Radio Silence.

Hi. We need to talk.

Now it’s nothing to worry about. You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s not you it’s me. Well… maybe it’s a little bit you. The thing is, I’m not sure this is working out, you and I. I think I may be going a little bit… mad.

You see, I started this blog almost two years ago, in the summer of 2016. It was one of the worst times of my life. It was the summer I lost my job. That’s something I still haven’t spoken about properly on the internet (and I’d really like to, someday) but long story short: it sucked. My every day life was changed by something I couldn’t control, and I really didn’t like feeling out of control.

So, in an effort to feel like I had a hold of something in my life, I started writing here. I’d decided around this time that I was going to throw myself back into the book world after a year of severely neglecting my literary life. That meant writing, reading and finding out about the publishing industry. This blog seemed like a good opportunity to get back into that, as well as a good outlet for generally venting my feelings. And I quite liked it. I’ve always loved blogging. I’ve been doing it on several platforms for almost ten years. I’ve had art blogs, creative writing blogs, I even contributed to a pretty cool amateur theatre blog back in the day. And I wrote some posts on here that I’m actually really bloody proud of. Like this one and this one.

But here’s the thing, over the last few months, I haven’t really enjoyed what I’ve been writing. I would sit down to craft the perfect post about a recent read or a monthly update and the words just wouldn’t come. I would tear my hair out thinking, “You’re supposed to be a writer! Why can’t you write anything?” I felt paralysed by a self imposed obligation to post on this blog. Everything that appeared on that blank word document felt forced. So, one day, I just stopped.

Since the start, the content of this blog has primarily been about books because, well, I know books. I love books. I could talk about books for hours. Plus, the redundancy situation sent me off on an obsessive journey towards a career in publishing. It got to the point where I was writing just in case an employer found my blog link in my CV and had a look for themselves. I was writing for everyone but me and it just wasn’t working out.

But when I stopped doing that, when I stopped pressuring myself to create things I didn’t even really like, that’s when the ideas started to come. It was like breaking off my obligation to my book blog opened up all sorts of doors in my head, full of ideas for projects and posts, too many to ever be realised. But they were good, exciting ideas, not restricted by a theme or a genre and not something I felt like I had to write. It reminded me why I’ve loved writing my entire life and it made me want to get back to it.

So I’m breaking my silence, I’m back and I wanted to let you know. Sometimes it will be about books, but I also want to share some writing about other things too, like travel, jobs, film, illustration and even a couple of stories here and there. I feel so excited to put some of my muddled thoughts into words but, above all, I’m excited to write for myself again. It’s been a while.



Turn Up

When I was 18, my main concerns were perfecting my eyeliner and making sure my fringe wasn’t wonky. The only thing I’d ever voted for was Kerry Katona winning I’m A Celebrity. I remember being 11 years old, sitting in my pyjamas on the sofa, and voting five times on a Siemens A60 that had a weird version of the Friends theme tune as its ringtone. I loved the small act of voting. Of sending my opinion out into the universe and feeling like I somehow mattered. When the person I’d chosen won, I was ecstatic. I’d picked the winner! It wasn’t something that mattered much, but it mattered to me back then. And winning felt pretty nice.

bite the ballot
Twitter: @BiteTheBallot

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Ice Cream for Breakfast

There’s a trend of books coming out at the moment that I’ve been reluctant to try. Not because they’re badly written. I’m sure they have been very important books for people who aren’t me. But I’ve been seeing a lot of books lately that seem to be promoting something that I’m not particularly interested in hearing about right now.
Like the Hygge invasion of 2016, we are being inundated by books about how to become an adult. Becoming grownups. Adulting. There seems to be a general need right now for people to be told what to do beyond school and university, maybe because no one seems to know what the hell is going on.

I laugh weekly about the fact that, “Holy shit. I’m an adult.” And yet there are still so many things in my life that I don’t have sorted out. I still feel like I should be heading off to school each morning with a marmite sandwich, lovingly made by my mum, and a packet of crisps. I should be forgetting to do my science homework and getting in trouble for leaving my PE kit at home.

When people tell me how to be a grown up, it feels like I should be pouring myself into some kind of one size fits all mould, sacrificing the things that make me happy to make way for a newer, sleeker, cooler and generally more together me. I don’t like it.


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“Want fries with that?”

In defence of English degrees and doing whatever the hell you like.

This morning I saw a tweet from bestselling author, Diana Gabaldon, about her advice for aspiring authors who are choosing a university major. On the subject of English majors she said: “English major = “Want fries with that?” Pick something that will give you enough money to write what you want.” And ever since I saw that I have been stewing for a number of reasons.

Before I start, I want to say that this post is not really going to be about Diana Gabaldon. I don’t have any strong feelings against her. I’ve never read any of her books but I’m sure she is a very good writer. We all say silly things on the internet now and then so what I mostly want to discuss is why the idea in her tweet seems problematic to me.

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Notes on a Dark Day

Last night, like a night last June, I bit my fingers to pieces. The cuts my teeth left turning the skin infected, hot and red. But nevertheless, I went to sleep confident that I’d be waking up in a world I’d still want to be in.

Last June, I had to vote. An easy choice with only two possible options. Remain or Leave. In or Out. A vote that resulted in an unexpectedly historic outcome. Like today, I woke in a sweat, already somehow knowing, long before I checked my phone. Before I saw messages from friends. Messages that read things such as “I feel sick” and “How could this happen?”. Today, I woke up to almost the same messages of fear and nausea, this time for events happening thousands of miles away.

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