I have a funny ol’ relationship with Christmas. As a kid, predictably, I loved it. Presents, food, fairy-lights, days off school – what kid wouldn’t? I don’t have any siblings and my family aren’t particularly close so even as a kid, Christmas was always a quiet affair. There was no huge parties or having dozens of people round. It was usually just my parents and my grandparents on my mum’s side who spent Christmas day at our house; my dad would take my Granddad to the Royal British Legion for a few hours (something he still does) and my mum, Nan and I would stay in, watch some crappy Christmas day TV, drink tea and eat chocolate. That was just Christmas to me. I never knew any different.
I’ve been self-employed and working from home for a good 3 years now. I started my own online book touring business up from scratch, gained a client base and continue to grow and grow and get evermore busy. I also make a small income from my blog, which also requires more working from home, on my laptop. I’m not complaining though. I absolutely love what I do and hope to grow even more over the coming years to make a solid monthly income which I’ve created all by myself. But it hasn’t always been easy and it still isn’t sometimes. Working from home takes a lot of discipline and there are an awful lot of distractions to interrupt with your work too. Today I wanted to chat about how to stay productive when you’re working from home something that I’ve certainly had to learn, work on and continue to work on over the past 3 years.
Back in July (goodness me that seems like ages ago now, doesn’t it? Where has this year gone?) I wrote a “25 Autumn blog post ideas” post which went down really well and I really enjoyed writing and brainstorming for. Sooooo… Now we’re in arguably the prettiest and most magical season (Winter, for those who aren’t aware…) I thought I’d do a Winter / Christmas themed post of the same nature!
Anyone that knows me knows that I freaking hate summer. I hate it. I hate it I hate it I hate it with a roaring passion. The heat; nope. The bugs; nope. The hay fever; nope. All of it is just a big fat nope for me. My favourite time of the year is Autumn, especially that first day when summer is coming to an end and you step outside and the air feels fresher and crisper for the first time in months and you can feel Autumn on its way. Ugh, that feeling is just beautiful and brings with it all sorts of nice feelings for Autumn and a new season with new goals and new things to focus on.
There’s new bloggers joining the scene every day and who can blame them?! Making new friends from all over the world, working with your favourite brands, having a platform to express your creativity and talk about things you’re truly passionate about. Why wouldn’t they? Blogging can seem like this magical, perfect world upon first impression but like every community, there will always be negatives in the blogging world some of which we simply can’t avoid. I’m sure most of us were a bit naïve and blindsided to the down sides of blogging when we first started (or even after years of doing it!) – I know I was. So for all the newer bloggers in da house, here’s a list of things you should be aware of when starting your blogging venture.
When I started book blogging, back in 2013, my ultimate aim was to start working with publishers and authors and being seen as a worthy enough book blogger to get sent books to review. Now don’t get me wrong, the free books are not the be-all and end-all of book blogging but having an author or a publisher contact you, regarding reviewing one of their new titles and allowing you to be a part of that pre-publication hype and providing your honest thoughts on a book which, chances are, people are going to read before they decide to buy the book themselves, is quite special. Book bloggers and book reviews are so very important so it’s not surprising new book bloggers (or even experienced bloggers who haven’t yet ventured into the book blogging world yet) want to be a part of that.
Earlier this month, I started a brand new series on my blog called ‘Ask Jenny’, whereby I try and offer some sound advice to anyone who needs it about a problem they might have. Like the agony aunt columns in Women’s magazines, basically. But hopefully better and less generic. My first post in this series got a great response and I was super chuffed about it and many people thought it was a good idea; so like a good little micro-influencer, I took their advice and have decided to continue the series – for a while at least. Until I or my readers get bored.
Something I’ve always been able to pride myself on is that I’m good at giving advice to people. I’m good with words and articulating the correct thing to say to someone in a certain situation. I’m not talking grammar wise, yes, my grammar still sucks but when I can make someone feel better about a problem they are worried about or be a listening ear and offer some sound advice, I personally find that much more valuable. I thought of starting an advice series on my blog whereas anyone could ask me anything and I would try and offer some advice to them, the best I could. Kinda like those “Ask Debbie” columns in Women’s magazines. But better. Hopefully.
Life can get too much at times. Emotions running high, bad days, feeling unwell, problems at home or within relationships are all enough to cause us unwanted stress at times. I’ve been there and unfortunately, stress is becoming quite the familiar friend to me lately. Everyone deals with stress differently and I wanted to share my own ways in which I like to at least try to deal with stress.
It’s been a funny sorta few months. At the beginning of September, I turned 23 and with a birthday brings a lot of promise of new starts, new adventures, goals and things to work towards now that you’re a year older and seemingly a year wiser. A realisation that now is the best time to get your act together and that life will only move onwards and upwards from here on out. This didn’t happen for me. In fact, the complete opposite did.