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Posts tagged ‘blogging’

Doggy holiday review: Achiltibuie in the Scottish Highlands

Doggy holiday review: Achiltibuie in the Scottish Highlands

New blog post over at Living with Rory about taking a holiday in Achiltibuie in the Highlands with a dog (specifically mine).

Thirty days of lists

I’ve been a way for a long time and I want to start blogging again. ‘Hi!’ by the way. Last week I came across this website http://30daysoflists.blogspot.com/ and thought the idea was pretty awesome and easily manageable for me at the moment – I’m running pretty low on time! I’m behind on uploading my lists but only a day or so behind on writing them so I thought perhaps I should start sharing. I hope you like them!

One-A-Day and blogging (66)

Image from cambodia4kidsorg's Flickr photostream

I started the current versions of this blog and Living With Rory fairly recently, although I don’t know the date exactly. The plan was to showcase my writing, while improving it and learning more about myself. I think I have done those things. In fact, i’ve even changed my day-to-day life through blogging. I changed jobs about two months ago. The directors and my new boss(es) read my blogs before they interviewed me. They asked me about my writing online, and my use of twitter. They told me I had showcased my writing well and that they knew I could write. They also asked me how I found the time around a full time job to write. What was my truthful answer? “I wanted to write for a living, and I wanted to be able to come into an interview situation like this and prove that I was serious, and that I could write.” They liked that. I got the job.

So now I write for a living. That was the initial intention. Arguably I now learn more from my daily work, than I do from the action of writing over and over in a short space of time blogging in the evening. I definitely learn more about structure and about publishing as a whole.

I have also learnt more about myself. I do have opinions and I value other people’s comments. I never thought I would have even one blog reader. I get comments sometimes so I guess I do have readers, sometimes.

I have achieved all my goals. When I joined the one-a-day collective I had not. It was an amazing challenge, one post a day for a year. 365 days, 365 posts. An amazing but tough challenge, a chance to achieve the internal goals I had set myself.

There are days when I don’t write and I don’t lie about it. My goal is now 365 posts over the year. Some people would say i’m a failure, but you know what? I’m still here. People have fallen by the wayside, day after day on the challenge, and I have to ask is it because of the judgmental nature of others? There are millions of reasons why you might not post, stuff gets in the way. I’ve suffered a variety of setbacks from technical issues and work commitments, to just flat out despondency. But I am still here. I have stuck it out. If others had understood they could still be part of the collective after missing a day or two, maybe they would still be here, blogging more often than they would otherwise, and learning more about themselves and their writing. They should be here.

I refuse to accept I have failed. I have become more regimented about my writing, I have got a job writing full-time and I am definitely happier than when I started this project. And I have blogged more than I would have otherwise – only you can decide whether that has been a good or a bad thing. The moral of the story is stick at it, even if you are not exactly within the rules set out at the beginning.

At the end of the day, even the founder of this whole project, he who made the rules, isn’t here taking part. There are no police marching up and down setting the boundaries, throwing you out the collective when you can’t write. I guess what I’m saying is, if you feel like it, you should join in or rejoin the project. You can be on my one-a-day list and there are no failures here, as long as you give the project your best. Because really, that is all any of us can give.

Holiday Diaries 1: Julie and Julia (56)

Dear Diary, No really I won’t be starting with that. I’m just kidding. But doesn’t that pink diary writing remind you of that electronic diary/ personal organiser you could get in the 90s? No? Just me then. OK.

However, I did think it made sense to start at the beginning of my journey. Well almost. The very beginning of my journey involved a whole lot of wine because I hate flying. What i’m referring to is the second beginning: the flight. And more specifically, the in-flight entertainment.

I watched a whole lot of films during my four flights including Up, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, An Education and (500) Days of Summer – reviews to follow. Julie and Julia was the first film I watched, and you know what, it was great.

I didn’t really know much about the film before I watched it. I knew it had good reviews (that I had never read) and that it was about cooking (which I never did) but still it appealed to me. What I discovered by watching it is that its centered around blogging. Julie sets out to blog her way through Julia Child’s first cookery book, while at the same time you are following the beginnings of Julia’s career when she starts writing the book.

The story is interesting and engaging, and the characters are all likable, even Julie with her self-absorbed flaws. What it does show, clearly, is the stress and challenges faced by those blogging every evening after spending the whole day working in a job they do not enjoy. I can relate. I have been there. I love the job I have now but I haven’t always been as lucky.

The story running alongside Julie blogging is the story of Julia herself. It is told in a way that makes you love straight-talking Julia, and helps you see how she achieved. The ties between the past and present through the food is clever and the story flows well.

I enjoyed Julie and Julia. It made me want to get blogging, and maybe even cooking (the lack of cooking equipment has stalled me a little in that regard). I’d recommend it to bloggers, foodies, and anyone who just feels like a bit of a diversion by following the flow of a true story.

Speaking of it being a true story, the original blog is here. Check it out.

Love and Blogging (49 #oneaday)

I love you. Let me tell you why. It’s because you are here, reading this and are part of my blogging life, and therefore part of my life as a whole. Blogging is no longer a separate part of me.

I regularly hear people snorting at the idea of a ‘blog’. That’s because the publicity given is usually negative. Bloggers getting bigger than journalists, like Tavi usurping Grazia in the seating at Fashion Week, and wearing a view blocking hat to boot. Bloggers writing about their pets, constantly (I would obviously never do that.) Bloggers talking about themselves a whole lot and claiming to be experts in things they are not qualified to talk about. And then taking press passes, just because they are associated with some back of beyond blog that no one has heard of. And then writers previously considered as ‘press’ relabelled as ‘bloggers’ and having reduced access because of this. I have also heard talk of *shock horror* the writing on blogs being ‘below par’.

All of these things are true to some degree, and in context. Blogging has been marred by the sheer volume. In 2005 there were apparently some 60 million. That’s a whole lot. Many of these blogs are started and abandoned, many more are focused on individuals that don’t make themselves accessible. But, there are plenty of good, well-written, fascinating blogs out there, you just have to put the time in to find one that speaks to you. It’s the same as twitter, until you use it right you won’t get it.

So bringing us back round to my individual point: I love you. You are my friends. Thank you for being here with me, and being part of my little blog world. I’m sorry if sometimes I am boring, or nuts, or ranty, but I hope occasionally I make you smile. From my point of view i’m just happy that you’re here with me. You are with me on my journey.

Thanks. I hope I haven’t scared you off with my mini blog outburst.

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