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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Welcome Back

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Happy 2018! Hope you are all well.

It’s been a while.

And now we are in a new year and just like that I am back at work and back on the daily grind.

The thing about the Christmas period is that it warps time in this weird way. I’ve been off work a little bit over a week and yet it feels like I have been away for months. This happened as well with working out. I went to Pilates on Friday (which in itself feels like a lifetime ago) and while I was walking to the studio I was trying to remember when I last went because it felt like it had been ages, it had only been a week. My body had just adapted to that Christmas living real quick and my muscles had been given a chance to fully, fully recover and then I went and stretched them all out and worked them in the quietest way possible and my body thanked me for it.

It was a good workout to end the year with in one that for the past few months had included workouts that were pretty much all go, go, go. It wasn’t that that was bad, but my body did enjoy the slightly lower tempo, even though my lats on Saturday were not messing about. It was pleasant though.

Christmas was just spent with the family and we played Trivial Pursuit and I drank a lot of Baileys Chocolate Luxe and ate sooo much food. I pretty much did not stop eating for the whole week until Friday and then I started trying to balance it a little more. I didn’t balance it very much but I started to tip the scales to being balanced more than it had been. It was mainly because I am aware that over the next week I am going to get it back to normal and I didn’t want it to be a whole 180 shock for my body when it happens.

New Year’s was uneventful, mainly because Aunt Flo felt the need to wake me up and then wiped me out until about 4pm. I had a shower and then lay back in bed with my dressing gown and felt sorry for myself whilst watching La La Land (which I liked, but didn’t love, but I can get why there was hype around it). When I finally started feeling a little bit more human I took to tidying up a little. I decluttered my make up bag and organised it a little better. I threw out all old beauty products that I had stocked up before I then overhauled my entire skin care routine (I didn’t even know I had some of the stuff that I found which maybe shows that I have a hoarding problem) thus making them redundant. I cleaned my make up brushes. I felt like I accomplished something and it didn’t take as long as I had feared.

Actually I said it was uneventful mainly because of that, that’s a lie. I never do anything for New Year’s other than sit in my house and watch the fireworks on TV while drinking and for the past couple years eating a massive Indian. That’s it. The day is pretty much just the same as any other for me. Buying into the hype is just stress that I don’t need in my life.

I’ve also spent the last week trying to think about what I want to achieve this year and that post will come shortly as well as some other little reflective pieces about the year that has passed. There are also some books to finish reviewing from last year before I get into this year’s reading challenge, which I have already pretty much set…so that will be the next few days on this blog.

That is pretty much it from me now.

How was your festive period? Have you set any goals for the year yet?

Parentheses count: 3. 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 19

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 11

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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