Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

13 March 2023

A Piece of Me


When I used to write my old blog, it was a place where I could say many things.  I wrote about fashion, my personal life, opinion pieces and then in time, wrote advertising pieces for businesses.  The blog was, and I still think of as, my baby.

Although many posts have been deleted from there now, much of the person that I am today is as a result of the things that I wrote there.  The gains in confidence I made, the clothes I wore to put in its pages; the realizations that I came to as my thoughts flowed through my fingers to the page.

I always found it easier to work through whatever was troubling me by writing and that has not changed.

What did change was that my beliefs and opinions grew, as I grew.  My gender critical beliefs no longer mixed with what companies wanted in a blog that they could use to advertise.  Many of my personal posts also had to be removed (because my sister decided to spy, steal, show and tell) which made me feel like I could not write about my life and my thoughts anymore.

Which finally brought me to this new place.

I have been writing various opinion pieces now and again here, with a short story or two; but have not yet made this place my home.  My writing home.  The place where I can write anything.  I want to write as I did before.  Without a care of what anyone may think or need to tailor my works to satisfy a client.

This blog is anonymous, my real name is not listed here and I have no clients to worry about.  My sister does not know that this place exists.  Which makes it special too.  I may speak about her in a future post.  I want to.  When I am ready.  I will.

I have no worries about what I can write here.  I do not have the "following" that I had from my previous blog, nor the Twitter followers that were attached to it.  I am free as a bird to write about what I wish, because I can choose to share, or not.  If I share, the small amount of people who will read it, don't know the real person behind my words.

So what I really wanted to come here today and say is, hello.  You are going to be getting a piece of me.  It is time that I talked again.  Wrote again.  Allowed my heart to flow through my words again.

Let it begin.

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.

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.

2 August 2016

Just Keep Swimming

I am looking at you, the vast white blank space that is my new draft post.  You entice, making me want to fill you up with words, my thoughts on display, my feelings on show.

(Jesus, that sounded a lot more filthy than I meant it to come out.  But hey, the intention here is to get me writing again, so I will allow it, this once)

I can see the words that I want to type, dancing just behind this vast white screen.  The many topics I want to speak about, suddenly disappear the moment I open my laptop.

It used to be so easy.  I used to post 2, 3, 4 times a week sometimes.  With ease.  I could bang out an opinion piece in a few hours, the thoughts formulating in my head as I went through my day, pouring out of me when I got to my laptop at night.  

Do I have less opinions these days?  Hell no.  Probably more.  Am I less passionate than I used to be?  Definately not.  But the words, they still do not come.  Irritatingly, if I am given a subject, a starting point; I am fine.  The words flow easily like they did before.

Ironically. this post that I am writing to you now is flowing.  The words are here, within my grasp.  The thoughts come together.  This means that I still have it in me, but the dots are not connecting.  Is this writer's block?

I think what I am lacking is focus.  My work life is insane at the moment, my head is still coming out of the loss of my step dad and my beautiful little dog child, Ellie.  My anxiety has spiralled and I feel like I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. It has been a really shitty couple of years, but I feel ready, more than ready to clear the head space and become me once more.

I re-read a post that I wrote for the Huffington Post in 2014 this week. Mirror, Mirror On the Wall and it made me remember the love that I had for writing.  The passion that I felt about body confidence, about reminding people that we are more than just our bodies; that is ok to look at yourself in the mirror and like your reflection.

I have tried everything to reignite my writing bug.  It is still there, in force, but still under the surface where I cannot yet reach.  I need my focus back.  I need to clear my head of what has gone on before and just write.  I need the Twitter me to expand and jump on to my blog page.


I think that I am just doing to channel Dory.  Instead of keeping swimming, I am just going to keep writing.  Not focus on a subject, just write.  Lord knows what you will be reading, but I feel that it is the only way to bring myself back.

I will try and throw some interesting pieces in between the journey of self reflection.  But I ask that you bear with me in the transition.  It is time for the gobby opinion to make a return to The Curved Opinion.

10 April 2016

Mind Full, or Mindful?

I wrote a blog post on Friday about the Grand National.  Nothing new about that, I write one every year.  The new thing was that I had not written prior to that for over six weeks.  I have only written nine this year.  This is not me.

I love to write.  I have fifty different opinions on various subjects every day.  I am not short of material.  When I wrote my Grand National post it felt like coming home.  Everything was the same, the planning, the writing; the ease of putting what is rolling around in my head on to the screen.

But there is a disconnect there that I cannot deny.  I think of blog posts that I want to write and they remain in my head, unwritten.  I see so many posts from the inspiring and wonderful bloggers I read and I think "This is what I think, I could have written this, why didn't you?"

In order to unpack my feelings about why I am not actively writing any more, I have to look inside.  I have had a fucking shitty last two years.  My step dad being in and out of hospital, his fall, his subsequent nine months in hospital and then a care home; his death.  The aftermath of that.  My beloved little pooch dying.  It has been utterly shit.  Coupled with the fact that I have my sneaking depression that usually likes to creep into me when I am having a good day.

I need a head clear out.

I read something the other day that struck a chord with me.  "Humans are unhappy because we spend our time and energy thinking about things that don't exist - the past and the future" - Oli Doyle.

It really made me think about how much time my head is in the past, or thinking about the future whilst the present is just passing me by.  The past does not affect this moment I am living in right now.   Each second that passes by I will never have again.  I want to make it count.

The quote I mentioned was from a book called Mindfulness for Life.  It is a six week course that gives you a challenge each day in order to make you live in the present.  Not letting the past affect you now, not worrying about the future.  Just living.

So I am going to try this out.  Will it work?  I don't know.  But I am going to document my journey here.  Living my life in the present, not in the story of me.

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!

24 December 2014

A Break For Christmas

I cannot believe how quickly Christmas has crept up upon on us this year.  It does not seem two seconds since I was bemoaning the fact that I had just seen my first Christmas tree on the 1st November and yet suddenly here we are already on Christmas Eve.

This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me to say the least.

I am very happy that my blog has continued in the same path, forever moving forwards.  I am still constantly surprised when I receive a nice comment on something I have written and when someone tells me that they read my blog, I still get a little warm fuzz in my heart.

This year also saw the start of my writing for the Huffington Post.  After seeing a couple of other bloggers submitting pieces, I decided to work up the courage to submit my own piece and now I happily am able to write on my own little "Huff Post" blog whenever I feel the urge to discuss, ponder or rant (which is quite often).

This year has had many highs, but unfortunately, with the high points, you also get the lows.  The first of these came when my step dad fractured his spine back in September.  Writing this today finds him still in hospital, having physiotherapy with a hope that he will walk again.  That journey has been a long and arduous one, not least for my mum who has made so many trips to the hospital that she jokes that she knows every blade of grass on the way.

I remain optimistic for his eventual recovery but am not making any predictions.  All you can do in these situations is take each day as it comes and hope.  To borrow a line from "A Knights Tale" which I find especially true:

Hope guides me. It is what gets me through the day and especially the night.

The second low came when my mum had a fall in the kitchen and split her head open.  Seeing her fall, seemingly in slow motion yet I was unable to get to her in time, hearing the loud crack as she hit her head on the corner of the wall and the masses of blood that followed is something that will not fade in my mind for a long time. 

I always look at my mum and think that she will live forever.  She is the youngest 74 year old I have ever met, but lying on that kitchen floor she looked so incredibly small and thinking that I might have lost her that night does nasty things to my insides.

This year has certainly been eventful in many ways and at this point, I am just wanting to see the end of it.  I have hope that the New Year will bring better things and as they say, onwards and upwards!

I finish work today and won't be back in until the 5th January.  In order to give myself a break I don't plan to be doing anything on the blog until after this time either.  I think I need a bit of time to myself for a while just to relax and have a stress free (crosses fingers) Christmas break.

I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  See you on the flip side xx

23 September 2013

Creative Corner 6

Writing Prompt:

The Locked Room

Summer vacations in my family weren’t the usual kind.  My parents always rented a house in a different part of the country each year in order to experience what they called “a wider aspect” of society.

I was always an introverted child, much more interested in inside of the house than out of it and I preferred reading a book to touring around the local sights.  When my parents made their vacation decisions I championed the older looking houses, hoping to find something interesting in the attic or an old family story I could investigate.

In 2006 we made the 1200 mile journey from our home in New York to a small town in Louisana.

The house was huge and at least a hundred years ago.  The realtor had said that the property was permanently on let to vacationers, but somehow the place had still retained a certain charm that countless visitors hadn’t spoiled.  I immediately loved it.

After making a tour of the house, from cellar to attic, I came across a locked door to what appeared to be quite a large room.  This was unusual given that the house was on permanent let.  What could be the reason to lock it?

After much Googling I found out that the house had not had a permanent resident for the past thirty years.  The last residents had been a Glenn and Jessica Cartwright in 1976.  They were still listed as the owners today, now living in the Florida Keys.  Curious.  Why would you uproot and leave your house, never to return?  I had to find out what was behind that locked door as I felt sure that that would provide me with the answers.

I was confident after years of watching people do it on the television that I could easily pick a lock with a bobby pin.  I was wrong.  Day after day I tried, but the damn thing just wouldn’t open.  Eventually I gave up on the door and found other pursuits to amuse me.

The day before we were due to return to New York I passed the door again.  The bobby pin that I had been using was still nearby on the floor, where I had thrown it after my last failed attempt.  I decided on one last go.

This time though, with barely a wiggle of the pin, the lock on the door opened and I hesitantly opened the door and peeked around the side.

Unlike the rest of the house which had a modern, clean lines feel to it, this room was decorated in a distinct 1970’s style, the time when the owners had last lived at the property.  Moving my eyes away from the desk in the corner and the brightly coloured wallpaper, I noticed a small child’s bed in the corner with a huge teddy sitting on the pillowcase.  The name “Kimberly” was embroidered onto a picture over the fireplace.  This was a child’s room. 

Moving further into the room I saw that the linen was still on the bed, the toys were on the floor; everything appeared as though someone had walked out of the room one day and never came back, simply locking the door on it.  It was a room preserved in history.

Realisation flooded into my mind.  I now understood why the Cartwright’s had left this house, never to return.  I went back to the computer and found what I was looking for.  An article in July of 1976 about a little girl called Kimberly Cartwright, drowned in the local creek at the age of 8.

I went back to the room and carefully locked the door again with my fashioned bobby pin key.  My entry into the room had gone unnoticed by my parents and I never told them what I found inside.  It was a reminder that not every locked door should be opened.

The next day we flew back to New York.

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 ;)


21 June 2013

Writing Free

When I write these days it is usually for a specific post for the blog be it clothing related, a blogger challenge or an opinion piece.  What I can't remember is when I just wrote for the sake of it.

If you love to write then you know what I am talking about.  You just ramble away on a piece of paper or in this case on my laptop; not sure what you are writing but somehow it just flows out of you and eventually, starts to tie itself together and make sense.

I used to write like that quite a lot and a few pieces made it on to the blog.  I found it incredibly cathartic to use something that was rattling around in my head by putting it down on paper, seeing where my thoughts take me, never stopping typing, just letting it flow.

More than once I would stop typing, read back what I had written, and realised what I truly felt about something.  What Stephen King said is so completely true, I write to find out what I think.

Free Writing I think they call it.  It is something I would definitely recommend, whether you are just trying to find out what your opinion is on a particular subject, or you are dealing with an issue that you have been ignoring.

I call it my free counselling as whatever I am thinking about a lot, I write about it in one form or another and I am able to resolve the problem. 

There is no point in this post today, so sorry if you were expecting one ;) I just wanted to do a little of what I used to.  Ramble on, on this occasion it seems about how much I am missing writing, even though I am writing all the time.  Odd.  But then, I am.  That's me.

Maybe I need another blog in addition to this one.  Ramblings of a Crazy Lady or something.

Anyway. As you were.

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