Five Reasons I Enjoy Blogging

 

Going to start blogging again, I said. Going to write those posts regularly, I told myself. But getting back into the habit, both of checking comments and writing new posts, is taking a little bit of time. However, onwards and upwards!

Blogging has (and I’ve said this before) literally changed my life. I’ve made some of my best friends in the world through blogging, as well as becoming a published author. I’m also a committee member for the annual Blogger’s Bash in London (coming up June 15thdo you have your ticket yet?), which has broadened my blogging and social media circle even further.

So, being a bit stuck for a blog topic, I thought I might tie in to my committee work and make a shameless plug for our Bash Blog Post competition. Each year we run a themed post competition, and this year, as it’s our fifth year of operation, the theme is ‘Five’.

I thought I’d keep things simple with a short list:

Five reasons I enjoy blogging

  1. The words. I love writing, and I know for a fact that regular blogging has made me a better writer
  2. The knowledge. There are blogs covering just about any subject under the sun. If you’re interested in it, chances are someone is blogging about it. And hey, if they’re not, there’s a niche for you.
  3. The inspiration. There are loads of fab writing prompts in blogland. In fact, The Last Raven, my book currently out to submission with an agent, started life as a writing prompt over on Ali Isaac’s blog.
  4. The experiences. From wandering hillsides with Sue Vincent to meeting bloggers in London at the Bloggers Bash, blogging has led me to experiences I might never have otherwise had
  5. The people. The best bit, to be honest 🙂

And that’s it! As the competition is restricted to posts of 375 words or less, I need to wind up. However, if you’d like to enter, entry is £5, first prize is a £50 Amazon gift card, with £15 and £10 cards to second and third place respectively. For more details, or to enter, click here – but only until March 24th!

Happy blogging x

Back From A Break

Hey everyone!

It’s been a few months. Well, almost nine months to the day, to be exact, since I went on my break. I’ve missed you all and, I must say, it’s nice to be back. However, I think things will be slightly different this time. One of the things that caused me to take a blogging break was the pressure of having a weekly commitment – my Wednesday Wander. While I loved writing and researching the posts, and they’ve been very popular, coming up with one every week as well as sorting and editing photos started to feel like a chore. So, while I’m still travelling and seeing new places, I won’t be posting about them every Wednesday, just every once in a while. However, I’ll still be doing all my other usual rambling, as well as sharing writing stuff and whatever else comes to mind 🙂

But the main reason I took a break was that I’ve been working on another book. Several books, if I’m honest. You may already be familiar with my Ambeth YA series or A Thousand Rooms, my standalone women’s contemporary fiction novel. These have all been independently published – I’ve worked with beta readers and editors and cover designers to make them as professional and high quality as possible, and the feedback I’ve received seems to show I’m hitting the mark. However, as much as I enjoy being an indie and the creative control that comes with it, I’ve also been pursuing a dream to be traditionally published alongside my indie works.

To that end, I decided to devote several months to a book I completed last year, called The Last Raven. It’s a book about vampires, so perhaps not so red-hot in the market at the moment. Nonetheless, I had some interest last year from two publishers, as well as a couple of near-misses with agents. Both publishers initially declined but have invited me to re-submit with changes, offering valuable feedback regarding structure, as well as letting me know what they liked about the story (a lot, as it turns out).

So I took my story and pulled it apart, turned it inside out, chopped and changed the structure, increasing the level of detail and building pace. To be fair, it needed it. The story was already good, but spending three months restructuring has taken it to the next level. It’s been a fantastic learning process for me as a writer, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the insights I’ve learned on the blog. I also had a very promising meeting with an agent earlier this year – I’d initially approached her to assess my submission package, something you can do through the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists website. I wanted to know whether it was worth my going through the submission process again with the revised version of Last Raven, and whether there would be a market for it. As it turned out, she loved what she read and requested the full manuscript! It was a thrilling and enjoyable meeting for a lot of reasons – now I’m just waiting to hear what she thinks (and trying not to refresh my email every five minutes!)

As for the other books I’m working on, I have another YA series taking shape, as well as a non-fiction book about a health issue I encountered several years ago. Basically, after a season of editing, I’m back writing again. And so it seems as good a time as any to get back to blogging, too. After all, I don’t think I’d be the writer I am without this blog and all you lovely people out there.

When I started this blog back in 2014, it was originally going to be about my journey in writing, and what I learned along the way. Since then it’s grown and developed to become much more than that, chronicling my journey through the world. But my writing journey is still ongoing, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you again.

xx


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Taking A Break

Hello, lovely fellow bloggers!

I know Wednesday is usually when I take a Wander, but instead I’ve decided to take a break.

I’ve been blogging for the past four years, written over 700 posts, and made some wonderful friends along the way. However, I have a few things I need to focus on at the moment, which mean I’ve not been able to be as present in the blogging world as I’d like to be.

So I’m going to take a break.

I’ll still pop in and out when I can, just to see you all, but won’t be writing posts on a regular basis (if at all). It’s (probably) not forever, just for now.

Thank you all for being so lovely!

See you…

xx

 

Bloggers Bash Tickets – LAST CHANCE!

I can’t believe there’s only a few days left until the 2018 Bash! This weekend is your last chance to get your tickets at the standard price, as from Monday, the cost will shoot up to the last-minute purchase price. So if you’re wavering, push that buy now button before it’s too late. 

The venue does have a capacity limit, which means tickets are limited. It’s first come first serve. So, once the tickets are gone, you ain’t getting in. We have bouncers. ** 

This year there are three pricing bands for tickets. 

Early Bird tickets: £20 (Sales end 11th Jan) 

Standard Tickets: £25 (Sales ends 13th May) 

Last Minute Larry Tickets: £30 (Sales 14th – 18th May) 

Prices are in sterling and can be bought using PayPal. Buy your ticket HERE, and it will be sent to you NEXT WEEK. 

The Bloggers Bash, for anyone that doesn’t know, is an annual event for bloggers. It’s a physical meet up in London, England and it’s open to any blogger from any platform, in any country. 

The Bash itself will be held on Saturday the 19th May 2017 in The George IV 

WANT TO CONNECT WITH ATTENDEES BEFORE THE EVENT? 

Before the day, we’ll post a blog with the links to all the attendees. If you would like to be mentioned in that blog post, then please drop us a line with your blog address and your name: annualbloggersbash@yahoo.co.uk If you don’t send us your information, you won’t be in the post. 

The SMALL Print 

  • Tickets are non-refundable  
  • Tickets are non-transferable 
  • Tickets are limited on a first come first served basis 
  • Cost of a ticket is for entry to the event only (not for food or anything else) 
  • Those buying a ticket agree to comply with any health & safety rules set by the venue and to behave in a way that will not impact upon the enjoyment of other people 
  • The Committee reserves the right to change the venue and/or agenda of the event 
  • Payment for tickets via PayPal only. 

** Please note, we do not actually have bouncers on the door. However, Hugh may well stop people on entry to hug them, and that can cause severe entry delays. 

To sign up for news about the bash straight to your inbox subscribe here.

The Annual Bloggers Bash – The Details

via THE ANNUAL BLOGGERS BASH – STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW

Are you wondering about the upcoming Blogger’s Bash? Still considering getting a ticket and coming along? Or perhaps you already have a ticket and are wondering about the all-important details about the venue and getting there?

Well, wonder no longer. Geoff has put together a comprehensive post detailing everything you need to know about the day (but if we missed anything, please don’t hesitate to ask!)

Read on for more…

Bloggers Bash 2018 – The Agenda. Have You Got Your Ticket Yet?

It’s hard to believe, but the Bash is less than a month away! Final preparations are underway at Bash Central, including setting the agenda for the day. We’re putting together a great event, including awards, speeches, talks and our popular panel debate, as well as time for networking and getting to know your fellow bloggers. 

So, without further ado, here is the agenda for the 2018 Bloggers’ Bash: 

10:30-11:15am Arrival and Registration (including a registration video by Hugh!) 

11:15-11:20am Welcome Speech 

11:20am The first three awards will be handed out! Informative, Best Pal, and Hidden Gem 

11:45am Presentation and Q&A with Ritu, winner of Best Overall Blog in 2017 (Read more about Ritu here) 

12:15-1:45pm Break for lunch/Networking 

1:45pm Presentation and Q&A with the intrepid founder of the Blogger’s Bash, our very own Sacha Black (read more about Sacha here) 

2:15pm Three more awards! Newcomer, Book Reviewer and Inspirational 

2:30pm Panel Discussion with Blogging Experts. It’s your chance to ask our experts your burning blogging questions. Read more here 

3:15pm Our final four awards for the day! Services to Blogging, Funniest, Best Overall, Competition winner 

3:45pm Closing Speech 

4-6pm Adjourn to the bar for networking 

Still undecided? Head on over to our testimonials post and hear from bloggers who’ve attended in previous years. 

We’re looking forward to seeing you all! 

——————————————————— 

DON’T MISS OUT! THERE’S STILL TIME TO GET TICKETS:  

Tickets (available until 3rd May) £25 pp  

Late entry ticket (available between 4th – 18th May) £30 pp  

Please take note of the small print:  

  • Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled  
  • Tickets are non-transferable  
  • Tickets are limited on a first come first served basis  
  • Cost of a ticket is for entry to the event only (not for food or anything else)  
  • Those buying a ticket agree to comply with any health & safety rules set by the venue and to behave in a way that will not impact upon the enjoyment of other people  
  • The Committee reserves the right to change the venue and/or agenda of the event  
  • Payment for tickets via PayPal only.  

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

Join Sacha and the committee on our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/991165987611263/   

The Bloggers Bash – In Our Own Words…

I’ve been to every single Bloggers Bash since they began in 2015, and each year I’ve had the best time connecting with bloggers, putting faces to names and enjoying a fantastic event! We’ve come a long way since the first Bash at Pizza Express, and I’m thrilled to be part of the committee this year. Read on to find out more…

The Annual Bloggers Bash returns this May for its fourth year, but the committee don’t run this event just because they fancy a day out in London! Oh no, the Bloggers Bash has grown in size and popularity because of you, the blogging community who attend, engage, and spread the good blogging cheer across the world. 

Don’t take our word for it! Here are just a few of the testimonials we’ve received over the years. 

There was so much food for thought at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards event in London last Saturday that I came away positively bursting at the seams.  

Between the presentations and celebrations of the awards, there were very interesting talks by Suzie and Elena on how to monetize our blogs and make good use of Pinterest. With around four decades of training experience, military and technical, Suzie made me realise that there are real opportunities to use that experience to earn myself some cash. And having only used Pinterest to search for nice images, my eyes were suddenly sprung wide open by Elena’s descriptions of the possibilities. Quite amazing!LANCE MITCHELL 

The Bloggers Bash is an amazing event which is held annually in London. It is organised by Sacha Black and a wonderful team of authors/bloggers. I have had the pleasure of being a bloggers bash attendee since its inception and I haven’t missed a single event. I would thoroughly recommend attending. It is a wonderful way to meet authors, writers and like-minded souls in a friendly environment. You won’t regret it. MARJE MALLON 

I had an amazing day at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in London! I was very nervous about going (as everyone can tell if they’ve watched the videos taken by Hugh throughout the day!) but I had a great time meeting lots of friendly and supportive bloggers!JO ROBERTSON 

Even when you can’t attend in person there are plenty of ways to get involved as ROSIE AMBER points out in her post. As many of you will know, the recent Bloggers Bash award ceremony took place in London, with many bloggers attending, even from far flung places outside the UK. I was unable to be there in person, but kept an eye on the proceedings via Twitter and videos kindly posted by the organisers.’ 

2017 was my first time attending the Bloggers Bash. The occasion was well worth attending. All the people I met were warm, welcoming and inclusive. We listened to informative talks about all aspects of Blogging, social media etc…  and had a super Q and A session at the end. I for one learned useful tips that i still refer to a year later. Meeting virtual friends in the flesh and swapping ideas was wonderful. Winning first prize for my flash fiction was pretty damned good too. The award presentations were exciting to be part of, we all swapped cards and swore allegiance and became great supportive friends. This function is certain to leave you inspired, informed and proud to be part of.’ ELLEN BEST   

Two years ago, the nervous trepidation of meeting a whole lot of virtual people gave way to the immense pleasure of finally putting faces and voices to names and blogs. Last year, the build-up was the excitement of seeing those faces once more. This time it feels like I’m getting ready for a long-awaited family reunion! 

The Annual Bloggers Bash had been a fantastic opportunity to meet bloggers I have admired for a long while. There have been opportunities to network with like-minded individuals, learn a lot of ‘tricks’ to boost blog reach and performance, recognition for bloggers via the ABBA’s (the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards), and most importantly, certain individuals may say, a chance to eat CAKE! RITU BHATHAL (BUT I SMILE ANYWAY) 

The Annual Bloggers Bash is a fantastic event that I look forward to every year. It’s a great opportunity to mingle with fellow bloggers and exchange views on all things blogging.
As most of us know each other only online it’s fabulous to meet in the real world and discover the face behind the avatars.
It’s a well-organised and well-run fun event with excellent information panels and enjoyable networking sessions.CHRISTOPH FISCHER 

Me with the lovely Suzie from Suzie Speaks

Attending the Bloggers Bash 2015 was the turning point in my blogging career. From that day onwards, I became connected to some great people, I learnt new skills and my blogging confidence grew. It’s like you become part of a blogging family when you attend the Bash. Everyone looks out for each other and the help you get from the experienced bloggers is priceless.  

You can pay hundreds to go on a one-off blogging course and learn some skills from someone who may or may not have had blogging success or you attend the Bash and hear first-hand accounts of how bloggers have got near one million views or have over twenty thousand followers. They share their best practices with you and the talks are amazing. I know which one I would rather attend…LUCY MITCHELL (BLONDE WRITE MORE) 

I have attended the Bloggers Bash twice so far and each time I have come away having met old friends and found new ones. The atmosphere is friendly and informal, with good deal of laughter. The inclusion of speakers who share their expertise adds an extra dimension to the event and the awards themselves are both fun and a serious attempt to recognise the work of the blogging community. But the best thing about the Bash is the people you get to finally meet and connect with.  SUE VINCENT 

Throwback to everyone meeting at the very first Bash!

Although I was pretty new to blogging, I attended the 2016 Bloggers Bash. I had already made lots of friends and was excited to get to meet them in person; I was so glad I did. Relationships already formed became stronger plus I got to meet some new and interesting people.  

The committee worked hard to ensure that everything ran smoothly, and we had a good time. There was plenty of blogging advice available from other bloggers and a guest speaker, there was even cake made by the lovely Geoff!   

The one thing that I loved more than anything was the friendliness of our blogging family. Everyone is exactly the same as they come across on their blog, so you already feel that you know many of them.JUDY MARTIN 

This year will be my third Bloggers Bash. If you have not been to a Bash before I am here to tell you that the Bash is the best way ever to meet other bloggers, learn skills and it’s a darn good way to network. 

All you need to do, is to attend, I can promise you will not regret it. Bring your business cards, pen and paper and a big smile.  

I love the Bash it’s the highlight of my year.  So, I look forward to meeting you there. All of the Committee are lovely friendly people, in fact, all the bloggers there are lovely people. 

Looking forward to seeing you all there.’ WILLOW WILLERS 

‘I’m fortunate to have attended all three Blogger’s Bash events and can’t wait for this year’s on May 19th. Through these events, I’ve met many of my online fellow bloggers in person, and each year is now a fantastic reunion with ‘old’ friends and a great opportunity to make new. A wonderful panel of highly respected and knowledgeable bloggers shares great blogging tips with time for a Q&A session, and of course, always great excitement with the announcement of the Annual Blogger’s Bash Awards. I am not a prolific blogger lately due to writing and family commitments, but I am no less welcomed at every Blogger’s Bash with warm hugs and happy smiles. The Blogger’s Bash is for bloggers everywhere, an event not to be missed if you want a whole lot of Friends Fun and Photos!’ SHERRI MATTHEWS 

How can you get involved in the Annual Bloggers Bash 2018? 

  • BUY a ticket. 
  • Cast Your Vote (voting opens 6th April). 
  • Spread the Word – blog about it, tweet about it, Snapchat it, Instagram and Facebook it, climb on your roof and shout about it! 
  • Check out our fabulous sponsors (Greenstory). 
  • Join us for a wonderful day of networking. 
  • If you can’t be with us in person then follow proceedings on Facebook or Twitter 

WHAT IS THE BASH? 

If you’ve never attended a Blogger Bash event before then you’re in for a treat. Created by Sacha Black and aided by her intrepid committee of eight bloggers, the Bash is open to any blogger, regardless of age or niche. Previous events have included speakers, competitions, a panel, and attendees from all over the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada.  

There will be an opportunity to network, eat cake, and meet some amazing online friends in person! The event takes place in a single day, and you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic time and a sore face from all of the smiling that you’ll do! 

Timings and the exact breakdown of the day will be available closer to the event, but it will start mid-morning and end in the evening. We will also announce the winners of the Bloggers Bash Awards, which you, the blogging public, vote for. You can see last year’s winners here 

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

Join Sacha and the committee on our Facebook Group 

You can also join us for our Twitter Hour on the first Sunday of the month from 7pm-8pm using the hashtag #BlogBashChat or join in the conversation on Twitter by using the #BloggersBash hashtag. 

DON’T FORGET TO BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW, find out how, here. 

Be the first to find out the latest news and updates by signing up to the bloggers bash mailing list HERE. 

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET INVOLVED THIS YEAR?