When you visit Jane’s website, you are greeted by an image of a sunrise over the iconic Liverpool skyline and the words: Inspired by life and nature I blog, write non-fiction books available on Amazon and digital artwork posters and greeting cards on Etsy. It is a blessing to live by The Mersey, where it meets the Irish Sea, as this ever-changing landscape is a special place to thrive.
How nice is that? The Scribbler is most pleased to have Jane as our guest this week. She will entertain us with a 4Q interview and an excerpt from her writing.
Hello, Allan The Scribbler, I am delighted to be invited as your guest today. Thank you for your generosity and support.
Jane Sturgeon has been a systems analyst, trainer, technical author, painter, psychic medium, furniture restorer, de-clutterer, therapist and creative. She has lived in Africa and The States, looked after many farms, loved through two marriages, is Mum to an extraordinary young woman and loves making things. She lives next to the Mersey River where it meets the Irish Sea and shares her life with loved ones and an impressive collection of yarn.
Self-awareness is the first book in her Writing on Water series.
4Q: Let’s talk about your role as a Creative.
JS: I have loved art since I was little and at school, I could always be found in the art room. Mostly when I ought to have been somewhere else, which could explain my poor exam results, apart from art! I grew up surrounded by creativity as Mum knitted and sewed all our clothes and both my Grannies and Great Granny used to visit and sit making things together in our living room. My sister and I learned all the handcrafts from them and our Dad, a precision engineer, can turn his hand to anything. This has led me to try painting, furniture restoration, upholstery, furniture painting and wood carving.
|Photo Credit: Nicolo Sartori
Creativity has been a thread throughout my life, and I have spent the last ten years working as a therapist and life coach, always encouraging clients to find their own creative outlet. Recently, I listened to the philosophical advice I flow to others and branched out into creating my own art and this time round I learned the graphic design software so I could make it digitally.
4Q: Tell us about your book. Writing on Water – Self Awareness.
JS: As I worked as a therapist and life coach, I found that almost all issues that clients came forward with were rooted in them not feeling good enough. As we worked together to build their self-love and worth, we found that grace and connection was nurtured for them as they become more self-aware.
I have always had a dream that I would write one day. I started a blog and then found myself writing sections that were inspired by nature and the discoveries that were created with my clients. A loving friend suggested that I mapped all the sections out on a pinboard and as I did that, it merged into a book. Much editing, technical hair-pulling (where I was rescued by a software savvy buddy) and determination later, I hit the self-publishing trail.
I ‘saw’ a series in my dream, so I called it ‘Writing on Water’ in recognition of The Mersey River and Irish Sea, that inspires and lifts me every day and my first book is ‘Self-awareness’. A collection of personal stories, photographs and observations.
4Q: please share a childhood memory or anecdote.
JS: In Africa there is no safety net and throughout my teenage years we lived in Rhodesia, which was beset by an ever-sharpening war. We all learned the true value of community and an ability to rise, no matter what the circumstances. In the bush neighbours gathered to build barns, fight bush fires, care for livestock and stand together in times of illness and passings. Food, tools, labour, ideas and care flowed and were lovingly shared.
4Q: When the mood hits you to write, where is that favorite spot you go to? What habits do you have as a writer?
JS: I have an old school desk on stilts, nestled in the bay of my workshop window. My view is The Mersey River across to Liverpool’s pierhead and skyline.
I have many notepads around me and if anything pops into my head, like something I ‘must’ do, I jot it down so I can carry on writing. It’s fun trying to work out what I meant later!
4Q: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
JS: I am grateful to my fellow writers and indie authors. Their love, support and generosity are a treasured gift and they have brought golden threads into the tapestry of my life.
An Excerpt from Writing on Water.
(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission.)
I run a blog and it has gifted many loving and kindred spirit connections. One of them shared thoughts and a picture recently of a chicken sitting on a chair in the coffee shop she and her husband visited on their wedding anniversary. I love that image; no explanations, no excuses from the coffee shop owners, just simple acceptance that the chicken needed to be near them.
It made me wonder how many times we have kept ourselves small and unseen from fear of ridicule.
The pattern of staying small is complicated; growing over time and being fed from many sources. Possible conditioning of being seen and not heard when we were little, struggling to find our sweet spot in the world, being misunderstood in school, or in the workplace and relationships, bearing heartbreak, loss and emotional pain. Any of these hurts all build layers of covering around us that form a cage and we get used to the view through the bars. It’s driven by a basic need for protection; saving us from ridicule, or judgment of others, and anything we, or others, perceive as failure.
We stand back; not trying new ideas, not speaking up, not saying ‘No’, being people pleasers, taking self-sacrifice to extreme levels to help others and all manner of limiting choices. We stay small because it feels safe.
The flip side is it also stops us accepting praise, gratitude from others for our good deeds, or stepping into a spotlight of any kind. We work so hard to stay small and unseen, that it is mightily uncomfortable to have a light shone on us in any way.
A recent conversation with a treasured friend highlighted this beautifully. She was expressing how I had helped her, and I cut her off mid-flow and started to talk about her qualities, which she then laughed off. We both caught ourselves and shared laughter on what we were doing.
Staying as we are is comforting, because it feels as if we are accepting on how we are. No-one likes their choices questioned, much less questioning them ourselves.
Staying small can be scary to acknowledge, because we start to see how often it has held us back from flowing with authenticity.
Thank you, Jane for being our guest this week. May your writing journey be fun and fulfilling.
For you wonderful readers wanting more information on Jane and her writing, please follow these links:
Web site: https://www.janesturgeon.com
Blog: Go Here.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Writing-Water-Self-awareness-Jane-Sturgeon-ebook/dp/B07X2YG3MM/
Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Water-Self-awareness-Jane-Sturgeon-ebook/dp/B07X2YG3MM/