500 Followers, A Milestone Post

Since it’s conception in 2013, this blog has had many purposes, many milestones, many birthdays. It is the one safe place; the one continuous space, where I can write freely and know my words will not only be seen but appreciated.

I just wanted to say thanks, to old and new followers – you make it worth posting. I know I am a bit of a sporadic blogger, but my work/life balance leaves something to be desired. I really appreciate the loyalty.

Thank you all so much for the love and support, and I hope we will be seeing more of each other soon.

Love, Mel ❤

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Graduation | 1 Year Later

12015242_10153531992797488_4467283861848174181_oA year ago to the date, the Creative and Professional Writing BA (Hons) Class of 2015, graduated.

We were nervous and stressed and our robes were trying to strangle us. We had rogue family members randomly popping up to take pictures, and we spent our time either losing our friends in the crowd or readjusting our gowns.

We had spent three years stuck in cupboard seminar rooms, only 11 people in our year at any one time, freezing cold and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Lectures were nearly always followed by alcohol, in the true spirit of sticking to the writing cliches, a tipsy wobble home to do our assignments. Quick nap or dinner and you were ready for  a night out.

It is safe to say that university was one of the most turbulent, stressful, broke, enlightening and friendship-filled eras of my life. I do not regret a single second – including the time I got so drunk that I had to go to class wearing sunglasses in the middle of December… yep… pathetic is the word you are looking for, my friend!

It is the time after university, after you’ve graduated that nobody prepares you for, not really. You are of course advised to get a job in your studied profession, but that doesn’t work for most students. We end up behind bars or retail or office jobs, slugging the 9-5 with everybody else.

You tend to lose your confidence, your passion, you lose motivation for your talents. As a writer and graduate of Creative and Professional Writing, it was never going to be easy to get a job, let-a-lone a career in creative writing. So instead, I did some writing projects and got a full time retail job, thinking it wouldn’t be a distraction. Oh boy, how wrong was I!

I have barely written anything for my current novel – compared to what I planned to write anyway –  and my poetry has all but resorted to a quick Instagram post every week. I am struggling to write, read and do anything creative.

But that is my fault. I spent three years training for this year, training myself for my future career goals, and I am wasting that. It has taken me a year to realise that I am not the writer I was whilst at university, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t be.

It’s time to get back into not only my writing, but also my studies. I’m going to go back to my studies and get my Masters degree (hopefully) in Creative Writing and go from Melissa Holden, BA to Melissa Holden, BA MA. Time to pull my socks up and get back out there!

Personal Changes | 22 Blog Series

Obviously, we go through a lot of changes and stages in our lives; whether that be physically, mentally or emotionally. It’s a part of life. But sometimes it’s nice to throwback and see how our hair looked ten years ago, or what on earth we were doing with our eyeshadow, but we never really remember changing or deciding to change.

22 blog series personal changes

I’m no exception to that, but the difference is: I’m a divergent. (#bookreference!) I have so many elements to my personality that sometimes they explode out of me all at once, and sometimes the sneak out in the form of clothes, hair, make-up etc.

I like having a look through my old TimeHop photos (my Facebook spans nearly ten years – so there’s always something to cringe at… mostly hideous typos and kohl eye liner).

So I thought I’d share a few terrible throwbacks that show just how much I’ve changed over my tender twenty-two years.

I’m only going to share photos from my university and post-uni days as I would rather not share my acne-ridden teen years, so here goes!

Fresher Year of university and it’s 2013… I dyed my hair… a lot!

Second year of uni: 2013 – 2014 and I’ve still got pretty short hair, I’d lost a bit of weight and started to discover the vintage look… not always successfully! I’e still not learned to smile (properly) in photos.

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Late 2014: A red bob, and I’m definitely still rocking an emo fringe, but I’ve stepped up my pout game a little by this point!

20150709_103344It’s July 2015 and I’m in Berlin, Germany during my ‘I only wear t-shirts’ phase. I also wasn’t afraid on wearing shorts – despite the thigh rub that killed – and that were far too short for my chubby-and-proud legs.

Jump to August 2015 and my 21st birthday, I’ve still got the red hair, but it’s a bit brighter now – and a lot longer! I’m wearing glasses 24/7 by this point and had not yet discovered the miracle that is contact lenses – but (not that you can tell by my face), I was pretty happy with how I looked that day.

I’ve still got that tan jumpsuit, but despite losing a little weight since then…it doesn’t fit anymore. Bizarre!

Weirdly enough, these photos were only taken ten hours apart… and yet I look like a totally different weight/age/everything!

And now we’re in 2016 and I’ve finally got rid of my red hair – I truly loved it but my desperate need to travel and save money meant that going back to my natural blonde was going to be healthier, easier, and more cost-efficient! I am also growing my hair and it’s currently the longest it’s been since I was about eleven.

I would love my waist-length hair back one day, but I think that it might be slightly unruly whilst I am travelling around the world.13735534_10154275938312488_3013438026863761897_o

I think 2016 was also the year I finally learned about naked eyeshadow palettes, contouring, bronzer…and I finally mastered the winged-eyeliner-without-looking-like-Cleopatra look.

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And now, August 2016, we’re rounding up my twenty-first year with vintage glasses, highlighted cheeks, en-fleek eyeliner and bright blonde hair. Plus – I can finally paint my nails without it looking like a five-year-old went mental with crazy colours!

But the important thing is: I’m happy with who I am and who I’m on the way to becoming. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too. And that’s worth more than a million likes on Instagram to me.

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Don’t forget to read the rest of the 22| Blog Series! 

Happy 22 Years To ME | 22 Blog Series

22 blog series happy birthday

Today is my 22nd birthday (hurrah!) and whilst they’ve not always been happy birthdays, there is something little about each new year that makes me smile.

Like my sixth birthday and my bouncy castle (which I hated) collapsed on a girl I didn’t like.

My ninth birthday when my dearly departed step-father gave me a book of bedtime fairy tales.

My twelfth birthday had Pirates of The Caribbean and blue slushies.

My fourteenth birthday was spent in a Subway wearing prom dresses and converses.

My nineteenth contained dancing, vodka, and Chinese food.

My twenty-first led to my pub being filled with all my favourite people celebrating my birthday with me.

And now my twenty-second is me, my best friend, afternoon tea in Bills, and Finding Dory. What more could a girl ask for?

So here’s to another year of the little things; the happy moments that make getting older worth it.

Happy Birthday, Me. 🙂 

Don’t forget to keep track of the 22: Blog Series

22 Blog Posts For 22 Years | Blog Series

In two short days, I will be celebrating my twenty-second year on the planet, so I thought I’d celebrate it with a new blog series!

22 blog series

This time, it’s a blog series full of all the things that make me… me. Whether it’s my obsession with all things vintage, my love of tea, my struggles as an indie author, or my day-to-day life. I’m sharing it all with you guys!

Here is a list of the blog posts you should be expecting over the next few weeks, starting with the first post on 18th August 2016 – AKA, my birthday! and ending twenty-two days later (in theory…).

  1. Happy 22 Years To Me
  2. Personal Changes
  3. Is Being A Witer A Risky Career Move?
  4. The Fraudulent Writer | Prose
  5. Instant Culture
  6. Relationships
  7. Why Is My New Novel Is Taking So Long to Finish?
  8. Throwback to the 90s
  9. How to Add a Little Vintage to Your Life
  10. Look book: Summer Author Style
  11. How To Use Social Media To Expand Your Readership
  12. My To-Read List
  13. Me Before You Book and Movie Review
  14. Finding Dory Review
  15. A Bookish Day Out (Writerly Things to do in London)
  16. Doubts Every Writer Has
  17. Why I’ve Never Tried to go Mainstream with my Books
  18. Life After University
  19. How To Motivate Yourself To Write (or do anything)
  20. Short Story
  21. Long Poem
  22. 22 Reasons I’ve Never Given Up Writing (Quick List)

I really hope you guys like the series, and I hope it gives you a bit more of an insight into why I started this blog in the first place.

Peace!

It’s All In The Name: Name Origins

nameberryI was scrolling through Facebook earlier today when an ancestry.com add popped up. Now, whilst I’m intrigued to find out my family history; I’m not willing to pay for it.
Instead, I found this website that tells you the meaning of your name, and when it was popular. Sounded pretty cool to me, so I checked it out. It’s called NameBerry – in case you were wondering…

So, let’s see what my name means – shall we?

Melissa:

Melissa is a more classic name than you might think, used in the U.S. since the eighteenth century and originating as the name of a nymph in Greek mythology: the mythical Melissa was nursemaid to the infant god Zeus.

  • Gender: F
  • Meaning of Melissa: “honeybee”
  • Origin of Melissa: Greek
  • Melissa’s Popularity in 2014: #224

Victoria:

Victoria is the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint.

  • Gender: F
  • Meaning of Victoria: “victory”
  • Origin of Victoria: Latin
  • Victoria’s Popularity in 2014: #19

Holden

Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates–though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger‘s The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the name of its hero, Holden Caulfield. 

  • Gender: M
  • Meaning of Holden: “hollow valley”
  • Origin of Holden: English
  • Holden’s Popularity in 2014: #292

So basically, I’m a Greek nursemaid – who is really a bee -, who wants to have victory over a hollow valley that is possibly full of J.D Salinger’s books. Well… you learn something new every day!

What does your name mean? Let me know in the comments! 

Blogmas Day 6: To The Scrooges

Working again today, so I’ll keep this brief!

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It amazes me how scrooge-y some people still are, I mean come on! It’s officially December and therefore, officially Christmas!

I will join them in the everlasting hope that card shops will wait until Halloween is over to start selling Christmas cards, but other than that: Christmas is to be enjoyed!

So dear Scrooges, give up! Your time to complain about early Christmas shopping is over. It’s officially the festive season. Go get festive!