Friday, 27 March 2015

Dreams and Schemes

One handy thing about blogging is accountability. It's harder to procrastinate now that I've 'come out' as a writer; it's not something I've tended to discuss with my friends for fear of waffling on unintelligibly about plot bunnies or having to actually produce some finished work that I deem 'readable' (I self-published a handful of novels a while back but they are so howlingly bad I don't generally acknowledge their existence). I was quite surprised that when I put a photo of my workspace on Instagram and Facefail, people were actually interested, which was sort of how I stumbled into the decision of setting up this new blog.

But now that I've publicly admitted to the fact that I like to write stuff, I feel like people will KNOW if I, say, spend three hours making iTunes playlists for each of my protagonists rather than, y'know, actually writing anything. Not that I do that. *ahem*

So this new-found accountability helps me work harder, which is great. I was thinking about this today, and I wondered if I could use it to help me get other things done in my life as well. I'm sure we all have a list of things we're always intending to get done... this month, or next month, or the month after that. Mine is quite a long list, and it's starting to seriously bug me.
I couldn't find a relevant photo for this post so here's a picture of me being a douchebag in a hotel room, circa last summer.
I have chosen a random date (June 3rd). Importantly, this date is a couple of paydays away, and between now and then, I intend to:

  1. Save up some money to go shopping, outside of my tiny hometown, upon that date. I am sick to death of looking in my wardrobe and thinking 'blah'. 
  2. Clear out the things I already have. This is an ongoing project. I have been clearing out for a couple of years, quite literally, but I work in a secondhand shop and clearly have some sort of hoarding problem so as fast as I get rid of things I don't need, I buy some more. I have some great things that I love to wear, but I can't find them amidst the heaps of other crap that have accumulated. I am going to actually finish clearing out my wardrobe, so that I have some space to start again with more of what I love. As opposed to things that I have bought because I was bored, or sad, or latching on to a random fad that caught my attention for 0.2 seconds.
  3. Go on a media diet. I spend a lot of time online looking for style inspiration, and whilst this can be a good and helpful thing, I feel like I'm overdoing it. My poor brain is bombarded with so many different ideas and influences that sometimes when I'm actually shopping I'm not sure what I really like or would be happy to wear. I'm hoping that if I take a bit of a break from Tumblr, Pinterest, magazines and blogazines I might have a better chance of buying things that fit my own, personal style. I will also have more time to devote to the other items on this list!
  4. Get some regular exercise. I started going to yoga classes last year and loved it, but had to quit when my work schedule changed. I have a stack of DVDs so that I can continue my practise at home. I'd also like to take up running again. And probably I should do some squats as well. (Do she got the booty? No, she don't.) I know that confidence has to start from within (it's a cliche because it's true) but I do want to feel fabulous and amazing in my new clothes, and let's face it, moving occasionally might help with that. 
  5. Meditate. Regular meditation is something I'd love to take up, but for some reason I keep saying I'll do it when I've finished clearing out, or when I've achieved this or that random thing. Procrastination! Needs to stop. 
  6. Pick up my guitar. I have two lovely guitars (an electric that was a present from my dad, and an acoustic that belonged to Gudrun, my grandma) which I hardly ever touch. It would be nice to learn how to play more than a few chords.
I'm hoping that, by giving myself a concrete list of things to start doing, and a date by which I want to be doing them, I can start living the way I want to and stop self-sabotaging. And by writing it down here, I will have to come back and admit to you guys on Wednesday, June 3rd, if I have continued to be incredibly idle over the next two months. >.<

What about you guys? How do you procrastinate? What would you rather be doing with your time?

Saturday, 21 March 2015

What I've Been Doing

Returning after a very extended hiatus seems strange! It's been interesting to have a look around on Blogger and see who is still here; I have checked blogs only sporadically over the last couple of years, although I've kept in touch with several people through Tumblr and Facebook. Amazing to see how everyone has grown and changed.

So what's been going on this last three years? Well, firstly, I have a new job at an alternative clothing and gift shop in my home town (in addition to my continued employment at a charity shop, where I spend many a happy hour curating a hoard of secondhand books and strange clothes), which I have been thoroughly enjoying, especially since I now waft home of an evening smelling strongly of incense.

My boyfriend Dan and I have been together, on and off, for almost eleven years now (our anniversary is in May). For my 22nd birthday we took a trip to Paris, which was my first ever trip abroad. Since then we have been saving up to manage at least one trip each year. Last year we went to Scotland - I now want to move there.
My personal style, last discussed yonder, is still continually in flux. I have simplified my look a lot out of sheer laziness, and can now get ready for work in under an hour, which would have been an impossibility in the days when I had to draw on a set of eyebrows to face the world (I have my own eyebrows now). I am finally getting the hang of sensible shopping (mostly), and can even imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when my clothes fit into my wardrobe instead of piling up on the floor around it. My main stumbling block, style-wise, is comparing myself to other people too much instead of having confidence in my own preferences, but I'm working on it.

I mentioned in my first post on this blog that I've been getting back into writing fiction. Since taking part in NaNoWriMo last year, I have been trying to sift through the word vomit I created with the hope of finding a few gems in the midst of the debris. I am, of course, a master of procrastination, and my NaNovel is a fine example of the half-baked, lame plotting scenarios that are dreamed up by a desperate brain under the influence of too much caffeine. Nevertheless I have been buying actual reference books, and quizzing people about some intriguing local legends, and I think I finally have an idea that I am happy with. Now for the hard part; the writing bit...

So that's what I've been doing during the time I've been away... what about you?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Hoorah, An Awkward Intro Post

I did something today that scared me.
I logged back in to Blogger, after two years of radio silence, during which time, let's be honest, I have been hiding on Tumblr and doing very little indeed. 

My name is Amy, I'm from England, and just in case it matters, I'm 23. Back in ye olde days (...2012) I used to write a blog called Stripy Tights and Dark Delights. Which was mainly me stomping about in my stompy little boots and trying to outGoth all the other Goths. I definitely wasn't as cool as I thought I was, but I had a hell of a good time.
S'me. Haven't really got the hang of this selfie thing yet.
Thing was, it kind of took off a little bit. Not to blow my own trumpet (much), but there was this one time I actually had to take a break at work to have a phone interview with a nice lady from the Guardian (it took half an hour, which earned me a one-line, moderately cringey quote). People recognised me at gigs a couple of times. It wasn't until after several years, spent reeling in shock that people were actually reading stuff wot I wrote, that I came to realise every single bad outfit choice or daft, know-it-all comment would linger on the interwebs like a bad smell and haunt me until the end of time, or thereabouts. 

Eventually I gave up blogging because it took over my life. When I couldn't go out for the day and enjoy myself without spending the whole time preoccupied with how I was going to write it up, I concluded that enough was enough, and closed the curtain.

Also, when I was blogging pretty much every day, I neglected other aspects of my life. Chiefly, writing fiction. I have been a creative writing nut since my school days, but I struggled to put pen to paper on a proper story since Stripy Tights came into being. During my break from blogging I have started to brush up on my craft and get back into writing. I will be talking about that in future posts, and with any luck talking to others of you suffering through procrastination, internal critics, and sitting at the computer for hours writing and re-writing one sentence eighty-six times. 

There will also be some personal stuff, I imagine, and other ramblings of various kinds. 
My HQ. This is my 'serious' writing laptop... it has no internet connection.
So a big hello to you, and thank you for stopping by! If you are an old friend, an old reader, or both, please do say hi, and welcome to any new faces who have stumbled across my tiny corner. I'm always happy to chat, and questions and suggestions are more than welcome. 
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