Break Time

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This was originally going to happen in a couple of weeks but given the way that I’ve been feeling when it comes to putting together posts and the fact that for the most part I will literally do anything but click on the ‘write’ button, and the fact that this week I’ve only posted once and even that was late, I’m gonna call it now.

I’m taking a little break.

For the rest of the month. At least

Currently whenever I get hit with the urge to write it’s for The Thing and so I focus on that but then feel a little guilty because I am neglecting to write anything for the following day on here. And no one has the time for that kind of guilt. Especially because if you really think about there is nothing to be guilty for. And also sometimes what I really want more than anything is to just lie on the sofa and binge watch something (this Friday it was The Bold Type, which took the first episode for me to get into but once I was there I was hooked and now I’ve run out of episodes.

Also I have a lot of work to do on The Thing, like flesh out the characters and truly get the plot down because it’s mostly there but I still don’t really know where I want it go fully, I just have a vague idea and somewhere to go with it but I need to make it concrete and put it into my favourite things, which is words. I need to find my ass a pen and a notebook and get all the trail amount of information that likes to just sort of fly about in my head and see if I can get it to work in the way that I want it to. And if I don’t have to worry about writing up blog posts then I can get all this stuff done.

This time off from here will also allow me to bank up some posts again because I’ve let the queue run all the way dry (if that wasn’t completely obvious) when I was doing quite well and getting shit all the way done. Then I took some time off to just re-do certain aspects of the blog and with all that momentum I just sort of hit a wall. Which is whatever. And where we are at.

There is no content in my head to put on the page for this blog. At the moment. I mean there probably should be come Easter which is currently when I plan on coming back. Although I am still on holiday (in London, but not at work because I need some time off to recover from my holiday which is the previous week) for that week so it may be the second week of April. I don’t know I’m gonna play that by ear. Because I might also use that week to get some real solid writing done for The Thing because I am also planning on doing Camp Nano so that I can get this thing to at least 50,000 words by May. Maybe more, but I’m not gonna aim that damn high. And having a solid week to get some real groundwork done might actually be a better use of my time.

Like I said, I’m going to play it by ear.

What I am going to do though is go through the archives. I found a lot of old posts that I completely forgot about when I was having a little re-do. Which isn’t all that surprising because there are nearly 800 on here now (yeah, I deleted a bunch of posts and that really changed the number of posts that were on here) and once they are up after a couple of weeks I do kind of forget about them. So I’m going to go through all of my archives and share a couple each day. And actually use Tweetdeck so that I can get them organised and then forget about them again.

It’s a different level of organisation.

Overall I think that it will just make me feel less stretched out. Which is something that I currently need. I just need to swing the balance back into something that might actually be considered balance because right now it really is not.

Something’s gotta give and in this instance it’s the blog because that is the thing that I am currently feeling the least creative for.

So, that’s where we’re at with this now. I’m off for the next couple of weeks. I’ve got some planning and writing to do. Amsterdam to travel to and birthday for a brother to celebrate.

Parentheses count: 3. See you at some point in April!

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Things I’ve Learned

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As I have mentioned a couple of times over the past week (and hopefully have noticed) I have been having a little revamp on the blog. It’s been one of my goals for this year to invest more time in my blog and make it something a little better for me.

It was an investment. It took me pretty much all week and I only really truly appreciated just how much effort I have put into this blog as I was trawling through them all and making featured images with them all whilst making sure that the sign off was consistent (and was put back on) across all the posts.

This thing has been a damn investment, especially over the past 2 and a half years. It’s become my damn solace and a really great way for me to just put words on a page and  somewhere where a lot of the time I end up just putting all my thoughts onto the screen. And I’ve done it a lot.

There are some posts on here that I had totally forgotten about and some of them are super random.

Another thing I discovered, it’s been legit months since I posted something on here that was even remotely creative. For months most of my posts have been banging on about something and I’ve not used the ‘my writing’ category for yonks. That’s something that I kind of want to change. I don’t have any immediate plans to do that or anything just because I am currently focusing on The Thing (that is honestly what the document is currently called), but I am sure that I have something in a notebook somewhere that has not yet made it’s way onto here that I can tidy up and dust that category off for.

Something else I learned, there are some common themes that continue to crop out and have done for year. For example (and on some level I did know this) I have been talking about trying to be more organised for bloody years now. And it has always happened in bursts but then just nothing happens with it and the habit is never formed. It still hasn’t been formed. I’m still just as chaotically organised as I usually am. I haven’t opened that damn diary thing for weeks now, when I went through a stage of sitting down and plotting the week out vaguely on a Sunday. It’s just not something I do. I may just have to make my peace with the fact that it might never be a thing that come naturally to me and stop trying to make it happen. It’s like ‘Fetch’.

My attitude to exercise has been kind of interesting. Given that this year I literally felt the need to add a new category to put all my fitness shit into it was interesting to see how like 2/3 years ago I was pretty averse to it. I mean I also seemed to speak about it in a tone of voice that suggested that I knew I needed to start doing it but was also not actually doing anything about. I found most of that out yesterday afternoon which I found particularly amusing as I made the first steps to upping my weights for the session. I only went up for leg tracks because they are by far the strongest part of my body but it was actually at 15kg (so it went up by a whole 2.5kg…) but it didn’t feel impossible. So that personal journey was interesting to see.

Also the reading challenge thing. That has gotten progressively more ridiculous over the years. In 2015 I bunged a bunch of books together and kept them super short. The one I wrote yesterday was around 1,000 words and I wrote most of it on a train home which amounts to about 30 minutes. I’ve allowed myself to do more with them because there is a part of me that likes that I am vibing with the English graduate in me.

I’ve quite enjoyed it on some level, the whole going down memory lane thing, because there were a lot of posts that I’m quite proud of but had completely forgotten about just because of the sheer volume of posts on here.

I also deleted some posts, just because they didn’t really seem to serve a purpose anymore, although I kind of didn’t really think about the logistics of it. My milestone count is now out because 70 posts just cease to exist, which is no drama, I’ve mostly corrected them the best that I can so that they still make sense in a way without the mention of the milestone. I might also bring the playlists back, not on such a frequent basis but just every now and again. I’ve got one in my drafts actually that has been sitting there for months that I might finally switch to ‘schedule’…

The thing that I have mainly learned from this is that I am actually capable of buckling down when I get home from either work or the gym because I did it with this. I didn’t lost whole evenings somehow because I put some pressure on myself to get this done, and when the blogs started going back I had to super efficient and get them written whilst I was still doing maintenance. And I think I need to apply this more. I’m currently trying to get to 10,000 words on The Thing, which in theory I could have done yesterday but I eased off the accelerator slightly and caught up on some YouTube videos that were just sitting there waiting for me to watch them and I had been so go, go, go that it felt very much needed. But I want to get there by mid week at least if I can.

The ultimate lesson I have taken from this though is that I never want to do it again and so I need to keep on top of this and also, I’ve committed to this now, because there is no damn way that I am going to go through all of them and remove all the images (I’ve done that in the past, but the blog was smaller). It was a mammoth, somewhat crazy, task to take on and I am really looking forward to the fact that I now have the time to do other things. Like right The Thing and also get some more blog posts banked up.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

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Mini Revamp

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So, yeah, I’ve taken a little break from here because I randomly got inspired to kind of have a little bit of a revamp.

The one thing that I have always been really bad at when it comes to this is that there are minimal pictures and images involved. I went through a phase when I had cover images but I hated them and they didn’t look very good and one day I got both bored of doing them and of looking at them knowing that I hated them and so I deleted them.

And had always intended to revisit it but then it just fell very far down the list.

Until the weekend when I read an article about making cover images and then felt inspired to get back into it again. And then when I realised that I wanted to start doing that I kind of realised that I would like consistency across my whole blog and that meant cover images needed to make an appearance across all my posts. All 837 of them.

Which is about as time consuming as it sounds and so I had a shut down and tried to get as much of it done as possible.

I did it page by page but had completely forgotten that two of my pages housed so many posts and so at this moment in time they are not done. However I am getting around to it. Slowly but surely.

The hardest part was choosing a theme for each of the various things that I talk about on here. I wanted uniformity and styles/images and such that felt like they were in keeping with my overall vibe, but I also didn’t want them to all be the same. Then there was the choosing of the fonts, which reminded me that I am hella opinionated when it comes to fonts. It all became a bit of process and I got about halfway through before I started questioning my sanity and wondering why I couldn’t have just made things marginally easier for myself and just gone for uniformity. But as it is I didn’t.

And for the most part I kind of enjoyed it…I mean not really, but also I did.

One of my goals for this year was to invest more time and I guess energy into this blog because I’ve put so much effort into it already, and this felt like a good place to start.

So, the revamp is mostly done, but there is still some work to be done. However I missed writing and so the blog went up before it was fully done so that I could also continue to do the thing that I kind of love the most. Which is write.

Up next, I can sense it in my waters, there will be a layout change. But I’m doing one thing at a time and maybe am gonna do that at a time when I’ve built in a break from here and can actually really think about it…

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

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Just over a week ago I was nominated by Tabby for this award which was a small perk at the end of yet another draining week, so thanks for that!

 

 

THE RULES:
– Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
– Write a post to show your award.
– Give a brief story of how your blog started.
– Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
– Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
– Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.
How I Started
This blog came into fruition because I joined a society at uni and it was part of the project for that year. Posting was sporadic on it and I didn’t really know what the hell I was going to use it for. Arguably, I still don’t, but I started to use this blog more frequently when I was unemployed for like a year and needed something to fill my days. And then I took it even more seriously when I got a job and didn’t want that to be the only thing that consumed my days and so  I needed the outlet. And here we are now.
My Advice
1) Do it for you – Blog about what you want to talk about. Don’t worry about who is reading it and how many people are reading it. Don’t get caught up in the numbers of it all because then it’s very easy to lose track of why you started in the first place. So, do it for you.
2) Pace yourself – By that I just mean, know your limits. And then stick to them. Challenging yourself is great, but don’t do it at the cost of something else. I speak from experience, it’s very easy to get caught up in things and then to feel some weird sense of guilt if you don’t stick to the schedule that you created for yourself. Here’s the thing, for the most part you make your blog whatever you want it to be (and this links to the first one) and if sometimes that means you don’t post for a little bit because you need a break then do it. In the long run, it’s probably going to work out better for you. It will give you a chance to create new content and think about what direction you want to go to. It will take you out of the eye of the storm that is your blog and give you some perspective. So yeah, listen to your heart in that respect and do what works best for you.
And so my nominees are (I’m apparently not going to do 15, so as ever, if you want to do it then go ahead):
Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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Letters to Autumn 6

Letters to Autumn 6

Dear Autumn,

I was just minding my own business on Monday when I clicked on my little notifications button in the top right corner and was informed that I have had this little space on the internet for 5 years now.

Half a decade.

This blog was borne out of a university society. It was part of the project for that year or something and it was hardly used. There was no real name for it and the posting was sporadic. I was terrified to push publish every single time my cursor hung over the button. I chickened out of it a lot. I’ve hated this blog and I’ve almost abandoned it oh so many times.

But most of all I’ve loved this thing I’ve created.

It’s almost like a journal in some ways, not in that it is always super personal or anything, although I know it can be, but in the way it chronicles who I am as a writer. Or what my interests were at any given point. It’s a bit weird when I think about it like that, because it wasn’t what I intended this place to be.

I don’t really know what I intended it to be, but it wasn’t this. I didn’t think I would care that much about this. I didn’t think I would feel guilty about not posting or that I would start to push myself to do more on here. I didn’t think that I would invest money in it, or that I would spend so much time painstakingly designing a logo, and still not be happy with it. I didn’t even think it would make it out of uni. I just kind of didn’t think about it. It was a uni project that I let fall away really quickly because the time that I started it was not a good time.

But for whatever reason I didn’t let that happen.

And now, here I am a little bit over 5 years later and it’s still going. And I’m falling a little bit more in love with it as time passes on. I’ve come to enjoy posting on here, even when I kind of hate it…

Love,

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Talking About It

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Here’s a fun (not really) fact about me.

I don’t mention ever that I write/have a blog. I mean not officially anyway. Like I don’t really go around talking about it. It’s not that I think they would be surprised to find out that I do write because clearly on some level I like words (what with the English degree) and I’m known to read a lot, but they don’t know.

And it’s not even like I’m trying to keep it a secret or anything, because I’m not. That would be ridiculous. But it’s just not something I bring up. I think it’s because in some way this blog is a form of catharsis for me and it coming with a wonderful community is just  by product. Also, even though my face is attached to it and everything (through choice) there is a sense of anonymity attached to it.

I know there are people that I know in my actual life and see on a semi regular basis (aka daily) that have read some stuff on here and that’s fine. I mean I told them about it, like I said it’s not a secret and if you ask about it then I’ll tell you no problem, I’m proud of this little corner of the internet I’ve created. But there is something a little bit odd about knowing that someone I know has read something on here. If only because the person I am in life is slightly different to the person that I am in here. Not hugely because creating that much of a persona is insane and sounds exhausting.

But, I ramble a lot more about things on here that I love and get in depth into this, especially when it comes to books, which you can’t really do in person because sometimes people get bored. Also, the only way for me to become a better writer is to actually write and so doing this (this being blogging) helps with that. And my actual creative writing pieces are very much all over the place and can give you a slight insight into my mind. Doing it all on here is just easier. It’s a form of experimentation for me. An outlet.

I don’t really know if this post had a point, it’s just the other day someone I work with noticed me making a slight amendment to a post (because proof reading properly sometimes still alludes me) and asked me about it and it dawned on me that I don’t necessarily mention it at all. But then once they got me started on it I talked about it for ages (it wasn’t that long really, like 2 minutes). And then it made me think about the way I interact with my blog and with my life (not that they aren’t the same, but in my head this sentiment makes sense) and how they don’t necessarily correlate in the way that you would expect.

I don’t know, it just something that I’ve been thinking about since the back end of last week and why I’m still mostly fine to talk and ramble about shit on here but then I won’t draw attention to it to some people in my actual life and why that is.

Am I the only one who finds that I do this? Happily upkeeps a blog and talks about it when it comes up organically or whatever, but doesn’t openly talk about it otherwise?

Parentheses count: 8. See you tomorrow!

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A Change Would Do You Good

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So new (almost) month, new blog. Not totally new or anything, I mean it’s the same blog. But different. Broader focus (that sounds almost like an oxymoron), more posts and more fun for me. I mentioned it briefly in the post announcing my brief hiatus, but I had fallen into a bit of a rut with this blog and almost everything else. So, along with my entry into employment (because yes that has happened!) I started playing around with the idea of posting more then twice a week because I didn’t want to just fall into a routine that meant that all the days passed in a blur and I just stopped being creative. Writing and putting myself out there is what I created this space for and I want to use it to the maximum to avoid the potential of falling back into that rut again, permanently.

So naturally when I took a step back from this blog my brain started buzzing with all the things that I could talk about and other various ways that this blog thing could take shape. And that is what I have spent the past two-ish weeks doing. Writing, writing, writing and editing/updating. And more writing (and also a lot more reading, I love a good train commute and super lazy Sundays).

Right, well here’s my new plan/outline/intentions for this blog o’mine:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays – could be anything. Books, films, TV stuff, whatever tiny thing is manifesting itself in my brain in the form of a few hundred words. Or just a life update. Almost anything goes.

Wednesdays – I’m aiming to have something from a world that doesn’t exist, aka something creative.

Fridays – Basically a compilation of some of my fave articles/blog posts that I’ve read in the week. One, so I can get in a better habit of being a blog reader and two because sharing is caring.

Saturdays – Day off, because everything needs one of those and also that day has slowly morphed into the day where I run errands that I haven’t gotten around to (like binge watching Parks and Rec, I may stop mentioning this show soon, I may not. I love it, so we shall see).

Sundays – Again I am going to try and keep it creative. Except for the last Sunday, because that shit it sacred. Last Sunday. Music day.

(I suppose now would be a good time to say that this place isn’t a swear free zone.)

Parentheses count (because some things are definitely not changing, along with still being terrible with titles, this one was inspired by this song): 7. See you tomorrow!

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