Monday 2 April 2012


Often when I come to write a blog post I have no idea what to say or write. I grope about for some interesting snippet to start with and am filled with self-doubt. Is my pottering about in the garden really that interesting, do people want to hear stories about cute things the cats did yesterday? Still indecisive, I look at the screen and see that black line of a cursor blinking sardonically at me.
When I finished university I really wanted to try to become a writer, but I wasn't bold enough or confident enough in my writing to really put myself out there. I did a few articles for an on-line magazine and then it all fizzled out. I got an interview for a "proper" job and suddenly saving for a mortgage became my number one priority. And now paying the mortgage has replaced that!

But I still have the desire to write, hence this blog where I can write what I choose - mainly my favourite topics; the cats, the garden and the house! Yet despite this I often feel disappointed by my blog posts, they always seem to lack a certain eloquence and flow. Occasionally I cringe inwardly at some of my prose, is it too gushy? Can you liken old nails hammered into aged wood to stars in a night sky?
A rather far fetched daydream of mine is to have my home featured in a magazine such as Country Living or Homes & Antiques but the amateur-ness of my writing and photography always stops me from contacting them and forwarding them my blog.
From high school English lessons I remember our teacher lecturing us to always read as much as possible, as the wider you read the better your vocabulary and writing style become; it seems like many things writing is a skill that needs to be nurtured.

Image from

I have always read voraciously, currently I'm consuming with much delight Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. I adore his descriptions in this book which immediately transport me to a green and glimmering Cotswold valley amidst waist-high cow parsley with the sound of cuckoos calling in the trees. While in reality I'm actually whizzing along thorough underground dust and grime in a cylindrical London tube carriage; perfect escapism.
Books like this inspire me and remind me of how writing should be enjoyable. Sometimes I forget to put as much effort into my blog posts as I should but I must not allow that flashing cursor to have the last laugh!


  1. Think you'd make a fantastic writer ... Go for it! Also send in your details to Country Living, they'll be pleased to have you ... And CIder With Rosie one of my favourites, so loved your latest post xxx

  2. Hello Charlotte,
    I seldom (if ever) comment on your blog but today I decided to leave a comment, because your post touched me. I really enjoy reading your posts about simple pleasures of life, about cats, gardening and "old nails" :). For me it's the same kind of escapism as for you reading Laurie Lee. I really love your blog and look forward to seeing more pictures of your lovely cats and of how your garden progresses.
    And I believe that your cottage deserves to be features in any magazine :)
    Kind regards,

  3. You never know till you give it a try :) I like your photos and I started following your blog after I saw the transformation you made to your garden, which is lovely.
    Cider with Rosie was my first and most loved Laurie Lee book. It's so charming and such an enjoyable read. And the mention of the London underground transports me 24 years back in time to when I spent a year in London as a student. An unforgettable year. I really enjoyed reading your blogpost today! Thanks for the pleasure!

  4. You should go for it! I love the way you write too.Don't doubt are very talented.I look forward to seeing your home in one of those magazines in the near future! :0)

  5. Don't doubt yourself, your blog posts are always good and whenever I see you have written a new one I look forward to reading it, you are not the only one who struggles to know what to write, I am in awe of people that can write about 3 to 4 times a week! Keep writing your posts and I am sure you will make it into the Country Living one day with your lovely home.
    have a great week.

  6. I love your blog and enjoying reading about your cats/home/garden. After following a few blogs I finally decided to start my own last week. I can identify with everything you said in your post today!!! I'm not sure if I am brave enough to post again :(
    You could also try Country Homes and Interiors magazine too!

  7. writers' angst - it happens to the best of us! from what i've read of your blog, you write well and have posted some lovely photos.

    my husband buys me country living magazine every month and this month they are asking readers to tweet their photos of home-made flapjacks for them to re-tweet their favourites. i was so tempted to do it, but i don't have a twitter account and used that as an excuse to chicken out. so as regards forwarding your blog to them, i say, go for it!

    i've never read cider with rosie, but i heard it on radio 4 and really enjoyed it.

  8. I love reading your blog, and I think you write really well. Don't doubt your ability, and don't lose that dream to write...sometimes we have to wait until the time is right...perhaps this blog is this forerunner to greater the meantime continue posting...have a lovely week. Sharonx

  9. That is a marvelous book! Years ago I found an old copy of the USA version, which is titled "The Edge of Day." I still have it. Books can transport us to other places and other times in the most charming ways; perfect escapism, as you say! I, for one, have always enjoyed what you write and show here. So I hope you will keep on writing and photographing!

  10. I posted earlier and I've just popped over to one of my blog friends, who writes for Parisienne Farmgirl Magazine, and they are looking for here's the link... - good luck!

  11. Hi Charlotte,
    I love those pictures of your kittens and hearing how someone in another part of the world spends their days...I'll be back whether you're in the mood to write something colorful or just feel like complaining about the line at the grocery store. Write on!

  12. Keep writing ;-) I love reading your blog posts whatever the subject is. I do understand the way you feel though and it is even worse for me who write my blog posts in English which is not my native tongue and not the one I speak every day!

  13. I think most of us who blog can identify with this post Charlotte. It can be difficult to have the courage of our convictions. You should write for yourself first; about any subject you like, be it your kittens, the latest acquisition for the cottage or something completely random or deep. Remember it is YOUR blog and your voice will come through. A blog is the perfect sounding board for ideas.

    Laurie Lee had an interesting life. If you get a chance seek out a copy of 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' - an account of his travels through Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Enjoy Cider With Rosie.


  14. I also believe you should go for it Charlotte, I think your writing is great. I do understand what you mean though about being filled with self-doubt - the number of times I have written something and then deleted it. I always try to remember a quote I once heard (can't remember who from) which said 'too much thinking can ruin you.' Just go for it I'd say!
    Happy Easter,
    Essie x

  15. Keep going. You're doing just fine.

  16. This is my first visit to your blog. I think you should just write without thinking too much of any audience. Do you like what you write? You can be interesting about absolutely anything so never think that something is too dull or boring in and of itself to write about. Staying home, reading a book and watching TV can be made to sound wonderful!

    It's a shame that the most talented people that the world could really do with hearing from, tend not to be those that put themselves forward. As a result we really don't get to see the best writers, artists, crafters etc. Some books of all kinds are really mediocre. Fiction tends to be written by those who know someone who knows someone. Craft books pall when compared to the talent and skill seen online. The fact of whether you are published or not does not equate to the level of talent.

    Please, just keep on doing what you love. Build up your confidence and then increase your output by taking your writing to more places. That includes online and publishers. As a reader/crafter I am often amazed by the talent that slips through the net. Blogging is a way of by-passing all those middle men. Doing it for yourself is something I totally approve of. Caring about the quality of what you have written is a good thing. But when it holds you back from sharing the good stuff then you need to be a little less hard on yourself

  17. I was so surprised to read this post, as I think your writing is fantastic. I suppose we can tend to be a little too hard on ourselves at times. I haven't read Cider With Rosie (one of those books I mean to read but haven't yet gotten around to). Keep going with the writing!