Katie Writes Stuff has moved!

Here, at long last, is the official annoucement I hinted about in my previous post:

Katie Writes Stuff has moved!

You can now find this blog at katiewritesstuff.com, including all my old posts and around ninety-nine percent of my comments, thanks to the ninety-nine percent reliable magic of the wordpress exporter.

If you have subscribed to this blog via wordpress, let me first thank you (thank-you!) and secondly assure you that you should now be subscribed to the new one. Otherwise, you should be able to subscribe yourself again (in which case, I will thank you again) or add my blog to your preferred reader.

In the meantime, please enjoy the newest post on my shiny new blog: Seven Tips for Beginner Vloggers. As a possibly dubious bonus, you’ll also be able to watch my very first sewing vlog. I look forward to seeing you there!

How to make a snap decision in under a month

One day, I’d like to be the sort of person who can make a decision as quick as blinking.  I’m getting there; these days, I can choose what I want for lunch in around five to ten minutes – a process that, in the past, lasted anywhere from half an hour until dinner time the next day.

The ability to make a decision seems to depend on the time available.  When it comes to lunch, there’s a finite time frame that handily dictates the speed at which a decision must be made; when it comes to life choices, the time frame is unknown, which leads to decisions being put off until next week.  Or next month.  Or sometime next June.

What are you like when it comes to making decisions?  Would you care to join me on this beginner’s guide to making quick decisions in under a month? Continue reading

How to Fail at NaNoWriMo

As all good writers (and friends of writers, and families of writers, and distant cousins of writers, and local shopkeepers of writers) will know, it’s NaNoWriMo time – that magical time of year where hundreds of thousands of people around the world decide to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  Cafés the world over experience a boost in patronage and coffee sales as writers do their best to reach their next wordcount target in the most bohemian settings possible.

With all of this intensive writing comes an abundance of advice on how to get through NaNo: how to create believable characters or how to create a dastardly plot that would be the envy of Machiavelli; how to deal with characters who won’t do what they’re told or how to write your 1,667 words before breakfast.

So much advice!  You could spend the entire month reading it, with the occasional (vital!) break for yet another pot of tea, and never even realise you’ve forgotten about the writing element of NaNoWriMo.  In fact, you may end up keeping yourself so busy and productive that you can’t understand why your word count’s still sitting on zero.

What you really need is a handy guide to identifying these traps and avoiding them.  A guide written by a veteran of three failed NaNoWriMo campaigns and only one success (yes, that would be me).  A guide that may feel uncannily relevant to your interests.  A practical guide on How to Fail at NaNoWriMo. Continue reading

A Quick Guide to Giving up Clothes Shopping

Do you rememer the last time you bought a piece of clothing?  What was it?  Why did you buy it?  Where did it come from?

I realised the other day that I can answer exactly none of these questions.

The weird thing is, I haven’t been making a concerted effort to avoid clothes shopping; it just sort of happened.  One minute I was entranced by the idea of hunting out retro-looking garments in unsuspecting stores and the next minute… well, I wasn’t.  In fact, these days, my idea of clothes shopping looks a little like this: Continue reading

Tutorial: Easy Gift Decoration

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?  The food?  The time spent with family?  The true meaning behind it all? My favourite thing, hands down, is wrapping presents.  In fact, it’s possible I almost spend more time choosing the wrapping paper and ribbons than the gift inside.  Almost.  When I was younger, I loved to choose just the right paper and pair it up with my favourite thing in the world: printed Christmas tape.  For me, it wasn’t a proper Christmas present if it wasn’t sealed up with decorated tape.

This year, I took a slightly different approach.  I’ve been trying to cut down on unnecessary spending, so instead of buying some classy wrapping paper and ribbons, I looked around and asked, What do I already have that I can use for Christmas wrapping? Continue reading