book and this Substack project but still struggling to get my head around all the technical bits of the app. I can’t even seem to copy and paste the link to my contribution. I’ve also somehow managed to post one story on my own page but now can’t even upload an image for the new one 🫣. Sorry, not very exciting introduction but you probably get the picture that I’m someone from the last century. I’m much closer connected to the Wood Wide Web. I’m hugely interested in herbs, fungi and all things wild but also very passionate about writing and reading. Much love to you all and a huge ‘Thank You’ to Tanya for this wonderful community X

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Just wanted to add my Instagram account @liznojan_foraging if you’d like to connect there and say ‘hello’

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I am looking forward to reading your posts!

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I really enjoyed your Kites for Living story, I know people like him! And I'm totally up for being part of the wood wide web! Loveliness!

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Thank you so much for your kind words, Becs! X

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Hi, I'm Jane. I live in Dorset. My book, Nature's Wonders: Moments that mark the seasons, came out in March, plus I've written for some national mags and wonderful local ones. I'm currently writing a memoir about discovering a love for nature and all things wild when I hit middle-age whilst also being a full-time carer for my other 'arf. I'm a bit partial to cake, sea swimming, cats, badgers and insects with weird lifecycles. Oh, and cheese and big old gnarly trees. Life in general, really. Web stuff at https://janevadams.com Insta @janevadams and Twitter at @WildlifeStuff. Also, this https://thecureforsleep.com/july-issue-on-promises/#JaneAdams x

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Jane... your website is a treasure trove. Lots for me to explore there, so I've bookmarked it as a place to return to. Given how full your writing life is, it's a real privilege that you've also contributed to this project here. Thank you x

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Thank you. I'd love to contribute more. It's a truly fantastic project, Tanya, as well as being a passionate and massively talented community of writers. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could meet up (even if only online and occasionally) for a webinar session? I'd absolutely love something like that in my cut off carers world. Food for thought? Something for the future, maybe? I realise how difficult your own life must be at present, but it would be wonderful to all come together to support each other sometime in the future. xx

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Jane! I was thinking this same thought just yesterday on my daily walk. I’m not very skilled at zooms - have only ever been a guest not an organiser so far - but it’s time to push my comfort zone again as I think a few online gatherings a year for all of us to read aloud stories from the project would be something special. Thank you for suggesting it as it’s what I need to start making it happen xxx

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Oh, that's great. You could also look at Facebook Live and Google Meet, as well as Zoom. I'd be more than happy to help. I've set up a few Google Meets in the past, which seem very easy to do. xxx

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Hi Jane, I spent the first 20 years of my life just outside Weymouth. Nive to meet a fellow Dorset-ian!

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Hello! 👋 lovely to see you here!

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi I’m Deborah based in Brighton and I’ve written six non fiction books published by Routledge and Jessica Kingsley . They’re all around early years staff teams, grief and loss and equalities issues . My most recent publication is ‘The Peanut Factory’ published by Guts publishing and its a memoir about coming of age - eight years in south london squatting in the late 70’s and early 80’s - punk , social unrest , sex drugs and - you know the rest !

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Like Tam, I'm going to look up your book!

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Aye been there done that too in the late 70s/early 80s Deborah and through a new book Hungry Beat on those epic times in Edinburgh and Glasgow, finding myself taking it up again in all sorts of strange interesting ways! I’ll seek out The Peanut Factory.

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Thanks !

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Will check out your work as well

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Through Hungry Beat events I’ve joined the post punk band The Scars as singer with two gigs coming up! I knew them so well back in the day- brilliant musicians-and this is proof that life can still bring big surprises even when in the swinging sixties!

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Counting on it !

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Lovely to see a fellow Brightonian here!

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Apr 25, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

I’m sure there’s more ! Brighton is so creative

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It’s brilliant isn’t it! I think I take forgranted how creative it is sometimes.

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Georgie, Deborah! Lovely to see fellow Brighton people finding each other here!

I've become so out of touch with events happening in Sussex since pandemic. If you both know of great stuff coming up, I'd be so glad if you used this thread to let me know!

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Hi, I'm Tracey and live in Ireland. I was absolutely blown away by The Cure for Sleep when I first read it, and love being part of this little community. I'm a school principal and former English teacher, and reading is my main hobby!

I'd love to be a writer, but I know I'm holding myself back through fear and limiting beliefs, and the opportunity to submit contributions here is wonderful.

https://thecureforsleep.com/gestures/#traceykennedy

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Apr 27, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hello, Tracey - nice to meet you. Your introduction could be my own!

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Hello, I’m another Tam, also in Scotland like Tamsin, born in Edinburgh but now based in Glasgow. I’m an actor and theatremaker with now fairly long held desires to write more, much more. I had got into pretty much daily writing practice ( in far too many different notebooks - being a bit of a scatterbrain is part of my problem ) and have had some lovely opportunities to write but then lost my way on it, possibly due to a loss of confidence in my abilities. I also found I could substitute with other daily practices such as yoga, meditation and learning musical instruments...only so many hours in the day!

But yesterday I stumbled across Tanya ( or Tan - we’re already on first consonant terms! ) and was immediately inspired to get in touch and see if her shining example could lead me out of my twiddling thumbs but not writing fingers predicament. And so here I am, not having contributed anything else yet but delighted ( and a little daunted ) at the idea of joining this community and contributing. I’ve just started listening to Tanya’s audiobook too and love that already. So thanks for the welcome and inspiration- here we go!

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Hi I’m Laura and I’m all sorts - mum to 3, Multipassionate creative, coach, mentor, singer, teacher, poet. At the moment, I’m most excited about applying for my first ACE funding- my nine month old has unleashed such a passion in creativity for me once more, and I just want to follow it and see where it goes.

I started a Substack a few months ago, but have recently deleted it – it was just a poor imitation of my coaching and mentoring email newsletter, which isn’t at all what I wanted to use this space for. Now I’ve just started a new publication called destination: balance? https://lauraoldfield.substack.com/ and if you want to learn more about me and my mentoring and other offerings it’s www.lauraoldfield.com I love independent garden centres, flat whites, gardening, my sofa and music and my most recent singing projects were a loony tunes film and Rachmaninov vespers! X

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Laura, so glad to have you here and I'd love to be able to curate a story from you at some point. I've just subscribed to your Substack and can already see lots of interest there! x

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that would be just lovely Tanya. I'm forcing myself to repeat "this is all an experiment" at the moment, so that I don't panic and feel I have to "create content" at the moment...but I think my plan for my Substack is going to become more structured, and that might be a good time for us to chat. In the meantime I look forward to reading your work xx

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I received ACE funding this year, go for it!

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Ah amazing, what for?

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Developing Your Creative Practice.

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sorry, I meant in what aspect were you DYCP if you’re happy to share? X

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Yes, happy to share. I'm writing a memoir, so it's to help me with the development, mentoring and book proposal. I'm loving it!

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oh Jane that's thrilling! So glad you're having success with it x

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Hi, I’m Louise, from SW London and living in Surrey, UK.

I’m a mum to three little people 4 and under and in all the messiness of mothering found my identity crumble and realised I had built a life and a career on other peoples expectations and ideals. I’m finding my voice again and expressing it through words and painting. I’m not sure where this path is leading me, but I do had a sort of blind path to follow my intuition fully and it’s saying, I was always a creative, always. I just need to keep turning up and doing my best. Having read Tanya’s memoir via an online book club I sought out all her words and was so delighted to find both her and this community here.

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I owe you a WhatsApp x x

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi, I am Peter and I came to the Substack through the book and a tweet and a mentoring opportunity. I have always written but never published or thought that was possible. Tanya changed that thinking and so glad I sent the rhubarb piece in, amazed it was selected, changed since it was. I have no story on the archive yet, but since my mentor conversation I have had a first publication about 120 year old rhubarb (here that is - https://www.mag-north.com/posts/one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old-rhubarb) and a couple of reviews on music, drama and literature (https://www.mag-north.com/team-members/shukie). I am in the library now writing my 300 words over and over again, reading the archive, inspired and intimidated by superb writers. I am trying to become more than a solitary writer and one that turns thoughts over alone too often. Tanya's Substack is the way to do that, but this is my first post on it since we spoke and that was in November. Small steps and thanks to all of the writers on here, the courage of those postings and the opportunities taken.

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hello,

I am Tina and I live in the Beautiful Roman city of Bath.

I have only recently stumbled upon Tanya on Instagram and have just started reading “The cure for sleep” which has me spellbound already.

I have always been a quiet creative person. Reading, I had the joy of working in a small Independent bookshop for 30years, knitting and writing poetry. Two poems I had published with a Vanity Press Anthology. Sadly over the last few years I have lost my way creatively, two elderly parents and an ailing husband have taken over my time and energy. I have lost the creative thread.

Seeing Tanya’s positive energy and how she overcame such trauma in her book has given me the push I need to keep my own creativity flowing and not to be stifled by life’s demands and negatives. As I am new I will ease myself gently in, but I look forward to learning so much more about myself and what being creative can do for our overall happiness and health.

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'I have always been a quiet creative person' - if I had to say, quickly, in one line, why I created this project and for who? That would be the form of words I'd use.

Thank you so much for spending time with my book and it would be an absolute pleasure to receive stories from you on any of the themes in the project. If you're wanting to feel quite hidden still, perhaps add to one of the Season One themes?

xx

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Just thought I’d say a little ‘hello’ Tina, as a fellow Bathonian! I’m Nat, The Cure for Sleep moved me in a way I really wasn’t ready for, or expecting, but it’s definitely a good thing for me. (I am also new here!)

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The timing of my Bath Festival event was so frustrating - how much I was hoping to treat you to coffee and to enjoy a talk about life and writing. So glad you've joined the community. x

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi, I am Helen and I live in Brighton with my partner & 2 kids. I also work at Tanya’s old university workplace on the edge of Brighton! I only just started contributing to Tanya’s awesome project last year & it’s helped me to start remember my voice & start to explore a long hidden creative side. I have written initially as Helen https://thecureforsleep.com/november-issue-reading/#Helen and more recently added my middle name Louise as I developed a tiny bit more courage to own my pieces and my voice. Really really enjoying quietly discovering a part of myself through this project so massive thanks Tanya xx

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Hi Helen Louise

I am a Southerner too, I'm from Hampshire though I'm currently living in Australia. I too am enjoying discovering a part of myself through this project! So very generous of Tanya. 🙏

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Apr 25, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Another Brighton writer and I used to work at Falmer !

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I love how you write, and I love too how you describe that growing comfort in sharing your words - what I hoped this space might offer. xx

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Apr 18, 2023·edited Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hello,

I'm Tracey, an expat living currently living near Brisbane, Australia. I am from Hampshire in the UK and despite living here for a number of years now, I still miss home.

I came across Tanya via the wonderful Sharon Blackie and absolutely loved The Cure for Sleep, devouring it so quickly that I had to read it again slowly to fully immerse myself in all of the magick that lies therein.

I joined Tanya's community because my long held and deeply buried desire to write was awoken from its slumber by TCFS and I wanted somewhere safe to put my toes into the water so to speak.

I am a healer by trade, (Hypnosis, Transpersonal Counseling, Reiki, Flower Essences, Herbs, etc.) healing with my hands, my spoken words, herbs and flower essences, and now I am hoping that I can learn to heal with my written words too.

I have always captured moments with my paint brush or pencil, seeing scenes as images and pondering over their colours and textures, however now I am learning to capture moments with my pen and I am loving the challenge!

I have even started my own Substack called Releasing Spells (link below), which I am very excited about. I have started to add my responses to Tanya's TCFS prompts and plan to add more in due course. I do not have any creative writing training at this stage although it is something that I would love to do in the future.

I am looking forward to connecting with more writers and can't thank Tanya enough for creating this space for us all.

Bright blessings

Tracey

xx

https://traceymayor.substack.com/

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Tracey, you are such a generous member of this community - as you are in Hagitude. And it's a joy to receive and curate your words. I've just subscribed to your Substack in turn, and will enjoy following your work even once our year on Sharon's program is ended. xx

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Ooh and I do subscribe to Sharon on here however I am not part of any of her programmes (unfortunately)🙏😊

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I’m now needing to go look on Hagitude to see why I thought you were also on there! This does happen sometimes as people I talk with on here have different names & profile pics on other channels where I’m also connected to them! I may have been assuming a Tracey in Hagitude is also you writing here! Oh dear… xxx

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You may well have seen a comment of mine in one of the other areas Tanya so it would be so easy to think it was me on the course too. 🙏 xxx

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Thank you Tanya! I appreciate your kind words as always. 🙏

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi Tracey - what a wonderful title for your substack!

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Thank you Amanda! I hope to release healing spells in time, through my writings. This is a whole new area for me and very exciting!

Tracey x

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Apr 18, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hello, everyone!

I’m from Pennsylvania, USA. I first heard Tanya on Katherine May’s podcast and knew I had to read the book. TCFS split me open, stunned by the poetry of the writing and the urgency of the message. The prompts led me to write in ways I never thought possible. I can finally say that I see myself as a creative and am honoring it by offering the muse time, respect and gratitude. My goal for the year is to send more writing out into the world. So much gratitude for Tanya and the other contributors who share so much of their lives here and offer such gracious responses. I’ve posted so much here and read so many others that it does now feel like a community.

I will share this link from the Longing prompt because it has led to so much more writing due to one of the contributors, Paul Miller, saying it sounded like the “precis of a longer piece.” That is the beauty of this space. I never would have looked at it that way, but since then, I have been writing a series of prose poems/short essays from a variety of points of view about longing, joy, cows, lists, birds….. So happy to be here. xxx

https://thecureforsleep.com/august-issue-longing/#sheilaknell

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Watching you create a body of work within this project has been a joy - and I'm so thrilled to know you're now about to start work with Katy Aalto on longer form work. Lucky Katy and your new coursemates - and I hope I get to read some of that longer work one season soon... xx

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Jun 2, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

I submitted my first work last week, I thought it was good, not great. Really hard for me to shift gears, but I just remind myself that it is about learning and growing when my head starts to hurt. When I get something written that I like better, I would love to share it with you. Also, I'm not going anywhere, just submitted something to the terrible question prompt and will be first in line if you do a class we pay for. I know you've said in the past you wanted to make sure you had something to offer that others weren't, and that seems fair, but I think each teacher has her own unique approach and yours would definitely be worth exploring. xx

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I'd love to read your longer piece when you're ready.

And I'm not sure now I will be offering paid mentoring privately (though I continue to do it for organisations that fund me). But if I do ever, it would be limited places, and so of course I'd let you know in case it worked for you as I love watching your work develop as you know! xxx

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Hey Shelia! TCFS has had that effect on me too! Life changing!

Tracey x

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Hi, I’m Nat. Tanya’s book left me altered, in a quiet but deeply powerful way. I’m still not sure what I can do with that change inside, but The Cure for Sleep will stay with me and will, I know, contribute to whatever I become.

I am a Mother of two and aside from that, am defined by illness, not by the interesting and awe inspiring jobs and interests that so many of you describe here . My mental health has been poor for the majority of my life and now my physical health too with a chronic illness. Days I am doing better, reading, writing and connecting with nature all take me to another place, one where I feel free and alive. I am not a writer but I adore writing. Tanya’s community here gave me the courage to submit something on ‘Longing’ and I feel beyond privileged that she gave it a place within this project.

Anyway, I got far too heavy there! Hi everyone! Nat x

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Hi Nat! I have just read your piece on Longing and oh it is so very moving indeed! I enjoyed reading it and actually, read it again because there is so much in so few words to take in with just one read. Beautiful!

Tracey x

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Gosh! Thank you Tracey. I forget that people can actually read my piece so it’s a nice surprise to receive such kind words about it. Thank you x

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You are very welcome!

Tracey x

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I just replied to you higher up on this thread, but wanted to say here that you haven't been too heavy here at all! That this space, and what we're all doing here together, is - I hope - a place where we can lay down our burdens for a while: our feelings of being too much, too little, and all other senses we've carried of being the wrong shape. If we are here with our whole hearts and best intentions, reading each other with attention - as you absolutely are, and do - then we belong here. xxx

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Here is my piece - https://thecureforsleep.com/august-issue-longing/#natalie

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Apr 20, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

This is so Beautifully written x

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Beautiful and haunting piece xx

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Hi all!

Sheila here, based in Ireland. I’m a freelance researcher/ writer / producer and generally curious about life though I do seem to get drawn most frequently to music, arts, history, outdoors and people. I first contributed to Tanya’s community 2 years ago and am inspired by the breadth of responses by people to her prompts. I’m currently in the final months of an MA in Travel and Nature Writing and the best place to find my work just now is on Instagram @sheiladecourcy Big thanks to Tanya for creating this community and to you all for contributing!

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I am following you on IG now, I am on IG as @holding_space_for_souls

I am looking forward to reading your posts 🙏

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I’m following you both on IG as well now 🙂

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Thank you Elena! I have found you too!

Tracey x

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Hello, I’m Jan and two years ago I moved from North Norfolk to West Yorkshire. I joined the local writing group on Zoom in lockdown and it has really encouraged me to have more confidence in my writing. Previously I had contributed to two local history books for Sheringham museum whilst exploring my love of textiles. Before I ran away to the seaside I had just divorced and achieved a long held dream of attending university and getting a degree in Sociology.

Now I am trying various forms of poetry and Drabbles to explore my “lived experience” as a means of understanding what the hell happened there basically!

As often happens a book appears in your life at just the exact time that you need to read it . A friend recommended TCFS and I joined Tanya’s community by contributing two pieces. The world needs more people like Tanya and I am so glad to have been introduced to her book, her valuable, generous work and be here in the community!

My aim now is to produce a collection of my poetry and illustrate with my own artwork however long it takes, I am 66 this year so it will be my retirement project.

I will mention my experience here with many years of chronic illness as it seems to be a companion to creativity in many cases

When I am not writing, knitting, crocheting or messing with clay I am revelling in the unexpected joy of being nanny Jan to my 2 year old grandson.

I have a poem in the current exhibition at Sheringham Museum, work in the anthology Making Waves by The Otley Writers and a poem included in the soon to be published online fundraising book for The EDS Support UK.

Instagram@janhillier73

https://thecureforsleep.com/april-issue-hands/#JanHillier

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Hello

I'm Sharon and I live in Denbigh, North Wales because I found a house there that I could dream in. I kept dreaming and made words and those words made 'Linen and Rooks' a novel which I designed myself and a local printer made it just how I wanted it to be...in blue marbling, blue end papers and a blue ribbon.

I couldn't do structure so it's a very abstract, non linear narrative but I refuse to apologise for how unclear and ambiguous it is. I think others think it is just badly constructed but maybe that's not true!!!!!

I have two grown up children, one a chef and one a primary teacher/BA cabin crew and they seem much wiser and level headed than I ever was. They like this new house and the wildness of the garden.

I'm trying to run creative writing courses and write a memoir of childhood days and nightmares in Leicester...early days on both.

Long to connect with the writing community but it seems tougher than I anticipated

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Lovely to read this intro from you Sharon. I've been bothered for a while by how changes to Twitter in particular have made it harder for aspiring and emerging writers to build a community and a readership - when I began finally in 2016, it was through Twitter that I got both my first small pieces read and then commissioned, as well as how I found residency opportunities and made writing friends. I do feel Substack is a good new place for this to happen, and that this project is one of those types of meeting places. Look forward to reading more of your work and hope that you find some likeminds here. Txxx

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Hello!

My names Monique ,mum ,solo parent ,midlifer hahaha sounds promising doesn't it ! Thank you to Tanya for her wonderful book that I ,pulled out from the shelves one day at waterstones, when my life was feeling uncertain , even rudley self awkened ! and i was drawn to the title !

Since that day, I have contributed here not knowing if what I had to say had any importance at all but that I just needed somewhere to put it all .

This space has given me breath ,encouragement, pride and connection to others. I cannot , say how grateful I am to be part of all of this and to read work here

Thank you, Tanya thank you everyone! 😊

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Hello, I'm Tim.

I'm a teacher, a solo parent to two wonderful sons, living in the Hampshire South Downs, and I'm writing a memoir, natch!

There's a chance that the memoir might start with a kind of ending, that I wrote in response to Tanya's request for stories of regret.

https://thecureforsleep.com/november-issue-on-regret/#timleroy

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Tim I have just read your evocative piece on Regret. So very moving!

Tracey

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Hi Tim, I am also a Hampshire soul though I am currently living in Australia. I do miss the beauty of the Downs but fortunately Mother Nature creates many different kinds of beauty all over the world. I am planning to write a memoir which has been totally inspired by the wonderful Tanya.

All the best with your memoir.

Tracey

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May 7Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hello everyone. I am very late to this party but I hope to do some of Tanya's prompts before the year ends and she closes her Substack.

I am Becky, an artist and writer from Derbyshire. I finished The Cure for Sleep a few days ago and found it filled me with a desire to write so here I am. I really enjoy writing prompts but I am guilty of being an inconsistent writer, often going weeks without writing anything other than what I have to write for my 9-5. I did a writing course last year and I really thought I had a memoir in me but I have come to realise it is filled with a lot of anger, focusing more on those that caused me pain, than those that healed me or even myself. A feeling that in writing in I will get my vengeance. That isn't the story I want to write. I am hoping doing some of Tanya's prompts will help me on my way to finding my true story.

Thank you for reading. 🖤

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You know already, Becky, how much I appreciated you letting me know about your reading experience of The Cure for Sleep. Thank you too for saying hello here now. Although, yes, it will be much quieter on my Substack from now til end of year, I’m still going to read and curate suitable pieces for some months yet, so I do hope some will tempt you to try!

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Hello again, I thought that I'd just introduced myself but it's not showing up here so in case I didn't press the right button, I'm Marika and am just getting to the point of making the time to write and get my words beyond the doodle phase, which I have always wanted to do. I'm also in a state of delighted disbelief - can it be true - it's just that as I was grappling with my first post for The Cure for Sleep and hoping to get the words let alone the count right, Tanya endorsed my Substack endeavour by subscribing; magic synchronicity. Thank you! it has given me so much encouragement.

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Your words have all come through safe and sound! And based on your first piece you are so very far beyond the doodle phase. Your portrait of Lily in the gestures section is as complete and full of interest as any same-length passage in Laurie Lee (the writer I find does the best and most fond portraits of the people he loves). xxx

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Thank you Tanya for your curation and generous giving of comments and encouragement! I'm so glad I managed to press the post button and am really looking forward to responding to other prompts in this wonderful project. It's actually quite a big moment for me and I love that I feel childishly excited.

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I feel excited too!

After a long run of the best health I’ve ever enjoyed (and worked hard for), I’m now once again in the time of emergencies and illness: an ambulance trip a few weeks ago and an urgent scan next week. I’m having to give up almost everything related to writing - no events, no visiting lecturer work, no online sessions - and yet I want to keep this creative community going even though its the work that’s unpaid. I will do it from a hospital bed if needs be! Each time someone like you gets through the fear of pressing send and shares a beautiful piece of work I am in the company I want to keep. xx

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Hello,

I'm Marika and I live in West Cork Ireland. I am a creative art therapist working with a diverse client group, and as I lessen my work load there is an intention to write. I am getting to retirement, so it's pretty late in life, but have always scribbled my thoughts down and would consider myself an erratic doodler who would love to pull the threads together for a memoir. I joined Substack last year with the intention of writing in response to Tanys's wonderful prompts having heard her interviewed by Sharon Blackie for the Hagitude podcast and then joined the programme which was great.

I literally had no idea how nerve wracking it is to press 'post' - and how long I would procrastinate - but I've managed a couple of times and this week posted my first one in the Gesture section of The Cure for Sleep . I'm now looking forward to writing more being part of this lovely and supportive community.

Thanks Tanya for offering this!

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Marika! I’ve just had the pleasure of reading and curating your first piece for the project, and so it’s a joy to now find this lovely introduction/hello from you to all of us here. Your piece on your elegant elder Lily is exceptional.

I love that you’ve spoken here to that very real fear most of us have of pressing ‘post’ or ‘send’ when it comes to our creative work, or our wish to join a community. I hope that my feedback and any comments you get from other project members means that you will soon be free of that hesitation and post often. I will so enjoy seeing what you do with the other prompts.

Txx

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Hello Tanya, I haven’t responded to any of your prompts yet as I still haven’t resonated with any. I’m slowly working my way through the resource list you sent me. I’m letting ideas incubate to see if they develop into anything. I’m continuing to work on a sort of memoir in response to a gift received, but still question if it’s what I want to do, but my sense of duty drives me onward. It’s brought forth lots of new questions for me to think about and try to answer, so maybe not a bad thing.

I’m still thinking that I need to tell the story of the women in my family but I’m struggling with how I might do this when at best it would be a very subjective telling because I didn’t even know one of my grandmothers and the life of my mother and her mother are shrouded in secrets and lies.I continue to read other’s memoirs to observe how they approached the topic.

Hope you are well.

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I am well, yes. Thank you. I'm back in Sussex now after my week away teaching in Yorkshire (the former home of poet Ted Hughes). It's my last public event for a long time and so, like you, I'm going to be spending winter reading others' memoirs once again, learning instead of teaching.

I'm going to keep the three seasons of prompts here free and for the long term, so that anyone finding them can write for them and get feedback (or write for them more than once if they want to revisit a topic). I hope at some point, as you work more on your story, that you might want to test some of your work-in-progress out via one or more of the themes, to see how readers here respond to it.

Txx

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Just a quick note to say I'm teaching an intensive residential in Yorkshire this week and I'm without my laptop. But I wanted you to know your piece has been received by me and I will read it and respond properly when I'm home after the 4 December. Tanya x

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Hello Tanya, This sun-drenched Monday morning brought your post to my attention, where it sits against a backdrop of the lightly frosted landscape that stretches out before my eyes through the window in my third floor Haven. I'm excited to explore your work, especially since you've linked writing to sleep (or not sleeping). I've just finished a memoir (to be published in four months) and I still cannot sleep. Writing, even though I'm a retired writing professor and former journalist, seems to own my sleep/waking state. When I sleep, I dream in stories. When I'm not sleeping, I dream up stories. Is there no cure? Being here, I feel the safety of others who live on the threshold of story and sleep. Here's one of my recent posts. So glad to find you. Jane https://storycarrier.substack.com/p/why-i-call-myself-a-story-carrier

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Hello Jane! Thank you for making contact - I will enjoy reading your linked post, and finding out more about your practice. And I remember very well that ennervating pre-publication period! It's unlike anything I've ever experienced, including waiting for my two children to be born.

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi Tanya! Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I too look forward to writing some pieces starting with the latest theme. The book resonated on so many levels, it was good to be reminded that my demons are not unique and that we can choose to keep going so great company for the road!

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...I've just been looking at your work. Very strong - and of course in an area I admire very much, knowing David Nash as I do, and loving the work of him, Fulton, Julie Brook. I'll be interested to see how your art work informs your prose responses to the themes, or if you write from a different place to your art making...

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Thank you Tanya. It is interesting that you say that because the most joy I have ever found in writing was connected with this work and with connecting with my place. It has been an immensely rich and emotional journey discovering how I might weave my own story into the story of this place. After a break I am only now ready to pick up the threads of the work again to continue the onward journey. One step at a time!

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All the best art and stories come from that - one step at a time (thinking here of Richard Long's A Line Made by Walking, Cash's I Walk The Line, Basho's Travels of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton and more!)

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Oct 3, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

Hi there,

My name is Brian and I live in Sligo, Ireland. I am a visual artist with a multidisciplinary, research led practice. My work is concerned with connection to place. It all started as an inquiry into my feelings of disconnection from where I live now. I realised I have always felt that way and wondered why. I created a body of work called Fieldworks (2023) from these starting points which was part of my MFA submission at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. You can see some of the work here https://ncad.works/graduates/brian-cooney

It was actually during my MFA that I had a realisation of how important writing is to me. I also had the amazing experience of writing and being surprised and excited by what came out on the page, the possibility of writing as a way of speaking, the similarity between written and spoken words that might be possible. I didn't know what I was putting down on the page and I found this really amazing, emotional and freeing. It was such a joyful experience, like some inner part of me was making itself heard at last. Previous to that experience I had always composed texts in a controlled manner, setting out a structure and then populating it with words. I realise now I always struggled with form because it is so formulaic and stiff. Since then I haven't quite managed to recapture that sense of joy again but I know I will.

The Cure for Sleep made me realise I need to keep going. It confirmed that it is possible to make art the everyday and the everyday art.

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author

Hello Brian - what a wonderful introduction and thank you so much for joining us here. I really look forward to you contributing some pieces when you have time and interest. All the themes stay open for contributions - only this month's one is slightly different in that I'm not curating the pieces over on the cure for sleep website, from wanting to give still more feedback than I usually do given it's a Why Write prompt.

Moved that you read the book and that it was helpful to you in your own decision to keep going. That's exactly what I hoped it might be - company for the road!

Will now go explore your link!

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I'm Shazz, I live with Ivy, my cat on Anglesey, North Wales, UK. I'm a former Occupational Therapist.

For decades my former school history teacher has tried to encourage me to write my memoir. I never believed I could write, partly due to dyslexia and partly due to believing other people who thought I'd amount to very little in life. After several challenging life changes enforced on me, I decided to make my own changes and I've been applying myself to learning the craft and profession of writing via online courses (Open University) and books (Cathy Rentzenbrink among others). I'm using every single negative comment that I remember being made about me as a positive reinforcer to persevere and persist.

Glad to meet you all here

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So very good to have you join us here, Shazz. xx

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Hello all,

I live on Vancouver Island, BC, originally from the New England area of the US. I found Tanya through Sharon Blackie's Hagitude course and have been very inspired! I am a dream worker and creative guide, facilitating dream groups and process painting workshops and had a hands on healing practice for many years prior.

I have always loved writing and had a dream of writing a book when I was younger. I love poetry and the idea of writing my life story to leave for future generations. I am here hoping to ignite my love for writing again and looking forward with a lot of curiosity to see what happens.

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A lovely introduction Kristin, and I'm so glad you've joined us here after our meeting through Hagitude in this last year. xx

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Sep 16, 2023Liked by Tanya Shadrick

I am Maurni and I wish you all a cheery hello! I am a linguist, a wanderer, and a wonderer. Newly on the look out for Awe. I have found it here, in spades.

I have had story in me for eons and finally, I feel as if an itch has been scratched by being led to this community. Thank you for such an opportunity, Tanya!

I hear my own voice in so many voices on here: many of us doubting and questioning that burning inside that seeks an escape; many already found the way forward and accomplished their first writings; many seeking connections with like minds.

At 60, I have had a wonderful life thus far, but I know that what is ahead is going to eclipse that. And coming to this place of like-minded community, commonality, feels like my next beginning. I have just finished The Cure for Sleep, Tanya, and have been so engaged in the journey of it. Thank you. I also note many personal parallels. “Yes, the weight of these women. This role I’d been given as a small girl: to be the bearer of their stories …” This hooked me. I am the keeper of our family ancestry history and privately researching the incidence of anxiety through the maternal line, back generations. I feel the weight of that. Stoic women who held it all together .. for what? This is part of my story.

I found myself reluctantly on my own just over two years ago and have had an intense journey since then. I now know, from my work in that dark cave, that I could never have come to this space, here, writing, while in that relationship. With a clarity like never before, I know I am in the right place to complete my life dream, alone but not lonely. Myself as my guide and witness, I will write my story. This space with you all gives me impetus, feeds my confidence. I hope to return it. Blessings to all.

https://thecureforsleep.com/stay-this-moment/#maurniobeirne

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Wonderful introduction, Maurni - 'a linguist, a wanderer, a wonderer.' The first two things I am not, but which I admire very much in others. I'm so very glad to have you here as a story writer as well as a reader. xx

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Hi Tanya,

Paul Atherton (FRSA) here. Lovely yo meet you at the Nature Prize for working class writers last night at Octopus Books here in London.

I've only produced one Substack to date, which you can find here:

https://paulathertonfrsa.substack.com/p/my-orwell-prize-shortlist-disappointment

It will tell you a lot about my current homelessness, now into its 14th year, and the plights I have to survive what is becoming ever more a colder & heartless society.

I'm trying to find an agent for my memoir, Fighting The Dreamkillers, with the assistance of Hannah Knowles over at Faber & Faber,

And find my joy in the City I love.

I hopefully will contribute something for you soon.

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It was lovely to meet you too - although I wish I'd met you earlier in the evening so we could have talked more right there and then! But I will read your link with interest and feel glad if this project can be a part of you sharing your work and reaching readers while you continue to move your memoir out into the wider world. If your words and story have got Hannah Knowles on side, then I'm sure it won't be long til you have an agent!

I really look forward to finding out more about what you do and why. Thank you for joining us here.

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Hey Tanya; everyone :)

I'm Georgie, living and creating in Brighton. I'm a visual artist (I draw), creative mindfulness teacher and workshop facilitator.

I've just been singing the praises of The Cure For Sleep in my last newsletter actually, because it's been the spark I needed in what felt like a very dark hole. I read the book at the same time I watched a very dear friend pass away from metastatic cancer at only 46, having only been diagnosed 3 months ago. We are devastated to say the least.

Whilst we witnessed a devastating loss, my husband and I also said farewell to my (number 2) son, who left to go backpacking around Asia. I could feel the maternal apron strings pull, stretch and break as I saw his flight leave the UK via my flight tracker! But seeing his fantastic smiling face on the occasional Facetime call, has been wonderful. It's felt like a loss in one respect, but an emergence in another. This time a much more joyous one.

You see, both these events and your book Tanya, have been life-affirming. They've reminded me to LIVE. I've since resigned from the full time job I disliked to pursue a freelance life once more. As an artist and teacher. Whilst unsteady and insecure, I'm living my values again.

I don't consider myself a writer. I use writing as a means of creative practice. But your book, this community and the stories I've read are immensely inspiring. They make me realise living the artist life is the only way to be, for me.

As a result, I'm also thinking about how I can take my art onto the Sussex Downs and practice it as a fully embodied experience of creation, outside the confines of my studio. To live large and free! (Anyone know much about converting camper vans into mobile studios?!)

I'm not sure where all of those words and confessions came from but I'll post them anyway. It's funny what pops up when someone who has inspired you at a profound time, simply asks you to say a quick hello ;)

Much love, Georgie x

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Hi everyone and thanks for the invitation to say hi Tanya! I really appreciate the opportunity to connect and share in this way. I’m a 54 year old mother of a teenage daughter based in Meanjin (Brisbane) Australia. It still feels a bit cringy to call myself a writer but less and less so. I realise looking back I’ve always written, in my head and heart, but only now outloud in a way that feels good for me. It’s still an act of courage but I feel so compelled to do it in a way that I’ve never felt before. A lot of my work is anchored in memoir, my story of healing and emancipation and reconnection, but our stories are so universal at their heart, that the connection sharing brings has been so life giving. I also write poetry, however it comes and I love poems as a vessel for everything that we cannot say yet feel and know.

I love Substack. most of my subscribers are beautiful friends and family, and this platform and your Substack Tanya is really satisfying my deep longing for connection and wider community that feels in alignment with me.

It feels great to be here and I really look forward to reading everyone’s words. I made my first contribution to the voices promt yesterday. I haven’t tried notes yet but it does feel so much more accessible and meaningful, especially for us smaller tick folks.

Lots of love! Amanda ❤️‍🔥

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It is lovely to 'meet you Amanda! I am also based in Brisbane and am fairly new to this beautiful space that Tanya has so generously provided for us all. I look forward to reading your piece on the Voices prompt and your own Substack.

Tracey x

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Hello Tracey! So good to meet you too and to know you are in Brisbane! How cool is the internet hey 🙌. Really looking forward to reading you here and on your Substack. I love the name by the way and the idea of words releasing spells 💖 Great to connect x

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Yes, so good to connect Amanda! I have just found you on IG too! I love the name...Appetite for Living!

Tracey x

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Oh great and thanks Tracey! X

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Hello, I am Sharon from Norfolk, UK. I joined this community after reading Tanya's book, as many other have said.

No creative writing experience, but have always journalled privately.

Have written two pieces for The Cure for Sleep, which you can also find on my substack

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I love that you read your words Sharon, adds even more depth!

Tracey x

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Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed reading it out loud!

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Hello everyone. I’m Amanda and I live at the western edge of the New Forest in SE England, but originally from London followed by a few years in Cornwall where I studied ecology. I was so delighted to discover this wonderful project towards the end of last year, and so far I’ve contributed just a couple of pieces and have been really appreciating reading what others are writing. Although I’ve always dabbled a little in writing for my own enjoyment, and have spent a few years doing copywriting for a nature website, it’s only recently I’m taking creative writing more seriously. It’s helping me grow: not just the writing but also the nurturing and supportive connections with others on creative pathways. My main focus so far has been nature/place writing and I blog at https://newtalesoldforest.com - I love being out in the countryside and walking - but I’m hoping to explore more things. Writing memoir here has been an eye and a heart opener! I am on Instagram at @ascott9618 if anyone wants to connect there. So glad to be part of this community!

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Hi Amanda, it is lovely to get to know you! I used to live on the edge of the New Forest prior to coming down here to Australia. I lived in Marchwood and we spent as much time as we could in the forest with the dog. We always head straight there too when we are back home. A beautiful spot with so many wonderful old trees and of course the wildlife is magnificent too! I am going to check out your blog as well as your IG.

Tracey x

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It’s lovely to connect with you, Tracey, and to hear of your New Forest connection, too!

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Thank you! It is a small world 😊

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Oh and I love your blog Amanda!

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Thank you x

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Hello, all. I'm Laura and live in the northeastern US. I'm a creative octopus (cartoons, essays, writing tunes, cooking, silly YouTube channel and more), but honestly I don't do any of them as much as I'd love to, and I've tended to keep my life small. Not sure that suits me anymore.

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I'm new to this Substack, drawn by fandom for The Cure for Sleep. I live on the Jurassic Coast and just spent a week writing on my favourite island, Lundy. After a career working in the arts and charity sector I took MA Creative Writing a Exeter, met some great fellow students and now working on a novel called Age Appropriate and a collection of short stories about life after work, called Endgames (nothing like Beckett!). I run workshops in creative writing in allotments even though I am a rubbish gardener...Ros Huxley

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Hi! I live on the Jurassic Coast too!

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Hi Jane, I am in Bridport, so do let me know if you are around.

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Hello! I'm writing a memoir here on substack, a daily postcard that makes the whole manageable. I write and post every morning and I keep them short. The project's called #OneMinuteMemoir and you can find it here - https://eleanoranstruther.substack.com Please come and say hello! It's hugely cathartic and also, as a novelist, a real blessing to have somewhere to publish shorter pieces day to day while I work on the long stuff. Being connected with readers means everything to me. It really helps.

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Hi

I'm Corinne, l've lived in Queensland Australia for about 10 years now but home will always be Chichester in West Sussex.

Last month I got a very delicate fine line tattoo on the inside of my right wrist. It says ' La Boheme.'

Not because I'm a particularly big fan of Puccini, although I did once live with an opera singer in Italy, but because the essence of the word "bohemian" speaks to my heart. I love to make beautiful things. I see art everywhere. I'm really quite obsessed and hugely passionate about creativity as a means of expression and freedom. I love to paint, and sketch with charcoal, I've written poetry, short stories and non-fiction. But I've never sought to have my work published or sold, mostly because I was always afraid it might change my relationship to Art and the creative process. But something has changed recently. I feel I have something to say. Something I want to be heard. I'm not quite sure what that is yet. So perhaps that's why I've landed here.

I'm very much looking forward to listening and learning from this wonderful community.

Warmly

Corinne

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I'm Rosalyn Huxley and I am writing an amusing (I hope) book called Age Appropriate plus a collection of short stories called Endgames (Beckett not related...) I live on the Jurassic Coast and started writing full time after a life working in the cultural and charity sector (as Ros Fry). During the pandemic I took an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University, met some interesting students, gave up my job at Cancer Research UK and felt happier than I had for a long time. I teach creative writing on allotments even though I cannot garden.

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Hello Natalie

Thank you for your lovely, warm welcome. Also a fellow Bathonian too!! I am looking forward to being a part of this creative community as I am sure you are. I am half way through The Cure for Sleep and I completely agree with you. It is so heartbreaking on one hand and full of a love for life and all it’s beautiful moments on the other, I do not want it to end. I hope you find so much creativity from being here as I hope to x

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Hello !

I have introduced myself on here before but it was back in April so its been a while and I wanted to share my gratitude for this wonderful platform.

Sharing my words on here and receiving Tanya's incredibly valuable responses has given me the confidence to turn my many notes into the makings of a first draft of my memoir.

I was fortunate enough to win a mentoring opportunity with Tanya , which was truly priceless for me. Tanya's encouragement has helped me to accept myself as a writer and this continues to propel me in working on 'the first draft'.

Here is a link to one of the pieces of writing that I have written using one of Tanya's prompts - https://thecureforsleep.com/gestures/#charlottedawson

I

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Hello, Claire in London here. It was around a year ago that I heard Tanya speak on Sharon Blackie’s podcast and was particularly taken by the archetype of the medial woman. From there I bought Tanya’s book and was quite afraid of how I felt when I read it, slowly eking it out while wanting to devour it at the same time. I messaged her on Instagram and was surprised that she replied and very warmly invited me to this community. Why I haven’t until this point is a bit of a mystery but within that time I’ve been further exploring my complicated ancestry (whose isn’t?), which is all part of the story I wish to tell. My handle on Instagram is @saintorrow if anyone wishes to read/see some of my everyday musings. Excited to contribute here as I limber up to that most challenging of hurdles – sharing the work.

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Ooo can’t wait to read through this thread and meet you all. Thanks for the invite Tanya.

I’m Jen and I publish The Corpus Callosum Chronicles where I explore how myth, story and poetry can rebuild the bridge between imagination and logic, reuniting the brain hemispheres to create a holistic human culture.

I have a memoir coming out, that is more a ceremony really, called Piko: A Return to the Dreaming, this August 15th. It’s the account of a ceremony I held for 21 days in a very sacred place on Hawai’i Island where I live.

I’m currently publishing a series on how the principles of an ancient Hawaiian magical system called Heka can be applied to writing poems to elevate them to actual spells that can shift consciousness at will. Here’s a link to Part IV:

https://open.substack.com/pub/jenlighty/p/the-art-of-spell-casting-part-iv?r=j1jx2&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Thanks so much, Tanya, for creating this wonderful community! I wrote two stories-one is here-https://thecureforsleep.com/voices/#erikacleveland and today just added one more on the topic of Terrible Stories. I am first an artist, a doll-maker. But I love to write and have tried to write many short stories and three novels (!!!) but none of them really ever gelled. Except for an erotic short story that was published in some sort of anthology years ago.

Your challenge to condense a story into 300 words is really helping me to write. It reminds me of the apocryphal story by Mark Twain, " I didn't have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one." Having to choose words more carefully concentrates the mind. Also, I make my dolls for healing and so far, this writing here has been healing as well. I am trying to be brave and write about things that scare me and thus, by getting them out into the world, somehow release them.

And it is also wonderful to be able to witness and be amazed by the honesty and courage in other writers here. Thank you again!

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Oh, and I live in Washington, DC with my husband, my two adult kids, one who is sort of on her own, working and has an apartment, the other still finding his way. And a Dogo Argentino that my husband got after our Old English bulldog died suddenly during the pandemic. I am getting braver around this large and sometimes scary dog ( who has mellowed a lot with a lot of dog training.)

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