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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Apr 17Liked 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.


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

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Apr 17Liked 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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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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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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Apr 17·edited Apr 17Liked 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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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!!


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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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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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Apr 17Liked 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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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.


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Apr 17Liked by Tanya Shadrick

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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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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Apr 18Liked 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 18Liked by Tanya Shadrick


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


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




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Apr 18Liked 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


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Apr 19Liked by Tanya Shadrick

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 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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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.



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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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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.


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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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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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Oct 4Liked 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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Oct 3Liked 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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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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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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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.


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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:


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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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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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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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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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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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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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.



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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


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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:


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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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Hi, I'm Sarah. I live in North Devon. I spent my working life in Child Psychiatry, and retired in 2020. I was lucky enough to be able to retire early, and I was worried I wouldn't get a retirement, so I jumped at the chance. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008. I'm still "living with" rather than "dying of" but I'm starting to run out of treatment options.

My first poetry chapbook - The Crow Gods - was published in May this year by Sidhe Press. This time last year I was talking to the editor, Annick Yerem, about "my legacy". And, yes, I'm so glad I was self-aware enough to put that in quotes, because she has quoted it back at me.

I can't remember how I met Tanya and her work. I was an early contributor to the Substack project, and I remember waiting for the book to come out. I bought it in hardback - something I rarely do, and I've bought it again in paperback to give to people who I think need it.

I'm not in this space as often as I should be. It's such an open, honest community, and when I am here, I really appreciate it. Tanya is such a support and a celebrator of writers of all levels of experience. She is a story midwife.

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Happy to have found this wonderful community.

I am Anoushka, living in London. I have followed a winding path that has finally led me back to writing. In previous lives, I studied Biomedical Science and then was a patent litigator (lawyer). Since having children, I have (gladly) left all that behind. My eldest son is autistic and I am his full time carer and home educator. It has taken a long time to arrive at a point where I feel able to bump myself up the priority list a little. I start a masters in Creative Writing in the autumn which can’t come soon enough. I particularly love creative nonfiction and life writing - both to read and to write. I keep a blog (although it is on hiatus - www.spitting-yarn.com) and can be found @spittingyarn on Twitter and Instagram. Looking forward to reading more of everyone’s work.

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Hi, I'm Davina and live in Cambridge, UK with my husband and teenage daughter.

I read and loved The Cure for Sleep which brought me to this Substack community. Lots of themes in the book chimed with me, reminding me of my younger life growing up on a council estate in the north of England, loving books and desperately wanting to be a writer but feeling like an outsider much of the time.

I've written professionally for work (website posts etc) but less often for myself - although I recently did a life-writing course, which got me back into writing personal memoir. Like Tanya and others here, I now feel the need to start writing in earnest - and have decided this year will be all about making up for lost time and projects unfinished! I've recently submitted a piece to this writing project - which I'm so very grateful for, since it seems to be unlocking memories that I've always struggled to write about in the past. Looking forward to reading and sharing more on here.

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