Sunday, 4 December 2016

Blogging Over Christmas: To Post, or Not To Post?

Last year I shared how, with a little bit of preparation and effort, you can keep your blog running smoothly throughout the festive period, without sticking yourself to your desk, watching the winter days fly by, but this year, I'm wondering if there's any point in posting over the festive period at all. Sure, I have ideas, and content I can share, but will people actually be interested in reading it, and if not, is it a pointless task, spending all that time on writing and typing, creating and sharing, only to get nadah?

Monday, 28 November 2016

10 Popular, Well Loved Series I Think I Should Finish

In the past, I have been known to enjoy binge reading a series or five, and these days, although reading in itself isn't as common a hobby as it was previously, I still enjoy swallowing entire series whole. Alas, while this habit isn't actually a bad one, an unfortunate reaction to that hobby is that I can sometimes quite frequently forget to give series I didn't mind a chance to improve, or I simply don't have to time, nor effort, to give a better the book a second impression. For some series, that's unfair, and for others, I've almost convinced myself that I should give them another go, or at least, consider it. Today therefore, I share with you 10 pretty popular and well loved series that I have a niggling feeling I should finish.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

What's With The Absence of Fat Girls in Fiction?

Ever noticed that there just aren't that many fat girls in fiction? Why is that, and is it okay?

I'm the first person to admit that I'm a fatty. I'm obese, if not severely, and if you were to name the most unhealthy foods, I could tell you right now that I probably love them. I've never been as big as I am now, and I've never been the right weight for my body size and type, but I seldom care. I eat what I want, and I don't have any physical health problems to stop me. The same can't be said for the fat girls in fiction, which, considering their size, seem damn near impossible to find. I ask you world, where are the fat girls in fiction?

Of course, the most obvious reason to not have fat girls, or boys for that matter, in fiction, is that it's not healthy, and in the most extreme cases, can kill you. Not something you want to be glorifying in front of young, impressionable children, am I right? Alas, growing up, I never read of any fat girls in fiction. Sure, I didn't read as much back then, but still, not a one, and that does nothing for a growing girl whose never had a boyfriend before. I wouldn't, and couldn't wear shorts because they suctioned on to my thighs, and I couldn't leave the house without a coat because I was afraid my bouncing belly would be off-putting. Was my double chin the reason people didn't want to be my babe, or was it my bingo wings, strapped to my arms, denying me a sweat-free life?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Why It's Finally Time To Return, and What That Means

Progress is and has always been a subjective term. It means a lot of different things to different people, but in general, progress is used positively to indicate improvement, or moving in the right, or a better direction. That isn't always the case though, and sometimes, people progress in the wrong way. They, or their situation gets worse, or their progress is hindered by obstacles too tough to get over, and sometimes, progress feels a million miles away from the present.

Progress is subjective, and progress to me is being able to walk out my front door, alone, and go to my social centre for support and guidance. Progress to me is waking up and wanting to do something I wouldn't normally. Progress to me is looking in the mirror and feeling something, even if it's not what I'd like to feel. Progress to me is seeing life go on, and deciding that I want to be there when it does. Call it a light at the end of a very long tunnel, call it a light bulb moment, call it magic, but to me, it's progress, and progress has brought me back here, to Nellie and Co.

I talked, in quite a lot of detail, about my absence from Nellie and Co. and how I was, or wasn't, dealing with such a life changing event, and looking back, I can see how much it helped, to talk about it, and to share it with others, but I can also see I wasn't quite as ready as I thought I was. I'm not the same person that brought Nellie and Co. to life, yet it's the only thing, besides support from my parents and close friends, that I didn't lose, and I struggled with that for some time.

I struggled because Nellie and Co. was, first and foremost, a blog about blogging, and everything that comes with that, but I've found that, actually, I want to talk about what happened to me, and I want to talk about the repercussions of it. I want to talk about mental health and wellbeing, and I want to do to help reduce the stigma that surrounds it. The two never really felt like they could mesh naturally, which left me with two options.

The first option involved creating a separate blog, which in theory was a logical idea, but in practicality, felt like too much. Sure, I would have been able to explore both avenues with freedom and without the worry of clashing my content, but setting up a new just isn't something I can do. The second option was to open up Nellie and Co. to new content and new directions, rather than limit myself to blogging and it's inner workings. This option was easily this most daunting in terms of regret. What if I regretted changing what works, and what if it flops? What if this only makes things worse, and I find myself back to square one?

The defining moment came from my parents, who have been insanely supportive throughout everything, when they asked me why I started Nellie and Co. in the first place. 'I wanted to be creative,' I said, 'to teach people how to be creative too,' I replied, but if I'm being truly honest with myself, that's not the reason. Nellie and Co. exists because I wanted to help people become the best person they can be. I wanted to help people achieve things they never thought they could, and be proud of it. I wanted to become a better person, and Nellie and Co. allowed me to do that. The good news is, Nellie and Co. will still allow me to do that, and here's how it'll all come to work.

The biggest change I'm making is in my categories on Nellie and Co. I still intend to share advice, tips and guidance on blogging and everything that comes with that, but I want to delve into other areas too, although some will become more regular than others. The newest additions that will probably have the most impact are mental health and wellbeing, gaming, and books, which did find itself creeping into my content previously every now and again as it was anyway.

The second biggest change is all about the schedule, or in this case, lack there of. I would love to promise a certain amount of posts each week or each month, but then I would just as equally hate to let you down by not keeping to my word, so this time, I'm taking a much more flexible, adjustable and anti-stress direction. In terms of my progress and recovery, things are improving and dipping each day, things are just as unpredictable as they have been, and that most likely won't be changing any time soon. It's vital that I take time to process what will naturally become a great new chapter in my blogging life, and take any time I may need to adjust.

In terms of social media, things are also going to be changing. Instagram is, and always has been my favourite of the social media's because it allows me to be creative, explore my photography skills, and share the more physical sides of life with people. Previously however, Instagram was a #bookstagram only zone, and I want to rectify that. There still won't be a schedule to speak of, (although I will continue to use Later, because duh!) but I'll also start sharing more behind-the-scenes, personal, and fun posts to coincide with my new, larger collection of categories. Pinterest is also another social media that will be changing, in that I'll be leaving it behind. It's far from my favourite of the social medias, and it's also the most time consuming with little return, making it pointless. It's just not for me, and although it's taken time for me to see that, it's important that I see it.

Of course, with all this change happening, it'd be really easy to lose track of what's actually sticking around, and there's a lot of what's here that's actually staying. Nellie's design will only be getting a little touch-up here and there, and it's existing categories will continue to be updated, just, less frequently. I'll still be chatting as I normally do, with a little more sarcasm, and less professionalism, but it'll be still be fun, entertaining, and worth checking out. Oh, and did I mention that I'm actually excited to back into the swing of things, because I genuinely can't wait. For now though, you can keep up with me on Twitter and Instagram, and be prepared for the next post coming soon.

This time, I'm back for good. 😉

Thursday, 14 July 2016

My Unplanned Hiatus, My Great Return, and Everything 'Between

I've lost count how many times over the last few months I've apologised, and how many times that followed where people have told me to stop. Whether it's my boss in work for being off, or my doctor for always breaking down in front of him, my parents and my siblings, or my work advisor, I'm always apologising for something, but today, I want to start by saying sorry to you. I've been gone for a long time - at least, it feels that way, and I didn't give much warning, or heads up, I just.. vanished. Poof, like a puff of smoke. Do I have a good reason for taking a break away? You can bet your ass, but it doesn't take away from the fact that I left you. I stopped helping, stopped advising you, I stopped supporting you, and nurturing you. I stopped without a word, and I'm sorry.

It's been a really tough few months, but really, if I'm being completely honest with you, it's been a tough few years, and you know when you pack up problem after problem into one big box and padlock it shut, instead of actually dealing with them? Well, that's what I did, and much like all containers, it would only hold so much before it burst, and burst it did. My dam broke, my walls crumbled, and I couldn't carry on pretending, ignoring, hiding, and I couldn't carry on blogging.

So what actually happened for things to reach this point, and are you actually okay Amanda?