Awards, My Life

Blogger Recognition Award

Hi, Hey, Hello!

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, My Life

Letters to Autumn 19

Dear Autumn,

It’s the 19th of the month which means it has now been 4 days since I got social media back into my life (I will admit that I logged into Tweetdeck once a day just to schedule some blog related tweets, but only ever said the top 2 tweets and resisted the urge to scroll down), so of course I am going to talk about what life was like last week without it.

For one, it was actually quite easy to not log on to the sites on my laptop. I blocked them and so every time that I tried I got told off (thank you Block Site) but I only tried Instagram twice, and Twitter 4 times and two of those was only because I didn’t realise that the linked I had clicked on was going to direct me to Twitter. I didn’t even try Tumblr once.

On my phone it was a slightly different story. I deleted the apps off of there and I didn’t truly register just how often I default to clicking on the top row of apps that I have on my phone (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr) until they were no longer there. It meant that I used my phone a lot less. Except for the day where I got really obsessed with a ‘crab grab’ expedition on Two Dots. I checked Buzzfeed a few times, did my brain training exercises for the day and pretty much just left it alone unless I was replying to texts. I used it so little that I didn’t even have to put my phone on charge for 48 hours and quite happily left the house without it.  A part of me did feel like I was missing out on some things, but I got over that pretty quickly.

What did, and didn’t surprise me, was how little I knew about what was going on in the world in terms of news. I found it out the old fashioned way. Via news websites and late night talk show videos (mainly Seth Meyers and A Closer Look if we’re being really honest). I had no real idea of what was going on in politics, both US and UK. I was watching the very rapid decline of Weinstein each morning when I just caught up on things news wise (via The Guardian, and I’m gonna be brutally honest Buzzfeed. They were where I got my news from) so that I wasn’t totally ignorant. But it didn’t happen on a minute by minute basis.

To be honest with you it felt a lot better. Kind of just unloading all the news on yourself at one point during the day and then digesting it and leaving it the hell alone felt a lot less draining. It meant that I didn’t click on hashtags and inevitably come across something that was just so wrong  my brain didn’t know how to compute it or understand how someone can walk around really believing that level of bullshit. It meant that I had a clearer head overall.

It kind of felt like it did when I just deleted Facebook altogether and felt all the better for it on a wider scale. However I have obviously since returned to these ones because they are not full of people that I cannot fucking stand but actually know on some level and so cannot remove them from my life.

There was also a part of me as the week drew to a close that was just sort itching to get back to being connected to the world via social media. I think I partially just wanted to sort out the aesthetic of my main screen on my phone which was all out of whack without the apps being there and I also wanted to just know that they were there again. Just to know that they were an option to open in moments of boredom. In the end though when the week was over I only felt the need to re-download Instagram and Twitter and then I didn’t even look at them properly until the mid afternoon. And then I did spend my journey home scrolling away and I went on a bit of a retweet thing, but I was just flushing it out of my system.

The week away from it did really highlight just how much time I spend on there and it also really turned a gear in my head that meant that I spent all that time doing something productive instead. It eliminated a lot of the ‘wasted’ time that I spent on there because for the most part of was focused on something else and drawn away by the need to just check in on whatever app I felt like at the time.

So, yeah that was my take from the week.

Love,

 

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Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 11

Dear Autumn,

Sometimes, it turns out, my sporadic nature works for the better without my even realising it.

On Monday night, while I was not scrolling endlessly through Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram I found myself clicking over onto my scheduled posts here on my blog. And well, there are a lot of November posts with titles just waiting to be written because for the most part all the groundwork is there. They are books that I need to review and some other little bookish things that only require the knowledge that is in my head.

And well, I found myself starting to write them.

I didn’t really think much of it at first, I needed something constructive to do with my time and it seemed like it would be more productive than trying to read with my tired eyes (somehow staring at my laptop screen was better for those very eyes once I had switched to night mode) and not take anything in properly.

Then I realised that if I end up with most of the month’s posts written it is one less thing to worry about having to write come the month itself (which isn’t actually as far away as I would like it to be, for a reason that will become apparent shortly). The most I would have to worry about is sharing the posts on the days that they were posted.

And the reason that it is important is because I am crazy enough to think that attempting NaNo this year is a good idea. Now I am a total pantser when it comes to this endeavour. I never really go in with a plan. In fact in the cases of a couple of years I didn’t even really go in with a solid idea. This year feels a bit different in that respect.

For one I’m being a total rebel and working on something that already has a solid almost 16,000 words to it’s name (not that it actually has a name, but you know what I mean) which means that it is something that already has legs with me. Because of that, and secondly, it means that I am just treating November as a way to bolster my word count. If I can bolster it by 50,000 words then great. If I can’t then that’s also fine, I will just be happy that I managed to get it up by at all. Because unlike before this isn’t an idea that I just came up with for the sake of the month and thought it might work and I should try and write 50,000 words on it with no real direction. This is something that has sat with me for a while and that I keep coming back to. And in my head it has a clear direction, I just need to actually get it down onto paper and really flesh out all the details.

Which is what I am using November to do. And I guess to allow myself the best chance of success my brain was like, ‘hey you should really write some of November’s posts up so you don’t have to then’. And so, while I’ve got some time to truly dedicate to that (as well as reading and just enjoying being by the ocean again) I am going to do just that.

Love,

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Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 9

Dear Autumn,

So I was writing a review for Sweaty Betty the other day (because what I really needed was another pair of leggings and sports bra) and there’s this little ‘about you’ section that you can fill out next to it and it mentions what activity you do and then it levels you in terms of front, middle or back of class.

It was that part that got me.

I’ve never really put that much thought into what part of the room I stand says about me. I kind of didn’t think it really said anything about me. I just always kind of dropped my bags at the back of the room and then turned around and set up shop wherever that was. Which was almost always at the back of the room. I think part of me had convinced myself that it just made the most sense. If there’s a lot of floor work then it makes sense to be at the back of the room because I take up a lot of space and the back of the room makes that easier to accommodate…in my head.

It turns out that it was probably just another level of a confidence thing that I’d never really thought about before. If I’m at the back of the room then it’s harder for me to get called out for stuff or for other people to notice me. Which is both a good and a bad thing I guess. I can’t get called out on my form if they can’t see me properly, or for giving up a little prematurely (which happens less these days, but still happens). However it has also made sure that I work on making sure that my form isn’t shit and really giving up before the set is done is cheating nobody but myself.

But anyway, back to the confidence thing. Turns out it was that. This past week I’ve forced myself to move further forward in the room, and twice now I’ve ended up straight in front of the instructor. Which horrified me in some ways because they were right. there.

Funnily enough though it turned out fine. My body is waaayyyy ahead of my mind in terms of knowing what it is capable of and actually getting it done. I spent most of Thursday super non-excited for my Lift class that night because Aunt Flow decided she was going to be early and it was too late to cancel so I had to do when all I really wanted to do was go home and be a sloth, but come that evening while I was loading up the barbell I felt the endorphins do their thing and the 45 minutes flew by. Plus on some level it was kind of nice to know that if there was something dodgy with my form (which is definitely a possibility as I am still getting used to lifting) that the instructor was right there to correct me if necessary (it was also good to know that even she was a little shaky when it came to some balance stuff).

There was still that part of me however that felt like I was being watched and judged by the people behind me, which I guess is why I always exist in the back somewhere. I hate that feeling. That people are watching me. That I’m somehow the centre of attention even though I know I’m not. There’s a part of me that always wants to make myself as small and as invisible as possible and I can’t do that if I’m standing in front of people. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re up front. That’s a residual problem from childhood. One that I thought I had gotten over, but apparently hadn’t. So that’s my new challenge to myself.

Because I know from experience that no one is really paying to attention to what anyone else is doing unless they are glancing over to try and figure out what the fuck they’re supposed to be doing next and then they are gonna carry on with their lives and pay you no mind. And I got over myself being my own worse enemy enough to put myself in that environment, so I’m gonna get over this thing that I didn’t even really know was a thing until I indirectly got called out about it.

Love,

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Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 8

Dear Autumn,

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but I feel like it’s time to go on a little social media detox.

I have for sure said this before, because I had intended to do it when I went to Greece (which was now two months ago and that in itself sounds horrifying) but then I ended up with fairly good wifi and using data wasn’t extortionate for the first time ever and it just sort of didn’t end up happening, because when you end up with a lot of down time, scrolling through Instagram and sharing a shit ton of memes with a person who is sat right next to you doing the exact same thing is how you pass the time when you’re not reading, or sitting in silence. Or sleeping.

So it didn’t happen.

But that itch to just step back away from it all is still there. I just need to not feel like I am being overwhelmed by everything because for the most part it feels like every time I open up any form of social media I am just being inundated with news that is rarely anything but awful (because yeah for the most part I find out all my news on Twitter…). And it’s weird because it doesn’t feel like it should be that hard, but for some reason it is.

Don’t get me wrong I can spend time away from it, but then when I return to it after a few hours away because I was busy or sleeping, I find myself just continually scrolling back until I am caught up with where I last was. And then I’ve lost a whole chunk of time kind of doing nothing.

There was also a period of time where my brain would just think in ways it could tweet or captions for pictures that didn’t actually exist. Admittedly it was at a pretty shitty time mentally for me and so it felt like my brain was compensating and being like ‘post frothy, pointless stuff that hides the problem’. But it was still there. It still happened like that. It was still the way that my brain operated and thought to resolve the problem rather than tackle the bloody issue head on. (That’s not for now though.)

And I need that to not be the case.

Which should be easy. I mean there was a time when I didn’t even have social media. I remember that time. It wasn’t like I was always on it. I didn’t even create my own Facebook account, a friend at the time did it for me because they thought it was ridiculous that I didn’t have it. People still think that it’s ridiculous that I am no longer on it. It’s weird.

But on that note, I have removed myself from social media in some way before. I’ve felt compelled to return to Facebook only once, and I resisted that urge and now for the most part I don’t miss it. It was a toxic element of my life and I feel better for it not being a part of my life anymore. And it should work the same way for everything else.

Not that they are toxic to me or anything, but in that it shouldn’t be that bloody hard to step away from it all and not spend so much time glued to my phone

I’m going away this week and I think one that I need to get the hell of London because I’m starting to feel worn down by it all and two that I need to not travel all that time only to spend it scrolling endlessly through three different sites. I have things to plan and write and read and I want to not be distracted.

So they’re coming off my phone for a week. I’m blocking them on my Chrome. I’m just having a little digital detox. This blog is gonna be as connected as I get.

And it feels like I shouldn’t need to say that I’m doing it, but I feel like I need to just so that I can call myself out on this whole thing. It’s a bit weird, I know.

Love,

 

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Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 7

Dear Autumn,

I don’t really know what to say to you today.

It’s the weekend which means I have had slightly more sleep than usual. I’ve got some errands to run and some decluttering to do. I’ve also got to clean up the kitchen and the bathroom and attempt to do some washing. I’ve got to actually think about what to eat for dinner. And lunch.

I’ve got some shoes to pick up and some cardio to do. Because I do that now. Weekend cardio.

I’ve got to start thinking about packing because I’m embarking on a 4 or something hour train journey on Monday morning. I’ve mostly sorted out my book related issue. I’m deviating from the script and then also being very excessive. I also am taking my damn diary with me and a notebook to get some stuff done. Seriously, I have so much time to kill on this journey. I’m gonna use it wisely. If I don’t spend some of it sleeping…(that’s actually not an option, I have to pay attention to stops and shit).

I need to find something to fill the void that was left by the fact that I caught up on both Masterchef Australia and Insecure this week, but that’s for another day.

What isn’t though is that as I write this my eyelids are starting to feel heavy and I’ve reached that point where I should really go to bed but am too tired to move from where I am reclined on the sofa and actually do that…

Love,

 

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Letters to Autumn, My Life

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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