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?

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

It's Time To Stop Using Sexual Assault and Rape In YA as 'Plot Development' or 'Character Personality Shifts'

I've lost count how many times I've read a young adult novel where the main character is trapped in a scene that has them fighting off somebody who's made a sexual pass at them, and I am willing to bet that you've read a scene exactly like that recently too. A scene of somebody being pressured into a situation they don't want to be in, being 'convinced' that what one person wants, they want too, having to forcibly shout, scream and beg for somebody to stop what they think is acceptable. I've read scenes like these one too many times, and I've reached breaking point.

Is this the kind of message we want to send to young readers - 'sexual assault and rape is a plot development in your life' - something that we should all have some sort of experience of to appreciate? That, in order to make it anywhere in life, you have to have been through something horrific and life changing and get through it forever changed, forever affected, to become the person we're meant to be? I know it's not the message I want to send, because I know how it feels..

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

4 Signs Of Blogger Burnout (and How To Overcome Them!)

Of all the stresses and complicated decisions to make when it comes to blogging, getting and dealing with blogger burnout is one of the most inconvenient and infuriating of the lot. You know the feeling of sitting in front of your screen, fingers itching, begging to type something, anything, and yet nothing will come. You're dead in the water. You're running on empty. Your brain has packed a sack and ran away with your imagination. I know the feeling well, and sadly, there's little chance you'll ever blog for long without feeling this way.

And yet, there are ways to combat the feeling, and signs to look out for before it has a chance to destroy your passion and motivation for getting creatively stimulated. There's subtle signs, and some of them can be mistaken for other problems, but if you're feeling these signs in relation to your blog, then it's time to do something about it.

Sign #1 | You're uninspired by your blog

It happens to all of us at some point, and for some, it happens more than once, but don't feel disheartened if you're starting to feel uninspired by your blog and what you love. For most, blogging is a creative outlet, a hobby that we're prone to pour more time and energy into than we have to give, and given time, this will predictably start to show.

Some of us will start to pick up hobbies we thought dead and gone, such as cooking or crafting, and find that blogging, while still a passion, is less of a priority. Some will find themselves in a round rut of wanting so badly to blog, but never feeling inspired or motivated at the prospect, and on these occasions, there's only really one thing you can do..

Sunday, 12 June 2016

How Does A Blogger Combat Questioning Their Worth?

Have you ever had that momentous moment, a light-bulb scenario, where you come up with this absolutely, amazing, fantastic idea for a post, so you start planning that post, deciding on the main points, how you're laying it out, the general direction, whether it's long or short, sweet or savvy, only to find that somebody has else has published their version of your ideas on the same subject already?

Being in the business of blogging and books, it happens more often than I'd like. As much as I'd like to say it doesn't bother me, it does. I'm left questioning myself, my ability, my knowledge, my words, how much I've learnt and what it means to be teaching other people because I love it. It leaves me wondering..

What's a girl to do when she questions her worth?

I receive a lot of praise for my content, both from friends in the business and people I admire and look up to, and it feels absolutely amazing, it's like winning an award every time, and yet it's still not enough. It's not enough to stop the voices telling me my words don't matter. It isn't enough to stop thinking my input isn't as worthy as somebody else. It isn't enough to stop me questioning myself, and everything I do, say and think.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Blogger Love | 200+ Awesome Posts That Rocked May

One of my favourite things about the blogging community is it's so vast. There's no little group of people doing one thing, there are thousands of people blogging about a thousand different things, and with so many voices in the community, it's very easy to feel lost among the many many voices. Fear not, because I'm all about sharing my love for all things fabulous, and that includes super awesome blog posts I read last month that deserve your attention. Go forth, explore, find fantastic posts and spread love!

Reading, Reviewing, and All Things Books!

Collecting Books, ARC's and Authors

Characters & Topics in Books