Thursday, 9 February 2017

Things that have helped me get back into blogging

Whilst I was re-reading some of my old posts the other day, I noticed that when I'd written for the first time again after a couple of separate hiatus' (hiati?!), I'd credited various books for inspiring me to get back into blogging again.
Urgh; That was an awful sentence, sorry, I clearly need more practice writing.
Basically, there seems to be a correlation between me reading, watching (or listening to) something that inspires me in some way, and me actually writing.

So I just wanted to share the things (not all books) that have helped me to dip my toe back into my blog; and I've realised that I'm probably going to always need to be listening to something to gee me along until I can learn to gee myself along.

1. Setting up a nest-office in our spare room, which used to be our bedroom before the conversion (pictured). This is also the room I plan to share with baby when he arrives to allow Ruari and Joseph to sleep undisturbed upstairs (in theory). It's near the loo, kitchen and if he naps during the day (please nap, baby, and sleep through the nights!), I can just leave him in there knowing that I'm only a few steps away.
I digress.
Back to my nest-office:
I'd been toying with the idea of getting a desk and setting up a proper workspace, especially as I seem to see dreamy ones on Insta every day which could probably be replicated quite cheaply, but I've come to accept that I love nothing more than to be cosy; with a hot water bottle and blankets... and in a bed, ideally, so I set up this little corner for me to write and escape to. All of my books are in here, and all of my stationery (and all of our wedding paraphernalia and a bunch of my cactus stuff) so it's just a nice little place for me to write.
On a side note, I've also been toying with the idea of starting a bullet journal, but I'm yet to commit and have instead just been scribbling notes and down in a £2 plain-paper notebook I got ages ago from Tiger with some gel pens I picked up from Paperchase last week.

2. Listening to Jen Carrington's Make It Happen podcasts. I came across Jen around 18 months ago when one of my favourite blogger/ 'grammers (Sara of Me & Orla) said she had hired Jen as her blog coach. I then started following Jen on Twitter, but that was around the time I'd fully committed to being at work and not focussing on my blog, so I didn't read much around her or listen to her podcasts. Fast-forward to about a fortnight ago when Sara recommended Jen's podcasts on her blog that I decided to actually listen to one - and I'm so glad I did. Jen is just 23 but she seems incredibly wise beyond her years. God, I wish I had her smarts now, let alone when I was 23. I'm not sure how regularly she publishes her podcasts - either once or twice a week I think, and each series is broken up into seasons - but she does one per week that is usually her speaking with a creative which is around and hour long, and then a mini-episode per week which is no longer than 10 minutes long, but my goodness it's packed with so much inspiration and food for thought. I found myself having to pause and rewind the concepts and wise-words that particularly resonated in order to jot them down. I've only listened to one of the long-listens (the one with Sara, obvs) but around 7 or 8 of the mini-episodes.  There are 49 episodes in total, with a new season on its way soon, so I've got plenty more to keep me going.

3. Listening to audiobooks. It makes me shudder a little bit that I spend £8 a month on them as that seems like a lot when you add it up for a year, but seeing as I drive for over an hour each day, I get a lot of listening done and it's time that I just don't seem to get to sit and read. Also, I have just discovered Audible's refund process meaning that I've managed to return - and get credits back for - all the ones I've downloaded as a result of succumbing to their emails about their 2 for 1 deals on books that 'might' be of interest but turned out to not pique my interest enough to listen for more than a single car journey. As a result, I've got a nice little collection of audiobooks that I enjoyed listening to and may listen to again.
This is absolutely not everyones cup of tea but I've personally always tended to enjoy reading non-fiction to fiction, particularly of the self-help variety the most, and Audible is full of that. So most recently I've listened to You Are A Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and today I started (and listened to over an hour of) Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (after Jen mentioned it in one of her podcasts). Aside from Big Magic, which I think I need to re-listen to because I fell asleep a number of times whilst listening to, all have resonated with me - particularly Jen Sincero's book. She reminded me of Sophia Amoruso of #Girlboss / Nasty Gal fame - which is one on not-very-many books I've physically read cover-to-cover and was totally inspired (but also intimidated) by. Some women really are just total badasses.

4. I binge-watched a lot of TV (namely Prison Break S1+2) in December/January and felt horrifically guilty for it, feeling like I should use the time I'd 'found' for TV more wisely. So I made the conscious decision to stop and made the transition from watching to writing, slowly, by reacquainting myself with TED talks and watching a couple of documentaries on Netflix; Cowspiracy and (Dis)honesty: The truth about lies.
I love TED talks - often they're so inspiring - and two of my favourites are by Amy Cuddy on body language and  Susan Cain on Introversion... I have since downloaded both of their Audiobooks Presence and Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking, respectively. I've not yet listened to Amy Cuddy's book, but I loved Susan Cain's. The documentary (Dis)honesty is by another one of my favourite TED talkers, Dan Ariely, whose work on behavioural economics I got to know about through my work in our quest to understand why people decide to buy from us (or not). Cowspiracy is totally unrelated to anything else I've talked about in this blog post, but reaffirmed for me the importance of vegetarianism, and ignited the part of me wants to be a vegan, but not for very long as I automatically added milk to my porridge and morning cup of tea less than 12 hours later. Anyway, the TED talk I've enjoyed the most recently which helped me to prioritise my time was How to gain control of your free time by Laura Vanderkamp. Laura doesn't take energy into account - which is something I feel more lacking in than time most of the time - but I do think I could be doing things to help myself with my energy levels which I don't really do; i.e. eating more healthily and moving more.

So that was a super rambly post; but maybe you'll find something in there to read, listen or watch that might inspire you to do something you've been wanting to for a little while. Or maybe you'll just want to get cosy in a little nest :-)

Nicki x

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x