And we thought the year was fucked when David Bowie died

206 YOU HAVE REDEEMED YOURSELF.

5 Things You Didn’t Know the British Museum Would Make a Video About

Sometimes – often – my day job isn’t the most mentally stimulating or lighthearted. It frequently involves spreadsheets, social media scheduling apps and twelve tabs, one of which is my bank account. On these occasions I find my own entertainment in the form of podcasts, YouTube playlists and throwing pencils.

Sometimes the entertainment finds me.

I came across this while researching the British Museum for a blog.

And now we’ve all learnt something. You’re welcome.

Saturday Papers: It’s Not Completely Shite Edition

I will be at work when you guys read this, so leave me a comment for me to read on my phone on my lunch break. It’s been a shit week, generally speaking – and specifically speaking now I come to think about it – so I thought I’d collate some of the good things I’ve seen recently in the hope it reminds us all that we aren’t all just heading into a justified apocalypse.

Straight guy worries he’s being homophobic to gay roommate, realises he’s fallen in love with him

Please somebody write a sitcom or film about this. I might write a sitcom or short film about this.

OITNB is back

And I’m only one episode in but holy shit.

Somebody collated ’31 Jokes That Are Way Too Real For Anyone Who’s Had A Period’

And y’all need to read all the way to 31 I’m almost looking forward to making a couple of these.

This exists:

I hope you all have safe and happy Saturdays in your favourite clubs.

‘Romeo, Romeo, where are you Romeo?’

I read the other day that the average deposit for a home in the UK is currently £80,000 and as my reactions were limited to either throwing myself into work or jumping off the QEII bridge, I’ve been writing a lot. I don’t want to show it to any of you yet (for a staunch non-spiritualist I am ridiculously superstitious about sharing work before it’s done) but I’m quite quietly pleased with myself for having picked up a pen.

It got me thinking about that other great writer great pieces of literature, and I wondered if any of you have been watching Upstart Crow? It’s on BBC2 on Monday nights should probably be required viewing for every student studying Shakespeare. It was written by the same guy who co-wrote Blackadder, so maybe we should just appoint him head of schools and be done with it.

Imagine the exam papers.

 

A Really Tenuous 6 Degrees of Separation feat. GotG & Troye Sivan

I GOT A NEW KEYBOARD AND LIFE IS GLORIOUS.

It’s been about a thousand years since I did a music post and this week I bought two new records so let’s, like, music video and chill.

Awesome Mix Vol. 1 by assorted people who existed circa 1970

The other day Mum and I saw that X Men/Sky advert and said ‘that tune is in Guardians of the Galaxy. Let’s watch Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Then we said ‘these tunes are the best tunes. Let’s find the soundtrack.’ For the record (ha) I will personally not rest as a screenwriter until I can write anything as good as this:

Neither of us have seen the new X Men yet, but we definitely won’t get Sky.

Blue Neighbourhood by someone who definitely did not exist in the 1970s

The other day I was in New Look and thought ‘this song about youth and partying sounds like it could be by this Troye Sivan guy I’ve heard about.’ Then I spent several days suffering through YouTube ads before cornering a guy in HMV to find Troye’s record. Lil tip: check you can spell an artist’s name before requesting the staff search them. Also, there’s a chance you couldn’t find the CD yourself because you were too short to reach the shelf and didn’t want to upset your takeaway coffee by tiptoeing.

Someone pointed out that this video is basically what Tumblr looks like:

and they ain’t wrong. My favourite songs on Blue Neighbourhood don’t have videos, but they are the same colour as my soul in the same way My Chemical Romance is the same colour as my soul. I’d forgotten what it was like to hear that sort of music for the first time so to celebrate I dyed my hair again and nearly committed to adding more metal to my head. I’m reliving my teenage years. Oh and you should watch these.

Okay I’m gonna go make my pets dinner and dance to the Piña Colada Song. 10 points to the first person to state the six degrees.

Dropped Mic at the BAFTAs

Who else inhaled audibly on Sunday night when Peter Kosminsky mentioned John Whittingdale? Who else wants to see his full speech plus a lil interview with some awkward filmmakers?

I am one hundred percent done with any and all British and/or world politics at the moment but the BAFTAs made me sit up a little straighter, pick up a pen and write some things because who the fuck is a one term government to dictate what viewers can and can’t see? I’m not a fan of everything the BBC makes (like what the hell was the actual point of The Voice except to see Tom Jones be lovely?) but British television collectively is the best in the world, goddamnit, and I want to work in it someday and even if I didn’t I would defend public broadcasting to the death because commercials are the bane of my life and if the only shows available were TOWIE and that talent one, I would move to Australia.

Dear god they have the talent one in Australia.

That’s my ranting done for the week; I’m off to make something that might annoy 50 year old Tory secretaries of state…

Book Hangovers & Nine Hamlets

Good news: I’ve worked out how to live with a fucked keyboard. Bad news: I haven’t gotten off my arse to buy a new one. I did get off my arse when I got a text last weekend that my copy of The Raven King was in Waterstones – literally as I walked through the door after a day of working opposite my local Waterstones, half an hour before it closed. I haven’t physically run that much since year nine cross country, holy shit. Cue an evening of ignoring the universe and wondering who I can sell my soul to in order to write that well.

In short, I’m book hungover. I also missed this:

But I think Shakespeare would have approved of my forsaking him for a story, so thank u Internet for letting me see this later.

Could I buy all the Raven Cycle merchandise I can find and call it a business expense? Insofar as I have remembered how much I love books and how much I want to make books all the time. Maybe I could enter it under Misc: inspiration. If David Cameron can stash his cash in South America, surely I can buy a couple several t-shirts, some stickers and a handful of posters with my HMRC-approved cash?

Or maybe I will just go and reread the series and plot ways to absorb Stiefvater’s evil genius. The temptation to make a sacrifice joke here is potent.

 

A Retrospective of the Fiscal Year and Dubious Freelancing/Artist Advice

Who’s excited for the end of the financial year? Who wants it to be 6th April already so they can relish a clean slate and make 2016/17 the year they go up an income threshold? Who sometimes wishes they had someone else to make tough decisions regarding business card expenditure?

Yep.

Since we are nearly at the end of this fiscal calendar, I thought I’d reflect on what I’ve learnt since 6th April 2015, as a writer, shopkeeper and digital marketing freelancer and share some of my pearls of wisdom.

  • It’s genuinely really hard to invest in necessities like business cards and packaging when you have no capital. Use some savings (or visit one of those bank things or find some investors) to get you off the ground. It will cause less stomachaches.
  • Speaking of packaging, it’s completely okay to reuse bubble envelopes if they aren’t scummy.
  • You might think you can predict what will sell, but you can’t. You just learn to guess what your customer wants, and even then they will probably surprise you.
  • If a product isn’t working, photograph it better. Or replace it with a better product.
  • Photographs.
  • Photographs.
  • Photographs.
  • 80% of your time is spent marketing and organising, 10% is spent corresponding, 5% researching and developing and perfecting, and 5% making the art you sell.
  • Look after yourself, mentally, physically and financially, because freelancers don’t get sick pay, holiday pay, pension schemes or sympathy when they’re ill.
  • Always try to correspond with clients or customers in the same way your teachers wrote home to your parents: politely, firmly and with the spellchecker on.
  • As a freelancer, you make your own motivation and set your own timetable. I’ve learnt that my motivation is my desire to spite the people who think I should get a ‘real’ job, and nothing sets a timetable like knowing you have 8 hours to complete 12 hours worth of work.
  • If you’re not busy, clean your desk and do your accounts because when you are busy, you will come downstairs and realise you work in a pigsty with no recollection of where your money went. Oh and if you’re not busy, you probably need to improve your marketing.
  • Taking a step back from this blog last summer was one of the best decisions I made all year.
  • My readers and my customers are the strangest, most eccentric and most generous people. (I already knew that. You’re welcome for the reminder.)
  • Social media marketing is about being social. Not copy and pasting the high five/praying emoji onto  twelve Instagram posts alongside the phrase ‘keep up the good work!’.
  • Marketing.
  • Marketing.
  • Marketing. Work out who your customer is. Work out where they are and what they want. Go to them with the thing(s) they want.
Artemis was right, Greek mythology poster postcard by Francesca Burke

In retrospect I shouldn’t have been surprised that this was a hit with the asexual and aromantic bloggers of Tumblr.

  • #GIRLBOSS the shit out of your life, because no one else will do it for you.
  • Read #GIRLBOSS. Even if you are a guy, non-binary or allergic to hashtags.
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, girlboss.com

from girlboss.com

  • Nothing is more isolating than being the only person you know who does what you do and working from home while you do it. Find other people who do something similar and meet for coffee, follow their blogs and write your own, or join an Etsy team. Or all of those things.
  • A wise man in a World War II film I saw recently said something along the lines of ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person. People with all the time in the world never get anything done’. TL;DR: if you really want to make art or write a book or start a business, you will make the time to do it.
  • Paying yourself with meagre wages, knowing you can account for earning every single pound, makes up for being perceived as unemployed by your nearest and dearest, explaining that you post to the Internet for a living but no, you can’t wire up a wifi connection, and working on a Saturday night because you can’t afford to go out, move out or use up the bubble bath.

Most of the time.

Now bring it, 2016/17, I want to win at this game.