Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life

Caro Giles writes herself back onto the page

August 20, 2023 Claire Waite Brown/Caro Giles Episode 81
Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life
Caro Giles writes herself back onto the page
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Rewriting your identity
Ever felt like you've lost yourself along life's journey, and wondered how you could possibly find your way back?
In this episode, Claire chats with Caro Giles, a theatre arts graduate turned actor, teacher, mother, home educator, carer, and now published author. Caro shares her journey of finding and retaining her sense of self amidst the responsibilities of marriage, mothering, and home educating.
Caro explains how writing a book became a way for her to explore her worth beyond being the main breadwinner in the family, and discusses the challenges she has faced as a single full-time carer.
Delving deeper, Caro opens up about the challenges of creating while juggling work and raising children. Her experiences, though trying at times, did not quell her creative spirit. They instead inspired her to write Twelve Moons, a  beacon of hope for anyone who has ever felt isolated or alone.
Caro also shares her plans for the future, including continuing to write and advocating for changes in the education system. Join us in this inspiring conversation with Caro Giles, and let her journey ignite your own path to self-discovery.

You can buy Caro's memoir, Twelve Moons, from the Creativity Found bookshop at Bookshop.org.

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Researched, edited and produced by Claire Waite Brown
Music: Day Trips by Ketsa Undercover / Ketsa Creative Commons License Free Music Archive - Ketsa - Day Trips
Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.uk
Photo: Ella Pallet


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Speaker 1:

There was a sense that I could become lost within my marriage and within my mothering and within my home educating, and I wanted to try and retain that sense of self and understand who I was and understand what my worth was if I wasn't someone who was the main breadwinner in the family. I thought, if I can write a book, it's something I can manage in my own time and maybe I'll make some money. Now that's just bunkers, because hardly anybody makes any money out of writing a book. But my options were limited. I had a very, very sick child and I had no support. It was really nice to have that structure, which is actually very simple but, I think, really effective, because what I wanted to do was I wanted to write almost in real time what was happening in my life. I wanted to capture the urgency and the kind of the claustrophobia of what it was to be a single full-time carer.

Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm Claire, founder of Creativity Found, a community for creative learners and educators, connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them do so with workshops, courses, online events and kits. For this podcast, I chat with people who have found or re-found their creativity as adults. We'll explore their childhood experiences of the arts, discuss how they came to the artistic practices they now love and consider the barriers they may have experienced between the two. We'll also explore what it is that people value and gain from their new found artistic pursuits and how their creative lives enrich their practical, necessary everyday lives. For this episode, I'm chatting with Caro Giles, a theatre arts graduate, turned actress, teacher, mother, home educator, carer and now published author. Hi, caro, how are you? Hi, I'm good, thank you. How are you? I'm very well. Tell me, first of all, what form your creativity takes right now.

Speaker 1:

So I'm creative at the moment mainly through my writing, but also through music. So I write as much as I can and I'm exploring lots of different projects. At the moment, following the publication of my first book, 12 Moons, I'm exploring different ideas on my own and with my writing group and with my agent and with my editor, and just trying to think about what's going to be the next best project for me to work on. And it's quite exciting that period of time where there are lots of ideas floating around just trying to grab onto the ones that might stick. So that's where I'm at with my writing, and I also am always creative through music as well. So that's just part of my daily life. I like to play the piano, I like to sing. I run a women's singing group in my house and I guess alongside that, I'm always been created with my children as well, most of whom are unable to attend school. So we're always working on different creative projects. So it's a very creative house.

Speaker 2:

Fabulous. We will learn more about all of those aspects as we go along. Start, though, with your childhood. Were those creative activities or other ones? Were they a big part of your childhood?

Speaker 1:

I had a creative upbringing, although I wouldn't say that my parents were particularly creative, although they like to create now, perhaps more so later in life. My parents enjoy music. My mum is a really lovely artist, my dad likes to write. But when I was growing up I was really fortunate that I went to a school where the music was really excellent and I was lucky enough to have piano lessons, so there was always lots of music in the house. I was particularly drawn to music and to performance as a child, so I really loved acting and putting on performances. I would do that with my brothers and my sister and kind of boss them around and tell them which parts they were playing. But I would also do lots of amateur dramatics. Amateur operatic society played in loads of musical ensembles and that really was the glue that kept everything together for me. I was not so much doing any writing in those days, but I think through other forms of creativity I was telling stories.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely. I used to love the amateur dramatics. I would always be in the chorus because I love to dance and I was dancing all through doing my GCSEs and A-Levels in shows. It was brilliant time. I know that you did actually become an actor. Was that through a further education path?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I really all I ever really wanted to do was be an actor, and my family was supportive of that. It was quite tricky. I went to school in a market town in Yorkshire like a state secondary school. There wasn't a drama department there, which was, I think, why I did so much outside of school, because the school you know school couldn't meet my needs in terms of acting. I was academic, and my parents were really keen for me to do a degree if I could, because they knew that acting was a precarious career, so I managed. I really wanted to go to drama school, though, and I managed to find a drama school in Guildford that did a full-time practical performance course alongside a degree which went through the University of Surrey. So I got a diploma in acting and a degree in theatre studies, and actually later in life, I was very pleased that I had that degree, because it meant I was able to find other work when acting wasn't available.

Speaker 2:

So you did get acting work. How does a person do that after education, meaning, how did you go about getting work?

Speaker 1:

With difficulty, despite going to a really good drama school. I wasn't particularly well connected. I didn't come from an acting family. I didn't come from a wealthy family, and the reality of being a jobbing actor is that you have to always be available for auditions, and at the time it was really useful to live in London as well, and so it was an expensive city to live in and I had to earn money, but I had. I was working in this kind of precarious temping jobs that would enable me to still go to auditions at short notice. So it was really really hard.

Speaker 1:

I did manage to sustain an acting career throughout most of my 20s. I was doing like a jobbing actor, doing touring theatre, mainly touring around the country. It wasn't particularly well paid, doing theatre and education, working with outdoor theatre companies, and I really loved it, but I felt like I didn't earn enough money. I didn't have any control over my life.

Speaker 1:

One of the things I did to helped that kind of feeling of being out of control was work with an arts collective in London and we used to put on club nights and I used to sing in a band and we used to put on theatrical performances. We went to the Edinburgh Festival and I used to produce a lot of events and so that was a really nice way to feel that I could could kind of manage my creativity myself. But a lot of the time I felt that I was at the mercy of directors and agents and that was really frustrating to me. It was kind of a hand to mouth existence and I didn't feel like I was building a career in any meaningful way. I was kind of just jumping from one thing to the next and not having that support network of having parents with a house in London or parents who were within the acting industry made it quite hard. Actually, I didn't feel that I was, that I fitted in very easily.

Speaker 2:

So was that the reason for stopping?

Speaker 1:

The reason I stopped acting was because I had met someone I wanted to be with and I really, really wanted to have children and I knew that I couldn't afford to have children if I kept acting and I also knew I couldn't keep going on tour and easily look after children. So I decided I've been doing some temporary teaching and running drama workshops and music workshops in schools and I decided to consolidate that by doing a years teacher training, which is why the degree had been a real winner, because it meant I only had to do a year and then I was qualified as a teacher. So I trained in a little primary school in London four days a week and then a day at South Bank University on a Friday, which meant that I then was a trained teacher, and that has been something really helpful to step back on and also something that now helps me to work with my own children, who were unable to navigate mainstream education. So it fitted together in the end.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, brilliant, yeah, I can. I can understand and lots of people other guests have said as well about when you're kind of being creative at the mercy of other people or you're being creative for other people and it's not kind of coming from you although you did have that with the collective, which is good. So once you've trained, then you were teaching did you go straight into teaching full time?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was working full time at a really gorgeous little primary school just below Waterloo station on Lower Marsh and it was a very small primary school, incredibly diverse, really wonderful families. I really loved the pastoral aspect of that job. I love the different people that I worked with. I felt like someone who'd come from a very white, fairly middle class town in Yorkshire. It was just a breath of fresh air really to be immersed in so many different ways of thinking and living. Yeah, I loved that job a lot and I was there. I was only there for another two or three years because then I had my first child went back to work part time and then we moved out of London when before she was two. So yeah, it was only a short stay in that school but I loved it and made friends for life there as well. Really, I have very happy memories of that place.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you mentioned that you moved. Why, where, how?

Speaker 1:

I was living in a flat in South London, me and my husband and my baby, and we'd managed to buy that flat because I was a teacher. Basically I joined a scheme where I could. There was like a first time buyer scheme but I think I felt increased. I'm not sure how great my mental health was after having my first baby. I felt quite isolated. My baby didn't sleep at all. I think I had some postnatal OCD that was never really diagnosed, but I felt pretty rough At the same time that I had that baby.

Speaker 1:

Lots of our friends moved out of London, moved abroad actually, or moved down to Brighton and places, and it just felt like our world to collapsed a bit. Everybody who'd been in the arts collective went off and did their own things, yeah. So I felt like my support network could really gone away. My husband's job had gone a bit pear shaped and so it seemed like a good idea to move back up north at the time towards family, and it was cheaper up there. We could afford to rent up there.

Speaker 1:

So we sold the flat and moved back to County Durham, which was not where my family were, but it wasn't far away because I managed to get a full time job as a special needs teacher in County Durham and it was a huge change because we moved from Peckham to Teasdale and I've been working in a tiny school with primary children and then moved to a school with secondary aged children whose main complex need was presented through their difficult behaviors.

Speaker 1:

So the kids were from very violent and difficult and I was just a new mum and trying to become pregnant again and working in this right a very violent and male environment, very kind of typical northeastern attitudes towards things, quite old fashioned at the time. Things have moved on, I think, since then, but yeah, it was a huge transition and also to be working full time wasn't ideal for me. I didn't want to work full time while my baby was still quite small, so there was a lot going on there and it made it harder for me to be creative as well because I was just really busy working and looking after my child.

Speaker 2:

Do you feel, then, that you completely put your creativity to one side, maybe because of the working, because of the family and I know that you were growing the family at the same time.

Speaker 1:

I think I was being creative through my job because I was head of music at that job, so I was doing music through my work and helping these young people to be creative. I was being creative through my parenting. I was occasionally doing some singing. I hadn't started writing at that stage, so kind of it had been. It had been pushed to one side, but it was still being creative, was still very much part of who I was. So I still would need to play the piano, I still would need to sing, I still would sometimes sing with bands, but it wasn't my job anymore, and so that my identity really changed at that point from being, from being a professional creative to being something quite different. I don't think I overthought that too much at the time, but I think it must have been a huge transition.

Speaker 2:

Actually, looking back on, it and your family continued to grow. You had more babies. Are you still working at the school throughout that time? How is generally life? Everything fitting in?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I still was working part time after my second daughter and my third daughter and after my third daughter we moved again up to Northumberland, where I am now, and I still continue commuting part time. I don't think I stopped working at that school until sometime after my fourth daughter was born. So it was a lot. And around the time that my Third or fourth daughter was born so many daughters my oldest daughter was unable to attend school anymore. So at that point I was also starting to home educate my children. So I was home educating, I was working and I was parenting, and it was a lot. And that's when I started blogging and that was one of my tentative step into using writing as a form of creativity.

Speaker 2:

So you began writing the blog. You've explained when that was and a little bit of why. Maybe can you explain a bit more about the contents of the blog, why you felt you needed or wanted to write it, and was that a step towards 12 moons, do you think?

Speaker 1:

I started writing the blog, I think, to try and make sense of my life, which looked nothing like anybody else I knew, so I'd left lots of old friends behind. I was living in Northumberland with four babies and things were quite challenging within my marriage at that point and I was home educating and home educating felt like a real, like a really radical thing to do. There weren't that many people home educating near me. I didn't really understand what my daughter's needs were at that point, other than school wasn't going to work for her. So I was just trying to understand all of that and I guess I was using my background in education to try and explore a little bit why my child didn't manage at school and how I wanted to educate my children, because at this point it was kind of a choice to home educate.

Speaker 1:

My child hadn't completely broken inside the system but she wasn't thriving. So we were electively home educating at that point and I was interested in exploring what that meant and what we had lost within the mainstream system that my children were gaining by being home educated. And I was also keen to think about my own identity within that as well, because there was a sense that I could become lost within my marriage and within my mothering and within my home educating, and I wanted to try and retain that sense of self and understand who I was and understand what my worth was if I wasn't someone who was the main breadwinner in the family. So I guess that idea of rediscovering myself, understanding myself, which is one of the strong themes in 12 Moons, did start to germinate through that blog. It also was quite political as well, because I was thinking about why the education system wasn't working, and that's something I touch on in 12 Moons and something which I will continue to to explore through future books, I hope as well.

Speaker 2:

Did you find the writing process natural easy? Did you need to work on?

Speaker 1:

it. I think I found that I had a natural style. People told me that I wrote well, but I didn't really know anything about it. I just thought I was articulate, like I'd enjoyed writing essays and stuff at school. I'd enjoy reading a lot, so maybe it was something that came quite naturally to me. I found it a really good way to connect with people, which is one of the reasons that I wrote 12 Moons, because I guess one of the things I was writing about was isolation Social and cultural isolation as well as geographical isolation. So I guess it's something that came quite naturally to me. But also I'm someone who is quite ambitious and so I did look for ways to further my writing. Like I would send off articles to places and I would review things and send them off and get them published and things. So I think I was also looking for a way to develop my own identity beyond motherhood and home education.

Speaker 2:

And are you the kind of person who will write as and when, when the mood takes, or do you have to hone a particular way of fitting it in a practice?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I can't just write as and when, because I'm a full time carer and I'm a single mother, so I make lots of notes and I'm as prolific as I can be, I think, with the constraints in my life. I did a I don't know should I tell you about the masters that I did because that was really influential in terms of me establishing a practice and a discipline around my writing. So I applied for an online masters in nature and travel writing around the time of the pandemic hit and I'd been looking into masters for a while but I couldn't work out how I could afford childcare. So I found this online one and wasn't particularly thinking I was a nature or a travel writer.

Speaker 1:

But when I spoke to Stephen Moss, the writer who runs the course, or ran it at the time, he said I could combine my life writing and the other stuff I wanted to do through the course, and so it was just was so accessible for me and that was really a way for me to start to get proper feedback on my writing, to learn to be more critical of what I'd written, to learn to edit. It was really great in terms of meeting industry people and it helped me to develop a regular practice, and so I would get up and write every morning early, and that was how I wrote my book. That's how I wrote 12 Moons and I think yeah, I think it gave me the discipline and the confidence to be able to write a whole book, although looking back now I still can't even see how I wrote a whole book in lockdown with four kids. But yeah, somehow I did, and so I must remember that as I go into future books.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a lot. It's a massive achievement. Creativityfoundcouk is the place to go to find workshops, courses, supplies, kits and books to help you get creative. So if you're looking for your own creativity, found experience, go have a browse to see what's on offer so far. And if you can help adults to find their new creative passion, please get in touch on social media or through the contact details on the website. So explain to our listeners what the story of 12 Moons is, please.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so 12 Moons is a year of my life with my children living on the edge, and I like to think about this idea of living on the edge because it describes lots of different strands in the book. So I'm exploring what it is to live on the edge of the country in North Northumberland and I'm exploring what it means to live on the edge as a woman on her own, what that means to be a woman on her own and a single mother, and I feel like I'm on the edge because I am educating my children myself. We are on the edge because we are a neurodivergent family and, as you all find out in the book, sometimes I'm on the edge because life is really hard and it makes me feel like I'm on the edge. So this book follows me and my family over the course of a year and it looks at themes of isolation and of regeneration, rediscovery. It's a love letter to the county where I live that I guess I feel like I don't belong anywhere and part of writing 12 Moons was trying to understand the landscape and try to make it feel more like my home.

Speaker 1:

So there's lots of place writing about Northumberland and it's a story, really, of a woman finding herself again after completely losing herself inside her marriage. It's also a rallying call, a rallying cry to people everywhere to understand what it is when you have a family that doesn't fit in. Yeah, so it's kind of it's political, it's deeply personal. I think I've written very honestly about my own feelings around divorce and around parenting neurodivergent children and around living somewhere in the middle of nowhere, miles from anybody. So I guess it's tied together by the Moons. That makes it something. It's a very universal story in that sense, although it's deeply personal to me. I feel like using the skies, using the sea and the Moons means it can be applicable to anybody who's ever felt alone, and that was what I wanted to do was to try and reach out to other people who might have felt isolated in the same way that I have.

Speaker 2:

I definitely believe readers will find we'll be able to see some of their own experiences in your experiences, and you write about them beautifully. It is a lyrical, beautiful, wonderful style that you write in, thank you. Thank you, claire. How is your writing style developed? How do you feel it is and what's the difference? What's the change from going from writing a blog to writing the full book? And was it your choice to write the full book? Did you say right, I'm going to write this now.

Speaker 1:

So before the pandemic I had separated from my husband and then during the pandemic, I got divorced and that was a very traumatic experience and I felt that I had completely lost myself through that experience. And so I did want to, I did want to write a book that wrote me back onto the page. I go back to that phrase again and again in 12 Moons. How can I write myself back onto the page? So I lost my thread. Had something really profound to say. What was your question?

Speaker 2:

Well, I did waffle on. To be honest, I didn't help, because I started with one question and then I did another couple of other ones as well. So let's start, let's focus on, as you were just starting to address why you said right, I want to write a book, as opposed to my blog.

Speaker 1:

Okay. So I wanted to write a book for practical reasons and emotional reasons. I wanted to write a book because I find it very found it very difficult. Part of my course was having to pitch articles again and again. There's lots of administration involved and I found it very difficult to fit that kind of the job of a journalist which was one of the aspects of the course in with my role as a full-time carer. So I thought if I can write a book, it's something I can manage in my own time and maybe I'll make some money. And that's just bunkers, because hardly anybody makes any money out of writing a book.

Speaker 1:

But my options were limited. I had a very, very sick child and I had no support. I couldn't leave the house to work, so I had to find a way to end some money. So I thought I'm gonna write a book. So that was a practical side of it. And then I wanted to write, had this idea of writing myself back onto the page, and I was originally going to do that by running a long distance running route from Scotland down to Northumberland, exploring this idea of being a woman on her own, weaving in some of the nature stuff that had interested me on my course and some of the things about my local landscape that I really love.

Speaker 1:

And then the lockdown started and my daughter got really sick, so I couldn't leave the house, and so I was looking for another way to hang that story, and eventually, after lots of thinking and living and being, I came to the idea of each month being a moon. It was really nice to have that structure, which is actually very simple but, I think, really effective, because what I wanted to do was I wanted to write almost in real time what was happening in my life. I wanted to capture the urgency and the kind of the claustrophobia of what it was to be a single full-time carer and how I managed to extricate myself from my role as a mother and a carer, and so that worked really, really well. I managed to write most of it in real time, and the rest of the time when I couldn't write, I was making notes frantically and then going back and filling those bits in. So that way of writing just really fitted in with my lifestyle, because I was writing what I was living Like really, I'm a life writer, not a nature writer.

Speaker 1:

The reason there's so much nature in 12 moons is that I live in a very rural location and my children respond really well to being out in nature and I was writing about my mothering and about my life, so I guess that's why I don't call myself a nature writer. It's just that my life at the time was full of nature and it meant a lot to my very, very poorly daughter that we were in the sea a lot. So I guess there were practical reasons and emotional reasons for writing 12 moons, and also I'm very stubborn and like a challenge. So I think I wanted to prove to myself that I could actually write a book.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you did yeah and you got it published. Now I've spoken to various guests who have self-published, been published traditionally. I say in quotation marks you accidentally navigated the process in a less usual order, I believe. Tell me more about how 12 Moons has made it to the bookshelves.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean there was some luck and some. There was obviously loads of hard work, but there was some luck and good timing involved as well. So as part of our course, our masters, we were encouraged to enter competitions, just as a way of, you know, having a deadline to work, to producing another piece of work and potentially, hopefully, having your work recognised and read by influential people. So I entered the BBC country file New Nature writer of the Year competition and really it was like I literally just got it over the line just before the deadline. I remember sitting on the bed on my bed and all my kids were around me and I was trying to edit this piece of writing I'd done about a rock pool and the kids were talking and cuddling and rolling everywhere and I was thinking, oh my god, this is actually ridiculous, I'm just gonna fire it off anyway. I was pleased with it as a piece of writing, but it just seemed improbable that anything would happen because everything was so chaotic around me. And then I won that competition and, yeah, really it was. It's not, you know, ridiculous to say that it was life changing because it was life changing. And that was how my editor found me at Harper North. She found my website and sent me a message through it and on my website I kind of arrogantly declared that I was currently writing a book and I'm glad I did do that now because it made her ask about it. And then we started toing and froing and she really liked what I had written and she offered me a book deal. And that was really overwhelming, but exactly what I wanted.

Speaker 1:

But at that stage then I was also encouraged to find an agent to help me negotiate the deal with the publisher. And so I had a bizarre frantic few days where I was had a book deal on the table but still couldn't get through the door with any agents because it just was so hard to contact any of them. And eventually the publisher introduced me to a few agents and through her communication I was able to to be offered representation by several agents. And then I found this agent I'm working with now and so, yeah, it was just, it was really intense, like really wonderful. But also everything happened all at once, having been very slow and just me on my own for a long time.

Speaker 1:

Now, 12 means is available to buy in shops and that, yeah, that's a really beautiful miracle which is a result of a lot, a lot, a lot of hard work. But yeah, it's kind of. Can you see how luck and hard work kind of merged there to absolutely competitions are crazy really? They're just. You know, it's just someone's opinion, it doesn't. You know, it doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it can mean everything to the person who wins because it just can put them in a position where the right person has read, read their words.

Speaker 2:

So I'm really grateful for that yeah, exciting, and there's a bit of the slow and the quick as well, where you've been writing in real time over the 12 moons and then the next bit is quick, quick, quick. This is gonna happen now.

Speaker 1:

Very interesting contrast the thing of the thing of of it being a memoir and being very personal and then all of a sudden, it being picked up and it being taken out of my hands. That was a. That was a very interesting process to me, but one that was managed really well by my publisher, my agent, so I was fortunate to have their support and what about your feelings around?

Speaker 2:

lots of other people reading it.

Speaker 1:

I was good about lots of other people reading it. I was less good and much more worried about people close to me reading it. That was difficult, but in terms of lots of people reading it, I was fine. My main concern was that I had not represented my autistic daughters lived experience sensitively and appropriately, and I worked really really hard to ensure that that was the case, both with my daughter and with another autistic writer and with my publisher, and everything that was my concern was that I had done a disservice to the autistic community, but feedback has suggested that I haven't done a disservice and so, other than that, I was really happy to say anything about myself, but anything that was related to my children or my ex-husband was challenging, and so I had to work very hard to make sure they were protected.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was the tricky bit yeah, now I encourage, obviously encourage people to read the book, to understand how you did that, to see the ways that you've done that, which are fabulous. What about the future, then? And continuing to write and also continuing, continuing to be able to fit that in, to still homeschooling I'm not sure if you're homeschooling all of your children now, but what's coming up in the future and how do you make that work still with family life?

Speaker 1:

So I have three children learning at home and one child learning at school. There is a lot of administration and challenge involved with two of the children's education and healthcare needs, so that's a constant battle in terms of how much headspace it takes up, not to mention all the physical appointments and administration and the facilitating the learning. So I think the challenges moving forward will be because I don't think many of these challenges will go away anytime soon. I am constantly fighting for diagnoses, for funding, for understanding, for recognition for my children, for all those things that I think that will be ongoing. I don't think that we have an education system that is fit for purpose for some of my kids and you know that's just an ongoing thing. I think the upside of that is that I will use my creativity to raise awareness of that and to try to effect change.

Speaker 1:

I've got several creative projects on the go. One of them specifically focuses on trying to explain what life is like for children who cannot fit into school and why this country is not meeting those children's needs. So it's kind of it's personal and it's political and that's something I would like to work on. I also want to continue to explore stuff around female identity through memoirs and life writing. So I've got another idea for a book that's more based on that, which is more about me, because it's hard to write about your children and there's only so much. I feel that I can do that. So I'm keen to kind of explore other things as well, and then maybe I would think about doing something completely removed from all of that and try something new.

Speaker 1:

So lots of different ideas, but how I will manage it is by getting up early and by just continuing to try and bash out a few hundred words a day until I get to a book, because I know I've done it once before, so I know I will be able to do it again. But from where I'm sitting now, with only a few thousand words under my belt, it feels like a lot. But it's kind of sustaining to me and nourishing to me as well to be forced to carve that time out, and I think it's also really good for my children to see me carving out a career despite time being so precious and despite systems being so stacked against me and my family. Me writing the book has been something really positive for all of us and our home. So yeah, I'm just going to keep doing more of the same. I think Fabulous.

Speaker 2:

How can people connect with you?

Speaker 1:

So I'm often hanging around on Instagram or Twitter and my handle is at Karo Giles writes, also tentatively looking into threads, but who knows where that's going. People can also email me at KaroGilesWrites at gmailcom, and my link tree is also all up there on my socials as well. So please get in touch and tell me what you think or tell me your own stories. I wrote it to connect with others, so I'd love to hear from you.

Speaker 2:

Fabulous. Thank you so much, karo. Thanks.

Speaker 1:

Claire, I've had a lovely chat. Thanks for having me. You're welcome.

Speaker 2:

Thanks so much for listening to Creativity Found. If your podcast app has the facility, please leave a rating and review to help other people find us. On Instagram and Facebook, follow Act Creativity Found podcast and on Pinterest, look for Act Creativity Found. And finally, don't forget to check out creativityfoundcouk, the website connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them tap into their creativity.

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