I’m something of a lapsed Wiccan. In my core, I know what my faith is – I believe that all natural life has a male/female balance, that male/female energies are equal and complimentary, and that there is beauty in nature – however I’ve not celebrated a sabbat in a long time, and my spell-casting days are mostly behind me. One thing that has stuck with me though, is seeing Halloween (or Samhain) as a kind of ‘new year’; time to take stock of what has been going on, and looking forward to the things to come. So I decided that this would be the perfect time to post a bit of a review post of what I’ve been up to.
“I started but never finished, and a book on online dating that became so depressing, I shredded the notes in an attempt to exorcise the bad relationship demons.”
This time last year, I wasn’t writing at all. I missed it terribly, but I couldn’t find my voice. My boyfriend was very encouraging, even buying me a nice new notebook (it has The Avengers on it) to ‘write my novel’ in. My novel. It just seemed like such a daunting task. I hadn’t written anything since university, apart from a few failed blogs, a sitcom script that I started but never finished, and a book on online dating that became so depressing, I shredded the notes in an attempt to exorcise the bad relationship demons. The idea of writing a novel seemed like a joke.
I’ve never really been that good at writing long things. I’m an impatient writer who gets excited about how the story will conclude. Sorry, George RR Martin, I’m not interested in writing 20 page descriptions on banquet tables, I want to get straight to the killings and the weddings! I saw this as a huge failing; I love to write but how was I going to be a writer if I was impatient when telling the story?
“Sorry, George RR Martin, I’m not interested in writing 20 page descriptions on banquet tables, I want to get straight to the killings and the weddings!”
In January, I started a bullet journal, to plan out how I was going to improve my life this year. I picked the word ‘Progress’ as a ‘word of the year’ and I filled out a Level Ten Life wheel (you can find out more from expert BohoBerry here) to see where I was and how I wanted to improve throughout the year. I knew I wanted to do more for charity, I wanted to develop my career, and I REALLY wanted to write. I volunteered at work to run the charity events (quick win) and since then I have organised events that have raised over £3,500 for charities such as Cancer Research, the Children’s Heart Unit Fund, and Sport Relief. It feels really good. People at work are more engaged in the events, and asking me when the next one will be. There’s always something on the radar to look forward to. I’ve definitely earned a few points in terms of charity.
I set myself a target to write more, and picked up a notebook once or twice to attempt a story. I certainly was not writing every day, as I pledged to do in January! That changed somewhat when I got a copy of Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto on Audible. If you’ve not read/listened to this book, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s full of fantastic articles by the lively, quirky journalist, and one day when I was listening, I heard her say something that struck a chord with me. Moran had wanted to write lots of different types of articles – reviews, politics, humour, feminism – and she had thought this wouldn’t be possible. She had thought that the paper she worked for wouldn’t allow her to write a blend of articles; that she would have to be a ‘lifestyle columnist’ or a ‘reviewer’ or a ‘political writer’ and not a mix of all of these. But she was given the OK and that’s how she writes. EUREKA! That was what I wanted to do! (I’ve mentioned previously that when I grow up, I want to be Caitlin Moran… this is always true!)
“But she was given the OK and that’s how she writes. EUREKA! That was what I wanted to do!”
I had been reluctant to start a blog, because I didn’t know what kind of blog to do. It certainly couldn’t be a beauty blog (I buy all my make up from Superdrug), or a fashion blog (I live in jeans) and I’m too opinionated to write a friendly planner blog (like my bestie The Delightful Planner) – but taking the Moran approach? That was a revelation! That, coupled with a white wine fueled hard talking to I received at my university reunion (read about that here) encouraged me to write every day. Sometimes I write for this blog (if you’ve not read my back catalogue, finish this then get on with it…), and I also applied to a couple of other websites that were looking for contributors. I regularly write for financial advice website MouthyMoney.co.uk about every day ways money impacts my life. You can read my back catalogue of work for them here. I also regularly submit to a geeky news site called Skatronixxx.com, where I cover film and tv news mostly, however I’ve also covered lawsuit stories and obituaries. You can read the articles I’ve posted for them here.
I’m also marketing myself more. I’m sharing all my work on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pintrest – so if you’re interested in following/sharing on any of those platforms, please follow the links. I have been nominated for the UK Blog Awards (very nice to be nominated – lovely honour!) and the short-listing process I think begins in December – so I may be be pushing for support then!
Thanks to everyone who keeps reading, commenting and sharing. Sometimes it can be very easy to do nothing, let time go by, and realise you’re not doing your best. 2016 has been a great year for me in terms of progress. Now is the time to think what new adventures are in store for next year. What will you do?