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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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'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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Hi Tanya, I’m Nic Treadwell from Dudley in the Black Country. I’ve been writing off and on most of my life and now, in my fifties I’m trying to be more creative, and produce more work. For many years I produced a music and poetry podcast which featured others work with a bit of mine mixed in. Now I use substack https://open.substack.com/pub/nictreadwell?r=1eh0xb&utm_medium=ios and Spotify’s podcast app to produce and voice my work. I write stuff that’s inspired by my own life, I’m also interested in parody and use that as a tool to write in different voices, sometimes with I hope, hilarious results. I’m about to read your book and look forward to joining this community.

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Hello lovely people,

I’m Emily Tamas and I live on beautiful Gumbaynggirr country on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia. I am currently resisting a return to classroom teaching since having my two children and I spend my afternoons and evenings tutoring students in Secondary School English. Books have always been my way of understanding the world and of understanding how to be in the world. Stories, poetry, plays - they all have an incredible ability to sneak in the back door of our consciousness and lay the seeds for new ways of seeing and new ways of being. I find this remarkable. One of the primary reasons why I love books so much is this ability they have to open up space for imaginative possibilities. I have always wanted to write but I have always been crippled by the fear of failure and the fear of being seen and noticed. Reading (and re-reading) Tanya’s book is planting new seeds for me and prompting me to dare to put my writing in a public place. It feels utterly terrifying. It also feels utterly delightful to read the comforting, supportive and uplifting embrace that is offered to all the writer’s here from both Tanya and Tanya’s contributors. I am beginning to find some courage.

Much love,

Em xx


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I’m Maria and I am originally from Lisbon, Portugal, but have lived in Yorkshire for many years. I work as an Academic Librarian, but I would spend my days reading, writing and travelling if I could. And learning languages, I would like to speak them all! I wish I could read all books in the language they were written, but I am fascinated by translation too – I am full of contradictions like that. Even before I found out about The Cure for Sleep, Tanya captivated me with her Concentrates of Place which she shares on Instagram and are just wonderful – we share a delight for tins, and what an amazing way to encapsulate the mood or sense of a place. I came here enticed by Tanya after a mentoring session, but also looking for an encouraging community of like-minded people who would support me in developing my creative confidence. I am trying to write memoir and short stories. Tanya’s prompts have given me structure and a focal point and I am so grateful to her for that; I have not contributed much yet, but here is the link to my first piece: https://thecureforsleep.com/november-issue-reading/#mariasimoes

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9 hr ago·edited 4 hr ago

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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Hello, I'm Catherine - and I'm new to substack having recently read The Cure for sleep.

My eldest was born in quite a dramatic fashion when I suffered pre-eclampsia at eight months pregnant and Tanya it was so refreshing to read an account of traumatic birth as a mother. It's a topic I've rarely read about. My daughter and I were very fortunate and recovered very swiftly, although I took longer due to surgery.

I write to present church services every week so feel I can call myself a writer but that is very much for my 'job' . I feel very called to write and create in other ways, but working six days a week means that is difficult. Very difficult..so I'm a thwarted creative. Love to paint and craft.

Living within a walking distance of the sea means I can get a good lung full of sea air regularly but my heart is in the mountains and rivers of other parts of Wales really.

I'm aware I will be judged for being a minister, ... However I'm used to that as for some I'm seen as too liberal / hippy / inclusive.....I'm not here to preach, but to learn and explore, although im aware my situation will inform my writing but then isn't that true for us all?

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Hi all, I discovered Tanya and a Cure for Sleep via a friend's recommendation and also the Hagitude programme with Sharon Blackie. Always a reader I never thought about writing until I hit my 50s, and I still stop and start with the idea that I might be one.

I live in Stroud, Gloucestershire, surrounded by beautiful countryside, so many creative people, and ghosts from my past that tell me to just hush my mouth, no good will come of me writing. Nevertheless, sometimes it is pulled from me like an impacted molar by a well placed prompt (Tanya is particularly good at this).

I am trying to make space for ideas to come to me after a lifetime of daughtering, wifeing and mothering. I'd love to uncover my 'Mile of Writing' soon.

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Good evening. I'm Carolyn....finding myself inspired by this season's question and just trying to work out how to use Substack. Thank you Tanya for all your encouragement. Originally from Yorkshire I'm a Maga woman living in Northern NSW, Australia - a grandmother and lots of other things besides. Thank you for having me here and I look forward to making my first contribution with trepidation and excitement. Together we rise!

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Hi, I'm Zoe and I live in Northern Ireland, although not from here originally. I think of myself as a nomad, having hopped from place to place since my island childhood days. Always happiest when I can hear the sea at night.

I write in my job, but would love to write more freely, for myself, and discover where it may lead.

I can't remember where, or when, I came across Tanya's work, but it immediately resonated. This community is a wonderful idea.

I've written in scraps and scribbles between three children. I'd like to start again with some structure and direction. I think this is what Tanya is offering here. A judgement-free space. Nice to meet you all and thank you Tanya xx

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Hello, I'm Sue. I live in in a small town that doesn't quite know if it's in Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire, but it's not far from Hitchin which is about 30 miles north of London.

I grew up in the North London suburbs, went away, came back and settled in Potters Bar in South Hertfordshire where we raised our three children. I've always had strong links with East Sussex and have spent as much time there as I could - it's only for the last year that I've been living where I am now.

I was a teacher for more than 40 years. I began in Islington, inner London and gradually shifted from teaching English and French to students with challenging inner-city lives to teaching children with severe learning difficulties back out in the suburbs. Later I became a nursery teacher, later still an Early Years advisor, suffering acute Impostor Syndrome throughout those 10 years and not believing that had any right at all to tell others how to be good teachers. For the final 4 years of my teaching life, I returned to the classroom and taught Early Years, then English in a wonderful school for students with Physical and Neurological Impairment (PNI). That was an amazing 4 years, full cycle, back where I started!

But by then my whole life had changed. A very long and happy marriage ended with my husband disappearing with another woman, then my father died and my mother gradually became more dependent and infirm. Amidst all this, and it all happened suddenly and over a short space of time, I met the man who is now my partner. It's taken a good while to get to grips with it all.

And now I have 6 grandchildren , all of them living fairly close by. I spend a lot of time looking after them so my daughters - both also teachers - can work and I love every moment. And at last, plenty of time to do all the other things I love too.

I've always wanted to be a writer. Secretly, I've always thought of myself as one although there have been many, many doubts and fears. The number of notebooks that I've worked my way through proves that I DO write, but it's never been an easy thing to share my words and there have also been long, frustrating periods when nothing at all seemed to want to be written.

I've arrived here via Hagitude where Tanya so brilliantly and lovingly curates the 'Growing our Creative Confidence' thread. Being part of that and reading 'The Cure for Sleep' has been a huge catalyst for change; I've become able to look at myself and my writing differently, to understand why I need to write and to be less fearful. It feels good. Thank you, Tanya.

I haven't contributed much here yet just one piece in 'Birthday Letters', but I have followed all Tanya's prompts on the Hagitude thread. I plan to follow more here and have also taken the plunge and set up my own Substack writing space. I'll use this same introduction there and after that, I'll dive in and see where it takes me!

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A big thank you to Amanda Cooke for guiding me here. I write the My Weird and Wonderful Life Substack about my journey into spirituality, channeling, NDE, and the adventures hypnosis has taken me on.

Browsing through these comments, I see so many artists and people creating spaces to life others. That fills my heart.

By the way, I am from the heart of Canada, living smack dab in the middle of the prairies of Saskatchewan. Granted, I am a city girl but I can get from one end to the other of ours in 20 minutes... now the next major city is 40 minutes away so I live where there are many wide open spaces...

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Hi Tanya,

Hope you are keeping well with all that is going on for you and thank you for creating this wonderful place. I have only dipped in a few times as I am still on the edges of writing memoir. But your supportive community has certainly helped creek open the door a little more. I would love to write more about my Dad, but the feelings are still too raw to do this in any depth (still) - your prompts are tiny windows when I have a moment of strength. Maybe one day they will meld together into something bigger. Here is one of my more uplifting contributions to your project:


Thanks again for all that you do and for your generosity,

Vanessa xx

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