Tag Archives: writing

Falling in love with putting pen to paper

rob browning

 

I turned on the TV the other evening and found myself watching a bit of Dear John, not hard I know, that bloody film is always on the TV. I have to be honest, it isn’t a great film, Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried couldn’t possibly have any less chemistry. But it’s the story that get’s me. Not so much the war stuff, but the way in which the couple fall in love and face each struggle through their letters. It reinforces everything I have always believed and studied, and proves the power and beauty of the written word. It saddens me how the written word is seemingly less and less important to youngsters of today, when I recollect how I would spend hours perfecting my calligraphy and writing out stories to make sure they were just right. It makes me shudder to think how so many kids struggle to write now because they are so used to typing and auto-correct.

I just love the idea of all these old-fashioned ways of keeping in contact and expressing love and emotion on the page. It is just so much more raw and real than hiding behind a screen (which as a blogger, I am as guilty of as the next person!). I love to look at people’s handwriting, to see where the emotion caught in their hand as they tell you they love you, or how the letters seem to bounce off the page when someone is expressing good news. Even a tear-stained and ink-smudged page is beautiful in the sadness it conveys – so much  better than a blank white screen with Times New Roman dotted across it. It just makes me so sad to think that the next generation will  barely even use their hands to write, they will type everything from emails to birthday cards. There is nothing more lovely than receiving a card from a long-lost friend or lover, if unexpected it is even lovelier. To see the handwriting on the page and know that thought went into this, it was not merely rapped on on a computer in seconds and sent without a second thought.

I used to work in a card shop, and as a result of spending so much time around greetings cards, I really have found it has made me put so much effort into finding the perfect card for someone and writing a really heartfelt message to someone for whatever the occasion. I remember when I first went to university and my best friend had taken the time to write me, not only a good luck card, but she had written a loooong letter for me to open when I felt homesick. I opened it as soon as I arrived and ended up in tears because everything she had written was so thoughtful and amazing – it was just the boost I needed and a text or Facebook message would not have had the same effect. Likewise, my boyfriend really understands how much I love a special card and message and he spends ages choosing the perfect one to make me laugh or smile. He writes beautiful messages, always short but very sweet, in his terrible scrawl across the card, but I love it so much because it is so personal, and I have kept every one since he started giving them to me.

It is so important to remember the power of the written word, particularly in telling the ones we love how we feel. A handwritten note hidden in someone’s lunch, jacket pocket or bed can really make their day when they find it. Writing a letter to your best friend or sister in their birthday card can make them smile a million times brighter than some silly present. It’s the things that don’t cost anything at all that always have the greatest value, and it’s these things that we keep with us throughout our lives to remind us of beautiful friends and moments.

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So, I wrote a guest post…

Does Distance Learning Journalism Work?

Does Distance Learning Journalism Work?

All about my experiences of becoming a journalist, my alternative route into the career and my training. Click on the image above to read the full article.

I would love any feedback on the article and to hear from other aspiring journalists – please do get in touch by commenting below.

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Communicating with the big, wide world

I’m thrilled to announce that within just a few weeks of blogging on WordPress, I already have 40 followers and have had countless visitors to my site and likes on my posts. It’s really encouraging to see that my writing and opinions are being heard and appreciated by so many people from all over the world. And I really love that WordPress offers the stats pages to show you exactly where your readers are accessing your blog from, I appear to have a lot of UK and US readers, but have even had some from Bangladesh checking out my pieces.

This morning I also reached my 5,000th Tweet which went out to nearly 400 followers on my Twitter account who are spread across the country and the globe. It is great to know my opinions and comments are going out to people in my industry and to friends at the same time, and that I can instantly share my work with the world.

On my original blog, which I now use more are a photo-diary and a log of my work at the paper, I am sharing my writing with around 300 followers on Tumblr. Although Tumblr is good for the immediate sharing of pictures and thoughts, I find that WordPress offers more of a considered approach to blogging when one puts rather more time and effort into constructing a post and decorating it for readers.

Adding my Instagram to the mix, I am sharing my regular uploads with nearly 160 followers, documenting my movements whether journalism, music or blogging-related. I also find Instagram a perfect way to edit my photos and share them on my blogs. Finally, on Facebook I have 941 friends who get all my updates relating to blogging, writing for the newspaper, editing for This Festival Feeling and living life. This is a fantastic amount of people that I am reaching on a daily basis and who are accessing my posts and work. I considered making a page for myself as a writer, but didn’t want to limit my posts to people who have liked my page because I know how easy it is to lose followers that way. Plus it makes it more personal to be a ‘friend’.

Overall, I am reaching more than 1,800 people daily through my blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts – when writing for The Lynn News and This Festival Feeling, and displaying on the websites, I am reaching thousands more.

This is an amazing feeling and it astonishes me to have collated these figures and get a real picture of how many people I am in touch with. You should try it, technology really has brought the world closer together! Click on the links to follow each of my accounts and get a slightly different picture from each!

Happy Blogger!

Less than three full weeks of blogging on here and I already have 20 followers! I’m so pleased to know people are reading my blog and my thoughts and that I’ve had such a great response in such a short time. It proves my move from Tumblr to WordPress was a good one and definitely one I plan to stick to. Thanks to everyone who has followed my blog, liked any posts and shared my writing with others.

Part 1: A busy summer touring round as many festivals as possible – Wyndstock and Hideout Festival

Now that the summer is clearly drawing to a close, I’ve spent the last week huddled under an umbrella with soggy feet in my sad-looking ballet pumps, shivering despite wearing several layers and the token pashmina has come out of storage. I find myself reminiscing and feeling pretty happy with the way I spent my summer, after a short holiday in Croatia for a music festival, forgoing my usual two-week break abroad, I spent the rest of the summer touring around music festivals across the UK and for once getting to make the most of the beautiful, if late, summer we have had in the UK.

After discovering music festivals last year when I went to Manchester’s Parklife Weekender with my university friends, they ignited something in me that although already aware of, had never really unleashed before now. My love of music, dancing and meeting all types of new people from across the country was perfectly suited to the lifestyle and I had no choice but to further indulge when I went along to Glade Festival and Zoo Project Festival – all attracting very different crowds, from the chavvier types to the laid back hippies, I had a fantastic time at all and quickly decided that 2013 would be my festival summer.

Thankfully, my friends, family and jobs all helped to make this happen and despite going to five festivals this summer, I actually only paid for one set of tickets – top blagger, I know.

It all started at Wyndstock, a new addition to the scene which is marketed as the anti-festival. Set up by Victor Wynd as a party for his friends and like-minded individuals to enjoy a Midsummer Ball in the beautiful setting of Houghton Hall, in my home town, the event is for the more upmarket festival-goer. There was dancing, feasting, fireworks, literature talks, petting of prize bulls, a “fox hunt”, falconry, puppet theatre, lawn games, tours of the stately home, jazz, storytelling and stargazing amongst many more amazing activities. My favourite was the swing-dancing lessons and competition, which my boyfriend won and was very proud about. I love anything vintage-inspired and Gatsby-esque and this was an amazing opportunity to get very glammed up and go to a banquet of lobster and venison before partying the night away with some amazing people.

Before the hunt, meeting the horses and hounds..

Glammed up for the banquet and a night of dancing..

Meeting the host for the evening, Victor Wynd himself…

Our swing-dancing teachers shared dinner with us..

Mark winning the swing-dancing competition..

All in all, a very fun festival with amazing benefits such as being a small and intimate affair, and very posh toilets and showers!

Then we boarded a plane to the Island of Pag in Croatia for Hideout Festival which was very much a festival for the beautiful people – everyone had amazing bodies and the perfect tan. But I wasn’t bothered about all of that, we had a team of friends with us and more meeting us out there for one thing only – to dance until the sun came up every day. 

There were a lot of amazing DJs coming along to play the festival and I was very excited to see a whole range of them including Julio Bashmore, Chase and Status, Skream and Benga, David Rodigan, Rudimental, Seth Troxler, Andy C, Pendulum, Redlight, B-Traits and many, many more… Here are some of my snaps:

Sunset on the first day in Croatia.. such a beautiful country!

Packed out stages…

The King’s Lynn crew ready to rave until dawn..

David Rodigan – one of my favourite sets of the whole week!

Raving is even more fun when you do it with some of your best friends…

Chase and Status were pretty intense…

Boat party with Midland, MK and Julio Bashmore playing… so nice to get away from the festival for a short time..

And sadly, ending with Rudimental, who only gave a rubbish DJ set rather than a full show – such a disappointment!

I wrote about my experiences at Hideout Festival in a preview and review for This Festival Feeling in exchange for press tickets.

Check out my next posts for the rest of my experiences…