Oh, The Places I’ve Been

Instead of being here on Blogger, I mean

Image credit: thomas shellberg on Unsplash

I didn’t mean to disappear; I never do. Longtime readers know that, at least once a year, I fade away and the blog languishes, with no updates on my family, no lectures about exercise and fitness or posts of the (few) amazing meals I make. Sometimes it’s because I have news that I’m not ready to share yet, like a move or a baby.* Or because I have no time or energy at the end of the day (every 2-week-or-longer school break, November). 

I wish it was due to travel, but since September, I have been to Wembley twice (ooooo…) and to Potter’s Bar. I have travelled for up to 45 minutes to get 15 miles from my flat. And, like a fool, I brought my family with me.

But, I digress.

I’ve been trying a thing. 

I have a few writing and copywriting contracts that keep me quite busy, and I’ve been revising and editing my novel (Ground Control! Available on EpisodicReading.com!), and of course, until today, my twice-weekly bootcamps have been taking up time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But, I also decided to really, truly, fully commit to using more adverbs posting and promoting more articles on Medium.

I joined two Facebook groups that cross-promote and leave feedback for fellow Medium authors, became a writer for three more publications, and wrote two articles a week, mostly in my health-and-fitness niche. It was going well. By putting in approximately six more hours per week than I had been doing, for a whole month, I saw my earnings increase by… not very much, really. However, at the beginning of October, the Medium algorithm changed completely, so I can’t be sure how that’s working out yet.

Consistency is key, of course. But then it was half term, and three kids back underfoot, and then a week in that cabin in Potters Bar (that story is coming soon). November means NaNoWriMo, which means I’m trying to write another novel (coming soon to EpisodicReading.com!) in a month. And now with the latest lockdown, when my entire life seems to be writing, I don’t know that I want to — waste isn’t the right word — spend an extra six hours writing for a platform that keeps rebranding and rejigging its algorithms. How am I supposed to know what’s working?

I’m flexible. I roll with things. From lockdown to homeschooling to having three children and poufy hair, I can rally and make things work. For example, today’s bootcamp was ZoomCamp, and it worked (though I did miss the mud). I thrive on challenge and deadlines, and would rather be too busy than underused, though I had a very profane moment last week when Amazon suggested that I might like to buy an adult colouring book.** I can barely imagine what it would be like to be trapped inside, bored and lonely. On most days, that sounds like the best thing ever.

But, I know it’s not. The best thing ever is being healthy, sending the kids to school in the morning and knowing that I still have a full day of work ahead of me. It’s a warm and safe flat to live, good food to eat, and as much tea as I want to drink.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I will try my best to catch up on the real-life stuff before all three of the kids are taller than me.

Karen Hough – Medium

Green tea is for the morning. As the kids make their beds and brush their teeth, I boil the kettle. I start with a cup of flavoured green tea from my growing stash of tins and teas. Dragon Fruit, Berry Blend, Sencha Rose, Mint.

*There is no baby. I repeat, I am not having another baby.

**Who the #$% has time to colour???

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