What Bookstagram Means to Me

Human Hand Meets Book Hand

I’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks because I’ve been working on a couple of projects for publishers.  Since my second Weekend Hashtag Project #WHP feature on Instagram, I’ve received more requests from companies asking us to get involved with campaigns which has been absolutely amazing but it’s also taken up my time as I’ve wanted to produce my best work for them.  Add to this a new homeworking contract as a transcriber, and my hours have quickly dissolved!

So this is just a quick check-in to share a post I wrote for frolic about what Bookstagram means to me . I’ve touched on this here before, but this piece really sums up our journey and the impact that Bookstagram has had on our lives.

There was a backlash against using books as props in the media recently. I won’t go into detail here but if you’d like to find out more then do read these excellent posts by The Book Satchel and The Lit Books – both pro-Bookstagram and rightly so. I’ve been part of many online communities over the years and Instagram, although by no means perfect, is the most positive and supportive that I’ve found.  In a world that’s becoming increasingly fractured, it’s great to be part of an articulate collective that constantly reflects on society and allows people to express themselves freely. For me, it’s opened new doors at a time when I felt frustrated with the narrow focus that traditional career routes offer.

And now I find myself considering ‘what next’? Now that I have a ‘portfolio’ career, I’m working out which strands to develop and how to blend these successfully.  There’s a lot to think about and I hope to be back soon with more news about our plans. Until then, may you be blessed with the all best books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life After Quitting the Day Job: The First Quarter

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Back in late December, I packed away my office and quit my day job, a step that I’d been contemplating for several years.  There wasn’t one factor that encouraged me to make this decision, rather a number of reasons – both positive and negative, but the dominant motivator was to find out whether I could follow my passions and make a living from them.  This wasn’t about becoming a housewife or indulging my whims (OK a bit!), it was about finding my enthusiasm for work again – within a finite timescale and with a limited budget.

So how’s it been? Well great on the whole! My first priority was to earn money from a remote-working job, which took a little longer than anticipated but in March I managed to secure a small contract as a social media evaluator.  The role is ideal for me – it’s doing something I enjoy and it’s extremely flexible but I still need additional income – ideally as a part-time copywriter or as a social media co-ordinator – so am focusing on this next (any offers welcome!).

My second aim was to write a new manuscript which again has gone well, if more slowly than I originally predicted (isn’t it always the way?!). I’m two-thirds through the first draft of a middle-grade fantasy adventure and hope to finish it this month then revise throughout the summer. I’ve also been accepted as an emerging author by the Society of Authors, which has boosted my confidence massively.

Alongside all the above, I’ve hosted a writing retreat, been on holiday, built on my Instagram account and have – most importantly – been able to support my little girl during her first year of school.

As with any change, there are a few downsides. I have to be disciplined as my days have been much shorter than I expected (I’m only free during school hours at the moment). I’ve also noticed that I’m busier now because I’m excited about the projects I’m doing and want to work on them so this means being mindful of making quality space for family, friends and myself. The lack of money hasn’t been as big an issue because we changed our spending habits before I quit the day job. My main regret is that I can’t support as many charities or friends with their ventures, something I used to love doing, but I hope this will improve as I find more work.

So what next?

More writing, more image-making, more leap-taking.  My goal is to turn this world of ideas and creativity into a permanent situation – either working for myself, for someone else or a combination of the two.  If you’ve ever gone down a similar route, I’d love to hear from you.  Likewise, if you have any questions for me, please contact me via email or in the comments below. Wishing you a magical day!