Outlet Publishing are a publisher that provides mentorship for young UK based writers between the ages of 16-25, supporting them through the publishing process, marketing, providing grants and more. Their website has a blog, Diary of a Young Writer, which is primarily written by one of their resident writers, Caitlin Lynagh. But between 2017-2022, I was a secondary contributor. I started writing monthly blog posts for them in 2017, not long before I started university. I don’t remember how I found the opportunity, but I’m so glad I did. It’s been such an integral part of me as a writer and has been a great experience.
Whether I was talking about my poetry, writing my first short play, my 100 Rejections Challenge or anything else that I wanted to ponder on; I always aimed to be honest with my readership and be open with what I’ve experienced good and bad, without oversharing too much. Whether or not I managed to strike that balance is up to you, but hopefully I managed it.
However, there were points when I had to take breaks due to burnout, university, depressive episodes or all three at once. For example, I needed to take a year out between February 2017-2018, as well as a two-year break between August 2018-September 2020. The break I took in between February-June 2021 was to focus on my dissertation, which had ground my brain into a fine paste. I wrote two blog posts about this, one about my proposal and one about drafting the thing itself. They were very understanding when I needed to step back and welcomed me when I was ready to submit the next article.
I started submitting Canva graphics alongside my blog posts in 2021. I was getting to grips with the platform, and I wanted to make my articles pop, and make it easier to share on Instagram. I found a fancy font I fell in love with and used that as my go-to for whenever I needed to put a graphic together.
In late June 2022, I decided that my time writing for Diary of a Young Writer was finished. I was a graduate and almost 25 years old. My passion for blogging was flagging and I felt like I had very little to say. The blog post that I’m least proud of (July 2018) was one I tried to put out for content’s sake and it’s the one I’m least proud of. I didn’t want to repeat my past mistakes. I wanted to do right by Outlet and make every blog post the best it can be. I was moving into a new part of my life and had some larger projects that I needed to focus on. Hopefully I’ve left on a high note, as I put an earnest effort into my last few blog posts, but we’ll see.
I’m taking a break from blogging for the foreseeable future, except for updates on the personal website if they’re important enough and yearly retrospectives. As much as I had fun doing in, it’s not right for me at the moment. If I change my mind, I’ll let you know.
I want to give a big thank you to Outlet Publishing for giving me the opportunity to write for them. Knowing that people were enjoying my writing and my voice enough to put it on their website is something that got me through even my most difficult bouts of self-doubt. Blogging is a good way for a writer to reflect and express themselves, whether you’ve got an audience or not. The more you write, the better you get, especially if you’re editing mindfully. So, if you can see the chance, grasp it with both hands!
Because I tend to use my personal website to remind myself of what I’ve done and how far I’ve come in any given period of time, I’ve placed all the blogs I wrote for them in one place here. I’m putting up my personal favourite posts I’ve written on my Medium account to share them to a new audience. You can find my Medium account here.
Check out more about the opportunities Outlet Publishing provide or for more information about their writers, go to their website: https://outletpublishinggroup.com/
BLOG POSTS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
So I Guess I’m A Blogger? (#50) (August 2017): One of my first ever blog posts. It introduces who I was and why I decided to blog. I liked to think I ‘wasn’t like other bloggers’, but that’s what a lot of other bloggers believe.
Stage Fright (#52) (September 2017): About an open mic I went to in Ayr that was hosted by Tracy Harvey. It’s kind of like Words and Music in hindsight.
My First Collaboration And What I Learned From It (#54) (October 2017): About a time very early on in my career where I collaborated with another writer. It was a bumpy road but I learned a lot from it.
Why I Will Fail NaNoWriMo (For Real) This Year (#57) (November 2017): One of many posts about times where I’ve not succeeded at something. I feel it’s important for people to be open about these things because they are learning experiences.
Writing Something For Christmas (#58) (December 2017)
Why You Should Add Reading to Your New Years Resolutions (Especially If You Write) (#60) (January 2017)
5 Nuggets of Advice for New Spoken Word Performers (#63) (March 2018): I had been performing my poetry and stories for about two years so I felt I was in a good place to give advice to newcomers.
The Greater Glasgow Slam and an Exercise in Self Compassion (#66) (April 2018)
My Poetry Writing Process (#68) (May 2018)
Writing My First Short Play (#69) (June 2018)
Opportunities I’ve Found For Writers Online (#70) (July 2018)- This is the blog post I’m least proud of. It’s serviceable, but I admit that I threw it together because I was running out of ideas. I didn’t want to repeat the mistake of just writing filler, so I took a long break after this. I didn’t come back until 2020.
7 Lessons I’ve Learned Judging A Writing Competition (#104) (September 2020)
The 100 Rejections Challenge Changed My Life (#107) (November 2020)
I Failed Camp NaNoWriMo And That’s Okay (#108) (November 2020)
Reviewing My 2018 Goals Two Years Too Late (#109 ) (December 2020)
Some Failed Yet Significant Writing Projects I’m Leaving Behind With 2020 (#110) (January 2021)
Here’s Why I Abandoned My Literature Blog Series (#111) (February 2021)
5 Tips For Reading for Essays/Assignments (#117) (July 2021): One of a series of blog posts I wrote after I finished my last university assignment.
What An Essay About Labour of Love Taught Me About Myself (#118) (August 2021)
7 Tips For Writing Essays (#119) (September 2021)
Productivity, The Pandemic and Toxic Positivity (#126) (October 2021)
A Modest Dissertation Proposal (#128) (January 2022)
Top 8 Novels I Studied At University (#130) (February 2022)
The Formation of My Debut Chapbook (#132) (April 2022)
I Submitted My Prose To 100 Places! (#134) (May 2022)
A Writer’s Guide To A Healthy Relationship With Social Media (#137) (June 2022)
I Drowned In My Dissertation Draft and Here’s What I Learned When I Surfaced (#138) (July 2022)
Navigating My Open Mic Through The Pandemic (#140) (July 2022)
I like to listen to new music as I do tasks like blogging, social media management etc. Here’s what I sampled last year and this year while writing each article. If you’ve got any music you recommend I give a listen, then feel free to get in touch through my Facebook page or Contact form on my website.