10 Lessons I’ve Learnt From Blogging So Far

Blogtober graphics with leaf and black cat

Hey and welcome to Blogtober day 20. It’s been 5 months since I started blogging and there are many things I’ve learnt along the way. I’ve had many blogs before but never found my calling. I’ve never let myself just write about what I want because I was too busy trying to fit myself into a niche box.

Here are the things I’ve learned about blogging so far..


Don’t pressure yourself to do more then you can manage. Back in August I made the wrong decision by trying to post too many posts in one week. Safe to say it failed and I hardly posted anything that month. I took that time to decide what direction I wanted to take my blog and realised I needed to plan ahead if I wanted to succeed.


But there are ways to make it easier. Namely apps that you can use to schedule things ahead of time. I have a post here of tools that may be helpful to you.


If you have an idea you’ve never seen done before don’t be afraid to publish it. Same goes for posts there a lot of – just because someone has already talked about a subject, doesn’t mean your post won’t be unique. Everyone has something to say, everyone experiences things in different ways and don’t be afraid to let that shine through your writing.


You don’t need to spend money if the app/tool in question doesn’t work for you. The only one I’m planning on spending any money on is Tailwind, and that’s after I’ve used the free trial to assess whether it works for me as a blogger. Even if everyone else is raving about an app, if it doesn’t work for you, don’t bother with it.


This is probably the hardest lesson I’m learning. Be proud of what you’ve achieved, writing blog posts and all the other things you have to do for your blog is hard work and it takes up a lot of time. If someone comments something nice on your blog posts, take it in and be proud of it.


Keep an eye on what blog posts have done well and which ones haven’t. Inevitably in the blogging world there are certain posts that will do really well and some that won’t. Keep track of it so you can create more content that’ll people will enjoy.


Up until a few weeks ago I didn’t have a clue about Pinterest. Yes I’ve used it for years, even before I started a blog, but I never knew how to utilise it to drive traffic to my blog. Thanks to Tailwind I’m now slowly seeing improvements and seeing more and more people are coming over to my site from Pinterest. I still have a lot to learn – but it’s definitely worth investing time into.


This is probably a really controversial comment but I fully believe that as long as you have passion, as long as you write about what you want to, then niche isn’t important. I made the massive mistake in the past of sticking to one topic and I lost all motivation for my blog. I felt like I was trying so hard to stay in this box that my passion wasn’t able to come through, and I wasn’t writing to the best of my ability.


I can’t tell you the amount of mistakes I make when I’m writing a blog post and there’s always something that I miss. I’ve also been getting my best friend to check over my writing because I can guarantee there’s always something I’ll miss!


Never let anyone change you. One of the most important things I’ve learnt is stay true to yourself, no matter what.


What have you learnt from blogging so far?

Advertisements

3 Word Creative Writing Prompts (For The Horror Writer In You)

Blogtober graphics with leaf and black cat

Hey guys and welcome to Blogtober day 19. Today I’m going to be sharing some more writing prompts. My favourite kind of prompts are the 3 word prompts – I love them because they are vague and you can interpret them however you want.

The prompts I’ve come up with have a place, a person and some kind of event. I hope you enjoy them and they help you with you creativity..


~ Asylum, student, nightmare

~ graveyard, nurse, new year

~ theme park, writer, apocalypse

~ mansion, witch, bonfire night

~ bedroom, banker, tsunami

~ village, teenager, Halloween

~ school, zombie, sports day

~ zoo, psychiatrist, tornado

~ amusements, paramedic, storm

~ canal, vampire, accident

~ Nightclub, child, missing persons

~ Beach, dog walker, explosion

~ cave, climbers, trapped

~ kitchen, devil, world domination

~ concert, bodyguard, kidnap

~ nunnery, artist, bloodbath

~ forest, gang, monster hunting

~ bathroom, child, thunder

~ cellar, family, hurricane

~ prison, guard, riot

~ mountains, werewolf, murder

~ plane, zombies, illness

~ castle, hospital patient, haunting

~ hospital, servant, snow storm


Did you find any of these useful? What’s your favourite kind of writing prompt?

10 Things Not Many People Know About Me

 

Blogtober graphic

Hello and welcome to Blogtober day 18. Following on from my 10 things about me post, I thought I’d share some things most people don’t know about me. I love reading personal posts on blogs, I feel like it’s so important to read about the person behind the blog, I know it helps me feel more connected to them. Here are my facts..


1. I’ve only ever been on an airplane once.

The only plane I’ve ever been on was when I went to Ireland in 2010. I’m terrified of flying and airplanes, but I really want to travel the world so I’ll have to get over this fear before that!


2. I named my very first hamster after myself.

It was spelt Charlie because it was a boy, but yes I did this! I love hamsters, I think they’re brilliant, under appreciated animals. The last hamster I owned was called Crumpet and he was a super hamster. There was a terrifying accident where he escaped from his cage and climbed into a bucket of water and turps that we’d left to soak dirty paintbrushes. It was so lucky we heard a commotion going on and we managed to pull him out pretty much straight away. We took him to the vet expecting them to put him down, but the next day we had a phone call to say he was ready to be picked up. He’d spent the night under a heat lamp, had a good scrubbing – and he was running around his cage like nothing had happened. Safe to say we bought him a new cage right away!


3. I’ve moved 8 times in the last 8 years (but now I’m finally staying).

I left home when I was 17 (for reasons I won’t state here), and spent a chaotic few years jumping from place to place. More recently the reason I’ve moved so much is because of my declining mobility – but in April of this year, I finally moved into a wheelchair accessible bungalow and I’m not going anywhere!


4. I love gaming and I’m obsessed with post apocalyptic and first person shooter games.

My favourite games include the Fallout series, The Last of Us and more recently Horizon Zero Dawn. I love games that have a lot of combat but also have a good storyline and role playing rolled into it.


5. I have no patience whatsoever.

Literally, none.


6. I love to draw.

I’ve always loved drawing but only really properly got into it when I was bed bound. I love being creative and I especially love drawing and painting things for other people. Above is a picture of the lighthouse I drew and painted on my bathroom wall.


7. I love musical theatre.

When I was younger I was part of a drama society that put on pantomimes every year. I used to love it – but I lost confidence in myself, and my health got in the way so I doubt I’ll ever go back to it.


8. I’ve probably written hundreds of poems in my lifetime.

Writing is an outlet for me – especially in poetry format. You can always find me tapping out poems (even ones that never make any sense). A lot of them are very private and just for me and I keep them all in notebooks.


9. I love collecting things.

It’s a problem. My favourite things to collect are books, tsum tsums, pins, pop vinyl figures and anything Disney related.


10. I’m a fussy eater.

I especially hate things with white sauce, meat unless it’s cooked very precisely to how I like it, and that excess water you get when you put toast on a plate.


I hope you enjoyed reading some more about me. There’s probably so many things that most people don’t know about me, but these were the ones I deemed most interesting!

Do we have anything in common here? Let me know in the comments.

10 Helpful Tips For Studying As A Distance Learner

 

Blogtober graphic

Hello everyone and welcome back to Blogtober day 17. Back in 2016 I started my BSc (Honours) in Health Sciences. University is something I’ve always planned on working towards but because of my health conditions campus university just wasn’t an option. Distance learning has given me the opportunity to gain a qualification. There’s no travelling to campus uni, no physical lectures with lots of people, no bustle of campus life – none of which I’d be able to cope with, either mentally or physically.

Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t easy. The amount of motivation, concentration and self direction you need to get stuff done is massive and exhausting. Saying this, distance learning is an amazing thing that has given me and so many other people the opportunity to succeed.

The good news is there are ways to make it easier for yourself when you are studying as a distance learner. I hope these tips can help new and current distance learning students make the most of their studies.


1. Plan Ahead.

I can’t stress how important it is to plan ahead. I’ve got myself into some right pickles where I’ve not planned the work I need to get done for the week. It’s especially important to do this as a distance learner because there are only a few (optional) physical classes or lectures to help structure your learning.


2. It’s not about how much you get done – it’s about getting something done.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t get everything done you wanted to. Spread out your workload throughout the entire week so you don’t get overwhelmed. The main thing is going in the right direction and it’s okay if some days you can’t manage to do much.


3. Take breaks when needed.

Breaks are so important. Taking regular short breaks will help you retain more information and improve your concentration. If you were at a campus uni or college you’d have 10/15 minutes break in between classes. Just because you’re studying at home your brain still needs that time to reset. There’s a reason those breaks are there. Grab a drink and relax for a while and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.


4. Don’t worry too much if you get behind.

You can always catch up. Worrying about it is the worst thing you can do. One thing I’ve learnt is that worrying about being behind has sucked away my motivation. I’ve then ended up not doing anything, resulting in me getting even more behind.


5. Organise your study space.

One of the things I struggled with last year was not having enough space to get my work done. Before I moved house I was stuck in one bedroom because my house wasn’t accessible. There was no space to breathe and it wasn’t possible for me to have a study area. Everybody has different preferences and you don’t necessarily need a dedicated space. However, I do think it’s important to have somewhere you are able to spread out so you can see everything you’re studying.


6. Don’t be afraid to ask for extensions if you need them.

I’ve been learning that it’s okay to ask for an extension if I need it. Sometimes things in life crop up or you get sick and you can’t complete your assignment on time. It’s better to ask for an extension so you can have extra time to achieve to the best of your ability.


7. Ask your tutor if you need help.

Don’t feel like you’re being annoying. It’s their job to answer your questions and help you achieve the best marks you can.


8. Give yourself enough time to do your assignments.

And some more. Don’t leave things until the last minute. Anything can come up that means you’re unable to work on your assignment – flare ups, an emergency, internet breakdown etc.


9. Remember you don’t have to stay at home if you need a change of scenery.

The beauty of distance learning means you can study anywhere. If you need a change of scenery and don’t want to be stuck in the house you can go anywhere that has WIFI. Coffee shops, libraries, even the local park if its a nice day (if you have your study materials offline). Don’t feel like you have to stay in the house when you don’t want to.


10. And lastly, even though you’re distance learning, it doesn’t mean you’re alone.

There’s forums, Facebook groups, tutors etc. There’s a wealth of help from people who are studying, have studied at distance learning, and tutors to help you out so never feel like you’re alone.


That’s it for my tips for studying as a distance learner. Are you at university, as a distance learner or not?

How To Survive Halloween When You Have Anxiety or PTSD

 

Blogtober graphic

Hi guys and welcome to Blogtober day 16. With Halloween creeping up on us, I thought I’d compile together some of the things I try to do to get through Halloween without too much distress. As exciting and fun as Halloween can be – it’s also a pretty scary time for those of us with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or anxiety. I love Halloween – it’s fun to dress up, decorate your house and it’s a great excuse to eat sweets (not that we need an excuse of course!). However it’s also terrifying – the thought of someone jumping out at me, not knowing whose behind scary Halloween masks etc.

Now Halloween isn’t celebrated in the UK as big as it is in America and other countries but it’s still big enough thing that it gives me anxiety. I’ve put together this post in the hopes that some of this advice can help you feel less anxious/distressed this Halloween, and if not I hope it makes you feel less on your own.


You don’t have to answer the door to trick or treaters.

Sometimes I think people feel obliged to answer the door if there’s trick or treaters. I know I always do because they’re mostly little kids with their parents but that shouldn’t mean you absolutely have to answer. It’s okay to say no, it’s okay not to answer and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. If you want to shut the curtains and pretend you’re not home – that’s okay.


It’s okay not to celebrate Halloween.

Even with all the pumpkins, costumes and sweets everywhere – it’s totally okay not to celebrate if that’s what you want to do. There are many different reasons why people don’t celebrate – religion being one. But if it causes you anxiety just thinking about it – it’s okay to not take part.


Make sure your home before dark.

I find there’s nothing like walking in the dark to get your anxiety up and running. It’s even worse on Halloween night – when there’s people dressed up in all sorts of costumes. There’s also always people who have no respect for others and constantly try and make people jump. To them it’s funny – to us it’s terrifying.


If you have to go out – try and take someone with you if possible.

I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have someone to go out with them. If possible it’s best to only go out if it’s absolutely necessary but I know sometimes going out on Halloween night is unavoidable. If you aren’t able to take anyone with you – try and stick to well lit roads or get a lift or taxi to where you are going. This is important just in general but also will hopefully slightly ease your anxiety.


Distract yourself.

I live in a quiet area but it wasn’t too long ago I lived in a noisy place. On Halloween night it would get so loud it would cause me anxiety and it triggered my PTSD. Although it’s not as easy as it sounds, try to keep busy. Whatever you need to do to cope – arts and crafts, reading, loud music through headphones, binge watching tv, puzzles – whatever helps you get through.


Finally, remember to take care of yourself.

If you don’t want to go out – that’s okay, if you want to go out – that’s okay too. Just do whatever makes you feel comfortable and never feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to. Always remember you are safe and everything will be okay.


Was any of this useful to you, let me know in the comments? Is there anything you’d add?


My Experience Of Writing A Novel (So Far!)

Blogtober graphics with leaf and black cat

Hey guys and welcome to day 16 of Blogtober. Today I’m going to be writing about my experience of writing a book. One of the things I want to do on this blog is share my passion of writing, and take anyone who wants to join me on this journey. There are many blogs in the writing niche – just like with the beauty, lifestyle and travel niches. I firmly believe everyone experiences life in a different way, so anything anyone has to say matters and will be different in some way.

The book I am working on at the moment is my very first full length novel. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy novel set in a Kingdom at war with a powerful witch. It’s so hard not to talk about it – but I’m so wary of putting too much about it on the internet, because you hear horror stories about people stealing other writers work.

Let’s get on with it shall we! Here are my experiences about how I’ve found writing a book so far ..


I’m not the type of writer that can go in to a story without a plan. I need some kind of idea on where the story is going to go. When I first started planning this book, I had this elaborate to do list of all the thing I was going to plan before I started writing. Only halfway through this ginormous list, I was like ‘I’m done, I’m so bored and I’m losing the will to live.’ I got to the point where I wanted to start writing,

Honestly, I think it’s working out better that way. Most of the major plot holes have been fixed but I still have a lot of flexibility to allow my creativity and characters to go off in whatever direction they want to.


For this book in particular, the characters didn’t just pop up fully formed like some have in the past. Snippets here and there of their lives and personalities crept out bit by bit and I really had to dig to discover more about them.

Originally my main character was called Feather and she stayed my protagonist until halfway through the outlining process. Then all of a sudden I decided to scrap her – and she was completely gone from the entire story. I wasn’t connecting with her the way I had with the other characters and I feel that’s super important for the story.

One of my other characters – Arabeth – took centre stage and to me she’s like a force to be reckoned with. She’s so much more complex and fits better with the other characters, surroundings and story.


What can I say about world building without scaring you off haha. This was actually the hardest thing for me to plan. Trying to figure out some of the more technical, aspects like climate, geography and government was completely exhausting and at times a complete nightmare. I was and (still am) worried things aren’t going to make sense or I’ll have a tree where it isn’t supposed to be. I think I got so obsessed with small aspects that I started to lose faith in the story. It was then when I decided it was time to abandon the world building and get on with the story. I can always fix things later if I need to.


I started writing my first draft on the 3rd October. It’s going better than expected. At times I feel like my fingers are running away without me and the story just flows from my brain to the page. Other times I feel like my brain is frozen and I can’t write anything. I guess that’s just what happens when you write a book, it isn’t going to all be sunshine and roses. The first draft is getting it down on paper, getting down the building blocks so later you have a foundation to build your house on.


That brings me to the end of my experiences of writing a book. Let me know if you enjoyed this – I’d love to continue documenting my writing journey ☺️

Are you writing a book, let me know in the comments? Is there anything you can connect with if you have ever written a book?

4 Autumn Scents I Absolutely Love

Blogtober graphics with leaf and black cat

Hey guys and welcome to Blogtober day 15. We’re practically at the halfway mark and it seems as if October is whizzing by. I love gorgeous scents and I associate so many smells with autumn, and here are my favourites.


Apples.

You can’t beat the good old crispy apple smell. Apples are something I love to eat in summer because they are so juicy and refreshing. However Autumn is the season I associate with the smell of apples. If I could have Apple scented everything if I would.


Rain.

You know that rain smell you get when it’s not rained for a while? That smell is heavenly to me. Living in England we have no shortage of rain either so it’s probably a good job I love the smell of rain!


Smoke.

I’m one of those weird people who loves the smell of fire. My favourite one is when you’re at a bonfire and the whole area just smells of burning wood – heaven.


Pumpkins.

I hate the taste but I love the smell of pumpkins. The best part is when you’re carving out the inside and you get that gorgeous waft in the air.


Just a short post for today everyone, I hope your enjoyed. What are your favourite autumn scents?