Gilmore Girls

My wife introduced me to the TV show ‘Gilmore Girls’ the other day. I knew it has been a show she has loved for years but I had never watched an episode. Now that it is on Netflix I caught her watching an episode a few days ago and sat and watched with her. I am a big TV fan, especially of drama and comedy, so am always on the lookout for new shows and although I am probably not the usual demographic that watches the show or the demographic it was written for, I found myself really enjoying it.

The show drew me in

To me, great TV shows are based on fantastically written characters. I am in awe of writers who can write characters that draw you in to a show. A great show and great characters are those that don’t need big events to happen all the time to keep the attention of the audience. I don’t watch shows for events and situations that the characters find themselves in, I watch them, to go on a journey with the characters I like.

When I heard the title ‘Gilmore Girls’ it conjured up an image in my head that was different to the show I actually sat down to watch. The show is based around a mother and daughter doing life together, battling the complexity of growing up, family and relationships. I found the two main characters to be real and funny but the main thing that drew me in was their relationship, which is expertly acted and written.

Good dialogue

After every episode of the “Gilmore Girls’ I want to watch another. In many episodes nothing groundbreaking actually happens, but I want to get to know the characters better and learn more about them. I think the show would be a great one to watch for any aspiring TV writer. Dialogue can be one of the hardest things to get right, but in ‘Gilmore Girls’ they nail it. The focus on character is just brilliant as well and is a reminder to any wannabe writer to really make sure you know your characters inside and out, before attempting writing dialogue or story arcs.

So this show would be my Netflix tip of the week. I have got quite a few shows on the go already but this one has drawn me in and jumped the queue. Give it a go and I think it might become regular viewing. After a hard day it is not a taxing watch and is great to watch to unwind.

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Building something with honesty

I started this blog in the summer of 2014, in the hope to build a place where people would come to be inspired, stirred, provoked and to make people think about many different facets of life. Two years on and over 150 blog posts later I am still here trying to do the same things that I started doing two years ago.

Is this blog an Internet sensation with millions of hits – no! Is it doing as well as I hope it would – probably not. Do I still enjoy what I do and believe in what I do – 100% yes.

Fake it to make it

I could come on here and lie and say it is going great guns, put a spin on it using fancy words or not mention anything about how many people the blog is reaching. To me doing any of that wouldn’t be real and would be lying. So many people sign up to the ‘fake it to make it’ philosophy in life and it makes me sad. What have I got to gain by trying to say this is a blog, which is visited by millions? Everyone with an Internet connection has the possibility of one day stumbling across this blog and I really hope they do, but until they do I am just going to keep writing, keep hoping and keep smiling.

The people who have to talk about their audience and numbers are normally the ones that are disappointed by their numbers, whereas I am proud of the 6 people who read this blog yesterday. Yes 6, I’ll admit it, but I am so thankful that those 6 people did, as thankful as if 6 million people had. Things that have a big following normally don’t need to talk about their audience and people just know.

Not worrying about numbers

I would rather just focus on putting out content that I am happy with and proud of than worrying about writing for numbers. Like on Monday I wrote about the extra day we get every four years, not expecting much response at all and I got 4 likes which blew me away.

I could pay for advertising but I just don’t see paying for an audience as a success. I want people to read what I write and be touched by it. I want to feel great when I see people reading and interacting with my blog, not just think that people only came became because I paid for them to come, where is the success in that?

Foundation blocks

I see every blog post as a foundation block. My house may take 500 blocks to build, it may take 50,000 but what I am going to do is invest time in each one and build each one as strong as the last. My advice to every blogger out there is be proud of the content you produce, as good content is the only thing you can control and the only thing you should need to be proud of.

Never stop writing or blogging because the size of your audience wasn’t what you were hoping it would be. Keep writing because your content is what you hoped it would be.

Getting a foothold

As long term readers of this blog will know, I am a huge a wrestling fan. Got in to it when I was a kid and have kept my interest going through adulthood. There are lots of adult fans of wrestling, some keep it quiet but I fall in to the category of those who don’t care what others think and am proud of who I am and what I like.

Recently I have started writing about the wrestling industry for a news company called The News Hub. In the past I have written about wrestling for many different sites and had my work featured in national news publications. It has been a good 6 years since I last wrote about wrestling though, so to pick it up again has felt good as I used to really enjoy doing it.

Mainstream

The great thing about working for a news company is that my articles on wrestling are next to major news articles on current affairs and in front of a big mainstream audience instead of a niche audience that wrestling websites get. On The News Hub I also have my own page where all my articles are archived so it is easy to build up a following and I am already seeing through the stats that my work is being seen by more people than it would if I just started a website or started writing for a wrestling website.

You can view my work here:

https://www.the-newshub.com/@adamsibley

This opportunity has allowed me to get a foothold in the Wrestling journalism game and because my articles are on The News Hub, Wrestling promotions and the wrestlers themselves are tweeting and posting about my articles. Writing at The News Hub has given my voice more authority and has helped me feel connected to the wrestling industry again, something I haven’t felt in some time.

The writer’s dream

It’s early doors but I have big plans for content and articles coming up and I can only see my audience growing and growing. It is so easy to write about things I love and this is why it has been such a pleasure to do. I feel no pressure to get articles written, I have a million and one ideas and enjoy every time I sit in front of a computer to write and that is the dream for any writer.

I have already seen so many doors open since I started writing for The News Hub and I know many more will in the future.

My writing is now available in more places

A little while back on the blog I alluded to new opportunities that had arisen for me and I can now tell you about one of them.

I am now a writer/contributor for a new exciting news outlet called “The News Hub.” It is an interesting place, where writers are incentivised to write engaging, quality content and a place where the community plays a huge role in governing the site and makes sure the best written and most relevant articles are easy to find.

Opportunities

I have been running this blog for two years now. It started as a place for me to share my thoughts and showcase my writing. Through my commitment to writing on this blog it has led to many exciting writing opportunities, including writing for other sites, apps, social media, other people’s books and my own book.

I have made no money out of this blog and in terms of traffic not hit the numbers I thought I would but this blog has done so much more for me than I thought it would. It has given me a platform to express myself and formulate my own thoughts. It has given me chances to experiment and work on what makes a good article. Most of all, it has kept me passionate about writing and active as a writer. To get good at something it takes practice and repetition.

Validated

I now feel validated as a writer because of the opportunities that have come my way and the people that have wanted me to write for them. Blogging is a powerful platform and there are many similarities in this new world between a blog and an article, with the lines between the two becoming more and more blurred.

One thing I would say to any other bloggers out there is – never under estimate the impact of your blog and your words. Impact can be measured in so many ways so don’t just think of it as number of viewers to your blog. Go after engagement and not views. Advertising and promotion can bring you views but it is good content that gets you engagement. It is better to have a small engaged audience than it is a big unengaged audience.

I hope everyone who reads this blog will follow my progress at “The News Hub.” To view my articles go to:

https://www.the-newshub.com/@adamsibley

Spreading your wings

Over the last few weeks I have been invited to write for some very exciting projects. Some are online, some are in books and some are in magazines. I am excited about all of these new opportunities but most of all I am so happy I decided to start this blog.

It is because of this blog that people have got to hear about me, to know of my work and to know of my thoughts & feelings. This blog has given me a chance to express my views on the world to anyone who wishes to read them. If it wasn’t for my writings and ramblings on this blog none of these opportunities may have come about.

Freedom

The great thing about blogging is that you can create your own space for free online and write about what you want to write about; in a way you want to write about it. On a blog you are your own writer and editor with no restrictions. There are few places where you can get this freedom to express yourself so I would encourage anyone to get in to blogging. I am thankful for everyone that does view the blog but I just enjoy being able to write my thoughts down and if they help or inspire then that is just a bonus (a very big one at that though).

Writing for other people and companies has been a much different experience than blogging. Instead of writing something, proofing it and posting it like I do with my blog, writing for others is a more involved process. The process of writing for others has involved a lot of communication, going back and forth on ideas and then a lot of drafting and re-drafting. When writing for others you have to understand that your words are being used for someone else’s mission and vision, you have to understand that they know their audience better than you do and you have to be prepared to take criticism of your work.

Hope

My hope from these new projects is that they will help me become a better writer and help improve the quality of my own blog, at the same time as getting my name out there and gaining more awareness. I hope that what I have written about in this blog encourages others to spread their wings and take on new challenges. Never be afraid to try something new or different, as you never know where it might take you.

From one blog, my sphere of influence is about to increase in big ways, bigger ways that I could have imagined when I started writing last year. If you want to know where your writing can take you, again I urge you to start a blog. Over the next few weeks I will be able to share a little more about where my words will be featured but I for one am very excited by what lies ahead.

When a plan comes together

As regular readers will know, over the last year I have been very busy working on my book project. First it started with me releasing an EBook, then I did a Crowdfunder to raise money to make it available in print, which raised more than my goal and since then I have been working on getting it in to production and available across the globe. The book is titled “Unbreakable Bond” and is about my story of caring for my mum who had early onset dementia.

Hard at work

Since the moment the funds came in I have been hard at work transforming the Ebook in to a print book, which has been no easy task. I could have gone the easy route and used an off the shelf self-publishing company like I have with previous projects but for this one I really wanted to push the boundaries.

For this book I have done everything myself. I purchased the ISBN directly through Nielsen, I set up my own publishing company called TeamSibley Publishing, I enlisted the help of a professional to proofread the book, a professional graphic designer to do the cover and used an accredited template supplier to work on the formatting.

Paperwork

This has only been the start though as whilst doing this I have also had to find a company to print the book (Lightning Source), file all tax exemption forms in various parts of the world, set discount rates for retailers and now I am looking in to distribution channels for the book.

The reason I am pushing on all these levels is in the hope to one day see my book in book shops up and down the country, which wouldn’t have even been a possibility if I had self published in any other way. Retailers are very picky when it comes to stocking self-published titles so to give myself even a shot I had to be very careful and put in this hard work up front.

Stress

When you are new to all this and are trying to do it all whilst raising a family and a full time job, it gets rather tricky. It has involved many phone calls and emails, it has involved a lot of stress and it took longer than what I thought it would but finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully by the end of next week I will have received my proof copy of the book and if that is approved then October should see it released worldwide, which I am very excited about.

It has been a two year journey to where we are today but I am so glad I didn’t give up and that I have something that I am immensely proud to show for it.

Goal Achieved

In the space of 3 weeks I managed to successfully Crowdfund £600, to enable me to get my eBook “Unbreakable Bond” made available in to a physical print copy, available from booksellers across the globe. When I started, I never thought that I would get up to £600 but in the end I went beyond £600 and raised £650.

There were days when I didn’t think I was going to make it, when nothing was coming in, days when I thought I had exhausted every avenue I could think of to promote the campaign but I should never have got down about it, as you never know when amazing acts of generosity are going to come your way.

I had always wanted to do a Crowdfunder campaign but this was my first and the feeling that I have, now I have successfully achieved it is something I can’t put in to words. Not everyone succeeds with their first Crowdfunder and there are many campaigns across the globe that fail, so to be one of the ones that succeeded is incredible.

Everything has to start somewhere

What this whole process has shown me is that slow starts don’t always mean it isn’t possible; they are just a reminder of how hard you have to work. Everything has to start from somewhere and the support of just one person can change everything. Don’t expect miracles overnight but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hope for some down the line.

I finished penning my book in 2013 and it has been a long road since that day. I spent a year trying to get the book published the conventional way through a publisher and after many near misses, I decided that it was best to just get my book out there, so I released it as an Ebook on Amazon. I am so glad I did because since that day it has taken off. I could have just given up and the book could have been kept to the confines of my computer hard drive, but doing it myself has shown that there is a place for this story and a want for it, out there in the world.

Reaching as many people as possible

Newspapers have done articles about it, care and dementia organisations have endorsed it but most importantly, it has touched lives, which I have seen by the reviews that have been coming in. The support for the Crowdfunder has further proven to me that there are people who want this book to reach as many people as possible.

My word of advice is, if you are a writer or want to be a writer – just get your work out there. In this modern age there is more than one way to get your work to market and if your writing is good enough, your story interesting enough and you are willing to put the hard work in to promote it, then you can have success.