Blog Number 40: The #40Days40Blogs Challenge Finale!

Blog Number 40 - Cover

…Aaaaaaaaaand blog number 40! Yay! Although there were times I thought this day would never come, Easter is finally here and I am finally writing and hitting Publish on blog number 40 of my #40Days40Blogs challenge.

It’s been a bit insane, but all worth it in the end. Of everything that I’ve even given up for Lent, ‘being unproductive’ was definitely the toughest. Just in case you missed a few, for blog number 40 I’ve included a roundup of everything I’ve written as part of my #40Days40Blogs challenge:

Travel Catch-ups

Blog Number 40 - Laos

One great thing about challenging myself with #40days40blogs is that it gave me the kick up the butt I needed to finally post all my stuff about my trip around Southeast Asia. I had loads of notes and thoughts lying around, but I just needed the time and dedication to edit and publish. Read more

Things I Learnt From Writing 40 Blogs in 40 Days

40 blogs in 40 days - Cover

Say it with me! One more blog! One more blog! ONE MORE BLOG! That’s right. This blog is number 39, which means that it’s the penultimate blog of my #40days40blogs challenge! It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but here is what I have learnt from writing 40 blogs in 40 days…

1. 40 is a really, really, really large number.

40 blogs in 40 days - #40Days40Blogs
Blog 1: #40Days40Blogs | This Lent, I’m Giving Up Being Unproductive

OK, duh. But, writing my first post about committing myself to this challenge and creating a cute little hashtag for myself made #40days40blogs seem like a great idea at the time. I’d given up chocolate for Lent before and it was fine. 40 days is long, but it’s doable, right?

Skip forward a couple of weeks and I’m realising that writing 40 blogs in 40 days means dedicating three or more hours every day to writing a decent post (and it’s mostly more). That’s a minimum of 120 hours. That’s at least five whole days I’ve spent on WordPress. Read more

The Pen On The Table [poem]

Blog Number 40 - Writing

The room is monochrome, classic.

A spotlight cuts silver into black.

In the conical light there is a table.

And on the table, a pen,

A gravity.

Outside, trapped in the ripples, I circle,

A predator, a vulture,

A moth dancing towards the light,

I pace,

I panic,

I prowl.

My arrow-hand stabs into the laser,

Impatient, clumsy.

And retreats again, ashamed, afraid,

I anticipate a burning pain, but it doesn’t transpire.

In the dark, my grey hand shows no blistered skin.

Instead, it itches.

My eyes look up, back at the table,

And on that table, the pen.

A pen with my name waiting in the ink.

My feet push awkwardly beneath quaking legs towards the light,

My toes teasing into the circle,

Like they’re peeling over the edge of a diving board,

They dip into the pool.

It’s warm.

A step. A jump. A dive.

Into the halo until my whole body is coated in white flames.

I’m a burning ghost.

Charging forward,

My phantom-hand extends, hovers and snatches.

The spear is swallowed in the black wave of a shadow-glove,

A lizard-tongue lift with hungry thieves-fingers,

That tighten around the neck.

A child’s greedy fist.

I have the foil.

And I run.

#40Days40Blogs | This Lent, I’m Giving Up Being Unproductive

#40Days40Blogs

This Lent period I’m giving up being unproductive with a #40Days40Blogs challenge. Got myself a little hashtag there and everything, so you know it’s a totally real and not made-up thing.

What are you talking about, Amy?

#40Days40Blogs

I thought that by moving back to the UK this winter I would finally have time to write. I am no longer travelling; I’m sitting still for a little while. Half-funemployed, half-freelancing. I’m still adjusting (read: shivering) to the grey British weather, which means I’m spending a lot of time indoors. I have nowhere to be or go. I have access Wifi and good coffee.

So, I should have all this time to write, right?

Wrong. Read more

Unpaid Writing | When Do I Stop Working For Free?

working for free 1

Dear fellow writers, freelancing friends, creatives and anyone who has ever had a job; I need some advice. I’ve been writing seriously for around three years now and by ‘seriously’ I mean paid. However, it seems that there are a lot of employers out there who still want me working for free.

They advertise online for freelancers, glossing over the subject of payment until I’ve sent in a CV, cover letter and pitches for articles. Other places are offering full-time ‘paid internships’, which only cover the ‘expenses’ of travel and lunch.

When I question this, the email responses are almost always the same:

‘Sorry, we can’t pay interns / freelancers / writers.’ Read more

16 Things I Would Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

16 Things I would tell my 16-year-old self

We now interrupt this scheduled programme of backpacking-related blog posts to bring you something completely different. Time travel.

I thought that moving back to the UK this Christmas would just feel like my annual Yuletide visit, and that the fact that I don’t have a return flight wouldn’t hit me until well into the new year. Turns out, I really misjudged that one.

Instead, moving home this Christmas feels like going back in time ten years. I feel like my 16-year-old self: reliant on my parents, living back in my hometown, catching up with old friends and going through all my old things (found my Pokémon cards but, sadly, they are worth nothing on ebay). Read more

Sorry, 2016, But This Was a Pretty Good Year for Me

2016

 

My favourite number is 13. Not because I was born on the 13th, or that the number 13 has significance in my life, but because I figure that a number that is unlucky for some has to be lucky for someone.

Much in the same way, the year that was essentially a real-life season of Game of Thrones for the world actually turned out to be a pretty awesome year for me personally. And not because I’m a “Leave” supporter or a Donald Trump fan. My year just kind of happened that way.

So sorry (not sorry) to gloat and rub it in your face, 2016, but you did not break me. 2016 had to be lucky for someone, right? Read more

More Than 50,000 Words

NaNoWriMo 2016

What’s crazier than travelling Southeast Asia solo on a shoestring budget throughout November? Travelling Southeast Asia solo on a shoestring budget throughout November and writing 50,000 words of a book at the same time, that’s what.

Yup, this autumn I zig-zagged from Myanmar to Laos, Laos to Cambodia, Cambodia to Vietnam, and Vietnam to Bali, Indonesia. Oh, and I did NaNoWriMo at the same time. Read more

10 words that sound better in Italian

Learning Italian Cover

Remember when I said I was going to spend the summer improving my Italian so that I’d leave bella Italia near-fluent by September? Yeah, that didn’t happen. But I have been working on it, completing my daily tasks on Duolingo, eavesdropping on my students when they think I don’t understand what they’re saying, observing conversations around the dinner table with host families, and collecting new and strange words like the language nerd that I am.

So, although I haven’t actually achieved the level of Italian that I wanted to these past three months, I have made some progress, the least of which is compiling a list of ten of my favourite Italian words that I’ve most enjoyed adding to my limited Italian vocabulary: Read more

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