Monthly Archives: May 2014

It’s the little things…



I could have written a long wordy blog but the logo and banner say it all.

Take some time to have a read on the website and to think of a pledge to help make life better!

Thank you. TTC_TTTDay1


Snail Mail Submissions

                Today, as I glanced through one of the helpful writer/publisher guides I began to think that although my writing is typed, edited and professionally presented using technology and the internet has made research, and the world, smaller, that the submission process for manuscripts is peculiarly still in the last century for some publications.

I don’t know how it is around the world but I find it really odd that a number of UK publications won’t accept e-mail or enable online submissions. I know they won’t want spam but they presumably get a lot of junk mail…is there a difference?

It’s an added frustration for me as I can’t print and post manuscripts as my OCD/PTSD gets in the way (for now.) Think contamination!

Once, and only once, have I tried (bravely) explaining the reason for a non mail submission and asked if they would look at/consider my work. Intriguingly, one editor did and one point blank refused – in the same office!

             I can understand that policies have to be adhered to and I’m DEFINITELY not looking for the pity vote- that’s why I’ve not bothered to contact them or any of those snail mail submission publications again – and I guess that we could all find extenuating circumstances if we looked hard enough – but WHY aren’t more publications with great websites for their readership able to accept e-mail and online submissions? Let’s face it, a lot of the publications that only accept mail submissions reject via e-mail!!

**A massive plus point being that it’d save a few million trees a year too and editors might even see their desks again!

 Anyway, I have submitted online to another publication and I can only hope that the markets that I might have been able to go to enable e-mail/online submissions soon!

Happy writing! Happy reading!



How To Know You’re A Writer

It’s been another busy week in the world of Joanne Hayle.
My website is currently being built (excited!), I’ve been doing a lot of marketing and research and I even managed to find time to write some poetry!!

Years ago I read a book on being a freelance writer which said that once you’re published, your work is far from over, there’s a whole heap of promotional things to get on with and that you need to remember that you’re a writer so that you don’t spend too much time doing everything except writing.

Back then, I thought really? Sweet naive person that I was!
NOW I know that writer was telling the truth and whilst it’s 100% necessary and challenging to do the publicity and selling work it’s not as much fun as writing!

By yesterday morning I was missing just sitting down and writing – not for an hour or two before I started the sales related work but for as long as I wanted to.
Freedom, I guess you might say, from “work” and back to the playground that is my imagination.
So, I’ve cleared down as much as possible so that for the next few days I am at full liberty to let the words flow, the images appear and the characterslive…BLISS!!!

And that’s why I know I’m a writer, not a sales person, a marketer, an IT developer…although they’re part of the business, it comes back to the same thing…I LOVE to write and I MUST write.
Have a great weekend.

Thoughts for the day!

I had a thought earlier about the past and that led to another and another!
Thought 1
Concerned some people I no longer know but their attitudes, which they felt were enlightened were as narrow as they could be!
There is an expression “Ignorance is bliss.”
In some cases, perhaps,but in a lot of matters education and realising that you don’t know it all helps enormously!
Thought 2
Two responses to anxiety as an illness:
“If you are going mad, I’m leaving you.”
“Writers are meant to be odd and weird so they won’t notice that you have a problem.”
Respectful huh?!!! 
Thought 3
People in all walks of life, whatever their physical or mental state are NOT there to be ridiculed.
Compassion is better than ignoring someone (something) and people should try and get along.
Hopefully Mental Health Awareness Week has done a lot of good to open minds (and writers have the gift to communicate to help this too. Fingers crossed!)

And finally…
I read an interesting point the other day…A lot of people casually (dismissively?) think that they can write a book, as “everyone has got a book in them” but they wouldn’t dream of approaching an artist (painter/sculptor) stating that they’ve “definitely got a masterpiece in them!”

I love my inquiring, interested, engaged mind. It adores finding out new things, seeing new viewpoints and learning, I don’t see that ever changing.
I’d hate to have a closed mind, stuck to its misconceptions like a fly on flypaper!

The great news is that these thoughts from earlier turned in to a poem for my next anthology.

Have a great weekend.



This week it’s Mental Health Awareness Week
Let’s get rid of the misconceptions and learn the facts
Compassion and understanding is what we seek
Please ask if people are TRULY OK, perform kind acts
Your care and attention does make life less bleak
Mental illness does not mean that a person lacks
In sense or resolve to be well, sufferers aren’t freaks
They walk a tricky path. Please tell them you’ve got their back.

As you may know I have OCD/PTSD and this is a cause close to my heart.
I’ve learned a lot about people and attitudes over the last couple of years and without getting preachy knowledge really does help everyone concerned.

Please keep reading to find about about an inspiring person and charity…

Once We Were Soldiers:

I served 12 years in the Armed Forces, I struggle daily with mental illnesses including symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) I was in a dark place for over 12 years, in 2013 I started to see a glimmer of light from my dark hole and started to crawl towards it! I manage to crawl out of it and brushed myself down! Not long after, I started my own charity called Once, We Were Soldiers we provide help/support for veterans like myself and veterans who are homeless, sleeping rough or on hard times! My poetry is about me, my life, my struggle it is also my therapy! If you would like to see the work me and my team do then you can find us on FaceBook owwsoldiers or you can visit our website

Have a fab day! Joanne

A Writer From Day One.

As a child, I used to annoy my big sister when she helped me with my reading aloud because I would read what I wanted to be there and not the actual words, so “the cat sat on the mat” might become “the cat sat down on the mat.”
I have been blessed with a really active imagination too, my inner writer!

When I was 10 I won a poetry competition, which shocked me as I knew the other contender for 1st place and I was convinced that I was the runner up, so convinced that as the guy started the intro for the runner up I was half way to standing before I realised that my name hadn’t been called and that I was the winner…it was my first attempt and it was a 13 verse Halloween poem. Of course, they might have given me 1st place because after 13 verses the judges had lost the will to live!!

I continued to write short stories and poems throughout my teen years and I was pleased when my English teacher said that if I kept working on it I could possibly maybe perhaps get something published one day…he’s a poet as well as a teacher and was probably just being diplomatically encouraging!

Then the weirdest thing happened.
When I was about twenty two/twenty three a little voice inside my head said “Stop writing for a few years. Get a bit more life experience.”
The idea made sense. I was beginning the rehash old ideas and although I loved, and love, writing I was not producing great work.

I stopped writing in earnest until I was thirty.
I just came back to it, no conscious decision, I simply started to write and the words flowed and I’d seen more of life so I could tell stories that my twenty something self wouldn’t have been able to with conviction. That was how my first novel came to be.

Life works in mysterious ways.
Hope you are having a great day.

Anxiety, O.C.D and Me


I have put a short collection of poetry about anxiety, OCD and me on to Amazon Kindle.

I would love to think that it will:

a. Help others with a mental illness. You are not alone!!

b. Raise understanding and awareness.

c. Make mental illness less stigmatised.

P.S. I am not a superhero and I can’t fly but I will be kicking OCD’s butt today!!

God gave me the gift of writing..if my words help, then FANTASTIC!!!


Blimey, my 2nd blog post of the day…

Great news! My Amazon author page has gone live so here’s the link:

Have a fab weekend!

Thank God For Words!

It’s been a busy week, with counselling on Monday, and that stirred the emotions up a bit (and then some!)
The rest of the week has been spent collating poems on O.C.D. and anxiety for an anthology.
I’ve put ten of them in to a book on Amazon.
The self pitying ones from a couple of years ago were immediately dismissed. Deleted for all time.
Whilst they communicated my feelings in the moment when I read them again this week I found them too depressing.
They don’t sound like me.
Maybe they weren’t truly me, as they were written in the uncompromising grip of anxiety that I found terrifying.
Anyway, the other poems were surprisingly hopefully, defiant at times. I seem to have written repeatedly that I’d fight the illness and that I would break it down before it broke me.
It’s reassuring that at my lowest ebb I still had faith and hope enough to speak with a strength that I thought I didn’t somehow possess.
And here I am, yes, with a long way to go but on the right path.
For me, as well as the medical therapy, the talking about the old hurts, the reprocessing of memories, I have my writing and my imagination, there are no limits in my stories and that is a form of therapy in itself.
I can’t imagine not having the ability to express myself in words.
Thank God that I can.
Have a great weekend.

Anxiety, O.C.D. and Me available at