Thursday, 2 June 2016

One hundredth post

One minute I started writing a blog, and the next I'm publishing my 100th post. It feels like that, right? Well, actually it's been 3 years, but only posting regularly in the last 18 months. Starting a blog felt like a really good idea at the time. I'd just finished my A Levels, and had a long summer ahead of me. I loved writing and finishing school left me at a bit of a loss: I needed something to create, to write, to keep my mind busy. But, as these things always do, it took ages to get off the ground. I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like, and then realised that I knew nothing about design or HTML or all those necessary things required to make a blog template. Over the last three years I've designed and redesigned my blog, before finally paying someone to do it properly; I've changed blog names; and I recently bought my domain name. After a few years of soul searching, or blog searching, and 100 blog posts later, I'm finally pretty happy with how it looks and what it's about. And these are my highlights... 

New blog name 
My blog was born Words Fly Up. I'd just finished studying Hamlet at A Level, and the quote "my words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go" stuck with me, and later inspired me. It made sense: this was a space for words, driven by my underlying thoughts. I wanted to write about novels and theatre, so it seemed logical. But as I carried on writing, I became more and more unsure about it. It seemed tenuous. My blog had diversified somewhat - to travel, to London, to ranting. So the new year (2016) saw a makeover. The Slant emerged from the dust of Words Fly Up, and with it came a new design and a new logo. I like it. 

Favourite posts
  • A Teenage Dream's So Hard to Beat
    This post was really clich
    é and unoriginal and the same sort of post you see on every twenty-something girl's blog. But I don't care. I enjoyed reminiscing, and thinking about the teen-twenty transition. It made me wish I was still a teenager: that there were still barn and house parties, that I could drink alcopops and it be socially acceptable, that all my friends were never more than half an hour away. But it also made me realise all the wonderful things about being a twenty-something: boyfriends aren't just on MSN, you eat meals out that aren't Nandos, and you can do fun things like drive and live by yourself and do stuff without having to ask. Bitter sweet. 
  • I loved Barcelona. It was one of my favourite holidays I've ever been on, so going back through the pictures and sharing what we got up to with you guys was so much fun for me. I've just read back through it now, and it's making me want to go back so bad. The sun, the sea, the pastries, the ham...bae. It was such an awesome trip, and I hope it inspired other people to go and visit! 
  • This was one of my favourite days ever in my life. It has been my dream for so long to go on a Safari and, knowing this but also knowing that neither of us could afford to go for real, Simon booked us on the Gold VIP Longleat Safari Tour. You're taken round by a guide in a jeep, and get to hold some animals, and see others up much closer than other guests would. It was so much fun! We had a perfect, sunny day and enjoyed a cream tea and a good explore around the Longleat estate afterwards. That post makes me want to go and do it all over again! Every day

Most visited posts

  • I finished my second year of uni, and then I met loads of prospective students, and then I got really pissed off and wrote about it. A blogger/journalist's dream is to write something and for it to actually have an effect, and I'm really proud that this post did. It was brutally honest...and it really was quite brutal. It led to me being known as 'the girl with the angry blog' at uni, and seemingly the person that loads of people then wanted to share their problems with. But thanks to some awesome and positive and proactive members of staff in my uni department, it did lead to change. We got seminars, we got pizza lunches, we got an end of year party, we got exam feedback, we got more field trips. As a result, my final year of uni was infinitely better than those preceding it, and I'm so glad I wrote this post. 
  • If there's one thing that really, really annoys me, it's people chatting a lot of rubbish about something they don't know about or have no experience of. After years of hearing Cairns slam single-sex education, solely because they present competition to his school (which in my experience has been particularly bad in reinforcing stereotypical gender roles), I'd had enough. This post generated almost 5,000 views and is week on week one of my most read posts. I feel like you have to defend the things that really mean something to you, and I was so glad that this ridiculous publicity stunt backfired on Cairns and he got the stick he deserved from so many people. 

Looking forward
So what about the next 100 posts? I'm hoping to do lots more travel posts during my Gap Year of Dreams. Providing my internet connection is good enough, I'd like to keep a kind of travel journal whilst in South Africa in July, sharing what I've been up to and some pictures I've taken. I want to keep writing about books, and doing my Recent Reads posts - mainly because I love similar posts and gain lots of reading inspiration from them! But most of all, I want to keep writing about what I enjoy, what I'm interested in, and writing when I want. I won't be scheduling my tweets or mass promoting my blog any time soon, because I'm just not interested in that. I want to write because I want to write, and if you want to read, I really like that. 

Please keep reading. I promise I'll keep writing! 

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