Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

7 April 2019

Taking The Leap

Well, I've done it.

I wrote recently that I wanted to move away from commercial writing and focus on opinion pieces.  Talk about the things that I wanted to again, instead of using the blog as a part time job with the occasional thought piece thrown in.

I have said similar things before and my intentions have been pure, but somehow I have always found myself lured back in.  A quick guest post or two, a link, then just another couple of sponsored posts.  Not this time.  No more.  I am done.

The real catalyst for all of this I think comes from my Twitter account.  I have always said what I thought on Twitter in the most part, but over recent months I have become more vocal and have become tired of hiding some parts of my thoughts in order to maintain my blog.

I got an email reply from a PR this week, stating that although she loved my blog (do they ever actually mean that? I doubt it), my Twitter account was not something that their client would want to be associated with.

So that, right there was the moment.  Do I reel back what I think and become once again a pen for profit, or do I do what I set out to do?

I decided it was time to be true to myself again.  I started by thanking the said PR for her comments.  Then I unsubscribed to all blogging emails, removed myself from paid blogging groups on Facebook, unfollowed all PR companies on Twitter and started to move away from all the people I had followed purely for numbers rather than actual interest in their content.

I began to get excited about writing again.  Ideas tumbled into my head about what I wanted to write and I finally finished the interview post that I have been preparing over the past few weeks (upcoming in the next week).

Right now, I have five different posts in draft, all different subjects, all partly written when I have come up with an idea and just had to get the bones of it written down. 

My thoughts, feelings and opinions are flowly straight through my fingers again and it feels wonderful.  I don't care about profit, numbers or even whether anyone reads my musings from now on, or not.

But I am back to being totally myself, warts and all. 

Turns out that turning 40 is a little like having a revolution in your head.  I like it.

6 March 2019

Saying Goodbye To My Thirties

*Long read

So here it is.  The last day of my thirties.  Tomorrow, I will be 40 years old.

40 doesn't sound like something that should apply to me.  It so old.  Middle aged.   Oh Jesus.....

40 sounds like a person who knows what they are doing, more adult than I sometimes feel.  When a problem arises I still sometimes look around the room for an adult.  Someone more adult than I.  So, not like I have a choice in the matter, I am ready to be 40?

Yes, I think that I am.

The past two decades have not been easy, especially between my mid twenties and early thirties.  I had no confidence, I lived in a sea of black clothing and had little self worth.  I went in and out of depression and anxiety and sometimes, felt so sad that I wondered what the point of it all was.

Feelings of happiness, passion and hope seemed to be watered down and only on the occasional day did glimpses of them appear.  An emotional blunting or dulling of effect.

Certain people blazed a trail through my life like a shooting star.  All bright and beautiful till it crashes and burns.  Others disappointed me and abused my trust more than words can say.

That isn't to say that I did not also have fun over those years.  I had lots.  But I knew that I was not the person that I was supposed to be.  I was masked.  A fog covered me.

But then.  I started to write.  I found Twitter and found a voice that I never knew that I had.  A voice that was hidden on the internet so I was free to say what I wanted.  But I was still shy.  Still scared.

Then I started to blog.  I found plus size bloggers and found a world of colour and confidence that exploded my mind.  Fat women, like me, who wore colour and pattern.  They were self assured, knew who they were; they had confidence and sass.  Everything that I wanted.  I vowed to change.

This review was my first outing as a plus size blogger.  I cannot tell you how many photographs were taken and discarded.  How times I wrote the post and published, only to delete, rewrite, edit and publish again.

My confidence grew.  I grew to love pattern and found my confidence.

I did a photo shoot (cue moody pout).  I modeled (Can you see the smile?  That was happiness right there.)  Still not sure about that jumper though haha

I went from someone who actively hid from the camera, to someone who loves a good selfie.  I became more confident and with that, I got angry.

In the past few years, my focus has changed from the confidence in what I look like and the image that I present to the world, to what I think and what I say.  My blog pieces have become more serious and focused.  My voice on Twitter has expanded and I no longer am afraid to say anything that I think.  This has both lost and gain followers.  I care not.

I quit smoking 2 months ago.  Whether coincidence or not, the emotional blunting that I have experienced for so many years has gone.  I feel all the good.  The happiness I now have in my life, the joy, the expectation, the hope.  The excitement for the future.

I went on a spa day today with my best friend.  Someone who has been my best friend since I was 15 years old.  She has been there through every up and down, every high and every low.  She has seen the best and the worst in me.

She has seen all the recent changes in me over the recent years in confidence, in clothing, in what I say and what I share and think.  But she told me today that finally, after so long, she is now seeing the person that she first met, all those years ago.  Free, confident, happy, expectant, hopeful and most importantly, completely and utterly myself, without the fog that has covered me for so long.

I am back to myself again.  I would say that that is a damn good way to start your 40s.  Wouldn't you?

20 September 2018

Letting The Words Out

I've had my blog for eight years now.  It started as a diary of sorts and over the years it has worn a variety of hats on different subjects.  It helped to fuel my body positive journey, it forced me out of black clothes into colour; it let loose my imagination and freed the words that were always in my head, but never came out.  It fueled me to write my opinion pieces and later, for the past couple of years, it has given me an out of hours income aside of my full time job.

The problem is that when you start to write commercially, when you focus your spare time on writing for someone other than yourself; the words that always flowed so freely before are forced into a particular mindset and your thoughts are pushed to one side.

Although I will still have my commercial side, although to a smaller aspect now, I want to really write again.  I want to rant again.  I want to share the thoughts that somehow come out so freely on my blog, especially when I wouldn't say them out loud.  I want to talk about current affairs, the silly things that enter my mind and talk about the parts of my soul that only come out when I write, unedited.

Right now, I am barely blogging.  I have fallen out of the habit of opening up my laptop every night.  Blog ideas that I used to jot down during the day don't appear.  I used to be able to come up with a subject and practically have the post drafted in my head by the time I got home.  Not now.

The thing is, I remember how much I love writing here, as soon as I start to type.  As I write this post now, the smile appears on my face and parts of my brain wake up again. 

There certainly isn't a shortage of things to talk about in current climes! I recently did a post about non platforming which got my brain juices flowing again. 

I think the answer to my non writing period is that I need to get back into the saddle properly.  I need to write, every day, about something.  Not necessarily a full blog post piece, sometimes just a paragraph.  About anything.

I need to be excited about writing again because I can't put aside something that I love to do just because life gets in the way.  So hopefully, there will be many more posts to come.

31 May 2018

My Dream Writing Space

Last month I talked about my tips for blogging on the go when you have a busy lifestyle and want to fit your blog into your life without feeling like you are losing all of your free time.

Today I wanted to talk about my dream writing space.  The one that I would create at home for days off, those weekends, those times when you get the urge (and the time) to write all day and want a comfortable area to do so.

First and foremost, what I want is comfort.  The perfect writing day for me does not necessarily start with getting up, getting dressed and sitting down to my laptop.  It can also, and preferably, start with a large cup of coffee in bed, my notebook and a pencil (no pens in bed thank you) and my thoughts as they start to collect.

I carry a notebook around with me most days and like to jot down any ideas for blog posts or writing pieces that come to mind, whether it be for this blog or other spaces.  I note the main idea at the top of a page and then during the week, fill in any additional comments to by way of bullet points.  These short notes are what start my day in bed with my coffee.

When it comes to getting more serious about my day, I move on to my laptop and my tablet.  At the moment I work from our dining room table which is not particularly convenient for me.  I recently came across a gorgeous desk from Lionshome which would fit the bill perfectly and would work with my current decor.

I don't like too much clutter on my work space when I am blogging.  Just my notebook with my ideas in, my tablet for research and of course my laptop.  I don't like to have too many windows open on my laptop as I find it too distracting so that is why I also have my tablet for researching points.  Ah, the 21st century world eh?

Other things on my checklist for the perfect blogging space include lots of natural light and fresh air from an open window and some sort of music on low, either on the other side of the room or the room next door.  Background noise is important but nothing too loud, like heavy metal or drum and bass!

The beauty of running a blog is that most of your tools and equipment can be packed away at the end of the day or at a moment's notice if needed.  Your laptop and tablet etc can be put away in a drawer and your desk space or table space utilized for other purposes.  

I think one of the most important things about your home is that it should work for you, on multiple levels.  This is particularly important if you have a family and have a jam packed filed life but is equally salient if you have a small home and need to use rooms for a variety of purposes.

What is your dream blogging space?

*Post in collaboration with Lionshome

26 April 2018

Tips For Blogging On The Go

Fitting in time to blog can be a hard thing.  A full time job, dates, commitments with friends and having time to actually relax and sit down to write can sometimes be challenging.

So many times I have found myself under deadline, or with an opinion piece that I really want to write and end up writing at 11pm.  Not ideal.  But writing still brings me so much joy, so how do you do it?

The challenge is to fit my blogging around my life and still being able to be creative with it and keep the joy and excitement in there, without it being a chore.

For me, that means creating a virtual office that I can take with me everywhere, whilst maintaining a home base where I collate my ideas.  Here is how I do it:

Buy a Notice Board

I have recently purchased a notice board for my room where I can pin my notes for my latest blogging ideas and projects. I use colourful post it notes along with pages from my notebook in order to create a visual aide that I can look at for reminders of what is in my to do list along with inspirations for future pieces.  For me, this works much better than a calendar or diary.

Utilize Your Travel Time

I worked out the other day that I spend 45 minutes on the bus every day.  Perfect time for a little blogging inspiration!  I have a cheap notebook that I don't mind tearing pages from where I jot down ideas and piece together blog posts using bullet points that can be typed and added to later.

If you travel to work by bus or by train, your commute is the perfect time to get started on pieces and get the inspiration flowing.

Write on the Go

A few months ago I purchased a small lightweight tablet with a removable keyboard which has proved a lifesaver.  Whilst you cannot get a tablet out on the bus (although would be great on the train), I find it perfect for transforming my notes into a few paragraphs in my lunch or when in the summer, sitting in a park and getting a little work done whilst getting some sunshine.

Maintaining Your Down Time

Remember, writing is supposed to be fun.  It is what you enjoy so don't make it a chore.  Remember to enjoy yourself, take a break, take a step back and relax.  If you schedule your time there is no reason why you should be writing late at night or getting up early to finish a piece.

17 March 2017

5 Tips for a Blog & Work Life Balance

I love to blog,  It is a way of putting a small piece of yourself out into the world.  Whether it be your thoughts on a subject, your personal style aesthetic or just a window to crawl out of your daily life; blogging is wonderful way for those who love to write to put their words out to a wider audience.

The trouble with blogging, is finding the time to do it.  Whether you are a full time worker, trying to fit in your writing with a 9-5 job and your after work life or a full time mum, running after children and organising a household; trying to add hours into your weeks to encompass blogging can be a challenge. 

You know those memes that go around the internet?  What my friends think I do, what my parents think I do, what society thinks I do?  The idea of blogging to many looks a lot like this.  

Calm, organised, scheduled.  The reality is more than often more like this.

The reality is jotting notes down on the bus to work, writing bits and pieces in your lunch hour; formulating a blog post on your journey home; writing it at 11pm when the house is finally quiet enough to write (it is 10.45pm when I am writing this).

But when it comes down to it, we love to blog.  So here are some tips for working a blog into your life.

Data on the Go
The majority of people have broadband in their homes.   Working from home is the ideal, but when you need to blog, jot down ideas and research issues on the hop, you are going to need a good and reliable internet connection that is not going to run out.  

My phone package include mobile broadband with a portable MiFi device so that I can easily get onto the internet anywhere I am, on my tablet or laptop, without having to worry about the security of public WiFi.  This is particularly useful in the summer months when you can go and sit in the sunshine while you blog!

Using an SEO expert can also really assist you in how to maximise your blog publicity and ensures that it reaches the right audiences.

Making Time for Yourself
Whether you are a full time worker or a full time mum, finding time for yourself is not easy at the best of times.  Add blogging into the mix and that time is cut down even further.  But it is important to set some time aside for yourself, even if it is just half an hour soaking the bath or a walk in the park.  If you burn yourself out, both you and your blog will suffer as a result.

My go to is a Lush bath bomb, a couple of candles and a glass of wine at the end of a busy day.  45 minutes later and I am refreshed and relaxed.

Blog Ideas
I often have several blog posts in draft.  When I get an idea for a post, I write down the bare bones in a notepad or my tablet, in time moving those ideas into a draft post; ready for writing properly when I have time.

When you have notes written down for a post and some key words and paragraphs ready for you, it is much easier to write and formulate your blog post when you have some time.  Having several in draft form at the same time gives you options of what to write when the mood springs and time allows.  I often find my opinion pieces decide to come out of me late at night so it helps to have a basic starter to work from.

Because I write most of my blog posts later at night when I have a little time, by the time I am finished I am often too tired to think about sharing on social networks and promoting the piece as I wish.  This is where scheduling comes into play.

The last thing I do when I finish a piece is schedule it to be published just when I am getting onto the bus for work in the morning.  Then during my journey I use the Buffer app to schedule publication on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, as well as sharing on Linkedin and Google+.


Don't be Afraid To Write What You Want & Be Visible
Ever had an idea come into your head that you wanted to write about but didn't, because you thought you shouldn't?  If you have as many opinions as me, the answer to that question is probably yes.  It might be an opinion piece on a hot topic (I write a piece about the Grand National every year which always gets flack).

Perhaps you have a political leaning or a social justice cause that you want to share.  Goodness knows there is enough to talk about on that front at the moment!  I have written about everything from prisoners on death row, to feminism and police violence against black people.

The point is, if you do not write what you want for fear of others opinions, your passion for writing is not going to be there.  In the end, you are writing for yourself and sharing a piece of yourself with the world.

So put yourself out into the world.  Find your blog name, decide what you want to write, create a logo for your brand, be loud and be vocal.  If people want to read your blog, they want to read who you are, so share it with them.

23 June 2015

Changes at The Curved Opinion

One thing that I think most people struggle with when starting a blog is choosing the name.

Whether you want a catchy title, something descriptive or a play on words that reflects what you are about; we all start out with a idea as to the way forward in which we wish to take with our blogs and the name reflects that.

When I started The Curved Opinion a few years ago it was with the intention of featuring plus size fashion and recording my journey into body confidence.  As you can see from my post last week, that journey is not yet at an end.

What I did not expect when I started this journey is that I would change so much from the person that I was.  Confidence has brought so many amazing things into my life and with them, my personality has changed so much. I am no longer scared to say what I think on a subject.  I always had "an opinion", hence the name of my blog; but I have never been able to voice it clearly or sometimes at all.

To be honest, if I was to bump into myself from a few years ago, I do not think that I would recognize myself; more on a personal level than a physical.  The outside has changed in so far as I now wear colour, but the inside is unrecognizable from whom I was.

Along with the changes in myself, this blog has evolved along with me.  I want to write.  Not just about fashion, but about anything, and everything.

I have found myself worrying over the past few weeks that my "plus size fashion" blog, had not had much fashion involved much recently and certainly nowhere near to the extent that I used to.  As my style has evolved into essentially lots and lots of patterned dresses, I cannot afford to always have new ones.

I also worry that I write too many "talky" kind posts (and here I am again) and that people will call me a sell out for writing the odd sponsored post.

I still want to write about fashion and will always blogs the new clothes that I buy and take part in group challenges, but there are so many other directions I want to take with this blog too.  I want to do a monthly charity feature post, I want to do a weekly "Thoughts of the Week" post on current events.  I want to do so many things now that I wonder, can I still call myself a plus size fashion blogger?

All the blogs I read are from plus size fashion bloggers and this will not change.  I worry that if I change my blog to being "all things under one umbrella" will people even still be interested in what I have to say?

I know we all say and I know I have certainly said to others that your blog is your own, to do with what you wish.    But admitting that in my current mindset I am more lifestyle and opinions than fashion feels a lot like leaving a safe cocoon that I love.  The thought of not calling myself a plus fashion blogger somehow terrifies me.  Except I am not leaving, I'm just branching out.

I don't even know if this makes any sense to anyone reading it, but these are thoughts and worries that have been spinning around in my head.  The meme below is essentially what I keep thinking about the changes I want to make.

In short:  I am not going to be writing about fashion as much as I used to, I am excited about also writing new things, I hope that no one thinks that I am sticking two fingers up at the plus size blogging community which I love beyond anything or that I am a sell out.

My confidence may have changed but I am, it seems, still a worrier!

22 May 2015

Your Work Life Balance

I love blogging.  It is the best thing that I have ever done.  It has brought my love of writing to the forefront, I have met amazing people; grown in confidence and had fantastic opportunities and experiences.

Having a blog however takes a lot of juggling.  We all know this.  Whether you have a full time job, are a stay at home mum or do a combination of both; I think we all end in the same position. Squeezing what we want to do in when we have the time and writing blog posts, as I am now, at 11.00pm.

So when you have a busy work/home life, a blog and a need to do the ordinary day to day things as well as having a semblance of a social life, the question is: how do we balance it all?

I recently completed a work life balance quiz which asks you 10 questions in order to find out if to find out whether you are a separator (distinct boundaries between work and life), an integrator (blurred lines where you do a bit of everything everywhere) or a volleyer (good at prioritizing).

I am an integrator.  My bus journeys to work are filled with research and scheduling blog posts, my lunch hours are note writing and my late evenings are usually reading, as well as thinking about what I need to get done in my job the next day.  This system works well for me, although sometimes you feel like you never leave the merry go round.

However we choose to balance our work and life should be the way which works best for each of us. I think that the hard and fast rules have to be:

  • Do not take on more than you can handle.
  • Organise, organise and organise again.
  • Free time is not a myth, you need it.
  • If the system falls apart for one day, chicken licken, the sky will not fall in.

How do you juggle your work life balance?

*In collaboration with Joes Bloggers

28 April 2015

Are You PR Friendly?

I was recently speaking to Laura from Six Out of Ten when she offered to do a guest post for me about how to be PR friendly.

Here is a bit about her:

Laura works half in PR, half in marketing, and spends the rest of her free time writing about London and lifestyle in her online magazine. She has a cat, a boy, and loves Revels a little too much (don't we all!).

Here is what she had to say:

Although I think calling yourself PR Friendly is redundant (as most bloggers are lovely and wouldn't dream of being unfriendly) as well a waste of precious character space on your Twitter bio and blog, being PR friendly is another matter entirely.

You see, bloggers have seen a few people add it to their accounts, and everyone has followed suit. It's almost the same as adding clich├ęd phrases such as 'works well in a team' and 'hard-working' and 'works well under pressure' to your CV. They don't really mean anything until you see them in action.

To PRs, just saying you're PR Friendly isn't enough. So what can you do to demonstrate that you can be a PR's best friend? Here are four really easy ways to get PRs on side.

1. Remove PR Friendly from your blog and social channels 
As soon as you mention PR Friendly, you're immediately classified as a review blogger. As in, you only care about working with me and my client for what you can get out of it - a new lipstick here or a press trip there. 

I want to work with bloggers who love my brand and all that it stands for, regardless of whether I might be able to offer a comped meal or sample. I want them to be discerning and strict about who they feature, to not cheapen my client's name by lumping their brand in the middle of fifty others.

I'll avoid PR Friendly bloggers as the reputation behind the phrase, unfortunately, isn't a good one.

2. Have an up-to-date, well-written about page
The first think I look at when scoping out bloggers is their about page. I'll usually look at this before their posts. Why? Because this is where I find out about your story. Why you blog. How you started. Who you've worked with.

You should include the following:

a. Your name (use a blogger alias if you don't want to reveal your full name)

b. Where in the country you live

c. Why you started your blog and how it came about

d. Your perceived successes and a few brands you've worked with

e. Your future plans and targets
f. Your link to contact information and a media kit (if this isn't visible from the homepage)

3. Your contact information
It's amazing how many bloggers have a PR Friendly badge in their sidebar and then literally no contact information available. How can that be considered friendly? How am I mean to get in touch with you? Through an easily-missed public comment on one of your posts that'll head straight into your spam folder? 

No. Have a contact page set up, or be sure to include this in your about page, as above. If you want to include a number you can, but at the very least a text-based email address I can actually add to my address book. Include a contact form too, but your actual email address is the most valuable part.

4. Make your site easy to use

Nothing puts me off more than a cluttered site where I can't find anything. If you're not the best at HTML or CSS then hire a designer to install a clean, easy-to-use template. And make sure it's responsive and mobile-friendly. In case you don't know, Google will be penalising non-mobile-friendly sites from now on. There's no point spending time on SEO if there's no chance 40-50% of your mobile readers won't see it.

If your site is easy to use it means your readers will be able to find my client too. 

By following these really simple steps, you'll ensure you go from saying you're PR friendly, to being PR friendly. And I'll love you just a little bit too.

28 October 2014

Where is my Mojo?

Hello all!

Just wanted to do a little update as to where I am now.  You may have noticed a lack of outfit posts, my usual rants and my generally not being around on here and on Twitter.

My step dad has been in hospital for over five weeks now and time to blog; tweet and write in general is short as my mind is full of other things.  I am fulfilling my pre agreed obligations but both my time and my mojo have temporarily disappeared.

I have also unfortunately had to take a step back from my monthly column "The Plus Perspective" at the amazing Fashion Worked website but being the kind person he is, the editor/creator (sometimes known as Batman in disguise) has let me take a hiatus with a view to hopefully returning back.

Although things are now (happily) slowly improving for my step dad, my mojo seems to have taken a nosedive when it comes to writing, which makes me sad, as I love to write more than anything.  Apologies also for any blog challenges that I have missed, I will try to catch up, particularly the "Suits You" challenge which I enjoy doing.

So basically I am just here to say a quick hello and that I haven't disappeared into thin air and hopefully my blog will resume to running on full throttle again soon.  All of my obligations have now been fulfilled so I may not update again for a little while, unless my motivation suddenly decides to come out from wherever it is hiding.

In the meantime, if anyone finds my mojo, can you please return to sender as I am missing it dreadfully.

Vicky xx

21 August 2013

Losing my Way

I’ve lost my way in blogging.   I didn’t mean to, but it has gradually happened over the course of the past few months and I have realised it this week.

Since February of this year my blog has become very plus size fashion focussed, with just the odd opinion piece thrown in.  Whilst I love putting up the pictures, writing about the clothes and choosing my outfits to go on the blog, I am now feeling a pressure behind it.

This is a pressure of my own making, to always have a new outfit to show, making sure I have enough clothing posts on the blog each week.  What is that even all about? To have “enough” clothing posts?  Since when have I put my blog under a military regime of what I can and cannot blog about?

I had another opinion post that I was going to put up this week and I found myself worrying that I should have been putting up an outfit instead.  That’s when it hit me; I have become more focussed on what other people think of my blog than what I think about it.  It wasn’t intentional, but it happened.

I have become too obsessed with fan girling about other people’s fashion blogs, about how many great outfit posts they do, how well they always style clothing, how regularly they post and how good their blogs look.  I realised that I have turned my own blog into effectively keeping up with the Jones.

I never wanted my blog to be one subject based.  I enjoy doing my opinion/rant pieces just as much as the fashion and beauty ones.  Frankly I don’t have enough money for the blog to become solely fashion based, nor would I want it to become that.

As a person I am a mixed bag.  I love fashion and Formula One; I love shoes and Sci-Fi movies.  I have (probably too) many opinions that I want to write about and my confidence is up and down like a yo yo.   That is what I wanted my blog to be, a mixed bag which is a reflection of myself.

So I am going to stop worrying about what other people think of my blog and just be me.  Write about what I want to in that second.  I will still probably post as regularly and there will still be the outfit posts, the beauty posts, the wish lists.  The opinion ranty stuff will still be there. 

Now though I am opening myself up to other possibilities.  I might even try a once a month creative writing post.  I’ve wanted to try something like that for a while now but I was (again) worried that it wouldn’t fit my blog.  But it fits me.  So I may well give it a go.

I’ve rambled on a bit here but I think what has been in my head has come across.  Always, that is me, I’m a rambler.  It’s what I do ;)


15 August 2013

Cereal for Breakfast, Tuna for Lunch

I wanted to write this post further to a blog that the fabulous Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista wrote on Wednesday, found here at I am always more than just a blogger.

She was talking about her friend, who had been told that she was “just a blogger”.

I always find it interesting to note when people insult bloggers.  While some people understand blogging and enjoy reading/writing them, many others have no comprehension what blogging is all about and insult it instead.  Sound familiar?  Insulting what you don’t understand? 

One pre conception I often hear is that bloggers write down everything about their lives, from what they had for breakfast to what pyjamas they are wearing that night.  Everything is micro analysed in the smallest detail and written about. Maybe some do, but so what?  That’s their bag, what they enjoy doing, who are you to criticise?

Blogging can be many things to many people.  I for instance used it in the beginning as my own free form of therapy.  Talking through my fingers rather than saying it out loud.  Any issue I have or problem I am worrying about, I write about it and nine times out of ten, I find the solution right there in what I have written.

Now I blog about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, opinion pieces, whatever takes my fancy.  It is something that I adore doing and the fact that some people would insult you for that blows my mind a little.

I started to think today as well; how many people who have insulted bloggers actually read blogs to find out what a product is like?  I bet many do it without even realising it.

That mobile phone review on Youtube, that’s a blogger.  That detailed camera review you found that tells you everything you need to know, that’s a blogger.  That £1 miracle mascara that you have thanks to something you saw online singing it’s praises, that’s a blogger.

I spend the equivalent of a full working day (probably more) each week doing what I do, if I review something (either paid for by myself or gifted) I try to be as accurate as possible, and if once in a while something that I say helps someone else to improve their lives; well what is better than that?

I read the post, as did many, on Wednesday entitled "The Rise of the Fatshion Blogger" (since deleted).  The writer implied that bloggers were solely in it for the freebies these days and that we were all doing somersaults for the brands in order to get attention.

Personally, I feel extremely lucky to have been allowed to review anything.  I don't accept every offer that comes my way and if I don't like something or notice an issue with something I have been gifted, I say it.  I checked the count and I have reviewed 9 pieces within the last 150 posts. 

I got into fashion blogging because I love fashion, I adore the plus size fashion community and have felt welcomed by it.  There are some amazing people who didn't deserve the critique that they received from someone who was clearly following them and reading their posts, but then slating them behind their backs.

So having read the posts as above, I still say yes, I am a blogger, and I am damn proud to be one and part of the plus size community.  Are you? 

18 June 2013

10 Day You Challenge–Day 1


I have previously been doing the 52 Lists, but somehow it wasn’t inspiring me.  I liked the fact that you could share more of yourself to the reader, but I wasn’t connecting with the challenge for some reason.

This week however I came across the 10 Day You Challenge on Natty Nikki's blog.  Neither of us know where the challenge originated and if you know, please tell me and I will credit appropriately.

Anyhow!  Day one of the challenge is ten secrets.  I try not to keep secrets if at all possible as it always leads to trouble, but here are 10 facts about me, some you may know, some you won’t.

  1. I always care more than I will ever admit about people, issues and things close to my heart.  Admitting that you care isn’t weak.  Sometimes not admitting it is what gets you burned.

  2. Stairs scare me.  I get dizzy and constantly feel like I will fall.

  3. I once was driven in one of the Delorean cars from Back to the Future.  It kick started my love of fast cars, even though it was particularly fast looking back!

  4. I am a huge fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and could sing (badly) along to every word of “Once More with Feeling”.

  5. I bit my nails until about two months ago.

  6. I will never let someone treat me less than I deserve to be treated again.  I am worth more than a standby, or a secret behind closed doors.

  7. I have eight tattoos, and am pining after number nine.

  8. A little piece of my heart belongs to the Mary Jane style of shoes.

  9. Another piece of my heart belongs to Formula One.  My spirits raise and my heart beats a little faster when I hear the “dum da da dum dadadadada dum” of The Chain.

  10. If you are a tall man, you are already high in the positives on the “Vicky would like” list.
What do you think about sharing secrets?

19 March 2013

Why do you Blog?

"Why do you blog?" is a question that all bloggers face regularly.  

Many people who have never seen nor read a blog before cannot understand the need or want for people to put their thoughts, their images and their opinions on an open forum, for anyone to read.  The whole idea is foreign to them.  

I started my blog a couple of years ago.  It was borne out of a curiosity, a want to write somewhere but not in a diary, something in which I could be the real me, say what I wanted and voice any opinions I had.  Alongside personal posts I have written about everything from the death penalty to reintroduction of animal species.  

Over the past few years my blog has evolved along with me.  Although I still write about my thoughts and opinions of the day, a lot of the posts have started to flow along the same course as I began to find my self confidence and a happiness within myself.

Through reading other plus size fashion blogs and writing about my own journey coming out of a closet full of black, I have found a real love of fashion.  I love doing the outfits of the day posts; which terrified me previously.  I actively check out the new trends for each season and encompass the ideas into my own wardrobe.  

I don't write to a schedule nor do I worry if I haven't written anything for a while.  I write this blog because I love it, it isn't a duty or obligation.  I love to write and this scratches that itch for me.  If no one were to ever read the blog again I wouldn't mind.  I've poured a little part of myself into it and in return, it's given me a lot of happiness.

I have heard, as no doubt many have, of other's people's opinions on blogging, and bloggers.  We are losers, we are sad lonely people attached to our keyboards, we are idiots and dime a dozen.  Personally my blogging experience has been lovely people, shared interests and lots of fun, but then, people do love to hate what they don't know.

Blogging can be anything you want it to be, be it on a professional basis or just a hobby that you enjoy.  Everyone's blogging story is different.  

What's your story?