Category Archives: HOW TO

Thoughts On Blogging

A lovely maker whose posts and content I love recently surveyed her Instagram audience about blogging, and more specifically about how to find things to blog about. Her question got me thinking because I used to ask myself the same question – I sometimes still do! – and after sharing my experience with her I realised that it would actually make a good blog post, so here we are!

How do you find things to talk about?

This question used to really bug me. I was reading so many blog posts that were either interesting, informative, beautiful or all three that it sometimes felt like I would never be able to write anything good in comparison. I also felt that I was joining the game too late: people had already written about such and such topics, and they’d probably done it way better than I would ever do. And then one day I read somewhere a sentence that went roughly like this (I’m paraphrasing): everything has already been done but nobody will ever do it like you would.

That sentence was a massive eye-opener. I realised that what I liked about all those amazing articles was that they reflected the author’s experience, their opinion, and that they were written in a style that was truly personal to them. I also came to realise that I liked reading articles that answer questions I ask myself and articles about things that I am curious about, like how other artists work, what their favourite art materials are, how people live in other countries, … those kinds of things.

How I find things to talk about

I can’t second guess what I think people would like to read about – well I could give it a try but there’s no guarantee that I would get it right –  whereas starting with what I’m interested in and what I want to share is a lot easier! And I figured that if I’m interested in a topic surely someone else, somewhere, must be too.

To find things to talk about I ask myself ‘what would I like to read about?’ and ‘what do I have to say on the subject?’ and then I start writing.

The behind the scenes of how I write my blog posts

Keeping track of my ideas

I usually prefer paper for most things but I had to face a tough fact: too many of my ideas were getting lost or forgotten because they were jotted down in various notebooks or on loose sheets of paper.

So now I use Google doc to write down every single blog post idea I have. Sometimes it takes the form of just a sentence and sometimes it’s a whole paragraph. Sometimes it becomes a post and sometimes it doesn’t.

I also like my lists to be very clean so that I can see at a glance what’s left to do (I’m the kinda girl who has a colour code for her daily to-do list based on whether the item is personal or for work and depending on its level of urgency you see). An electronic document gives me the flexibility to delete old or ticked items so that I only see the ideas that haven’t been used yet.

How I organise my Google doc for blog posts

My Google doc – which I used to write this post – is divided into three sections:

  • The rough ideas at the top: usually some sort of title or one line summarising the idea. I recently started adding dates next to the ideas because I find it interesting to see when I’m interested in what topics.
  • The blog posts in progress in the middle: I sometimes have several posts in progress at the same time, this enables me to chose what topic to write about depending on the mood.
  • A ‘completed posts’ bucket at the end: for some reason sometimes I like to keep a copy of my blog posts. When I do, I pop them in the ‘Published Posts’ section at the end of the document.

Another way to ‘write’ blog posts: dictating

I heard that some people use their mobiles devices to dictate their posts in Notes or in an email and then use AirDrop or email themselves for further editing. That sounds like a good idea to me because talking is sometimes more natural than writing and you might be less tempted to endlessly rephrase your sentences.

I tried it and and it sort of works, sort of doesn’t. I don’t know if it’s because of my French accent but the voice tool tends to change quite a few of the words that I say and it is sometimes almost more difficult to go through the whole text again in order to correct the mistakes than it is to write from scratch. That’s me though and I would suggest that you give it a try to see if it’s for you or not.

About writing faster

In the past few months I have also become quicker at writing my blog posts. I used to have a big complex because I am not a native English-speaker so I’m prone to making mistakes or to phrase things in a way that is not very natural in English. It took me a while (and some reading) to finally accept that this is who I am and that spending countless hours trying to write the perfect sentence is not really a good use of my time.

So what’s my technique for writing faster?

Well, first I start by writing everything I have in mind, everything that I want to say on the subject without worrying about how well it is phrased. Then I focus on the form: I edit my sentences and organise my paragraphs; by that point I don’t have to worry about the content anymore because it’s already all there. And finally, I stop editing when I consider that the post is good enough – note: not perfect, but good enough so that it communicates what I want to say. Working in this way saves me a great deal of time!


I hope this helps. Don’t hesitate to share your own tips and techniques for writing blog posts and other online content as I’d love to know!

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Five Ways To Nurture Your Relationship When Both You And Your Partner Are Workaholics

When I started my business I had this idea that since I was my own boss and able to choose my hours I would end up working a nice 9 to 5 and use the rest of the time doing whatever else I wanted. I was wrong.

When I moved in with my boyfriend after five years of a distance relationship where we saw each other one weekend a month or every other month – most of which we spent juggling activities with friends and trying to spend quality time just for the two of us – I felt a sense of relief and thought of all the time that we would now be able to spend with each other. I was wrong again.

You see, both my boyfriend and I are entrepreneurs. I run my illustration business from a home studio while he develops video games for the studio he and his friends created, from an office not too far from where we live. Both of us are very invested in our respective business and both of us work a lot. In short, we are a workaholic couple.

I’m not glorifying the fact that we seem to be busy all the time, not even close. In fact working so much can endanger a relationship and we have to make sure that we nurture ours on a regular basis.

With this post I want to share a few tips that workaholic couples like us can use to nurture their relationship and stay close to each other even when work do them part.

#1 Create your own rituals

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When I moved in with my boyfriend it quickly became obvious that our life together was going to be very different from what I had imagined and as things started to get a bit tense between the two of us (mostly on my end I must admit) we sat down together one morning to brainstorm ways we could get things sweet again. We came up with two ideas that we’ve been keeping up to this date: date night once a week and our weekend breakfasts together. Sometimes plans do change but when that happens we make sure that we reschedule straight away: this is our special time and it is important to us. Create your own rituals.

#2 Be a team

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Do things that help you bond and make you feel that you can count on each other. Cook together, go to the gym together (one of our top favourite bonding activities!), when you do the house chores do them together at the same time, take a class together, etc. It doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or fancy. Just do one activity (or more) where you can be a team.

#3 Take time off (together)

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I’m not talking about going on an expensive long holiday somewhere far away (although if you can afford it and can make the time go for it!). You don’t even have to be away from home at all. What matters is that you use that time to do things together, ideally things that take you out of your usual routine. For example, my boyfriend and I rarely take holidays but we both had a big birthday coming up so we decided to treat ourselves and after saving for a year we went on a cruise to see the Northern lights in the north of Norway. Over the course of that trip we explored the ports of call, took silly photos, had our own private jokes, we talked for hours about the books we were reading at the time, shared our opinions on various topics, … Take time off and share moments together.

#4 Turn off your devices

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One of the highlights of our cruise to Norway for me is that for the twelve days we spent on the cruise ship we didn’t have the internet. If you’re like me you probably spend a great deal of time on it. I love the internet, it’s a great source of information! It is also a great source of distraction. And since you already don’t spend much time with each other you might as well make that time count. So be in the moment. Turn off your devices and share, connect and be there in real life.

#5 Pay attention to detail

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Good attention to detail is often praised as a good professional skill to have. It shows that you care. It is also a great skill to have and to practice in your relationship. It can be little things like complimenting your partner on their looks before they leave home in the morning or wearing the perfume you know they love. Or it can be a little bit more advanced like noticing a frown on your partner’s face and taking the time to discuss what’s making them feel concerned. I love leaving my boyfriend little drawings on sticky notes that I place somewhere he’ll find them when I go to bed before he gets back home. Show that you care. Pay attention to detail.

There are lots of ways you can nurture your relationship when you’re a workaholic couple. These are the top five that my boyfriend and I use on a regular basis and that have brought us closer even though we spend a lot of time working.

What do you do to nurture your relationship? Please share in the comments below as I’d love to know!

How to be a successful artist

Successful_Success

We all have different ideas of what makes someone successful.

When I started illustrating professionally, I told myself that I would be successful when:

  • My work would be published by a renowned publishing company
  • My illustrations would be sold on products
  • I would have thousands of followers on my social media (basically when I would be famous)
  • My art would be my sole source of income

Quite quickly I started feeling like a total failure because despite all my hard work none of that seemed to happen.

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Do you know that saying that goes: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”?

Well, that’s sort of what happened to me. The universe, seeing that I was ready, threw a bunch of talks, podcasts and articles at me which helped me realise that I had been thinking about it all the wrong way and that I had dismissed every little good thing I had already achieved because it wasn’t ‘enough’ according to my high standards; because it wasn’t the ‘big thing’.

At that point three things happened almost simultaneously:

1) I remembered something that I had read in a few different books: that it is good to celebrate even the smallest successes, and failures too because it means that we tried something that didn’t work on this occasion but we tried, and we learnt.

This was a sort of epiphany and I realised the amount of stuff I had been dismissing up until that point. And I made a contract with myself: from now on I would record everything, successes and failures alike, no matter how big or how small. Keeping track of these turned my world upside down and I realised how much had happened since I had started my illustration career.

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2) I also changed my definition of success, which became “I will be successful as an artist when:

  • I create art consistently
  • I make art that ‘looks and feels’ like me
  • I make genuine connections thanks to my art”

Some of these things I was doing or were happening already!

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3) I accepted the fact that there was no shame in having multiple sources of income and that I wasn’t less of an artist for it.

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I still dream of being published by a renowned publishing company and to see my illustrations on products and I am working on it. But it doesn’t define how successful I am anymore and if that level of external recognition never happens then I will have at least enjoyed the journey and every step of the way.

I am happier with my life and with the person I have become now than I have ever been before. And that, to me is what really matters.

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So how can you become a successful artist then?

Maybe all you have to do is change the way you look at it and go back to the essence of what really matters to you and of what makes you happy. Maybe you are already successful and you just haven’t realised it yet!