Back to blogging – a life anecdote.

And I’m back in the blogosphere once again! After a longer hiatus than I anticipated, to recuperate and re-evaluate, Ardent Attachments is back online.
As much as I didn’t really want to take time away, I definitely think it was what I needed; no pressures, no worrying. It was a welcome break that helped me get my brain into the right headspace.

I just want to thank you all so much for the lovely, lovely messages you left on my hiatus post. Though I haven’t responded individually (I will!!), I read them all and they really revitalised my love for both blogging and the community.
Honestly, y’all are great, I appreciate all of you.

So, it’s time to get back into the blogging game, with new features, bigger and better content, and an all around rejuvenated Ardent Attachments!

Thank you, and let’s get back to blogging, shall we?

Katy, x

 

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Blogging hiatus – a life anecdote.

If you read my last post (that’s very kind, thank you!), you would’ve read that I am going through a blogging burnout of sorts! I just do not have the motivation to review/write blog posts/be active in the community right now.

So, I think it’s time I take a step back. I don’t envision it lasting more than two weeks, I’m still actively reading a lot, and I have a post planned for June 6th, so I believe that to be my re-introduction into blogging.

I’m thankful for all of you that take time out to read my posts when they pop up in your reader. Thankful for all of you that follow my tiny space on the internet. Please bear with! I just need to hit reboot and refresh.

Positive vibes to you all.

Katy. x

A discussion; blogging burnout – what to do when it all gets to be too much.

Please excuse the audaciously long title, but my creative juices are running dry. Although, perhaps the title gave that away.
So, another discussion type/life post coming your way ladies and gentlemen, something that I’m going through this very moment; blogging burnout – when it all gets to be too much.
I’m sure, like me, blogging is not your number 1 priority in life. You adore it, don’t get me wrong, but you’ve probably got school/college/university work, or a job (or 2!) that’s either part-time or full-time. Then there’s all the reading you need to catch up on, your TV shows, your films, your music. You may have other hobbies and interests, besides your blog, so you have to fit that in too.
And sometimes, there’s just not enough hours in the day, and it all becomes a tad overwhelming.

That’s where I am right now, that’s my headspace. Overwhelmed, overworked, and just exceptionally tired. I love blogging, I love that this outlet is available and for the most part, free. I love that I am able to combine my passion for writing, with my passion for reading. And I definitely still can’t get over the fact that people legitimately read this blog. It blows my mind everyday. I couldn’t be more grateful that people, even somewhat, value my thoughts and find my posts on the spectrum of decent.
Yet recently, it’s felt more like a chore to blog. Perhaps I’ve simply put too much pressure on myself, which wouldn’t be surprising. But the need to put content on my blog has taken away some of my enjoyment of the act of blogging. I still get into grooves where I can get lost in the post I’m writing, but other times I’m sat staring at blank screen willing the words to appear.
I scroll through all your posts, but in reality all I want to do in curl up with my dog and binge-watch Netflix whilst eating terrible food. Although even that will lead me to worry I’m putting too much weight on and should probably join a gym and there I am, heading down a dark spiral. That dark spiral will lead me to question why I even run a blog and that I might as well delete it now and save myself the hassle. Honestly, I exhaust myself.

I always wish there was a reason for all of this but your mind can be your biggest enemy. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this internal struggle, the monologue that incessantly digs at you and never knows when to shut the fuck up.
So how do I get out of the whole I dig myself?

First of all, I cuddle my dog. He’s soft and warm and incredibly gentle in nature, and my favourite to snuggle with.  I’ll step away from my laptop for awhile, I’ll walk said doggo (he’s name is Barney and he’s a Spaniel mix in case you wanted to know) and tune out the world. Maybe I’ll sit downstairs with my Mum or cuddle up with my boyfriend and forget that I even run a blog for awhile. I’ll ensure I’m in a positive mental state before I even glance at my laptop. Then when I do inevitably glance that way, I’ll pick up a book. The subject that caused this all to begin. Once I remember just how much I love reading, how much passion and drive I have for writing, how much inspiration and creativity I surround myself with everyday, suddenly, that weighted feeling that comes with looking at WordPress, doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.

Inevitably, this will not be the last time this happens, but I know, I’m in such an open community, the book blogging world is courageous and understanding and I’m happy to be a part of it. I also want everyone to know that you are not alone, blogging is first and foremost, a community, one with people always willing to listen. Sometimes venting to an unbiased stranger is incredibly relieving.

And if blogging really does get too much and you need to step away. Then step away. Honestly, your blog will still be there when you get back. Even if it’s not blogging that is the cause of your negative head-space, your stress, whatever, letting go of some of your everyday pressures can do wonders.

Blogging burnout happens to all of us, it’s just writers block plus the networking and the planning and all the other activities that come as part of the package. It’s important to remember that it does happen to all of us, and it’s not that big a deal as your mind may make it out to be! Because I sure know mine makes it’s feel like such a big thing.

What are the ways you deal with blogging burnout? What are your go-to tactics to help you on your way to back to blogging? Please share away!

A discussion: Anxiety in YA & beyond – representation and relatability.

I haven’t done a discussion post on my blog in a while, and the idea for this one has been floating around in my brain for awhile. It became especially prevalent recently, as a string of book that I read had a main character that suffered from different forms of anxiety. It’s becoming a far more frequent occurrence in YA and beyond these days. And for that, I am so thankful.

For a very long time, I didn’t realise that the thoughts going through my head, and the emotions that I had been feeling were basic signs of anxiety. I’m not even that old! It’s not as though I didn’t know what anxiety was, and it was definitely (and finally) getting talked about more, becoming ever so slightly less taboo. However, I just never put two and two together. I never really spoke to anyone  – a red flag in itself. And although my anxiety isn’t as debilitating as I’ve known others to be, it still affected me and my day-to-day life. I skipped out on many a social event through the fear; fear that I’d just be left out, fear that no-one really wanted me there, fear that I was really just a pity invite.
These thoughts still plague me now, at 24. I still struggle even though I have the most solid of foundations beneath me. I still struggle, and that’s okay, I’ve come so far.

Whilst in this period of my life I found sanctuary every Saturday morning in our city library. What I didn’t find in my haven – was anxiety represented in any of the books I read. I never saw myself there. It may have existed in books I never read, who knows there are a lot of books in the world. It may have existed in adult fiction, but I rarely ventured there, I still don’t now that I’m classified as a fully-fledged adult. All I know is that it didn’t exist in the books I read, but this is changing.
Although everybody’s anxiety is different – any form of positive representation is welcome. That small slice of relatability might mean the world to someone. This representation hopefully means that more people will recognise anxiety for the mental health issue it is. This representation hopefully means that someone out there, feeling lost and alone, might recognise themselves within the pages. This is what I have found myself doing more and more in recent reads. I have found myself amongst the pages.

I saw myself in Steffi from A Quiet Kind of Thunder. I saw myself in her minute actions that might be over-looked and her feelings.

“And then it happens. The panic. It’s slow at first, creeping through the cracks in my thoughts until everything starts to feel heavy. It builds; it becomes something physical that clutches at my insides and squeezes out the air and the blood.”

I saw myself in Libby from Holding Up The Universe. I saw myself in her fears and her worries.

“It is 3:38 a.m., and the time of night when my mind starts running around all wild and out of control, like my cat, George, when he was a kitten.”

I saw myself in Cather from Fangirl. I saw myself in her isolation and her escapism.

“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”

I saw myself. I saw my anxiety. Nowadays, using the phrase my anxiety is somewhat empowering and not half as scary as it used to be. These books helped me there. These books helped me be empowered. And more and more are getting published. These aren’t the only books that helped me, however, they are the three that instantly stuck in my mind whilst writing this post.
I really hope authors continue to positively represent mental health in YA and beyond. As the smallest similarity could be the reason someone gets the help the need. It could be the help someone needs after a bad day. It could be the reason someone realises they are not alone.

You are not alone.

Please know, you are not alone.

A Day in London – a life anecdote.

A (hopefully) nice change with a personal post coming your way! It’s always good – in my humble opinion – to change things up once in a while, lest they become stale. A little update on a day of my life.

Wednesday just past, my boyfriend and I celebrated our two-year anniversary a week early! We chose to do this as our anniversary falls on the English date for Mother’s Day (a day where everywhere hikes their prices up!), and we’d managed to acquire two last minute tickets for Aladdin the Musical!

Continue reading “A Day in London – a life anecdote.”

A review: Happy Mum, Happy Baby – Giovanna Fletcher

This is a weird book for me to have read really, I am not a parent. I am not experiencing motherhood, nor am I anticipating it, at all! I don’t plan on joining the ranks of these wondrous women for awhile yet here I am reading a book about parenting.
Being English, I know who Giovanna Fletcher is, I am the perfect age really to know who she is. Well-known in part to her long relationship and then marriage to McFly member Tom Fletcher, an author, actress, journalist, in her own right too, I grew up with McFly and their members – so I grew up knowing who Giovanna, Gi to her friends, was too.

Book description from the book itself

HMHBBeing a mum is an incredible journey, a remarkable experience that changes how we look, how we feel, who we are. As mothers we are strong, protective, proud. We feel a love like no other.
But being a parent can be hard too. It challenges us physically, mentally, emotionally. There are the days where just managing to fit a shower in amidst the endless feeding, entertaining young children and surviving on a lack of sleep feels like an achievement. With so many people ready to offer ‘advice’ on the best way to parent, it can feel like you are getting it all wrong.

Since Giovanna and her husband Tom Fletcher have had their sons Buzz and Buddy, they have been sharing glimpses of their family life. With an infectiously positive outlook and happy take on all things mum-related, Giovanna has developed a following of fellow parents and mums-to-be.

This is not a book about how to have the perfect family experience – Gi would be the first to admit she is winging it just as much as the rest of us – instead it is an honest, upbeat and incredibly personal account of her own experience of having a family. In Happy Mum, Happy Baby Giovanna shares her own journey through parenthood and in doing so, she looks at what it is to be a mother today, encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can really make for a happy baby.

I received this book for free through my work (in a bookshop) in exchange for an honest review.
So let us get to said review!

Continue reading “A review: Happy Mum, Happy Baby – Giovanna Fletcher”

The Disappearing Act – a life anecdote.

Just an update in the life of Katy – hey that’s me!

Mainly, I’ve been a bit sparse on the updates recently and my posting has definitely been nothing short of sporadic. So here’s a quick update on life and all things blog related and how soon I plan on getting back on track.

Essentially, I moved! I moved from my lovely little house with my boyfriend and back into my parent’s house – therefore just the one room for me! It was a big upheaval as I had accumulated a house’s worth of stuff, to then fit into one room. It was a lot of being determined and throwing away/donating all that was completely necessary/those I couldn’t because sentimentality is a thing.

Secondly, my social life has therefore increased as I now have to plan to see my boyfriend rather than him just being there; when I woke up, when I got home, it’s very strange.

Lastly, I got sick, nothing serious but it’s kept me bedbound and unwilling to do anything other sleep my days away or watch mindless rubbish on YouTube as short 10/15 mins videos are pretty much as far as my attention span went.

So stick with me! I’m on the mend and the posts are being queued up and I should be back on track soon.

Katy.