Why is writing so hard for me?

Why is writing so hard for me?

Hey, people! I know it has been a while but now I am back! I have to apologise for the lack of writing. I sort of fell off for a bit but now I am back and trying to get a rhythm and routine back again. I have gotten to learn a lot about myself from this little vacation from writing. Especially, the main reasons for my lack of it. I would like to share with you some of my personal reasons for my procrastination and some of the practical solutions

Reasons why writing has alway been so hard for me?

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My written English is poor

I have always struggled with my grammar and punctuations. Even, though I am a native speaker, the written rules are a little different for me. I always excelled in creative writing but failed in the grammar rules department. That to this day plagues me and has become my main excuse for not pursuing writing as much as I should. Also, I am trying to widen my vocabulary by reading thesaurus often. Reading, in general, is a good source too. Apologies in advance if you see any grammar mistakes and misspelling in this blog. I am only human.

Solutions: Nowadays there are plenty of software to help spell check and correct grammar. I use Grammarly like my life depended on it. But I am trying to be less dependent on spellcheck software. This means a lot more time dedicated to mastering my craft and restudying the basics. That is a constant process and should be a lifetime goal. Not an overnight solution. Do not feel rushed about it or shame. You are not alone or the only one. Never stopped a writer writing before.

Social media

In the day and age of great technological advancements, it is inevitable that there will be no shortage of noise to distract you. My personal choice of poison…social media! Facebook, twitter, Instagram being my worst crime.

Solution: There are apps and software that can be timed to lock you out of things such as the internet for a set period of time. Making your laptop nothing more than an expensive typewriter and allowing you to write without the distractions of going online. Head down and get to punching those words out. Just google it.

Lack of ideas or uninspiring topics that I am not passionate about

I have realised there is nothing worse for me than writing about something that I have completely no interest in. The thought makes my very soul want to die. No wonder I find it hard to get up and face the computer screen when asked to write a 500 wordcount on the reason for the financial banking crisis.

Solution: Find things that you really love and write about them. Then the passion is natural and you will have no shorted of ideas to write about. No matter how niche you topic is. I like to add a little opera and theatre music in the background for added Shakespeare effect.

Overthinking and the fear of criticism

The fear of criticism for me, can not be underestimated. Enough of reason to shy away from the topic and hide my talents from the world for 20 years. The thought of what would happen if I actually was good and what people would think of me, let alone my writing, makes me feel a little unsettled at best. Writing is the most personal and intimate way of letting someone see into your soul. And I feel that sometimes I am inviting people to see the darkness inside me.

Solution: I have is not got an answer for that one yet other than whatever will be…will be. It is never as bad as we make it out to be in our heads. Something my therapist would say to me in regards to overthinking. To be honest she was right. Nothing to fear but fear itself usually. That crippling fear that renders you paralysed even to truly live out your life. To be honest, somewhere down the line I had gotten sick and tired of that feeling. Made a decision to battle this crusade to the very end. I rather openly be unapologetically me than anything less. We owe to ourselves to aspire to be more.

SEO and lack of technical know how

The problem with working in marketing is that it can suck the life out of creativity and genuine passion for something. Ticking off an SEO checklist for every instead of just writing can quite frankly, dishearten me sometimes.

Solution: I do not care anymore. When it comes to writing sometimes you just need to write first and think later. Worry about the technical stuff after. Life is hard enough without the added pressure of trying to figure out how to crack the google algorithm for every post or content you want to write and post online.

Life in general

I find it very hard in general to organise my life. Just got my first calendar in 2017. Things such as work, exercise and sleep are the things that I am still trying to get right now. Because simply the harsh truth is, writing is not a priority in my life right now so there will always be excuses I can use to postpone my writing.

Solution: Planning and scheduling are everything. More importantly, sticking to it! That is the key for me. Have an idea of what you want to write on that day or a template to follow so you don’t have to stress yourself out. Make your life simple with the prep work. But don’t get too focused on prep to the point that you don’t get the actual work done. Prep should be quick so give yourself a deadline. I can not stress enough the importance of starting the day right, getting the ball rolling and feeling motivated to follow through with the rest of my plans. Having a routine that gets you ready to face the day and has you really appreciating work life balance. After all, all work and no play make jack a dull boy. And we don’t want that.

So, to avoid becoming jack the dull boy click here to read tips and advice on how to party hard and enjoy your life!

 

10 photos from Skeppholmen, Stockholm – Sweden

Sometimes there is no need for words. Sometimes the pictures speak for themselves. And that is what I am going to do for these pictures of Skeppholmen in Stockholm Sweden. Enjoy.

10 pics from walking through Skeppholmen, Stockholm – Sweden

skeppholmen-stockholm-sweden-1

The view from the bridge

View from bridge crossing to Skeppholmen

View from bridge crossing to Skeppholmen

This is how you know it’s official

Skeppholmen, Stockholm

Just in case you need wifi on an island….

 

 

Darkness and snow in winter

What is winter like in Sweden?

So you have a lot you would like to know about Sweden and you have reached my blog and want a little more information on whether the myths are true or are they overexaggerated? Well, I am here to keep it real with you on what you can expect to experience during winter in Sweden.

Darkness and snow in winter

You can expect a lot of darkness in winter in Sweden.

So what is winter like in Sweden?

You can expect a lot of night and darkness.

This the biggest thing you will notice. Especially if you are somebody who enjoys the sun and summertime. Winter can be the harshest time for most workers because of the lack of light. This makes it difficult for most to wake up in the morning or gauge a sense of when it is morning. Tricking your brain into feeling tired still. This is the biggest thing that most Swedes have told me to be the hardest thing about spending winter in Sweden. Finding the light inside to endure the dark. Kind of dark and philosophical I know.

However, to combat this there are lots of things such as street lights, the bright snow that reflects the light and coffee. Lots of it. I would also say to invest in an alarm clock that wakes you up slowly with soft light giving the illusion of sunrise. Other than that during the day when the sun comes out, it is very nice and sunny. Grey skies are not as common so you get to enjoy the nordic sunlight. Just make sure to wrap up warm.

Cold, ice and snow – Obviously

Needless to say (but I will for argument’s sake say anyway), snow can come in abundance and stay layered on the ground for a while in during the winter in Sweden. Worse is the ice under the snow that is hiding and waiting to claim it’s next victim not wearing the right pair of shoes. To combat this, make sure to wear shoes that have grip for slippery conditions. Make sure that the thermal insulated and waterproof to protect yourself from the melting snow. Also, invest in under armour. It’s usually the answer to everything.

Christmas actually looks like Christmas

If you have childhood images of snow and winter wonderland then Sweden in winter will give you that. I am originally from London, UK so my experience of winter has been underwhelming for a long time. Sweden in winter has given me another perspective. A more fun and a brighter outlook on the festive season. Winter really is what you make of it. However, it does help when you have warm drinks, Fika treats, spices and berries, clear bright skies, reindeer, Christmas lights, lots of white snow and festive traditions and atmosphere surrounding you. You get the true winter wonderland experience.

To sum it up, winter in Sweden is cold, dark but nice in it own winter wonderland way. Beats a cold rainy night in Stoke, to be honest.

To read more posts about Sweden just click here

 

 

 

View of London from the rooftop

Back in London City! (For one week only)

Guess who is back in the UK! I have come back to visit my friends and loved ones. Coming back to London is a surreal experience for me now because it doesn’t completely feel like home to me? I know that makes no sense so I will try to explain as best as I can.

I am London and Stockholm at heart

View of London from the rooftop

Back in London City

Half of me is a London boy and the other half is the boy who has moved on to Sweden. Sort of like moving on from an old flame. The sentimental feeling of care will forever be there but you have already begun the process of being happy elsewhere. Stockholm is my new home and I have already latched myself to this beautiful city and Sweden as a whole.

For the first time in my life, I technically can say I am a tourist to London City. And I love that! Why? Because I feel like the chains of depression that held me down to one spot does not apply to me anymore. I am now able to really explore London with fresh new eyes and with a greater appreciation for its beauty. Where you love in a place for a very long time, You can sometimes take it for granted forgetting what made your city so beautiful and appealing in the first place. The magic can get suck out of life if you do not try to revitalise the spark. That is what I have achieved by moving to Sweden I feel. I am able to appreciate what makes both UK and Sweden so amazing and appreciate them individually for their uniqueness.

I will forever be a London boy at heart but I have dreams in Sweden that I want to bring to realisation. I am fortunate to have family in London that I can alway come back to if need be. This was another reason that gave me confidence and why I felt it was time to try find my own path. I thought to myself, if I don’t try and find my own way and live my own life, I will one day regret it. So, I made the jump knowing that regardless of what happens, I can always come back and start again from where I once started. That comfort was the push for me. Not everyone has this comfort as I understand but if you do and you are thinking of taking a shot? You will never regret your decision. At least you can say your tried.

Sweden snow

Jogging, snow and surviving the nordic weather conditions in Sweden

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to keep fit. Jogging in the mornings in my thing and nothing makes me more ready for the day than a jog in the morning. However, this morning was different. I awoke to see a blanket of snow as far as the eye could see. This was the first time that I had ever seen snow high enough to reach my knees. (And no I am not short).

Nevertheless, I decided to brave the harsh nordic condition and do my jog. That was my downfall. The rest of it was nothing but torture as I couldn’t even open my eyes let alone get a good jogging rhythm in the thick snow. From this experience, I have learned a couple things for future jogging in the snow that I would like to share…

Surviving the Nordic conditions and snow in Sweden

Sweden snow

Make sure you are prepared properly for the Nordic conditions.

Buy a pair of trainers or footwear specifically to handle the conditions.

I know sometimes we can all want to save money or look for bargains but in this case, this is not a compromise. The wrong footwear can be the difference between having an easy time of making your life difficult. Always have the right footwear built for the condition. Not all trainers are suited for icy, wet conditions. Just because they are running trainers does not make them suitable for ice and wet substance. Investment is for a long time so take it seriously and does your research. Find footwear that gives you amazing grip in snow and slippery floor. Make sure they are wet proof and thermal insulated. Whether it’s shoes or trainers, you won’t regret it.

Warm up indoors if possible

Simple squats, push ups, stairs and quick stretch can save you from pulling a muscle or major injuries. Especially, when it is cold. Your muscle is less elastic making it more prone to tears, rips and injury.

Thermal everything

Underarmour insulation is key! Wearing long johns or woolly under armour thermal will be the best thing you can do to survive the cold wind. Your gloves, socks and hat need to be well insulated especially as these are the areas that tend to get cold the quickest.  So invest in good ones and protect yourself from the cold that reaches through your outdoor clothing and into your bones inside.

Waterproof jacket

You will need something that is windproof, wet proof and insulated. Something to protect from the cold wind, icy snow blizzard and keeps you warm too. It also your jacket needs to not absorb water otherwise it can make your clothing heavy, sticky and wet. Not a pleasant feeling when you want to jog. So wool or cotton interior but wet proof exterior.

Protect your eyes from snow blizzard

dWhen blizzards happen, snow goggles are an essential part of the gear to survival. Otherwise, the blizzard can impair your sight of vision due to the sharp icicles attacking your eyes. This is truer when you are jogging against the snow too. Protect your eyes and look for some goggles or sunglasses to jog with.

These five things I believe will make you jogging experience go smoother in the Swedish nordic conditions. Apart from that, there is nothing you can really do other than to not jog when it is snowing. There is plenty of ways to lose weight that doesn’t require you to brave harsh conditions. But if you are like me and like the buzz and thrill of venturing the extreme tough terrains of nature, then this will only inspire you to brave the conditions regardless. Just protect yourself properly and you will be fine.

Enjoying a winter beer at Christmas time in Sweden

What I have learned from spending Christmas and Winter in Sweden?

When I think of Christmas time, I think the North pole, Lapland, father Christmas, Rudolph the red nose reindeer and snow. Not a coincidence that all of these can be found in Sweden. So this year, I decided to spend Christmas and Winter in Sweden. North of Stockholm, in Säter in the Dalarna County. It is colder and prone to snow than the inner city. Apart from the countryside view and the great outdoor experience, there are other. There is a couple interesting thing that I have learned from my experience of spending Christmas in Sweden that I thought I would like to share. Apologies if you knew or it was common sense, it is one thing to read about it and to experience it.

10 things I have learned from spending Christmas and Winter in Sweden

Enjoying a winter beer at Christmas time in Sweden

Enjoying spending Christmas and winter in Sweden

View of Sweden snow during Winter

Snow is a part of the Christmas and Winter in Sweden

  1. My experience so far of Christmas in Sweden has been nothing short of special. From the food, drinks, family and snow! Everything has been good.
  2. There is actually a lot you can do around Christmas time. Skiing, Sledding, Snowmobiles. Just because there is snow doesn’t mean the end of the world. In fact, it is more of an excuse to go outside and play.
  3. In Sweden, it is celebrated on 24th of December, not the 25th. Make a note of that.
  4. They eat Christmas Ham and not turkey. This is a welcome change for me from the usual dry turkey breast I try not choking on every year. ant there is lots of Swedish meatballs.
  5. Lot’s of drinking. However, I am sure this is common tradition most places around the world not specific to a country.
  6. TV program traditions. Just like home alone and die hard come on every year on British TV, the Swedes have their own bizarre program called “Kalle Anka”. Every year Swedes sit in front of the TV between 3 pm – 4 pm to watch Donald Duck and Walt Disney cartoon clips and soundbites every year on Christmas eve. Quite the surreal experience that hypnotised me back to my childhood.
  7. It’s all about family. Lot’s of screaming kids and lot’s family time.
  8. Snow makes a big difference to the Swedes. When it is not snowing they are very disappointed and not impressed. And then there is me who is trying to put on as many under armour as possible to survive the cold wind.
  9. Boxing day deals are just as important to Swedes as the British. Commercialism is a global phenomenon.
  10. Candlelight really makes a difference. I have admired the simplicity and unique Scandi style for a while. It is a mix of traditional with a modern contemporary edge. It is so interesting how much candles can really add character to the setting and atmosphere. Candles are a big thing here. Just check out Saint Lucy’s day celebration in Sweden if you do not believe me.

Now I am looking forward to the new year. With new things over the horizon, I will keep you posted on my winter time adventures.

 

The view from Stockholm docks

Appreciate the moment – TGIF

As I went on my daily walk, I was reminded by the beautiful sun that it was Friday. You have made it through the week and you deserve to enjoy the weekend. You deserve to take it easy this holiday and to enjoy your break. Life is not all about work and bills. It’s about enjoying your time on earth and making the most of the moment. In particular, the holidays and your weekends. It’s a chance for us to let our hair down, and go crazy. To express yourself fully without the constraints that working life puts on us. For me, there are three reasons why I really need to make the most of my downtime.

 

Three reasons why you should enjoy your weekends, holidays and downtime?

The view from Stockholm docks

Appreciate the moment – TGIF

Recharge

After a very long week of work, we all need time to recharge or risk burning out. So make sure you do power down properly. Leave the work at work and disconnect. I promise you the work won’t go nowhere. You need to learn when it is time to work and when it is time to take a break.

Put things into perspective

A lot goes on during the working week and sometimes we do not get the chance to process it all. Your weekend or holiday break is the time to do this. It is the time to reflect on how you are feeling and to truly connect with yourself. So that you can make better-informed decisions that benefit you.

Catch up with close ones

Everyone has a busy work life. Usually, that means we do not get the chance to see or meet or friends and family and frequently as we would like to. This holiday is the perfect excuse to try to reconnect or get in touch with loved ones. Whether it’s for a quick Fika or sending a message, call or text, a little effort can mean the world nowadays.

This is the time of the year when the days are short and the nights are long. So when I saw the sun come out, so too did i. I walked around Stockholm to see kids and families laughing and celebrating. Enjoying basking in the light. No matter how short it maybe, everyone was making the most of it. It was this thought that reminded me to enjoy my Friday. And so too should you if you can. Whenever you get the chance to get a break, be sure to make use of your downtime.

To read why you should TGIF click here