Walking On Custard

Aug 22

Why Good Advice Might Be Bad Advice (and vice versa)

Go to Italy. by QuinnDombrowski, on Flickr

Original Photo © Quinn Dombrowski, QuinnDombrowski on Flickr.
CC BY-SA 2.0


[post status: a little rough, but there’s something useful buried in here!]

Here’s some advice you might hear if you’re dealing with anxiety:

“It doesn’t matter WHY you’re struggling, accept the feelings and focus instead on the present”

Sounds great. But, then, so does this: “we should confront and heal our past traumas so they stop bothering us in the present”!

And these good-sounding bits of advice seem to be contradictory..!

How are we supposed to know WHEN to confront past traumas, and when to let go and focus on the present?

(And I bet you’ve come across loads more of these seemingly-contradictory pairs of advice.)

Here’s an answer I often return to:

Read more…

Aug 06

‘Working Conversations’ Talk about Anxiety

You might be interested in this talk I was invited to give recently at the University of Liverpool.

The occasion was “Working Conversations”, a conference intended to discuss what a better mental health service might look like.

I was invited to share my experiences with anxiety, some thoughts about custard, and to throw open a few questions for the ‘proper’ experts to consider during their discussions for the rest of the day.

Hopefully I did an alright job! You can see the talk via this link.

I’m very interested in your feedback, so please do let me know what you make of it below!

Mar 25

How to Write a Great Non-Fiction Book, Probably

diary writing by freddie boy, on Flickr; how to write a book

Original Photo © Fredrik Rubensson, froderik on Flickr.
CC BY-SA 2.0

Instead of my usual musing about anxiety & brains & life & things, today I’m going to answer some questions I got sent about how to write a book.

Specifically, my correspondent wanted to know how to write a great non-fiction book.

Before you say it… god knows why they came to me.

I certainly don’t claim to be a world expert in writing non-fiction. At best, I’m probably the world’s foremost humorously custard-based mental health writer.

Even so, my comedy book about anxiety has been surprisingly successful, so perhaps something in my experience might be useful to somebody.

As I started replying to the email, I realised this might benefit from being more widely shared. So here we are.


How to Write a Book, A Bit:

Read more…

Oct 18

October 2016 News

Super quick update today with two bits of news!

On Friday I’m performing at OneTrackMinds in London, an incredible storytelling night about songs that have changed people’s lives.

I’ll be telling a story with at least one joke in it, and a lot of vulnerability. OneTrackMinds Tickets available here.

Also, the wonderful Harriet from ‘The Scribble Bug’ has written the most delightful interview with me about Walking on Custard and what I’m doing next. Read the interview here.

Sep 21

Why Am I Always Repeating the Same Problems Over and Over?

[May be relevant if you feel as if the same problems keep resurfacing in your life without ever being properly dealt with.]

I

Imagine that you’re untying a giant tangle made up of many, many pieces of coloured string.

(I have no idea why you might be doing this. Presumably you’re very bored.)

untangling-1

Read more…

Sep 07

Things I Was Going To Do But Didn’t

I’ve been travelling.

I had great plans to work while I travelled. I’ve done some, but mostly I’ve failed to be the super-productive me I envisioned. Staying on top of food, sleep, exercise, seeing people, seeing places, adventures AND work was always going to be hard.

I haven’t written several posts for this blog (albeit some are sorta drafted). I haven’t finished the draft of a book (although I’ve made progress). I haven’t sent my guaranteed-hilarious* mailing list email.

* not actually guaranteed

And you know what? The world isn’t ending.

I will have to catch up. But the level of guilty anxiety I’ve had over this perceived failure is – as usual – way out of proportion.

Especially when I step back and look at reality: I’ve done a LOT in a few weeks, especially considered I’ve had to handle some sad circumstances at home along with a few setbacks over here. If anything, I ought to be impressed with how I’ve handled everything, instead of beating myself up for failing to magic an extra five hours into every day to write a whole book as well.

Possibly there’s a wider lesson here, but as usual it’s the same lesson: changing my perspective by looking again at reality is very, very helpful.

Jul 22

One Weird Trick For Getting Over Perfectionism

Today I’m too tired to write a proper post, so my cunning plan is “just not to”.

Read more…

Feb 09

How I Accidentally Had an Endoscopy, Or: Anxiety & Me

This post contains excerpts from the early chapters of Walking on Custard. This version was originally published online over at Mindtank, an awesome blog for sharing mental health and anxiety stories. Do check them out and give them plenty of support!


/doh by striatic, on Flickr

Mistakes were made.

Original Photo © d26b73, striatic on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Worrying has always been my primary way of dealing with the world.

For most of my life, I thought this was normal. (When I wasn’t worrying about worrying so much, anyway…)

Read more…

Nov 23

My Day at TED X Leamington Spa

Update: The talk is out! Check it out here after reading the story below.

Saturday was a huge day for me!

I’ve finally made the switch to almond milk, and reduced my dairy intake. It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on my morning digestion.

Also, I gave a TED talk at TED X Leamington Spa!

Me, somewhat awkwardly standing with balloons.

Me, somewhat awkwardly standing with balloons.

My talk was all about anxiety. And custard, naturally.

I had ambitious plans for it. I wanted to get across the importance of openness about our struggles, both for our own benefit and for others.

I wanted to paint an overall picture of the journey from anxiety to less-anxiety, while sharing some mind management strategies.

And I wanted it to be as funny as possible, while not detracting from the seriousness of what I was talking about. Easy, right?

So, how did it go?

Read more…

Jul 14

Win a free personalised copy of Walking on Custard!

As an experiment, I’m running a book giveaway over on Goodreads.

For the next 24 hours you can enter for a chance to win a free, signed copy of Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life. Enter below!

And please – share this post and tell your friends!

All the usual Goodreads giveaway rules apply so check those out if you’re not already aware. (And the personalisation will be a handwritten message to the name supplied via the winning goodreads account.)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life by Neil Hughes

Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life

by Neil Hughes

Giveaway ends July 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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