Here at BPA, we’ve been enjoying a new writing blog set up by client Jane Lomas, and we wanted to let you know about it too!
Jane has been in our mentorship programme over the past year while working on a contemporary novel, and she recently took a field trip to Northey Island as part of her research and to get some inspiration for her book, which is partly set on the island. You can read the blog post about her Northey Island visit here.
Jane shared some words with us about where the blog began and how the process of writing it – as well as the journeys it tells of – have affected her writing:
“When my husband passed away in March last year, I needed some time out to reset and so I went to Shetland for the month of November. The plan was to work on my novel (I had been taken on for mentoring by Sara Sarre at BPA), and spend time walking. I thought it might be a way to calm my frantic mind and to begin to heal.
I had blogged a little in the past, but Shetland really set me off on my blogging journey. It was a good way to communicate with everyone who had supported me and I found it reached others, particularly those who had been bereaved. I had always enjoyed being outside but in Shetland I discovered the true, healing power of nature. My blog helped me to put my thoughts and feelings in order. I didn’t think too much about what I was writing and I didn’t spend long editing – I wanted people to see ‘me’. This is strange for someone who is quite private and struggles with crowds.
Since then I have continued to walk, pretty much daily – I am lucky in that I have a dog and woods just across the road. But I’ve also bought an old campervan and have begun to travel a little. Walking is an important aspect of my trips. I have found that it clears my mind and I almost do a sort of walking-meditation. By opening up to nature, I am calming my over-thinking mind, which in turn, helps me to write.
For me, places are living, breathing characters and walking helps me to create a sense of place. I believe that nature and blogging have helped my writing enormously.”
Jane’s blog includes posts about the trip that started it all in Shetland Days:
I came to Shetland which is probably the windiest place in the UK – but it’s all about being battered, in a perverse sort of way. It just feels right that I should take a beating from the elements and I’m sure a psychologist could have a field day with this sort of thinking but it is what it is. I want to be lashed by the wind and the rain.
You’ll find stories from her recent trips and retreats in Jesamine, Molly & Me, Jesamine being her campervan and Molly her dog:
I went to Happisburgh simply because of the name. Intriguingly, it’s pronounced ‘Haze-bruh’ but I shall always pronounce it Happys-berg in my head. […] I’ve read about houses sliding into the sea and remember seeing Happisburgh on the news. But nothing prepared me for actually being there.
She also shares updates about her everyday life as a writer:
For a few of us, life in lockdown hasn’t been very different from our normal routines. We are used to being at home, dealing with loneliness, and planning each day so we get through our chores (although finding the motivation is sometimes difficult!). Some of us, before this pandemic, were already living in semi-isolation and only making forays into the big world when we felt able.