Confessions of a Pariah

My situation might be better, and my disability different, but this post, originally found by my caring and long-suffering wife Juanita, evokes so much of what I feel so much of the time. I totally feel for this guy.

Philip Green, Blogging & Writing.

I have thought long and hard before publishing this post, I am not a fan of ‘misery memoirs’ and do not sit well in the role of victim. The recent budget has left me scared and angry so as Mark Twain said “write what you know” I felt I had no choice but to blog about it from my point of view, it has turned out to be a much more personal article than I had intended but when I tried to edit it or turn it into a ‘third person’ piece it lost resonance. I’m generally a very private person, many friends as well as strangers will learn things about me for the first time from this article, but I have written this to highlight the unfairness of government policy on disabled people generally and not for personal pity or notoriety. Many millions cannot, for whatever reason, articulate their fears and situations so those of us who…

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Was Beer the end of Mother’s Ruin?

When I was growing up, I was often told that my Quaker ancestors had helped bring an end to the repercussions of ‘Mother’s Ruin’ by promoting beer.

This made some sense as the family had been involved with the brewing firm of Truman Hanbury & Buxton.

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Plate 53: Truman’s Brewery, Brick Lane. | British History Online

So, when my writer friend Maureen Vincent-Northam asked me to write about those ancestors, I began wondering whether that was just a family legend, whether that would be an interesting starting-point. Was there was some truth behind the story?

Read the rest here on Maureen’s website.

How Many Spoons Can You Juggle?


As this is the first Wednesday in July, I’m talking about ‘spoons’ in my Insecure Writer’s Support Group contribution.

Most people try to juggle too many spoons, taking on too many tasks in a day. But for them the end result is probably not as bad as it is if I take on too much.


Due to my disability, I can only do one task well per day, if that. Each day I have to allocate my time and energy, or ‘spoons’.

The concept of ‘the spoon theory’ was first developed by Christine Miserandino and explained in her article far better than I can do. So read what she says, please.

Wikipedia explains that, “Spoons are an intangible unit of measurement used to track how much energy a person has throughout a given day. Each activity “costs” a certain number of spoons, which might not be replaced until the next day. A person who runs out of spoons loses the ability to do anything other than rest…”

Washing or showering, dressing, and answering emails, all use up the limited number of ‘spoons’ that I wake up with – on good mornings that’s twenty. And if I sleep badly then I start with fewer spoons. Some things, like online gaming and watching TV, use less spoons as my over-active brain switches down a gear.

However, writing requires far more than just one spoon, even when I’m producing garbage. I even use a few spoons at once as I try to do mundane tasks while thinking about book ideas. So yesterday, having washed, dressed, and checked the bank balance, and read my emails, I wanted to rest. Instead I used up another spoon researching ‘dictators’ during a book launch party, then burnt myself out writing this. (Then I rested before editing this piece and posting it.)

Moral: remember to pace yourself and be content with one thing done well.

But I’m not alone as I know quite a few writers that suffer with their health. And I’m sure some of you have juggling problems.

So how you manage your spoons, please?

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with other writers – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group –

We also have a t-shirt now! You can purchase it here –

The awesome co-hosts for this July 1 posting of the IWSG are Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!