How to fight your way through Writer’s Block

If you’re a writer, then you would have experienced something called “Writer’s block,” and you will know that it’s an absolute nightmare. You sit down at your desk, pen and notebook by your side, waiting for the words to form in your head – but there’s nothing. Instead, you stare at a blank word document questioning why you became a writer in the first place and doubting every good piece you have ever written.

The harsh truth is not everything you write will be a masterpiece. Not everything you write will receive thousands of views. Not everything you write will gain likes and comments. That’s just the way it is. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from posting something that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. So what if nobody reads it? The moment you start writing solely for other people is the moment you forget the true purpose of what it means to be a writer. Sure, you should write to inspire others, but you should mostly be writing for yourself. You are your biggest critic. That means you shouldn’t post something unless you are truly happy with it. And trust me, your readers can tell if a topic means something to you, or whether you have written something just for the purpose of writing it.

The thing about Writer’s Block is it makes you feel like a failure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and told myself that I’ll never be a successful writer. Just because I’m not earning as much as another writer, it doesn’t mean that I’m failing at what I do. If anything it should encourage me to keep writing and keep improving until I reach a point where I’m very happy with my earnings.

But still, it’s in my nature to compare.

I look at a piece I’ve written and immediately I want to tweak it. I deleted, rewrite, then delete. Sometimes I’m happy with the end result, other times I feel frustrated. That’s part of being a writer, I suppose. There are days when your fingertips won’t be able to keep up with your thoughts and you will write as if the words are literally spilling out of your head. There are days when no words come at all. On days like these, you should feel even more encouraged to write. It doesn’t matter if all you can manage is a few sentences or a rough draft – it counts for something.

Even though it feels like your brain is made up of clouds and rain, there’s still a light trying to break through. How do you overcome Writer’s Block? You write. You write anything that comes to your mind, even if it’s jumbled up. You write because you have a purpose. You write because it makes you feel complete. You write because despite feeling like you are failing, you are making a huge difference with your words.

Don’t let this mental block stop you from creating your best work yet.

Places I’m Planning On Travelling To In 2017

If nothing else, I want to do some travelling this year. I’ve already started saving up and although it’s not going to be easy (I spend way too much on food and makeup, but who doesn’t?) I’m more determined than ever. I’ve realised that you don’t have to have a lot in your pocket – if you want to travel, DO IT. It’s all about finding those amazing holiday deals and spending your money wisely. That’s what I intend to do anyway. There are so many places I’d love to visit, but I have to be realistic about it.

Here’s what 2017 looks like:

Alicante, Spain

alicante-973507_1920.jpg

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

The purpose of this holiday would be to visit family so Alicante is a very convenient location. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never been to Spain before for many reasons, the main one being that I’ve always assumed I wouldn’t be able to handle the heat, which is why I’m planning on going towards the end of May and staying for 7 nights. I do get bored easily, so I expect I won’t stay there for the entire time. It’s not far to travel to Calpe or Benidorm. As you can tell nothing is planned as of yet as I’ll probably be looking for last minute deals nearer the time. Either way, bring on May!

Paris, France

paris-843229_1920.jpg

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Since reading Paris For One by Jojo Moyes I’ve been filled with an urge to explore Paris. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I always see photos of the Eiffel Tower on my Instagram feed. And every time I think about how amazing it would be to witness the beauty of Paris in person rather than through a screen. A weekend trip would probably be ideal, giving me enough time to explore on a low-budget. Day trips are quite cheap too, as it’s a quick journey it means that I’d still be able to explore the sights and eat some good food. Now I can’t stop thinking about croissants.

Brighton, England

brighton-714240_1920.jpg

Photo credit: pixabay.com

I’ve been to Bournemouth, Clacton, Southend… but I’ve never been to Brighton and I really want to tick it off my list. I think out of all the seaside resorts, I’d probably like Brighton the most. It seems like it has more to offer. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t go this year.

Bath, Somerset

england-170402_1920.jpg

Photo credit: pixabay.com

A weekend trip to Bath would be amazing. There is lots to do there and I’ve always wanted to visit the Roman Baths. If work starts stressing me out, I’ll probably take a trip there to relax and get away from everything for a bit. I’d love to think I could afford to book into a Spa hotel but that would be slightly unrealistic.

York, England

cliffords-429994_1920.jpg

Photo credit: pixabay.com

I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago about travelling and she told me that one of her favourite places in the UK is York. She said it’s a great destination for a solo trip and that she usually spends the weekend there. I’d be interested in visiting Clifford’s Tower and going on a boat trip! I also like the look of some of the cafes/restaurants so I feel I would really enjoy it.

These are just some of the places I would like to visit this year. Honestly, I have no idea if I will tick them all off. I hope so but it depends on whether I can afford it. I may even surprise myself and travel to more places than I could have imagined. Where would you like to travel?

Why You Shouldn’t Have A Life Plan

I don’t have a life plan. And neither should you. Are they helpful? Maybe. Are they necessary? Absolutely not.

Some people plan their lives down to the tiniest details. At the age of 23, they want to start travelling the world. By the age of 30, they want to get married and have two kids. At 63, they want to sit down with the grandchildren telling exciting stories of their adventures.

When I was much younger I used to think about my future. Like most kids, I naively couldn’t wait to be an adult. I couldn’t wait for my 18th birthday as that meant I could go to the pub with my friends, fall in love, learn how to drive, move into a one bedroom flat, and do some travelling. I’m 19 and I’ve achieved only one of those ambitions; can you guess which one?

The truth is I’m not even close to achieving these goals I set for myself. I’m still living at home, I’m single, I don’t plan on learning how to drive, I have no intentions of moving out anytime soon and my anxiety makes it difficult for me to travel. However, I don’t expect my life to revolve around the dreams of my younger self.

One of the best things about life is being spontaneous and making our own choices. If we lived by a book of rules, we would feel restricted and our lives would be unfulfilling. Not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes we have to switch paths. Sometimes we take risks that ultimately don’t pay off. Yet we are still learning. These experiences, whether good or bad, will teach us so much.

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my life. 

Honestly, I expected my life to be different. I had high hopes when I was younger, but when I look at what I have achieved in my 19 years of existence, it is dismal. What did I expect? I’m still young and I have a lifetime to find what it is I’m looking for. But it won’t be easy.

You can’t achieve your goals by wishing for it, you have to do it. And believe me, it’s easier said than done. But if you do nothing, your entire lifetime will be a stretch of emptiness. It’s better to fail at something than live with the regret of never trying.

There’s so much to be thankful for. 

I’m not where I want to be but at least there are other aspects of my life that I’m content with. First things first, I have a job that I love. Well, you could say it’s a love-hate relationship. The friends I have are incredible, honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them. I have a place to live and all of the necessities that some people are not fortunate to have. I know that doesn’t translate to happiness, but it’s something I’m really grateful for.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

Let’s just imagine for a moment that you did have your entire life planned out. Would it provide you with a sense of excitement? Or would it cause you immense pressure and anxiety? The best ambitions to have are the simplest ones. To be happy and healthy and to be living. That’s what you should strive for.

Take a look at your life and realise that you are OK. You’re doing brilliantly and the most important thing is that you are doing your very best. That’s what counts. It’s not about where you are going to be in five years time. It’s not even about where you will be next year. It’s about where you are right now.

All about wax melts

Recently I’ve developed a little obsession with candles and wax melts, to the point where I’ll walk in a shop and smell every single one. So I was very excited when Simply Candles kindly sent me some of their soy wax melts to review. They generously sent me the selection pack which has 20 scents, so I could try them out and see which ones are my favourites. First of all, I really love the packaging, it’s very cute and would make an ideal gift for someone who loves their scents. I mean look at that ribbon!

DSCF2618 THIS ONE 2.jpg

It’s been about a week and I’m already half way through the bag so that says a lot about how much I’m loving them! The wax melts are quite small in size so naturally I didn’t expect them to give off a strong smell. I was SO wrong. I started burning the Fig and Cassis one in the living-room, and I’m not joking when I say I could smell it around the whole house. It’s the kind of scent that transports you outside and instantaneously feels like summer. But it’s not too overpowering either. On the website they recommend melting your melt for 10 – 30 minutes at at time so that way you can use it multiple times and really make the most out of the scent. And even after blowing out the tealight you still continue to smell it.

Honestly, considering the strength of  fragrance and the price, these are brilliant. You can pick up a bag of 20 for £3 or you can select your own scents and get 6 soy wax melts for just£1! I recommend you have a look on their website here and see if anything tickles your fancy. If you’re stuck on which ones to try, then my favourites so far are Damson Plum, Rose & Patchouli, Fig and Cassis, Pink Champagne & Pomelo and Mediterraneo. These scents really make me feel all warm and relaxed. The best part is that each one is unique to fit whichever mood you are in. So if you’re under a lot of stress lately, light one of these while you’re in the bath with a glass of wine = heaven.

DSCF2651 THIS ONE 2.jpg

All in all, yes I will buy them in the near future! These wax melts are great for special occasions, if you’re having friends and family round, or if you just want to treat yourself. And for the price, well, have you ever seen a better offer? I have a feeling they are going to be very popular very soon, that’s all I can say.

 

Top 3 lipsticks for £5

OK, so I don’t write many of these types of posts, but then I thought why not? Everybody loves a decent lipstick. And everybody loved a good bargain! But first of all let me tell you that I know nothing about make-up, seriously. So in other words, don’t blame me if you do go out and buy any of these lipsticks and find yourself not satisfied with it. But come on, they are £5!

  1. Rimmel Kate Lipstick Nude 48

    I bought this a couple of weeks ago thinking that I’d probably hate it. The reason being I’m really pale and I wasn’t sure it would suit me. But as soon as I put it on, I loved it. I really really love it, which still surprises me as prior to this I’d never worn a dark shade lipstick in my life. It applies well and like the others, lasts for quite some time. It also doesn’t go patchy which is a big relief.

  2. Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick Soft Pink 101

    I went out and bought this because I’d seen a few YouTubers talking about it, so I thought it must be good. And it is, it’s great. It’s a nice colour, very easy on the eye – perfect for School or College, or if you’re going for a more subtle look. I also use it on my face as blusher, and it gives a slight hint of colour to your cheeks.

  3. Rimmel Kate Lipstick Nude 45

    The best nude lipstick, hands down. It is my go to lipstick, in fact I wear it most days. It’s great all year round but specifically works well during spring and summer, as it’s not too over the top and the shade is very pretty. It also lasts pretty long considering how cheap it is. Highly recommend this if you’re looking for the perfect nude!

DSCF2569.JPG

So as you can tell, I’m a big Rimmel Kate fan. Cheap and cheerful, as I’d like to put it. Have you found any great lipsticks recently? Feel free to share them with me.

 

Why I quit my job to become a freelance writer

That’s right – I quit my job without another one lined up. Stupid decision? Probably. But it worked out OK in the end.

Back in January I started working at a photo shop (I’m not giving away the actual name) as a Sales Assistant. I hadn’t had much previous experience and I felt incredibly shy and a little bit awkward. The manager was lovely, in fact that was the only reason I didn’t leave on the very first day. I kept being encouraged to stay, to see how things go, and needless to say I realised it just wasn’t working. I cringed every time someone walked into the shop, felt my heart hammering in my chest whenever I had to serve someone, not to mention the number of times I cried whenever I made a mistake. I wouldn’t say I couldn’t do it, but my heart wasn’t in it. Each day I dreaded going in – not the usual ‘oh, I don’t fancy going into work today’ dread – but more of ‘I feel like I’m suffocating and on the verge of a breakdown’ kind of dread.

I had a long chat with the manager, who as kind as she was, offered me tons of advice. She reminded me that I had to do whatever it took to make myself happy, and that if I wasn’t happy being there, I should go. And I did. I left that day feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, as if I could breathe again. But the next day I felt awful. I just kept thinking what have I done?  I’d quit before I had even given it a chance and already I regretted it. Although deep down I knew for the sake of my mental health I couldn’t have stayed another day. The decision might have been selfish but sometimes putting yourself first is the thing you need to do the most. So I spent the next few months looking for writing jobs. The truth is I love writing; it gave me a voice I didn’t even know I had. I thrived off every like, every comment, every share, and I knew that I had to keep going.

The life of a freelance writer is hard to say the least. Finding that first paid writing gig can take months, but it could be done, I knew that much. So I started writing for various websites for free, gaining exposure and experience along the way. I checked job sites and writing boards everyday. I sent out email after email, and despite most of them being ignored, a handful of them actually replied. Now I have several clients of whom I regularly communicate with. And although I’m not exactly where I want to be, and I know I do have a long way to go, I feel happier.

Here’s the secret: if you persist, you can get almost anything you want.

5 Reasons Your Siblings Are Your Best Friends

25557634743_011ec77257_b.jpg

Ahh. Your siblings. Sometimes you look at them and feel your chest bursting with affection, other times you feel like throwing a book at them. That’s love. But it’s a different kind of love – it’s one that is always there, despite all the arguments and the tears – somehow it only brings you closer to one another.

Here are five reasons why your siblings are actually your best friends.

1. They know you better than anyone

Of course they do. You may not know it, but they’ve been looking up to you for a long time. They’ve been studying you from a young age which means that over the years they have picked up on when you’re lying, when you’re feeling down, and when there’s something on your mind. They just know.

2. They can always make you laugh

You have inside jokes that no one else knows about. And whenever you’ve had a bad day you can always count on your sibling to bring up old, hilarious memories of that time you fell over in public or the time you laughed so hard you wet yourself. Your sibling knows exactly what to say to lift you up.

3. They tell you the truth

Most of the time your friends won’t tell you the truth, instead they will tell you what you want to hear to avoid upsetting you – the same probably goes for your parents. Siblings have a different approach, they will always be honest with you even if it’s the last thing you want to hear, because they know that in the long run it will only help you become a stronger person. See, your siblings aren’t just trying to be mean, they do have your best interests at heart.

4. They teach us

We are always learning new things from our siblings, from the moment you are introduced to each other you start mirroring their actions, their facial expressions and even some aspects of their personality. As you grow up, they continue to teach you about other things – how to tie your shoes, how to ride a bike, but more importantly – love.

5. They are always there

From that time you cut your knee and they handed you a plaster, to the time you needed help with your homework, and to the time you needed life advice. They were and always will be there when you need them. And that’s what is so special about siblings – the unconditional love. That love is just as powerful as the love between a parent and their child. And even when you’re in your 80s, you’ll be able to look back on all the memories you shared and laugh – laugh until your stomach hurts as if you are both still young.