September Goals

2019, goals, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I spent all of July wishing for August, then August flew by quicker than I could follow and now my favourite month of the year has come round. September – the month of the last dregs of summer blending into the beginning of Autumn, lots of birthdays and back to school season (I’m a nerd, it excites me).

My September has lots of fresh starts – turning 23, moving to a brand new city and starting studying at a new university. Lots of ‘new’ but whilst trying not to think about how daunting all of that is, here are the mini goals I will be focusing on this month:

  • Get a part-time job in Reading – for one, moving house is really expensive, for two, post graduate loans barely cover anything and for three, my partner isn’t going to be around a lot of the time and I don’t have any friends in Reading so I want something to fill the time, pay the bills and make some friends! I’ve applied for a job I actually kind of subtly really want but what I’ve learnt from a year of applying for jobs is not to put all your eggs in one basket! When I know more about my university course and my timetable I can throw myself head first into looking at working and (hopefully) by the end of the month I’ll have something lined up.
  • Stay on top of my finances amongst all the moving costs – did I mention that moving is really expensive? Not only am I now paying for my personal bills and insurance for two new drivers, I’m paying for utilities and WiFi and a TV license and all those things! Obviously I’m not complaining, it’s just adult life, but as we move things are going to be tight tight tight so I need to stay on top of my budgeting!
  • Finish PG Cert course, start MSc Digital Media Production – this one isn’t so much of a goal to strive for as a marker point to get to – I’m going to finish my post graduate certificate and I’m going to start my masters, but it’s about not losing momentum at the end of one qualification and making sure I’m prepared to start the other. There is literally one week of crossover but in a busy month where I’m also moving about 150 miles (ish) away, staying on top of my education is another important thing!
  • Focus on content – making four regular posts on time every week – my YouTube content in particular is massively slacking at the moment. I feel like I have nothing to film for my weekly vlogs, I’m working so hard in the office I don’t have time to film or edit other videos, blogging is something that comes very naturally to me and is less time consuming than YouTube (at least for me at this very casual level) but it’s important to me to maintain the two, especially where this month is going to be very busy. Time management is key!
  • Do something for self care every single week – and in a much less ‘productivity focused’ manor, things like taking my make-up off and brushing my teeth are the first things to fall off when I’m stressed or my mental health dips. My mum and I call my stress ‘subconscious stress’ because I feel okay about things but I feel a lot of physical symptoms of stress, so I want to make an effort to have time to look after myself – I bought a Lush face mask while I was in Reading and I want to use it! I want to look after my skin! I need to have a home routine and not rely so heavily on external routines and self-care is something I need to prioritise so much.

September is going to be a challenging month – financially, it’s so tight and it’s going to be super busy, but it’s also got numerous birthdays, a brand new city to explore and a whole new chapter to begin! I’m genuinely so excited and can’t wait to document it all.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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should I stop counting clouds?

2019, career

Hello!

Today, I wanted to write about something I’ve been thinking about for a while, basically since I named my blog and YouTube channel – is it time to move on from Sophie Counts Clouds?

When I started YouTube and engaging with content online, people didn’t use their names in the same way they do now because the internet was new and a bit scary and you didn’t want to put your surname out there. Louise Pentland was Sprinkle of Glitter, Carrie Hope Fletcher was ItsWayPastMyBedtime, Dan Howell was danisnotonfire – so many creators have moved on to using their names instead of these pen names they started with.

On the blogosphere, it’s not quite the same – one of my favourite bloggers is Jemma at dorkface, I know Victoria at inthefrow is a hugely successful blogger (even if it’s not my kind of content!) and when I googled ‘biggest UK bloggers’ the top name on the first link was The Londoner by Rosie Thomas. So maybe bloggers aren’t following the same trend as YouTubers and it’s more about how you build a brand?

Either way, I feel like ‘Sophie Counts Clouds’ might be coming to its end – to me it feels super childish, but I have centred a lot of my branding around it? It’s something I’ve thought about a lot so I thought I’d make a little pros and cons list to see if it helps!

  1. It would feel a bit more grown up – to be, Counts Clouds has always felt more childish than cute indie airy-fairy hipster (which is clearly what I’m going for)
  2. I’d be more comfortable promoting my blog and channel on CVs and job applications if it didn’t sound like a children’s TV channel (can someone confirm whether it sounds childish or not because I don’t know if I’m losing it a little bit)
  3. Maybe I’ll stop wondering if my name is what’s holding me back…

  1. Every single social media post I’ve ever made in over four years would have a broken link as it would still have the ‘sophiecountsclouds’ url
  2. It would cost money I don’t have to buy a new URL and transfer it all over – I am wanting at some point this year to work with a designer on pipdig to properly upgrade my blog because I know that website design is something I don’t know a lot about yet (going to make time to learn and make the most of Skillshare on this one!) but all of those social media links would be broken and I think I’d really see it take an effect on my stats
  3. Finding a URL which has an available URL and is available on both twitter and Instagram to have matching handles everywhere is so hard – with a name like ‘Sophie’, even if I thought of something that didn’t use my surname (like The Anna Edit or Lucy Moon), the fact that I have such a common name really doesn’t work in my favour. A year or so ago I considered changing my platforms to ‘sophieannwrites’ and ‘sophieannvlogs’ and ‘sophieannonthegram’ (which I’m still obsessed with) but I don’t think all of the handles were available and I don’t know if them all being different would make it more difficult and blah blah, there’s a lot of factors.

It’s so much easier to think of the cons because change is scary and but I think I’d feel so much more comfortable and at home on my blog if it was something a bit less up in the air (ironic, clouds, geddit?).

So my conclusion is that I don’t know – what I do know is that I don’t feel ‘Sophie Counts Clouds’ truly represents me right now. If anyone has ever done anything like this or considered this kind of change before, any advice is welcome!

There’s lots of things to consider, maybe I start a whole new blog from scratch, who knows? I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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thinking of ideas when you’re uninspired

2018

Hello!

I think we can all agree, that one of the most difficult things about making content consistently online is having enough ideas of things to talk, write and post about. Everyone goes through periods of feeling incredibly inspired and having loads of posts you want to write but similarly, I’m pretty sure everyone goes through periods of having no idea what to make!

I’ve been making YouTube videos for nearly 5 years and writing blog posts for over 4 and whilst I’ve had different consistencies of how frequently I’ve posted, I’ve made 300 videos and 600 blog posts and I think I’m doing alright! I’ve been consistently publishing two blog posts and two videos a week for a fair few months now so I thought I’d share my three top tips for finding ideas when nothing is springing to mind!

1. What do you enjoy making the most? 
Sometimes if you’re feeling uninspired, the best thing is to go back to content that you enjoy making the most because that always comes through. Making what you love often makes it easier to motivate yourself to actually make it and can reignite the spark for why you love making content at all, thus getting those creative juices flowing and maybe sparking some more ideas.

2. Looking back at what you’ve already made
Scrolling back through my blog posts and YouTube videos, looking back at what I’ve published, what worked, what people engaged with and reacted well to often makes me think of something  new I want to make or something I’d like to try again. Also works if you scroll through your favourite blogs or YouTube channels!

3. Using social media
Something as simple as searching ‘blog’ or ‘video’ on twitter or instagram (or your YouTube sub feed and recommend pages!), scrolling through what other people are making, even having a read or watch and engaging with others content, you’ll be inspired by something or like an idea or think of something for sure. Even if you end up using someone’s idea (as long as you credit them obviously!) it might get you back on the creative track and inspire you back to your usual, idea brewing self! Also a bonus that it’ll keep you up to date on trends and what’s popular and what is working for other people, which is always useful!

I mean, it’s easy enough to google ‘blog ideas’, I think we’ve all done it, but I’ve never found an idea or written a post from a random list of ideas that I’ve been passionate about and lists of ideas will never beat your idea or your research and it won’t really fit what you want.

It can be tough, but if you’re prepared to put the work in and make content that you’re really passionate about and love, then your content will be fantastic.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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the world is not what you thought | creative writing

2017

She was lost. Running, fumbling, already so far from her team and pushing further.

She was being chased, by the kind that rendered humanity to despair – 15 feet tall and strong, mindless humanoid creatures with angry red skin, razor sharp teeth and no concern for human life.

Humanity had united – all those left alive were brought together on central mainland Europe and the community worked fast to protect itself from the invasion that nearly destroyed Earth. No one knew if it was a human disease or an alien invasion but they knew they had to survive.

But humanity couldn’t resist – surviving wasn’t enough, they wanted to dominate and have control of their planet back. So a new army formed.

And she was part of it. She swore she would fight for her life – fight until there was nothing left and she did. The rest of her team were together, she had been separated and she made the decision to lure the Colossal away from her team – she knew she was to die, she wanted to do what she could to make sure they lived.

But she was running out of energy – she knew she wasn’t fighting for her life so why was she still running? Why didn’t she just let herself die?

And then she tripped over and rolled to a stand still, hearing the Colossal’s heavy footsteps catching up. But there was lighter footsteps, fast and getting louder – she looked up in time to see a heavy boot plant in front of her and leap over her.

Suddenly this mysterious woman was taking on the Colossal by herself – she launched herself into the air again, using the tree as a lever to reach his full 15 feet of height and her poised sword cut effortlessly through it’s neck.

The body stopped dead in it’s tracks – the head continuing to roll forward, the body slowly dropping to it’s knees and falling flat on it’s chest.

She had rolled onto her back and the head came to rest at her feet – it’s deep, black, electric eyes still open and staring at her.

Her anonymous saviour sliced her sword up it’s spine and stabbed her sword through it’s head into the ground, as a secondary precaution.

“How? How did you… all of humanity is inside of the walls and no one is allowed outside of the walls unless they are part of the outside attack devision of the army. How are you alive?” The soldier fumbled, scrambling to her feet and matching this anonymous fighter.

The fighter just narrowed her eyes, looking the soldier up and down and smirking.

“Nice coat. Is that your uniform?” The fighter teased, turning to pluck her sword from it’s place in the ground, wiping it clean on the nearest tree’s bark and sliding it back in it’s sheath.

The soldier was taken aback. “Um, yes, it is. You didn’t answer my questions.”

“Because a stupid question from a naive soldier of the Community is irrelevant.”

“Stupi- what do you mean ‘The Community’?”

“What do you call yourselves, the last humans alive?”

“We are-”

“No, if you believe you gathered every human and build a wall around them you were childish and stupid.” The fighter snapped.

The soldier realised. “You were forgotten. You didn’t make the boats, did you?”

The fighter sighed. “There’s a group of us, we’re travelling the world trying to find the rest of the stragglers. We’re going to build another camp – in Australia, start making Earth what it was by actually destroying the Colossal’s.” She snapped.

“How much do you know about them?” The soldier asked.

The fighter scanned her surroundings and shook her head. “There isn’t time – I may fight them but that doesn’t mean I want the Colossal’s to pin point me. I can take you back to the Community wall but you’ll have to get yourself inside.” She promised.

“Come with me.” The soldier begged instantly. “Inside the walls we can talk – compare knowledge, help each other, we can find your friends and make them safe.”

“We don’t want to be part of the Community. We want to take action. I wouldn’t get out again anyway – you said yourself only the army can get out.”

“I can get you in and out, please, just tell us what you know?”


Oh I thoroughly enjoyed that one. Can you tell I binge watched Attack on Titan recently?

I really love writing these posts – I don’t know why I don’t let them inspire me to actually write creatively in my own time but for some reason I just don’t, I’m not sure why. I wish I did write more though, I’m slowly working on it but computer time is difficult when I have uni and work and online stuff to manage.

It means I appreciate ‘away-from-computer’ time a lot more though and that’s nice.

I think I need the pressure of a deadline to make me actually write something, I could give myself one but it wouldn’t mean anything because that deadline would come and go and it wouldn’t matter. I always see YouTubers talking about their publishers giving them deadlines and I feel like that’s what I need but I’m not a big enough YouTuber to get a book deal, y’know?

Either way – what were you thoughts on todays writing? Something a bit different, but I really enjoyed it so I hope you did too – feedback would be much appreciated if you wanted to leave a comment!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Snapchat: SophieALuckett

how to find your niche

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been really thinking about blogging recently and what I want to do, hence why I took a week off last week, so I’m going to make more of an effort to make more lifestyle themed posts, not just a rubbish online diary.

I’m now classifying myself as a lifestyle, music and travel blogger and that’s where I’m sticking! The lifestyle is going to be more prominent than music or travel because those are more reliant on gigs or releases or actually going travelling and lifestyle is a bit more accessible for me.

But I’ve only recently made this decision of where I want my blog to be, so here are some ways I found to change up my style a little bit!

  • Read a lot of blogs!

It’s hard to know what kind of blog you want to be without knowing what’s already in that genre and what the genre (or niche) is! It’ll give you ideas and make you feel super inspired.

  • Google ‘how to be an X blogger’

It may feel a bit ‘granddad on the internet’, I know, but if you’re feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed, as I definitely was, it can be a really good place to start to get a feel for the genre, to get post ideas and to find new bloggers, which helps with the first point!

  • Try and brainstorm a bunch of ideas

You’ll realise you have more to talk about than you think and hopefully it’ll certify that this is the niche you want your blog to be in. Or, on the other side, it can tell you that it’s not the kind of blog you want to be writing before you start.

A blogging crisis was a bit distressing to me – I’ve written nearly 500 posts now and to realise I didn’t really know what I was doing shocked me a bit but having that week off to do a little bit of research and make some post ideas and figure everything out a little bit was really good for me – I’m in the process of trying to adapt the design of my blog too so if you’ve got any tips or can redesign websites, please let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiecountsclouds/
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