Follow me to greener pastures

This is a letter to my loyal followers. I started this blog four years ago, and I didn’t really expect much from it. It was a personal blog, that allowed me to vent all my excess creativity, and while I did promote it across my social media platforms, I really didn’t set myself any goals. I didn’t blog by a regular schedule, sometimes months went by without a blog post, and there was no real structure to it.

And yet somehow, over the past four years, I have garnered 24,600 views, over 50 loyal blog followers and countless other likes, comments and general engagement. I’ve enjoyed it immensely, even though it really was just for my own personal use. Then again, my ego did like the positive engagement I received from the blogging community, which brings me on to the most important part of this post.

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About a month ago, I decided to start a blog with my sister, Claire. Three weeks ago, we put that plan into action, and two weeks ago today, we put it live. In just 14 days, it has already had nearly 2,000 views. I’m so excited about this venture, not just because it’s a new project, but because it’s a creative collaboration with my sister, who I love and admire dearly, and am inspired by daily.

While my real-life friends and social media pals will know about our new blog already, it occurred to me today, that I have a surprising amount of blog followers who, for whatever joyful reason, enjoyed following my antics here on To My Write. In which case, I decided to tell you all about my new blog, Life Style Smile. I’m positive you’ll find this one even more enjoyable, as it’s much more regular, consistent, and focused. We’ll have some beauty, fashion, books, health, TV and some other funny stuff we like, try and do. Not to mention you get to meet my gorgeous sister, Claire.

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I’m certainly not saying goodbye to To My Write, but for now, I need to focus my attention and Life Style Smile and I’d love if you would join me. Do leave us comments, share our posts if you like them and let us know what you think. I’d love to see some of my followers from this modest blog come over and follow my new adventure with my sister.

You can check out Life Style Smile here.

We’re also on Facebook: Life Style Smile Facebook

And Twitter:  

Did I mention Instagram?  Instagram

If you’re really nosy, you can always add me on Snapchat. I don’t mind.

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New year, new you?

I know, it’s been months, and I do apologise. While I have a post waiting in the wings that I’ve been meaning to put up lately, I think a more time sensitive one is necessary at the moment. I feel the world is getting jaded with the whole ‘new year, new me’ crap, that is often just a load of hot air. I’ve read various articles in print and online, basically telling New Year’s resolutions to feck off because it just leads to pressure to change followed by the feeling of failure.

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I walked 15K for Pieta House

I am by no means looking for praise. Plenty of people do amazing things for charity, plenty of people walk further, do more, raise more and work harder. But I’ve wanted to write a post like this for a while, and after I arrived home yesterday on a complete high from an amazing morning with my sister Claire, walking the trails of forest and woodlands around Tinahely, I decided now is as good a time as any.

Me and Claire after the walk

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I don’t want to play anymore

One of my favourite phrases, which anyone who knows me will understand. It’s the childish way of saying “I’m done” out of frustration. Today, I don’t want to play ‘trainee writer’ anymore, and by that I mean, after enough failed attempts at forcing myself to do the 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge, I’ve decided not to continue. It wasn’t enjoyable to me and every time I logged onto my blog I was very aware that I hadn’t done a single one in months. Now before everyone panics and thinks, “Oh no, if she doesn’t find that enjoyable she must not be a writer,” that is not the case.
I quit

What I don’t enjoy are forced prompts that I have no interest in or care for the outcome. Some I found intriguing and perhaps in time I could have written those, but others I just found boring or had no idea where to start. Even in my job as a wedding writer, I find articles to write on a daily basis. Sandpweddings.ie is updated with new daily and I have to constantly brainstorm new ideas for the months ahead and then write several. Some are more interesting than others and come easily to me, others I find myself moving down the list as I procrastinate with more interesting ones. That doesn’t mean what I’m putting off isn’t interesting, it just means, for whatever reason, it has cast a cloud and is now looming because I’ve put it off for too long. It has become something I dread, even though it’s really not that difficult to write. There’s just something about not knowing where to start that can make it difficult. I suffer badly from Blank Page Syndrome so that’s always been a struggle whether it’s an article, a short story, an assignment or a book.

But the main reason I’ve decided to throw in the towel on the creative writing challenge and more importantly that it’s okay to throw in the towel, is because I’ve decided to take a running jump off the cliff and write that book that I’ve been going on about for an amount of time I do not wish to disclose. I don’t like telling people that I’m actually starting for fear it’ll prompt questions about what it’s about and how is it coming along, and I prefer to do things under cover of darkness and shadow until I can be sure I’ve come out with something good. However, I’m shedding light on my actions this time because I believe if the friends and perfect strangers that follow my blog know about the book (along with my fears) it’ll put just the right amount of pressure on me to actually commit to my plan.

So there you have it. I’ve decided to abandon the creative writing challenge in favour of something I really care about writing. I will continue to update this blog as promised, with other ramblings, rants and random observations of my life and if I feel like it, I’ll include the odd update on my progress, though I can assure you, it will definitely be vague. And now for one of my favourite “quittings”. Just replace ‘Alaska Cannabis Club’ with ‘my book’ and replace her reporting job with the Creative Writing Challenge.

The reading tag

Hi, it’s me…yeah I know it’s been a while…

I was tagged to do a blog post by Aoife over at Pretty Purple Polka Dots to do a reading-related Q&A about two months ago. She even asked me before she tagged me because my blog had been left so abandoned and I said, yes I really need to get back to blogging, do tag me, I’ll do it. Well here I am, but not as soon as I probably should have.

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Break the cycle

I need a bit of a rant. I apologise in advance for any offence I may cause, but I hate cyclists. I really hate them. I’m sorry if you’re a cyclist, I’m sure you’re a nice person off the bike, but on the bike, I’m making the assumption that you’re a dickhead, because I’ve been walking around the world, crossing roads and generally being out and about on my own for the over 10 years at this stage and I can still count the number of non-dickhead cyclists on my hands.

It's a one-way street, asshat!

Particularly in the last two years or so, when I’ve been working in the city centre, I’ve noticed more and more cyclists basically doing whatever the hell they like on the road, the path, the grass, on the roof for all I know. They are a law onto themselves. Not that long ago, I heard some mad assumption on a radio show that said that cyclists don’t have to abide by the rules of the road – they’re only for cars. That’s possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Except for the hundreds of cyclists I’ve come across over the years. To them, red lights don’t exist. At this point I’d like to reiterate, I have seen a handful of good, law-abiding cyclists sitting at red lights waiting, and I’m sure you must feel like a tool sometimes when you’re passed out by ten dickheads on bikes. But it is illegal to break lights if you’re a cyclist, the same as cars.

It’s actually also illegal to cycle on the footpath unless there’s a designated cycle lane there. So before you obnoxiously ring your bell because I’m walking too slow for your liking on the FOOTpath, you might want to think about the fact that it’s a fineable offense. And yes, technically if you’re ‘walking’ your bike, you’re technically a pedestrian with a bike and you’re allowed on the path, but in my eyes, you’re still a dickhead. What are you doing walking the damn thing? It’s a bike not a pet, either cycle the thing, or leave it at home and walk.

Speaking of paths, we move on to my absolute least favourite dickhead cyclist: the indecisive cyclist. This is the one who cycles down the road and then stops, and ‘walks’ the bike up a pedestrian area. You’re offensive to me for two reasons. One, you’re walking the bike, which I’ve already said makes you a dickhead. And two, you’re only using the bike to suit yourself but you don’t want to pay any attention to red lights so you switch to pedestrian mode when you meet a set of lights that don’t agree with you, or you come to a junction that you want to go up the wrong way.

Which brings me on to my next and final point about cyclists. Those who cycle down a one-way street the wrong way at top speed and nearly plowing into me. When I say nearly, I mean my arm was clipped. And this particular dickhead screamed some obscenity at me as if I was meant to be watching where I was going. As if I’d just stepped out onto a road without looking for traffic. Except I did, at least in the only direction traffic should be coming from. I don’t understand why these particular cyclists believe they own the road and at the same time have no rules to go by.

For the final time, I will say that not all cyclists are dickheads. I did say as much on Twitter, but I admit I was particularly angry. I stick by what I said before, I can still count on my hands the amount of sound, law-abiding cyclists I’ve come across but I’m sure there are plenty. And I’m sure they will agree with me when I say many of their cycling comrades are, indeed, dickheads that give the rest of them a bad name. And this rant is merely a rant about the dickhead cyclists.

Don’t worry, I’m still alive…

Yes, I am still alive and well, although I can’t exactly say the same for my blog. It’s embarrassing how long it’s been since I put anything up. What’s worse is how many drafts I actually have just waiting to be written and I have a few more that I should be writing that haven’t even made it to ‘Drafts’ yet – including one or two that I’ve been tagged to do. They’re all coming soon though.

I'm back

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