I’m in a Funk

Blerghh. That’s not a normal start to a blog post, is it? Recently I’ve been sitting at my laptop trying to write, well, anything and not being happy with the result. I’ve attempted blog posts, non-fiction book ideas, fictional book ideas and I’ve just felt really ‘meh’ about it. The thing is it doesn’t just cover my writing. In general, I’ve been in an odd fidgety mood where I just can’t seem to feel good about what I’m doing.

I wrote a little while ago about what’s been up with me and got a lovely response from so many people, so thank you. I’ve been trying to get myself out of this mindset and pinpoint if there’s anything in particular, but I’m coming up with nothing. That was until I spoke to a friend of mine and found out she had quite a few of the same feelings.

Now, we’ve been friends since we were 11 years old and we have drastically different lives but we still had these feelings of not quite knowing what we’re doing and feeling like we’re not doing enough or what we should be for our lives. I’m going to throw it out there and say I’m not the only 20 something that feels like that at the moment.

There’s so much uncertainty about everything that even the smallest things can feel like they’re a huge deal. Take blogging for example. Logically I know that if I only post twice a week no one is going to die. It’s not a life or death situation but the thought still fills me with panic. Am I where I should be with my blog? Why am I not getting as many views as XX? Am I doing enough on my own social media? The list goes on.

We all know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves but, let’s be honest, we all do. My friend has two kids under 10 and worries about career stuff. I have started in my career and worry about having a family in the future. I guess it doesn’t matter where you are, you’re still going to worry about something and feel that you’re not doing it right.

Have any of my fellow bloggers been stuck in this funk before? What did you do to get out of it? Let me know in the comments below!

What Do You Do For Fun? 23 and ‘Boring’

I was recently asked what I do for fun, what my hobbies are. I replied as I always do I blog, I read a lot and I write. People don’t really believe me when I say that’s what I do for fun. Don’t you go out? Don’t you drink etc, etc. That’s usually how it goes. So sometimes I think about it, am I boring for my age?

I’ve never been one for regularly going out to clubs and partying. When I was a teenager I went to house parties, hosted by my boyfriend. When I was in college I didn’t go out drinking still, only to a few house parties. In my first six months at university, I went out to a club grand total of two times the first I was on the night bus crying by midnight because I had an anxiety attack. The second time I came home early. In Second year I’d get drunk so I wasn’t anxious and go out with friends. In Third year I didn’t go out at all. Then I graduated and became even more comfortable with my own life.

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You might follow me on Instagram and think, hang on I’ve seen pictures of you out with friends. I do go, occasionally. Once a month my friends and I try and go out for drinks or I might go to see or do something. For a long time, I got hung up on the fact I didn’t feel ‘normal’, I felt ‘boring’. I had this idea in my head of what I was meant to be doing.

There is a pressure I think. Travel the world, but save money. Go out and party, but spend all your time networking and building a career. Have fun, but think seriously about your future, you only get one chance. All of these things going through your mind.

The thing is, I like staying at home and reading books or writing. Blogging makes me happy. Spending time on my craft, reading a really good book, having lie-ins or just chatting with my boyfriend is a good weekend. I like going out and seeing and doing too but I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not going out every weekend.

I thought, for a long time, the worst someone could call me was boring. I was fun right?  I was entertaining? People would want to hang out with me? I tormented myself worrying about this shit. Slowly, I’m working towards not caring about that stuff, about doing my own thing and what makes me happy. And, for me, that’s what’s important doing things I love to do rather than what everyone else is doing.

I want to hear from my lovely readers! Do you ever feel like you’re not doing ‘what you should’ or a bit boring? Do you ever feel under pressure to be or act a certain way because of your age? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Life Update: I’m Being Published!

I have some super exciting news! I’m going to be published! Yes, a piece of my work is going to be published in an actual physical book! The plan for tonight was to do my normal Thursday book review, but then I got an email. So, how did this come about?

I was lucky enough back in 2015 to be offered the chance to go to Athens as part of Kingston Writing School and I got to learn from the wonderful K.J. Orr about writing as well as being with other writers. I loved the course, I’d happily go back again to learn. This summer that will have been 3 years ago. Each year writers of the Summer School get the opportunity to submit pieces for an anthology.

I submitted last year and, unfortunately, didn’t get chosen which is fine because I don’t think it was my best work. This year, however, I wrote two poems, worked on them and submitted them in the new year. I wish I could say forgot about them but I didn’t I checked my email every day and…it worked.

I got the confirmation email today and I’m so, so excited. I love to write, I’ve always loved to write as soon as I learnt how to. Knowing that my name, my piece is going to be in a book is incredible. I also pretty sure that it’s only the start. I want and am working on writing my first novel in a series.

I’m so excited and I couldn’t wait to share this with you because honestly, I feel like writing my blog for the past few years has made me a better writer. I think about my content, the language and what you guys want to read alongside my own ideas. So a big thank you to everyone who reads my blog!

I’ll keep you all updated!

 

My Goals For 2018

Welcome to 2018! January 1st, the start of a whole new year. If you’ve been following my blog for longer than a year, first of all, thank you so much you’re amazing, anyway, you’ll know I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. I say it, again and again, every year. Long story short, it’s cold, it’s miserable. Why start something new when it’s kinda shitty and everyone feels a little down?

So I’m all about making goals and they don’t need to be big or have a huge final solution. They can be whatever you want them to be and you can start them when you feel ready! So I do have a few goals for myself BUT with the idea that I want to start them. It doesn’t have to be finished by the 31st December 2018 at 11.59 but if it’s started then I’m pleased.

Get to 5000 Twitter Followers

Originally I wanted to do this in 2017 but it didn’t happen but I did get to 4000 which is a great start. So I’m going to work to get to this goal and connect with more people.

Start working on my first book…whatever that may be! 

I’ve wanted to write a book for years, I get ideas, I start writing, I hate everything I write, I stop. The cycle goes on and on. I need to carry on writing, even if I think it’s awful because the end result might not be…

Work towards a healthy weight

My weight has really changed in the past few years there’s a lot of factors, the biggest of which was breaking my spine, but other things too. Emotionally I wasn’t in a good place during the early part of last year but I did make a change. Between July and November, I lost just under half a stone, which is a start but I want to continue to make progress. I know what my goal is but it’s very personal and I don’t want to share it.

Write more poetry

I’ve loved writing poetry more this year and really getting into it. I’ve even published a poem here! I want to work on it and maybe share a little more…

Be a kinder to myself 

Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, I’m gonna try and change that this year.

Work my ass off in my job and see results

I started a job as a Social Media Manager in 2017 on a new project which is really exciting. I want to work hard and see results and see it grow. I’m so excited.

Manage my Anxiety in a healthy way! 

I’m a lot better than I was with my Mental Health but it’s an ongoing thing, I want to carry on getting my anxiety under control.

 

What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below!

Writers Block

There are times when I cannot write,

from my brain to my fingertips

it just doesn’t come out right.

 

When my head is too sleepy

or my heart is too full

or I’m just not feeling writing glee

 

Does that rhyme not show

that today is indeed one of those

Yes, I’ve sunk to that low

 

 

You see I want to write,

each and every day

So this internal battle I’ll still fight

 

I’ll drag those words from every corner of my brain

Get out here you guys, I need you

God, writers block is a pain.

 

 

My Blogging Journey in 10 questions

I get asked a lot about blogging once people find out about my website, so I thought I’d share my journey in 10 questions for my lovely readers. So, here we go.

Why did you start blogging?

My very first blog was to review my bookcase, as a reason to keep all my books. For this blog, I wanted to document my uni experience and it’s become so much more!

How has blogging changed for you?

My confidence, people read what I write. It’s made me realise I can write and it’s good enough for people to read.

What’s the BEST part of blogging?

Being able to connect with people, exchanging stories!

What’s the worst part of blogging?

Comparing yourself to others. It’s so easy to look and go why aren’t I at their level? It’s often a case of right place, right time added to hard work.

How do you schedule?

I used to be SO good at scheduling. Now if I can I try and schedule a week in advance but it doesn’t always go to plan…

Do you keep track of stats?

I have a spreadsheet (because I’m a total spreadsheet geek) to keep an eye on how I’m doing, what’s working and what’s not.

What makes you keep blogging?

Every now and again, I’ll get a message for a comment from someone about how my blog has been positive for them or helped in some way. It makes me feel good. That and I enjoy it!

What are your blogging goals?

  • To raise awareness of Mental Health
  • To work with some brands to promote something I love
  • To reach 5K Twitter followers
  • To use my blogging experience to write my own book

What do you want your blog to achieve if anything?

To raise awareness of Mental Health first and foremost.

What’s your top tip for new bloggers?

Keep going! Talk to other bloggers and push on through any writer’s block!

 

If you’d like to use these questions too then make sure to let me know! Leave links in the comments below 🙂

Sunday Seven: 22 and a half

This week I hit 22 and a half, I know most adults don’t count their half birthdays, but firstly I don’t see myself as an adult and secondly I like using this as a benchmark to take stock of what I’ve done in half a year. I mentioned way back in January that I don’t like making New Years Resolutions, instead, I like to use my year birthday to birthday to see how things I have been going. So let’s take a look back and see what I’ve learnt in the past 6 months.

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You don’t need loads of friends to be happy 

Now I’m back in Basingstoke we don’t have as many friends around, but that really doesn’t matter. I still talk to Joe all the time, although it sucks I can’t just pop and see him. I also have Abbie and Ben on the other side of town. I have a lot smaller group of people that I’m in contact with but it’s really about the quality rather than the quantity.

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The pain of losing someone you love never goes away, you learn how to deal with it

A few weeks after my birthday I lost one of my hamsters. Although, to me they are my babies. Noodle passed away and it broke my heart, I still miss her each and every day and that never stops.

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I want to write, so I’ll goddam write 

Enough messing around, it was time to get serious, get planning and get on with it. We’ll see what happens…

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Having your own space is key to happiness 

We finally moved home! Having our own space has made it much easier for me to relax and have time to myself and Ali.

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It’s ok not to be ok. 

I have a problem with wanting to be perfect. I always have. In the last few months when things have gotten tricky I’ve had to remind myself that I’m allowed to feel tired or overwhelmed, that I’m human. So, I did what I always do and I wrote about it and it made me feel a lot better.

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Leaving a job that isn’t right for you doesn’t make you a failure

Back in November I left my first full-time job for a variety of reasons. I wasn’t happy there and didn’t feel like it was right. When I left, even though I had another job lined up, I felt like a failure because I hadn’t been there long. That said it lead on to bigger and better things and just because it didn’t work out didn’t mean I was a failure.

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Grades aren’t everything. 

For a good few months, I hid my degree certificate. I didn’t want people to know that I wasn’t perfect and didn’t get the first I’d been dreaming about. I hated mentioning it and whenever I did I’d follow up with ‘but I was only 3% off of a first!’ as if getting a 2:1 in literature was something to be ashamed of. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt but at the same time my life was a mess in third year, to come out at all with a degree is fine with me. It now happily sits on my desk while I write.

2017 on chloemetzger.com!

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A new year and more blogs to write and plan for you all to read. I really had trouble tonight thinking of what I wanted to write, what direction I wanted to go. A few nights ago I asked those of you who follow me on twitter (@chloemetzger) who you would like to see more of on my blog and if you’d like me to write two book reviews a week (!!). The majority of you did want two book reviews a week, which is something I’m working on doing in this years planning. In terms of what you’d like to see you asked for more mental health related posts and more general lifestyle posts. I am more than happy to give the people what they want!

So far I post Book Reviews on a Thursday, Feminist Friday’s and Sunday Seven. Three regular slots that my lovely subscribers and Twitter followers know are coming. After hearing back from some of you I’m also hoping to add a weekly mental health post and more general lifestyle in between. Basically, I want to get a more regular schedule together for the blog and make 2017 really productive and positive year for the blog.

I’m really proud of how it’s evolved and how many of you that I get to talk to and interact with online. It’s because of all of this and the positivity I have felt from you guys I’m taking active steps to write my book. Yep, I’m not calling it a resolution for this year because I know that it could take years before I’m happy with it and I also know that there’s a chance it will never get published, but what the hell.  This blogs in its fourth year now and I know I can write long pieces from my dreaded dissertation, so why not?

Is there anything else you want to see or maybe that you’re excited about? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me!

Book Review: Great Small Things – Jodi Picoult

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“You say you don’t see colour…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.”

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father. What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us. It is about opening your eyes.

I have to start by saying that I have had the release date of this novel written down since it was known. I’m a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan and have been lucky enough to speak to the lady herself a few years ago when The Storyteller was released. Jodi’s novel is a particularly prominent in light of the violence we have been seeing pouring out of the US against black people, and how quickly things can turn nasty. I requested a copy of this novel from the publishers and was lucky enough to receive it in return for an honest review.

As with all Jodi Picoult novels, the story is seen through the eyes of multiple characters. Ruth is a trusted and hardworking nurse, she is also African American. Turk is a husband, new father and White Supremacist. When baby Davis dies, Turk wants the hospital to pay and to know why the woman he demanded not be near his son was present. Ruth is thrown into a world of accusation and uncertainty, can she finally face the fact that the world might not be as colour blind as she thought? Meanwhile, lawyer Kennedy has her eyes opened to the world in a way that she couldn’t understand.

Once again Picoult has chosen to write about a moral situation that raises a thousand questions. It’s something completely new to me to read from the perspective of a White Supremacist. While there is a fair amount of novels out there from the perspective of a black person facing prejudice, novels that I want to read and to understand. I never would have picked up something from the perspective of a White Supremacist, because I didn’t see the point. Why would I want to read about hatred? However, Picoult manages to show the humanity in everyone. She doesn’t paint Turk and his wife as someone to disregard because of their views, nor does she sugar coat them. I felt angry and uncomfortable reading Turks perspective, but I realised that this was important, because this is what people face. That said, Ruth is not painted as perfect either. While she is a model citizen, the widow of a fallen hero and loving mother, Picoult shows her reactions in a human way. She shows not only what people would expect of the characters, whether that be in a positive or negative way, but also shows them as real people who make judgements, mistakes etc.

That said, Ruth is not painted as perfect either. While she is a model citizen, the widow of a fallen hero and loving mother, Picoult shows her reactions in a human way. She shows not only what people would expect of the characters, whether that be in a positive or negative way, but also shows them as real people who make judgements, mistakes etc. While I understand why Kennedy was included as a point of view, she wasn’t particularly memorable for me. She added a middle ground to the novel but I didn’t feel particularly affected by her until the very end.

This is without a doubt an important modern novel, it’s been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird (one of my favourite novels of all time) and while I understand the comparison, it’s different. To Kill a Mockingbird had a clear right and wrong, you knew who was innocent and who was guilty. While few people would agree with Turk and his beliefs (and I certainly don’t agree with them) the emotions, thoughts and to some extent certain backstories make you unclear about all parties. Picoult has refused to show a clear cut good vs bad situation.

I gave this novel 4 stars. I really enjoyed it and I thought the concept was incredibly unique as well as very well written. That said I had mixed feelings about some parts towards the end of the novel, some I just felt didn’t fit (I wish I could go into more detail than that!), but I think this is down to personal preference rather than a flaw in the writing/plot. Picoult has once again shown that she is not afraid to confront issues that we might not want, or feel too awkward to talk about. She’s cemented her status as one of the most thoughtful and intelligent writers of the 21st century.

Great Small Things is out in the UK on November 22nd!

Looking back at University -I’m a Graduate!

On Thursday 21st of July my journey as a student came to an end. Yes after 3 long years I am now officially a graduate of Kingston University, Chloe Metzger BA Hons. I’m going to try and keep this blog short, because I feel like I could write a book on this chapter of my life alone. I went from a girl who was terrified of leaving home, to a young independent woman. I’ve gone through more than I thought I could enjoy and have had experiences that I never thought I would but I’m so pleased I went to university, I found out who I was.

The past 3 years have been overwhelming such amazing highs and very tough lows. I’m nothing like the girl who started, who was so anxious the thought of getting on a bus nearly sent her into a panic attack, now I’ll travel around London for work. I’ve met the Chancellor and had a good few chats with her. I started this blog, interviewed by various people, made friends, started a band, played all over London and the South East and released 4 singles. I’ve watched countless bands and artists and met some of my absolute heroes. I’ve also met authors, celebrities and inspiring people. I’ve won awards, became a society president, got firsts and two ones, become a Student Ambassador and in charge of social media. I’ve given talks on mental health and found my voice as well as a way to use my past to create a better future.

Of course there were tough times too the homesickness, the really tough times with my depression when I wouldn’t leave my flat or be around people for days on end, friendship breakdowns, breaking my spine and not getting some of the grades I wanted. Originally I didn’t post that I got a 2:1 for my degree because I wasn embarrassed. My goal from the first year was to get a first class degree and I missed it by 3.5%. I cried, a lot, I was full of self loathing, how could I not get that extra 3.5%? Then I spoke to a friend, someone who chose to love me rather than being Ali or my family who were proud whatever, who told me not many people can recover from a broken spine and be in hospital for IBS and still come out so close to a first. It made me feel a lot better. I put this pressure on myself and it’s one of my flaws. I wanted to tell you all that because university comes with the good and the bad.

My future has completely changed from that I thought it would be before I went to uni, hell it’s different from what I thought it would be a year ago, but I’m happy. I’m happier sitting writing this than I have been in months, because third year was hard. It wasn’t just the workload, but my personal life. If I’m honest I’m surprised I made it through. I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting but I want  to be truthful to let others know that even when life gets so tough that you don’t know how you’re going to keep going, you can.  I haven’t you the space to write everything I loved about studying at university, but I did. I’ve got some incredible friends and memories from my time at KU and it’s honestly one of the best decisions I ever made.

So thank’s Kingston, you were great!

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