Book deal part two and a half: leaning into joy…

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Wow, thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday. It was a good day and with your encouragement I let myself be properly happy.

Every time a ‘Who do you think you are?, this is all going to go wrong, you shouldn’t have told people’ voice came into my head I told myself that this is an old pattern of thinking and that it’s not being big-headed to celebrate and share good news.

In our house the worst thing you could ever be is ‘full of yourself’ (a very Irish thing) but while modesty is charming to a point, if  we don’t celebrate the good stuff, what is the point of life? The other oft-repeated phrase in our house was ‘Pride goes before a fall….’ so I always associate rare moments of being proud with the dread that something bad is going to happen. But apparently that’s normal.

I wrote a bit about this yesterday but Brene says that one of the most terrifying emotions we have is joy.

She says: ‘How many of us have thought, “Work’s going well. Good relationship with my partner. Holy crap, something bad’s going to happen.” So what is that? It’s when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability. It’s when joy becomes foreboding. We think, “I’m not gonna soften into this moment because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away. We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch.’

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I have a Brazilian book deal

book.deal!

I have news! Really exciting news. The piece of paper I am holding in my hands is not a bill, nor a bank statement… it’s the contract for a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Yes, a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Shall I say it again, in CAPITALS?! OK, I won’t.

This little baby dropped through the letter box at around 11am. The contact is for ‘a literary work entitled “Help Me!” by Marianne Power (‘hereinafter called ‘the Work’).’ It’s me! And I have ‘a literary work’. It’s so weird, wonderful and bloody random, I can’t quite believe it.

Some of you might remember the post I did about not going ahead with a UK book deal (http://helpmeblog.net/2014/06/27/say-fk-it-to-a-book-deal/). At the end of it I mentioned that a publisher in Brazil had expressed interest but I didn’t quite believe it. Even when a contract arrived in May for me to sign, I didn’t believe it because the Brazilian book lords hadn’t counter-signed.

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I’m back and Daring Greatly… with the help of Brene Brown

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First a confession: I am typing this from a coffee shop. I know, I know… I vowed never to darken the door of a coffee shop again until I was out of my financial hole but the truth is I’m 36, single and seem to be making a full time occupation out of analysing my feelings at the kitchen table. If I don’t step out into the real world at least occasionally, I’m going to lose the plot.

So yes, I’m in a coffee shop but I’ve been pretty good over the last few week in that (a) I’ve been doing a lot of paid work and (b) this is my first coffee outing in a week, (c) I’m very aware that the coffee I’m now drinking now costs 2.50 which is why (d) I’m not going to spend the 3.50 on the plum tart that’s winking at me. The little flirt.

So anyway. I’m back… sort of. I hope.

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My ten step plan to getting out of debt

Hello! It’s me! I’m back. I’m sorry for the absence – although I’m sure you’ve all been very happily going about your summer and not giving it a second’s thought…anyway, it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, which is the longest I’ve been since starting this project.

So what’s been happening? Well, I haven’t been following any self-help for August – but I have been helping myself by continuing to face up to the finances and doing a lot of paid work.

So an update on the finances:

In the last post I was in the midst of epic self-loathing about my two GIANT overdrafts and hefty credit card bill.

Reading that post back I realise I wasn’t actually giving you the full scale of my panic at the time. I have an overdraft on my business account which I’m not going to go into just now  (one debt at a time) – but my PERSONAL debts totalled more than £10,000 which is a pretty massive number in my book. In anyone’s book.

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More money stuff…

Hello all, how’s everyone? I’m very sorry for the silence… Since my television excitement (and it really was exciting, thank you to everyone for the good feedback), I’ve been busy doing paid work (thank you, editors) and wading through my finances.

Last week I discovered that Barclays has introduced new fees which mean I am now paying £3 a day for my giant overdraft. That’s £92 a month. The good news is that a) I actually noticed this  – before I wouldn’t have been looking at my statements and that b) – it’s yet another wake up call.

Mum also pointed out, quite rightly, that I would spend that on coffee most day without even thinking about it. She’s right. So the trips to the coffee shop have stopped. So has eating out and drinking out. I had cut down but it’s not been enough. I am not going to buy another overpriced gastro-pub burger until I’m out of this hole. There, that’s my public promise.

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I was on the telly!

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Hello all, how’s everyone? This is just a quick one because I think that a lot of you saw it already but I WAS ON THE TELEVISION last Thursday, talking about the blog. It was a morning television show called This Morning and it went very well, or at least I thought it did.

Mum was less convinced. Her very first comments afterwards; “Was your mouth dry? Your mouth seemed very dry.’ I don’t know how you know if someone’s mouth is dry – or why she felt she had to lead with that observation – but she thought I looked nervous at first but I got the hang of it as it went on.

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Thank you

It’s 6am and I’m heading off on a job in a bit but wanted to say a quick thank you all so so so much for the lovely comments yesterday. It made me cry again but in a good way. I wish you could all know what it’s like to have a moan and then have dozens of people send you lovely messages. It’s pretty amazing and not what I was expecting and, to be honest, not what I deserve.

Thank you especially to the people who told me about their dark patches – especially around money. It really helped.

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I give up

It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.

When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.

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My guardian angel, Bob the Builder, says that I’m never going to find love

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So I’ve been having conversations with my guardian angels. No really, I have.  We’ve become pen pals.

In her books Doreen Virtue suggests you close your eyes and ask what your two angels are called. I did that and the name Mary and John came into my head. I tried to picture Mary and John as angelic beings, with feathers and lights and love pouring out of them, but I couldn’t. With Mary, I just pictured my mum. Unsurprisingly given that Mary is her name. And with John, I pictured a builder in a vest with a gut and builder’s bum. A bit like Bob the Builder but with stubble. I don’t even want to think about what this guy is doing in my sub-conscious… but I don’t believe he’s an angel.

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