Welcome to the real world: What do you do?

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Have you missed me? (I’ve missed you too. N’awwh.) But seriously, if you have, that means you’re a regular reader, which probably also means you’ve been wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life at the moment, a topic I’ve left conspicuously unaddressed since graduating. This blog post is by way of explanation for my semi-absence from the internet, and also by way of a tentative promise for what’s in store soon.            

Throughout my year abroad, and even during my final year of uni, I was astonished at my own perseverance in keeping this blog going, no matter how stressful things got. I’d never claim to have done so with any regularity – I make my own deadlines and assignments, so of course there’s a fair bit of flexibility – but I usually keep it ticking over at one or two posts per month.

It might seem odd, then, that I’ve posted less often since graduating, especially as my activities of late have been considerably less all-encompassing than the final year of a joint honours Oxford degree. Compared to that, I’ve had oodles of time, but time is not really the problem (although, as usual, it still disappears into a mire of Things I Simply Have To Do Right Now such as ‘learn Spanish,’ ‘visit everyone I know’ and ‘spring clean the house’). Neither have I gone quiet for want of interesting events to recount – for goodness’ sake, I recently managed a few hundred words on the subject of being bored on trains. If having nothing of consequence to say could stop me writing, Anglophone would never have existed in the first place. The problem, by process of elimination, has got to be that I’ve developed an extended case of writer’s block. And I think I know why.

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Rejected competition entries 1: Canoeing to Plockton

I’ll be back with more actual news soon, I swear, but since this hiatus is getting ridiculously long, I’m going to do a SUPER EXCITING INTERIM POST! Thanks to some of my delightful readers being very encouraging and lovely, I’ve developed a dangerous amount of confidence, and started entering the odd writing competition. Sadly no big prizes have materialised yet, but I thought I’d share some of the rejected entries so that, ten years down the line, those editors will see just what they could have had and be thrown into paroxysms of regret. Or at least so that I can look back and laugh sheepishly at my early attempts. This one is from when I briefly decided I should be a travel writer, and entered the Telegraph’s Just Back competition with a piece about What I Did In The Holidays. 

Lochcarron, Western Scotland: the Lyster family holiday. Our travels are usually accompanied by a dinghy but, due to a wheel-falling-off-trailer-related disaster, this year we were limited to a canoe. This wasn’t going to stop us travelling to nearby Plockton as the seagull flies; that is, straight across the water. My father, an outdoors instructor, is fully qualified to oversee such escapades, and has never actually had a disaster, but we still don’t entirely trust his assessment of a reasonable level of adventure. Thus it was with a certain trepidation that the four of us gracelessly clambered aboard our three-man vessel.

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