Blogger Of The Year

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It’s March 2014. I’m not sure what day of the week it is but it’s sunny and bright and I’m spending my morning away from my desk in a training session. When I tell the story back I always say the training is on Google Analytics, but when I actually try and think back I remember being taught about how a good, gripping headline was more important than an SEO-friendly headline.

I remember being told that trying to make content shareable was going to be bigger than trying to get content to rank in Google. And I remember only vaguely paying attention, because let’s face it training sessions, as important as they are, are bloody hard to focus in.

I was trying to use my phone. Trying to text my boyfriend. I was day-dreaming. I was scheming. I was willing my brain to come up with some explosive new life idea. Something that would make me happy.

And then it did.

Y’see, once the idea of handing in my notice and quitting my job had come into my head, I couldn’t quite let go of it. It’s like when you imagine eating pizza for dinner and then well you’ll be damned if you’re not eating pizza for dinner.

It seemed reckless from every angle. I had a studio flat to pay rent on. A cat to feed. A Hannah Gale to feed. No savings. No other source of income.

I mean, every clever, sensible, grown-up voice in my head was like ‘listen hun, hold off maybe leaving this job until y’know, you’ve secured a new one. Go home, refresh your CV and start applying for other roles and see what happens’.

But my gut instinct, like the bolshy sasspot she is, laughed at all the other voices and was like ‘LOL no do it, I dare you’.

And so I did.

I walked back to my desk during the next training break, Googled ‘resignation letter’, downloaded a template, and handed it over to my boss.

The instant euphoria is something hard to describe, but I just knew. I knew good things were about to happen. I knew I was on the cusp of something. I knew this was the right thing to do.

I had loved my job. Really loved my job. It has been my everything – the sole purpose I bothered getting out of bed with an actual SMILE on my face every morning. But things had changed and it was making me feel teary and low and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was making me miserable.

In the days that followed my resignation I had a lot of colleagues telling me how worried they were about me and Christ alive, the amount of times I heard ‘but aren’t you worried about how you’ll pay your rent?’.

Nah, not really.

I applied for journalism jobs, I had a few interviews. I reached out to friends of friends to see if anyone had any freelance gigs going, and I prepared myself to snap up a temporary admin role to fill the gap in pay slips.

I also decided, having spent a lot of the last few months doing a lot more editing than actual writing, that I needed a creative outlet. A place to prove to prospective employers that I could write.

And so I dusted off the blog I’d bought just after I’d graduated. The blog I had used as a distraction whilst I was on the dole and my dad was ill.

And I wrote a list. Because I really loved lists and I’d written a few whilst I was at uni and my housemates had seemed to think they were mildly funny. Buzzfeed was taking off and I was like HEY COOEY OVER HERE, I CAN WRITE THESE LISTICLE THINGS TOO!

So I did. I wrote 24 Unexpected Things That Happen When You Move To London. I clicked publish, shared on my personal Facebook page and then left my laptop to go take a bath.

When I came back it’d had a couple of shares and by the time I woke up in the morning it’d had 30,000 views. The next day it went into six figures and I was payed by The Telegraph online to re-publish it.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I had some more viral hits, I was scouted by the Metro off the back of my lists, and then I moved to Ipswich to live with a boy which enabled me to take a real stab at this blogging malarkey.

Fast forward three and a bit years and I am here. Sitting on my sofa on a Monday morning in my boyfriend’s t-shirt, drinking peach squash, eating pitta bread and staring at my ‘Blogger Of The Year’ trophy thingy.

Blogger of the year.

Crumbs.

It’s surreal but it’s wonderful and I am eternally grateful to every single one of you who’s ever read this blog or commented or shared a post. To every one of you who’s supported me and lifted me up. To every one of you who’s made me feel worthy, who’s made me feel good enough, who’s made me feel special. You guys are amazing and I owe you my everything.

So this post is your reminder that sometimes the best decisions aren’t the logical ones, and sometimes you have to listen to your gut instinct over you head.

You are capable of wonderful things, if only you give yourself the space to achieve them.

Peace out, pudding chops.

(P.S. big thanks to Blogosphere Magazine for shortlisting me in their awards – you can catch this gal’s face on the COVER (!!!) of their September issue. Oo-er).

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