How I Write

Most of my writing happens at my desk, in my room. I have a view of the garden, a pair of speakers, and a swivel chair (albeit somewhat broken). All in all, it’s not the worst place to write, though I could do with a bigger desk – mine’s technically just a dresser – and a chair which doesn’t clank, squeak, and make disconcerting ‘clunk’ noises whenever I lean back.

I’m one of those people who, if the mood takes, will write anywhere. On a plane, in a café, sneakily in class, at the library… Generally, I write using Scrivener on my laptop, but if I’m not able to take a laptop somewhere, I’ll just use my notebook. And if I don’t have that, I’ll use my phone!

Back before I found out about Scrivener (which is an amazing piece of writing software which I hold very dear to my heart), I did just use Microsoft Word; the negatives of this are that once you get past the first few thousand words, the document takes very long to load. It also isn’t at all easy to keep up with where you are in your novel, or where chapters/scenes are. You end up having to scroll up and down on a lagging document, desperately trying to find something. Scrivener, on the other hand, has a ‘binder’ on the left hand side where you can keep every chapter in a new folder, and every scene in a new text document, and view either the entire manuscript, an individual chapter, or an individual scene on the right hand side. I tend to use the split-screen option, with the binder on the left, my manuscript in the middle, and leaping around from my notes to different scenes to character profiles (all of which are template options) on the right. It makes it so much easier!

I find that, for some reason, my optimum writing time is in the evenings. I don’t know why, but I always manage to write more in the evenings than if I sit at my laptop, document open all day. I don’t know whether it’s because I feel that I’ve done all the tasks I needed for the day, or whether it’s just the cover of darkness and the peace of an evening curl-up session, but the majority of my creative writing happens in the evenings.

A lot of people prefer to write in comfier clothes, and this is definitely something I agree with. I won’t go as far as pyjamas, because then I will just fall asleep, but easy jeans & a shirt, or leggings and a strappy top and I’m all set. This is probably one reason why writing in the winter months is a little easier than in the summer – you can cosy up in your jumpers, throw some thick, fluffy socks on and no-one can judge!

One final, very important factor is of course music. I constantly have Spotify open, playing whatever new music I’m obsessed with (currently Troye Sivan, Ellie Goulding and the one and only Adele). Though, having said this, sometimes pop just won’t get me in the right mind-frame, so when that happens, I’m all for soundtracks! Strangely, the Finding Nemo soundtrack is amazing to listen to for writing.

I hope you liked this little post; I know I can’t be the only one who loves knowing other people’s writing habits! Until next time…

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My 3 Favourite Skincare Products

I have really troublesome skin, and by that, I do mean I’ve had a lot of trouble with acne. I think I was lucky in some respects, because most people tell me they never noticed my acne (I’ve never been sure whether to believe them or not), but I started getting spots at the age of ten. The problem started after a bike accident I had, which landed me in hospital, and I quickly developed acne.

This year, I’ve finally come out the other end – over eight years later. I won’t say it’s been pleasant spending the entirety of my pre-teen and teen years struggling with spots, but there are a few products I have grown to love in the last few months.

First off, there’s the Simple Anti-Blemish Moisturiser. This is a facial wash you use with warm water, and I’ve found it works really well. It has natural antibacterial properties, which is great for acne-prone skin or people like me, who’ve just managed to get rid of full-blown acne. It says ‘results from day one’, and after the amount of time I spent trying products as a teen and finding that even the ones which said ‘results within two weeks’ were a lie, I was delighted to find this one actually worked!

Next off, there’s the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, though sometimes I use the Simple Micellar Water instead. Either of these work wonders; I’ve been using these since around June every day, and I don’t have any complaints. I wasn’t sure what micellar water was supposed to do (I managed to pick it up for free at a promotional stall in Covent Garden) but I fell in love. It helps tremendously with blackheads, while also serving to remove makeup. I try not to use this on its own, because normally I’ll use a face wash beforehand for a more thorough routine, but on those nights when you just want to plonk into bed and not think about anything involving effort, this is a brilliant one-step cleanser.

Finally, there’s this: bio oil. My parents introduced me to this probably a couple of years ago, but I didn’t find it at all helpful while I had acne. Bio oil is supposed to help re-hydrate your skin, and also help get rid of blemishes/stretch marks/help with aging skin. If you’ve had acne yourself, you’ll probably know how many unwelcome scars it manages to leave behind. While I had acne, I noticed no change, but that was a problem I found with the majority of products I used. Now, though, I try to use this several days per week, usually before bed, in place of a moisturiser. I always find proper moisturisers are too heavy for my skin, but this pretty much multi-tasks for me. I have noticed improvements in my acne scars, fading slightly, but this does take a while – it recommends consistent use for three months to see a genuine improvement.  There’s one other thing I use this for, though, and that’s for under my eyes. This stuff is brilliant for helping skin tones.

Everything I’ve mentioned is available in any good drug store/supermarket, and the bio oil is the only one over a fiver, but it lasts ages – after consistent use for around eight months, it’s not even gone down half a centimetre. If you use it on a larger area (a friend of mine used it on her back after a post-op scar) it will be used a lot faster.

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This content was not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Short Story Sunday | 1

He faded into consciousness that morning, feeling like a cloud floating blissfully along in a blue sky of hope and dreams. He wouldn’t open his eyes; not yet. It was too good a feeling, tucked up in his warm, soft blankets. It was always best to enjoy these moments as long as possible.

Stretching, he turned over on his bed. The stretch felt so good. He could feel all his muscles, grateful for the movement after such a deep sleep. Everything was wonderful. He didn’t have a care in the world as he curled up and rolled onto his side.

Until he rolled too far.

All at once, the beautifully soft covers, the perfect warmth, and his blissful sense of peace fell away and he flung his eyelids open. He was falling, down, down, and there was no floor, no end, no up and no down; he couldn’t see anything but dark, hear anything but the wind rushing past him, knocking his breath from his lungs. He flung round and round, and suddenly there was a speck of light rushing towards him, getting larger, until it was on top of him and he could see a bright yellow sky, and he was falling from it.

There was ground beneath him, but it wasn’t normal. Everything looked like a cartoon as he pitched headlong towards it; the round, squat buildings had no dimension and the colours were wrong, too bright and definite. He continued falling, and the cartoon grass came to meet his face.

It never made impact: the ground opened up and he fell right through it. He tumbled over and over, and he wondered if he’d ever stop. The tunnel was long, winding and bending, but he stayed falling, hitting nothing. The tunnel widened and the world went topsy-turvy as he shot up from a hole in the pavement, rocketing towards the sky, past glass skyscrapers, flying cars and hoverboards, up through pink fluffy clouds.

The sky broke as he met it, shattering into pieces, but he felt nothing. Blinding whiteness surrounded him and he covered his eyes to hide them from the light. Without his sight he couldn’t tell which way was up, whether he was falling or flying. The wind buffeted him around, and suddenly he was thrust around so fast his hands were forced from his face and he saw an ocean opening up to swallow him. He roared in terror as he fell, because he couldn’t be flying now, and he plunged into the water. It crashed down on top of him, dragging him into its depths. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t cry out, couldn’t control the movement of his limbs. He was completely powerless to the ocean’s will. It was overwhelming, suffocating, and he saw stars behind his eyelids. He was going to pass out soon.

Seconds later, the ocean opened up again and he fell towards the open air, gasping to fill his lungs, and he blinked in the sudden brightness. As he plummeted through the light, he watched the ocean close up above him. The light faded and changed, and he started as he crashed straight through his ceiling onto his bed.

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