I suppose you could say it all started from being a wannabe journo.
That was my plan. No biggie, just a local reporter reporting on local stuff. I remember once enviously watching a girl interviewing my nephew at a local fete when he won the fancy dress competition as a soldier in a card board box tank, that was more me than being Kate Adie reporting from a field.
However, it wasn't to be. I didn't get into the universities I wanted to, and so decided to take a year out, do some courses and gain work experience to help me apply the following year. That didn't exactly go to plan either. The University had told me to get work experience at a local newspaper, the local newspaper told me they couldn't offer it me unless I was at university. It was a vicious circle. I was willing to work unpaid and still wasn't wanted.
So what did I do, well, pretty much the closest thing to running away and joining the circus. I got a job as a Red Coat type at a holiday Park in Ingoldmells.
I had a great time, I admit, but my journalism dreams went out the caravan window, as I was promised the heady heights of social club singer fame, following my much praised vocal performances on stage, (this was when I wasn't getting chucked in the pool or doing party dances).
After five years of playing second fiddle to bingo and the meat raffle, I realised this was not the path to becoming Madonna, nor was it ever going to be, and whilst my old friends had moved on and were buying houses, all I had to show for my name was an amp and some well worn backing tapes.
I decided to get a proper job and went into sales (new build) and later Estate Agency, but I'd always been creative. I'd been Editor of my college magazine, studied English and media and my passion for writing was still simmering away inside me.
With still no offer of work experience I began doing online courses. Journalism, media, marketing, any information I could absorb. I then started approaching websites who were happy to have another body on board, writing and reviewing. Some are still going, others have fallen by the wayside faster than my dreams of stardom, but that is a potted history of how I started writing and blogging.
I then discovered that the web was actually taking over print and so my ambition of working for a local rag disappeared further, as reporters were laid off rather than taken on. I did get to write for my local paper in a reviewing capacity and still do. It's still the best known and go to source for local news and information and holds a certain gravitas when you say who you are writing for.
Other than that, I continued to write for the smaller online guides, eventually becoming Editor of NottinghamLIVE, which I still am today.
Many people seem to assume I'm paid for the privilege. I'm not, the perks are I get to review shows and gigs and stop up late writing the review. Same with restaurants. On the outside people think, 'Oh there she is on another free meal', let me tell you, the old saying is true, there is no such thing as a free meal, you will be taking photos, making notes, and again, rather than going home and relaxing, I'm hitting the laptop to fire out a review. It may look like I have an insta-fabulous life but what you don't see is the down time, late nights, study. Comparing myself to others, wondering what they've done differently .
So is it worth doing? To me, yes, it's in my blood, I rarely get to go out without either writing about it taking photos for Instagram, but I enjoy it. Like anything in life, when the joy goes out of it, you shouldn't do it. I enjoy being expressive, giving my opinion, writing down my thoughts. I can't imagine ever being bored because there is always something to write about.
As I write for different sites, I decided to start my own blog, which is really a collection of my work for others as well as my own personal pieces. Some of the pieces I've written, I've thought long and hard about how much of my life and emotions I want to share, but it's actually therapeutic, ever written something down and it makes more sense? The same goes for blogging. It often provides clarity on a situation, gives you a voice when there's no one to listen and maybe, just maybe your voice will resonate with somebody else out there going through the same thing, and if you help just one person, then its an achievement.
I don't make money from my blog. I would love nothing more than to monetize it and earn a living from it, or my YouTube channel, which I subsequently started, but right now, it's not happening. Sure, there's been a few sponsored posts, but until you've got 'the numbers', brands just aren't interested. I don't crave the limelight, just recognition.
I'll keep at it, I won't buy followers, I'd rather know people are actually reading what I write or watching what I produce because they want to and enjoy it. So for now, if you're one of them, thank you, you don't know how much it means to me that you're here.