Third year blues

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As usual, university has completely taken over my life. The problem is that this year, I’m not neccessarily loving it. I’m not sure exactly what it is. It’s just not enthusing me in the same way that previous years have and that’s sort of sad in a way, because it’s my last year. That’s frightening in itself. In roughly six months time, I’ll be out in the real world, desperately trying to seek out my first full time job. As much as it’s a scary thought, for me it’s also an exciting thought. It means that I can finally have a little bit more money to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, like buy a house and go on holiday every year without worrying about it. It also means that I get to pursue a career in something that I’m passionate about and that I’ll thrive in. I think that’s part of why I just want to finish already.

The modules that I’ve taken this year are also a bit of a bother. Some of them are not quite what I thought, and then there’s the fact that I’ve decided to major in English Lit to try and open up my career  prospects- my Creative Writing has sort of been pushed to one side, when in fact, that’s the part I’ve always enjoyed the most.

Then there’s my dissertation. Oh my god. Don’t even get me started. I know that it’s not supposed to be easy, but I’m really not feeling supported by my university about my project which is such a shame. I’ve had lots of meetings, I’ve spent hours in the library and I’m still not sure where to start in terms of actually writing it. I’m writing mine about feminism and it’s effects on literature through vampire novels. Sort of random, but as an avid Twilight lover, and current Vampire Diaries fan, it’s right up my street. I’ve discovered some new favourites in Let the Right One In and Interview With the Vampire.

The last thing about this year that’s getting me down is in terms of friendships. I feel like those with my friends at uni have become really distant and I’m not sure why. I feel as if I’ve put in a lot of effort without much back, something which is really disheartening in any friendship. I think the main thing I need to remember about this, is that sometimes friendships aren’t meant to last. I take pride in the fact that my best friends have known me for years, and I know they’ll be friends for years to come. I’ve been told not to waste time on people who don’t give you anything back- I think I’ll start taking that advice.

So there you have it. Third year blues. I just need to keep plodding along. At the end of the day, it is only six months. Besides there’s lots to look forward to! I turn 20 in two weeks, and this weekend I’m going to see the Royal Ballet in Birmingham perform The Nutcracker, my favourite. I’m also really loving the Christmas spirit that’s in the air at the moment, I can’t wait to break up for the holidays!

Lots of love and more soon,

Beth x

Monday blues

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Hi all, I first of all want to address the issue of my infrequent posting the last two weeks, I feel as if I’ve really neglected my blog and of course all of you guys. I think my main reason has been simply down to lack of time, and also the fact that I seem to have hit a bit of a writer’s block. Do any of you out there ever feel like that?

Maybe it’s because it’s a Monday, which has always been my least favourite day of the week, and the fact that the skies outside my window are no longer blue, but I feel a bit of a case of hitting a slump. I’m feeling unmotivated to write, and unmotivated to express myself. I’m by no means unhappy, in fact I feel content… and I’m starting to think that’s why I’m feeling this way.

I’m starting to realise that my best posts, my posts which you guys enjoy, are when there’s genuine emotion behind them and excitement, and I’ve been reluctant to post anything which hasn’t been to that standard. I want my words to dance on the page, I want them to stick with you, to make you think, for them to challenge your train of thought. I don’t want you to get bored halfway through or to feel as if you’ve lost interest of the things I have to say.

I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel though, so don’t worry, I’ll be back to writing soon, but I just wanted to keep you all informed on the lack of recent posts.

As always, thank you for sticking with me, and I hope you enjoy the posts that I’m sure will spring to mind very soon. If you have any ideas of how I can get out of my slump quicker, or if there are any posts that you would  particularly like to see, then do let me know as it would be a great help!

Love from Beth x

Feeling lost in the world of blogging

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As many of you know, I’ve been blogging for around eight months now, and it’s only recently that I’ve actually felt I’ve been getting somewhere with it. That’s because I didn’t know what to write about before and so consequently didn’t post very often. I don’t feel that my heart was fully in it.  When I first started I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know where to create one, I didn’t know what to call it, and I didn’t have a clue about what my first post should be. It was hard to find advice on blogging too; I didn’t know much about how to use themes etc, and I’m still learning now.

I’d found that it’s so easy to get lost in the world of blogging. For ages I tried to promote my blog via my social media but found myself lost in a tidal wave of other people’s blogs who were  much better than my own, and that had so many more followers and readers. It made me really sad to think that no one was reading the posts that I spent so long working on.

Eight months later and I have a name that I’m happy with , and a site layout that I like, and I’m finally starting to feel more confident about my content. I’m liking getting to know my readers more as it helps to work out what sort of posts to write. I feel like I’m finding my niche and as a consequence am enjoying it in a way I didn’t previously. I’m feeling as if my blog is now my happy place, a place that I can be proud of.

For so long I had completely forgotten why it was that I wanted to start a blog in the first place. I’d got caught up in the idea of having a strong online presence, and having loads of followers. The reason I’d started my blog was because I wanted somewhere to express myself. I wanted my own piece of the internet to share my thoughts with, a place where I wouldn’t feel judged by what I liked and what I didn’t like. I wanted my own creative outlet.

I’ve realised that it doesn’t matter how many people are reading it as long as I keep writing it. I’ve managed to gain more viewers recently and I think that’s because my writing has improved as I’m in a much happier mindset as I write these posts. I don’t want to be a blogger who just talks about clothes and makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those things, but I don’t want those things to define me. They don’t define me in real life, so why should they on here?

I want to thank everyone who’ve been really supportive by my liking my posts, commenting on them and just simply reading them. I’ve decided that quality over quantity is definitely what’s important when it comes to blogging. I’ll keep blogging for myself, and to you guys. I’m going to enjoy being relatively new to the blogging community, and I’m going to enjoy the learning curve that I’m experiencing as my blog grows.

How to improve your blog traffic

When you first join the world of blogging it can be really disheartening to not really get much traffic. I found this and was so sad that no one was reading the posts that I spent so long writing that I almost gave up. But then I thought, why should I? I love writing and it doesn’t matter how many people view it. As soon as I got into this mindset and started writing more frequently, I found that more people started to read my blog!  Therefore, I thought I would create a post highlighting the ways in which you can try and get more followers and readers as well as getting more involved in the blogging community!

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  1. Talk to fellow bloggers– Seriously do this. Everyone in the blogging community is absolutely lovely. I was so worried it was going to be really awkward when I first started to get involved, but actually I’ve found just the opposite. Everyone has been really friendly and welcoming. I’ve met some lovely people as a consequence. I’ve also got new blogs to read daily!
  2. Share your posts more than once on social media– Ideally you want to find a way to do this without being too annoying to your followers. At the same time you want to make sure that everyone is getting round to reading your posts. Make sure that you don’t spam people though by rephrasing the title of your post.
  3. Use Twitter to your advantage- I’ve found that the best thing to do is follow other bloggers. Use hashtags that promote blogging, and tag blog accounts that promote bloggers in their posts. @UKBloggers1 and @BloggerBees are great for this.
  4. Look at your blog analytics– It pays to pay attention to how many views you’re already getting. Have you got loads of viewers on one particular post? Try and write a similar post again. Maybe you could turn it into a blog series.
  5. Make sure you spend time on your content- If you want people to read it then you have to make sure that it’s good. Often a good blog post takes hours to write after all the research that you do for it. Check your spelling and grammar.

Have you any blogging tips for getting more traffic?

How to think of an original blog post

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If, like me, you’ve been blogging and writing for a while, you’re eventually going to hit a wall where you can no longer think of anything new, or original to write about. It can be hard to get those little cogs in your brain whirring away in the realms of originality. But don’t worry, I’ve thought of a few ways which can get that creative thought flowing, and that will help give your blog the boost it needs!

1: Look around you

Think about it. Take in everything around you properly, and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by technology. Think about the sounds around you, the people around you, and your general surroundings. What do they remind you of?

2: Analyse your favourite quotes

A great way to write a blog post that comes from the heart is to write about a quote that inspires you. Really think about it, and honestly pore your heart out to your followers. Some of my post popular posts have been my ‘thoughts of the day’.

3: Take a trip down memory lane

Think about something that happened long ago, and then think about what’s new in your life, and how you’ve changed as a person since that memory. It can be quite therapeutic for you as well your followers to try this. There’s nothing quite like a bit of nostalgia!

4: Celebrate odd holidays

To try and do something a bit quirky and unique, how about researching an odd holiday and explaining what it is to your followers? You never know, you might even decide it’s a holiday that you want to celebrate from now on. The stranger the better for this one.

5: Write a blog post titled ‘If I won the lottery’.

You might find yourself surprised with where this blog post takes you. With this post you could either make it quite witty, or quite meaningful, depending on the type of blog you write and your audience following.

Do you have any original blog post ideas? Share them in the comments below 🙂 thanks for reading!

 

Day trip to Chester zoo

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I didn’t realise that this was a red panda, for some reason I was convinced it would look more like the typical Giant Panda, but it looked more like a raccoon crossed with a fox
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Looking extremely happy to be at the zoo!

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Last weekend, me and my boyfriend, Rich, met up with some friends at Chester zoo. I’d been before when I was younger, and remember my last visit being ruined by the rain, so it was lovely to be able to wander around in the sunshine. It was slightly colder than anticipated, but still nice and bright. From Manchester, the drive down to the zoo is supposed to take about forty minutes, but due to bad navigation on my part, and a load of traffic, it took us probably around an hour which meant, of course, that we were late!

We had a great afternoon, managing to get round the entire zoo, including visiting the new ‘Islands’ which made you feel as if you were holidaying in Asia, not wandering around a zoo in England.

I was really excited to see the baby elephants and penguins, and they were completely adorable as expected. What I really liked about Chester zoo was how big the exhibits were, as there was loads of space, and it was so nice to visit somewhere that obviously took care of their animals, and kept them in a happy and authentic environment.

If you live in the North West, then Chester zoo is well worth a visit! In fact it’s probably worth a visit even if you live a few hours away, as it has a strong reputation for being one of the best zoological gardens in the UK.

Let me know if you’ve ever been and what you thought, or if you have any other recommendations for days out in the North West!