A few weeks ago, I wrote that I was nearing burnout and so I decided to take my foot off the pedal a little. I handed one of my beloved clients over to a fellow copywriter friend – which has now surmounted to two clients handed over! – and clawed back some time by dropping my number of weekly blog posts. It’s done me the world of good and I don’t regret a single decision or moment.
So I’m not exactly back to my five gym sessions a week and I could be doing more with my life than lounging around the house, but I’m currently in the throes of throwing as much money as I can in the house fund to cover the fees that I hadn’t really looked into properly. It’s good to stay home.
So today I thought I’d share a round-up of all that’s good in my leisure pocket right now…
As a writer by trade, I pore over absolutely every piece of content that I can to fuel inspiration. It’s one of the first things they’ll teach you in a journalism undergraduate course: gobble up as much writing as you can from every avenue.
My first port of call is of course books. And I’ve read a number of epic titles recently. The Leavers by Lisa Ko is an achingly brilliant, realistic depiction of what happens to a son when his mother goes missing. The protagonist is Chinese-American and it sang so resoundingly with signifiers from my growing-up that I found myself entirely captivated by the story. The writing style shifts slightly throughout and I found Part Two harder to read, but stick with it for a truly rewarding story.
I also read An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, which I’ve already handed to my sister to read. I think it could be my book of the year! This stunning novel documents a young black couple in America who’re cruelly torn apart by the husband’s wrongful incarceration. Through letters, prose and on-the-mark dialogue, we’re rewarded with a thrillingly honest deep-dive into the effects of his jail time on a delicately fledgling marriage. It gripped me throughout in a calm and nurturing manner and I couldn’t sing its praises enough.
Another book of note is Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee. I absolutely adored her other novel, Pachinko, so I had to read this one too. It follows closely the journey of Casey, a Korean-American who defies her parents expectations to surprising and devastating effect. It chronicles her formative and defining years in New York City and is a brilliant work from Lee.
I’ve also continued to read blogs on a near-daily basis. There’s definitely a shortage of blog content at the moment, but nonetheless I’ve found some true gems amidst the rubble. Rebecca of From Roses produces such brilliant content for the everyday girl and I love knowing I can return to her blog for relatable posts that almost always speak to me. Rebecca is sharing lots of home renovation and pupper content at the moment and it’s always so useful and relatable. The Everygirl continues to be a great way to start my day. They share several articles each day for the modern woman and their finance features in particular are great
Now that Love Island is over for another year — well, until the winter season! — I’ve been enjoying some other series. I finally watched Big Little Lies!! Season one was absolutely incredible; beautifully written and told, and full of strong female characters. However I truly feel like season two really let the legacy down. But perhaps that’s just me?
I also finished watching Orange Is The New Black last week. And my oh my, wasn’t that final season a rollercoaster?! I laughed, cried, cheered and despaired through the entire season and I’m gutted the series is now over. Must remember to read the book… In lighter viewing, I’m really enjoying The Hills: New Beginnings. Yes, the format is embarrassing and it definitely has lost its original spark, but I just LOVE catching up on these people’s lives, especially having grown up watching the original.
Over in K-drama world, I’ve been watching My First First Love. I’m genuinely gutted that I rarely get the time to watch K-dramas these days (as it takes more effort to watch a subtitled show, whereas I tend to multitask with everything else!). But this is a great, light-hearted and easy to watch series.
And lastly in YouTube land, I’m obsessed with Samantha Maria again. Formerly Beauty Crush, Sam creates incredible fashion and lifestyle content and shared brilliant ‘girl talk’ videos. Her fashion videos are perfectly executed and well-researched (love her trend roundups), and she has an expansive knowledge of the clothing itself. I’m surprisingly also avidly watching Katie Ellison, who has a Mum channel littered with Day in the Life vlogs, food videos and book reviews. I’m not a Mum, but she’s definitely one I aspire to be someday.
As I’m now commuting into London five days a week and sitting within a busy team for some contract work, my headphones are my best friend again.
Music-wise, I’m loving Owl City, BTS and Apink for writing sprints, although I’m also going through a real K-pop renaissance and reminiscing over old-school K-pop greats like T-ara, miss A, After School and Brown Eyed Girls. After the recent Burning Sun scandal, let’s avoid the boy group situation, eh?
And lastly, podcasts. Hot damn I’m loving a podcast at the moment. I’ve raced through the entirety of Berkhamsted Revisited in a matter of weeks. It’s a teenage diary podcast, where the host reads her diaries and chats about how things were back then vs. today. I also discovered 88 Cups of Tea, a writers’ and storytellers’ podcast hosted by none other than Yin Chang, a.k.a. Nelly Yuki from Gossip Girl. 88 Cups of Tea is achingly brilliant, sharing inspirational stories and tips from authors who’ve made it, and it is super diverse which I’m incredibly grateful for.
What have you been reading, watching and listening to recently?