Life advice to my fourteen-year-old self

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  • Stop plucking your eyebrows so much. You need those. Trust me on this one.
  • Speak up in lessons. Be braver! It doesn’t matter if you get the answer wrong.
  • Worry less about what people think of you. Other people’s thoughts aren’t going to stop you from passing your exams, or getting a good job, or doing all the cool things you want to do.
  • That boy who said you need to invest in a pair of hair straighteners because your hair is so frizzy is probably right, but he’s also a fucking idiot.
  • Those girls that, on paper, seem prettier and skinner and smarter than you – you’re just as good as them. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Keep writing. Write as much as you can, even if you think what you’re writing is shit and doesn’t make any sense. Get your ideas down and work on making them better.
  • Listen to your mother. She’s pretty much always on the money.

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Getting out the house / 100th blog post

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Hip hip hooray, you are currently reading my 100th blog post! Yay!! If you’ve been here since the beginning, well done and thank you for being so loyal and tolerant. If you’ve just joined us – hey there – I’m afraid you have a lot of work to do.

To commemorate this exciting occasion I thought I’d write a little about my weekend, since it was pretty fun and I got out and about quite a bit. My boyfriend Michael foolishly asked me on Saturday morning what I’d like to do that day, and because I’m a cruel and horrible person I suggested we go for a walk in the countryside. My idea of bliss, Michael’s idea of hell – being the indoorsy type he would be much happier curled up in his pyjamas watching a movie or shooting things on a computer. I on the other hand didn’t want a sunny day to go to waste, and given that Reigate Hill was basically right on our doorstep (sort of), I dragged him out of the house kicking and screaming to inhale some fresh air and marvel at the beautiful Surrey countryside.

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Being a writer still means ‘talking’ to people?!

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Now that I think about it, I was probably a little naive to assume that becoming a writer would involve more ~tap tap tapping~ words than actually talking to people, more especially scary industry professionals. I guess I’d sort of convinced myself that living a quiet and peaceful existence alone with my thoughts, my laptop, David Bowie’s back catalogue, and my 27 cats* would suit my career just fine. Getting up at sunrise and skipping along the moors in a corset like some shitty Brontë wannabe. Talking and ‘networking’ with actual grown-ups weren’t exactly factored into this plan and were certainly not what I signed up for.

*I’d prefer big fluffy dogs but 27 of those might be a little excessive. 

Like lots of other people, stepping outside my comfort zone is something I don’t do nearly enough and I think it’s limited me in a whole number of ways. Sometimes my lack of self-assurance has even made even the simplest of work-related tasks seem ten times harder, to the point where I’ve become frustrated with myself but still too anxious to fix the problem. In November I reached peak-panic mode when I attended a work event with my boss in Birmingham and spent the day desperately pretending to convince people I actually knew what I was talking about (whilst slowly dying inside).

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Yes, the world still needs feminism #IWD2016

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We’ve now come to the end of International Women’s Day 2016, and I’ve found it really uplifting to scroll through social media today and witness so many women and men discussing the f word not as something to be ridiculed or chastised, but hailed and celebrated in a truly fantastic way.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet given that I’ve written about #IWD twice on my blog already (you can read those posts here and here), but I did want to write a little bit about something I stumbled across this evening on Twitter – a quiz that asks ‘How many laws did you break today [just because you’re a woman]?’ – I got seven: some of these because I went to work, and didn’t tell a man where I was going before I left the house this morning. Oh, and I wore trousers. How fucking scandalous.

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Louise Rennison, my literary hero

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I, like so many others, was extremely saddened to hear this evening’s news that teen-fiction author, Louise Rennison has passed away. She was only 63, but behind her she leaves a legacy that has left thousands of teenage girls from all over the world snorting with laughter, since the publication of her first book, Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, back in 1999.

Louise Rennison was a hilarious and talented writer – whether it was her uniquely comic writing style, her contagious sense of humour, or just the fact that she was stark raving mad, she became my literary inspiration and had me hooked from the moment I caught a glimpse of ‘It’s OK, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers!’ on my friend’s older sister’s bookshelf. While my friends had themselves glued to Harry Potter – I on the other hand couldn’t enough of Georgia and her wonderfully bonkers outlook on teen life, the dramas of friendships and boys, and the absolute necessity of lip gloss. Louise Rennison was my J.K. Rowling.

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