Category Archives: writing

Book Challenge Update

Oh my, how much can one read when one has a week off?!

The answer: shitloads!

From my original Read-What-I-Have challenge I managed to get 3 books finished, which means I have only 4 more to go in total and then I will have read everything on the list – hooray!

This week I have read The Mill on the Floss, The Woman in White and Ivanhoe. I have also bought a few books, both from a physical bookshop and Amazon. I read The Fat of the Land, Strong, Get Rich Blogging and How to Make a Living with your Writing. AND I managed to get in a couple of e-books and magazines.

Phew!

7 physical books and 2 short e-books is not a bad haul in one week!

I have to say I really enjoyed The Woman in White, I couldn’t put it down, it was so well written. I found it full of suspense and drama and the way it was told from the points of view of different characters (thereby having different narrators) I  thought that was a really modern thing to do (even though it was written in the early 1800s).

Interestingly, even though Ivanhoe was written at around the same time, the language used was very different (even challenging). It is set in Medieval England and has appearances from Richard the Lionheart, A Knight called Ivanhoe, Friar Tuck and even Robin Hood. One downside was as I was reading it all I could see in my mind was an image of those Hollywood films from the 40’s and 50’s where all the costumes were bright and the fight scenes were hilarious (to say nothing of their hairstyles!). And poor Isaac the Jew! He is the untold hero of the story.

The Mill on the Floss was OK, it actually has some really good quotes in, but after spending 3/4 of the book focusing on their childhoods, it was too a sudden and abrupt end, ending as it did. It was OK, just OK.

How to Make a Living with your Writing I ordered from Amazon, it’s a lot tinier than I expected – really thin and that says it all really – not much substance to it. The hints are quite general and vague.

BUT. I really liked Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin. That seemed a bit more practical and helpful for me and I liked the case studies in it, even if they weren’t all in the same ‘niche’ as me (parenting- urgh not yet thanks!). I liked it and it’s one to dip into for inspiration every now and then.

SO. 4 more books to go and then I am free to buy to more (although as you can see, they have already started to creep back in – let’s see if I can’t keep this bookshelf free).

They are:

  1. Vanity Fair
  2. Rob Roy
  3. War and Peace
  4. Anna Karenina

And I can already see that I will hit my target for this year – yay!

But I need a break now, all this reading lately has had one downside.

NO CRAFTING! EEEEEEEEEEK!

No knitting. No crochet. No writing. No nothing. (Apart from baking scones today).

And after a nice relaxing week off work, it’s back to the grind tomorrow 😦

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, Ellen xx

Advertisements

bloglovin’ vs Stumbleupon

Good morrow fellow bloggers, it is I, Ellen, here to tell you about 2 blog sharing sites that you may or may not want to join up with.

It’s kind of like the Matrix in one respect – “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Last week I signed up to both Bloglovin’ and Stumbleupon. One I love, one I hate.

Stumbleupon

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine), that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social -networking principles.     WIKIPEDIA

I joined this first and I have to say I was a little confused and non-plussed with it all. You sign up, make a tiny profile, choose some interests and click stumble. You get a random web page linked to those interests you specify. NOT A BLOG, BUT A PAGE. Yes you can continue looking around the site/ blog but you only get one at a time. You can like or unlike the page. The more likes a page gets the higher in the stumbleupon rankings it gets and therefore more likely to be seen by more people. You can add and share your own content, but who wants to be inundated with your followers pushing their own stuff on you all the time, you know? Press stumble button again and you get a new page.

I also found a lot of the pages were old, years old, some even when pages were grey and square/ rectangle boxes everywhere (I’m trying to say they wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1999!).

It’s all a bit overhyped if you ask me.

Bloglovin’

This one on the other hand is much easier to use, it’s much clearer with a more modern and cleaner finish to it.

Bloglovin’ is a platform that allows users to read, organize, and discover their favourite blogs on mobile and desktop. It is a design-focused platform that aggregates feeds from sources with RSS feeds, allowing users to discover and organize content. As of April 2014, Bloglovin’ reaches over 16 million global users monthly. Bloglovin’ caters primarily to the “lifestyle” crowd. 90% of Bloglovin’s users are female.       WIKIPEDIA

Bloglovin reminds me of Pinterest but instead of pins, you get blogs and their pages. It’s very visual like Pinterest, so I imagine those posts with pictures do better on this site than just words.

Sign up and straight away you can search for blogs, I recommend searching for and claiming your own first. I find it’s better if you’re searching for blogs with the whole address on here ([example.wordpress.com]) but again you can search for your personalised interests on here.

To claim your blog, type in your address and click on yours when it comes up, to the right will be a little link that says ‘claim it’ and click on it. A little box with code in will come up, copy and paste this onto a html blog post (the last post I published shows you what the code does – it verifies you are the blog owner and provides a link for people to follow you). So you will need to have wordpress open in another tab ready and waiting when you claim your blog.

I couldn’t find a way to do this on the dashboard so I had to use the my site page to do this (when you see all your stats and have the option to use the reader you will see all the options on the left side, that’s the page I mean). Click on add new post and you will find a tab on the top right which says html, click on that and post your code there. Publish the post. Done.

Sounds complicated but it’s really not!

Bloglovin actually offers a useful help page so there are lots of screenshots to help you.

So, what next? I will keep up with bloglovin, but I think I may be deleting my stumbleupon account soon, it’s that horrible in my eyes. Maybe I could upload something, but it’s very difficult to work things out I think.

So, these are just a couple of options if you want more ways to generate traffic to your blog or just to reach out to more blogs, since they won’t all be wordpress ones.

Maybe you will have more luck than I on stumbleupon, maybe you will hate bloglovin. Good luck with both and hope to see you on bloglovin soon.

Ellen xx

 

2017 so far

A while ago I posted these tiny goals for 2017

  1. Publish a pattern on Ravelry – free or paid
  2. Crafty goals – knit a hat and a pair of socks, crochet a corner to corner blanket, sew an item of clothing – Use up my crafty stash – fabric, wool etc.
  3. Start doing Yoga again
  4. Write 500- 1000 words every day
  5. Keep up with technology (those who know me are shouting HA! right now) and learn to use EXCEL and ACCESS properly
  6. Blog more often and take better photos and learn how to edit them

So progress? I have definitely blogged more often in the past couple of weeks and seen page views rise correspondingly. It’s kind of nice to have a distraction from stuff that’s going on here at the moment. I haven’t taken better photos I don’t think, but I am looking at websites with free photo editing software and thinking about trialling one or two.

I have written a list of things I have knitted last year, thinking about Ravelry and there isn’t really anything appropriate to put on Ravelry yet, but I am thinking about it, as I am with Yoga – the DVDs have moved from upstairs to downstairs so that still counts right?! lol!

One thing I have made progress with is the writing. For a long blog post with just writing and no pics, then yes, easily 500 words. But I have written close to 4000 words today and yesterday in an hour a night. I am writing a story that’s been in my head for ages, but we will see if anything comes from it…after all, how can you be a writer if you don’t write?! How can you ever hope to publish a book one day if you don’t put pen to paper and get some words down? So at the moment, the writing is going well.

I am finding that when it comes to writing, just getting down what is in my head is easiest, rather than thinking it through too much and spending ten minutes per sentence. I can always tidy it up later. I think I will write out the whole story or as much of it as possible before I start to properly edit and polish it. But it’s just a tiny snowball at the moment…I will see whether or not it ever becomes a giant one.

The rest of the goals…on my to do list!

Ellen x

On Writing Often

One of my goals / challenges for this year was to write 500 -1000 words a day. Due to some personal reasons I haven’t managed to get off to quite such a good start but the number of words doesn’t matter really…the point is to write more.

Here are a few links I have come across regarding writing…

http://www.maxibransdale.com/2017-a-writers-guide-to-a-productive-year/

http://www.freeworkathomeguide.com/online-writing-jobs/

http://www.elleandcompanydesign.com/blog/2015/2/15/30-ways-to-generate-buzz-for-your-blog

http://www.livingfornaptime.com/writing-tips/write-ebook-sell-amazon/

https://thewritelife.com/

http://www.eadeverell.com/grow/?utm_content=buffer6ae3e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer

See if there is anything here which takes your fancy

Ellen x

Writing an e-book

Just a quick post today.

Came across this site and thought I would share this post about writing an e-book. I like reading about other people’s thought processes and how they go about writing. And you can tell I get distracted easily when I am on Pinterest!!

Writing an e-book is something I would like to do one day and I’m just looking at what other people have done regarding the planning and gathering together of ideas.

Start Today How to Write an eBook in 1 Month as a Mom Blogger