Latest Rambles

50k, Onesies, and Fatigue

50k, Onesies, and Fatigue

I hit 50k for NaNoWriMo on the 11th November. I didn’t say much at the time because I still have a long way to go before I finish the book and, for me, hitting 50k is not especially remarkable. It wasn’t my fastest year (2013 only took me three days), but also wasn’t my slowest (last year I hit 50k on on Day 26). It felt like an achievement, but in many ways one I only managed by virtue of…

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This Post Is Not About NaNoWriMo

This Post Is Not About NaNoWriMo

One of the things about NaNoWriMo is that November comes around and suddenly at least half, if not more, of the blog posts in your inbox are about NaNoWriMo. People’s wordcounts. The status of their plot (or lack thereof). Their woes and excitement. I mean, maybe it’s just me because I mostly hang out with other writers, but it’s everywhere, right? And, like, I don’t object to that. I’m interested in NaNo and I like to hear how other people…

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Stress-Knitting and NaNoWriMo

Stress-Knitting and NaNoWriMo

I was hoping to be able to carry on my last post’s positivity, but unfortunately it’s been a pretty crappy week and a half for me, which is why I haven’t been posting anything. Both my mental health and my physical health have taken a downturn, in different ways and for different reasons, so I’ve been struggling to get work done — or anything else, for that matter. I mean, my mental health wasn’t great before, because as I mentioned,…

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Bright Spots Amidst The Anxious Darkness

Bright Spots Amidst The Anxious Darkness

I thought, since my last post was a bit of a downer, I’d write one concentrating on some of the bright points of this week. Because there were bright points! To be honest, I felt awful on Wednesday, but it’s been a slow and steady improvement since then. I’m still stressed and anxious and overworked, but I haven’t had any more panic attacks. So, here are some pieces of good news. 1. My friend Cait’s book is coming out in…

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Honesty And Anxiety

Honesty And Anxiety

Lately, my anxiety has been… bad. I thought I was doing better, that I was learning to manage it and cope and get through. During the summer, I had some seriously anxious periods, including while travelling, but they were generally triggered by specific events or environments, so they seemed more logical than some of my other anxiety. And, while they weren’t fun, I mostly got through them without too much difficulty. So I thought I was in a good position…

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Former Friends and Appreciating Art 

Former Friends and Appreciating Art 

Do you ever strongly associate a book or a film with a particular person? And then find that because you have negative associations with that person, you now have negative feelings about the book or film?  For example, it took me years to get around to reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, because all I knew about it was that a former friend of mine had been reading it when I knew him, and so it was all tied up…

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Eight Hours Of Inferiority

Eight Hours Of Inferiority

In her welcome speech, the college principal apparently told freshers that there are twenty-four hours in every day: eight for sleeping, eight for work, and eight for other things (societies, socialising, and so on). My tutor, when she quoted this to us in our start of term meeting, added, “But I think six or seven hours of working is probably enough.” I disagree with both of them. Strongly. The latter, marginally less strongly, but I still disagree. This way of…

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To NaNo, Or Not To NaNo?

To NaNo, Or Not To NaNo?

NaNoWriMo has been a part of my life since I was thirteen. In 2009, somebody on the writing website Protagonize.com was talking about National Novel Writing Month and, being a keen/obsessive writer at the time, I decided to sign up, although it was already the seventh of November and I had no plot, characters, or experience of writing a novel. Nevertheless, I succeeded at the 50,000 word challenge, and finished my first (terrible, short, cliched) novel. I’ve done NaNo every…

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Settling In

Settling In

I arrived in Cambridge at lunchtime on Friday. By about 10pm I’d unpacked as much as I could stand to unpack, on the basis that if I leave it in a box this early in the term, it will stay in that box forever. On Saturday morning I filmed and edited a flat tour before any of my flatmates have arrived, again because I knew that if I didn’t do it straight away, it just wouldn’t get done, based on…

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What To Wear To Lectures At Uni

What To Wear To Lectures At Uni

The question of what to wear to lectures bothered me a lot in the lead up to university. Having worn school uniform for so long (and then had a strict dress code in sixth form), I wasn’t really sure what to go for. I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there. There certainly was when I was searching for any information I could find. Personally, I got worried because the Tumblr blog “askacambridgestudent”, usually a very reliable source of…

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