Do nice things, get nice things

Picture - and amazing brooch/badge - made by the awesome Black Heart Creatives

This blog is a bit meta, and basically involves me talking about my life then offering you the chance to get nice things. If that’s not your bag then rest assured that normal service will resume on Sunday, with a SMOKING HOT picture of some people with tattoos, and accompanying enthusiastic blog post. 

One of my resolutions for this year – particularly after an exhausting 2015 – was to try and chill out a bit more, and just enjoy nice things. Have more baths, see my friends, get enthusiastically pegged and fucked at the same time: you know the sort of stuff.

 Skip the waffle, take me to the comp

In the process of trying to work out what I actually like doing, I get a bit tangled up. When blogging is your hobby and you have a day job it’s fairly easy to identify what’s ‘work’ and what’s ‘play’ – even though it might be tricky to keep the two separate. But when you turn your hobby into a day job, you quickly realise that there’s no separation any more. And some things that used to be nice for the sake of it are now nice and also your main source of income and holy shit if you slack off then they’ll cut off your electricity. 

On the other hand, though, I wake up every morning and understand more fully than I ever thought possible just how lucky I am.

So: mixing business with pleasure. It’s complicated. And joyous. And a privilege. And hard work.

And in the process of doing it I’ve realised two things:

  1. Despite being Quite Good at marketing other people, I’m not great at marketing myself. That’s because marketing yourself is like having to awkwardly write a CV in which you hype up your best points – but every single day, even on the days when you think you’re a hopeless tosspot and everything you’ve ever done is shit. It basically amounts to asking people, every single day, to do something for you: click on a link, subscribe to a newsletter, buy my latest book, review it on Amazon, buy stuff from my sponsor – all the things which help me keep this blog ticking over and my bills paid.
  2. If I am a business (and I am – alongside being a hopeless tosspot I am also Hopeless Tosspot Inc, or Ltd, or whichever). And as a business I get a budget to do things! Like pay guest bloggers and commission beautiful illustrations and all that stuff. SO.

I have resolved to try and chill out about the fact that I’m asking you for stuff – you’re all grown-ups, and you know that sometimes in order to stay alive we have to have money. But in exchange I wanted to make a cool limited-edition thing to give away to people to say thanks. I like giving things away. And posting books to people is really really expensive. So I’ve also asked the boss (me) if I can have some budget (she said yes) to make some super-nice things.


Girl on the net badge black heart creatives

GOTN brooch/badge by Black Heart Creatives, who kick all the ass.

These gorgeous badges have been custom made by Charlotte at Black Heart Creatives – check out all of the beautiful jewellery they make, and commission something awesome yourself if you like! Charlotte is incredible and I love her work, and I would recommend her to anyone who wants lovely things.

(I am working with Stuart on getting some of his beautiful illustrations available to buy too – I have been very slow at doing this and I know a lot of you have asked! Stuart’s been very patient with me because he’s lovely like that but I’m on it so watch this space)

So in honour of my resolution to sometimes just do nice things, I’ve got 100 of these awesome badges winging their way to me. Would you like one? You can’t buy them, but you can do fun things to win them. As someone on Twitter said – they’re like Blue Peter badges, but with more Blue less Peter.

Challenge one:

Obviously right now I’m in the middle of promoting my latest book, and I’ve been overwhelmed with how many people have said lovely things about it, or recommended it on Twitter or their blogs. So badge the first will go to someone who’s done a nice thing that’s book-related: a tweet, facebook post, a write-up somewhere. It doesn’t have to be a glowing review – it can just be a mention or what have you. Maybe an email to a friend that said ‘I reckon you’d like this.’ A sandwich board at Oxford Circus. A picture of you reading it on the Northern Line. You get the idea.

If you’ve done something like this, just email me [email protected] with proof of your thing (link to tweet, photo, whatever), the subject line ‘Nice things’, and confirmation that you’re over 18. I’ll pick one and you’ll get the first badge. If you want to join in, I’ll pick the best entry at 9pm on Monday 4th April, so you’ve time to do something over the weekend if you like. Anything you like as long as it’s consensual, legal, and above all fun.

(Ts and Cs: challenge is open to anyone over the age of 18, anywhere in the world. My decision on winner is final, but you can’t win if you work for Blink Publishing, or are a relative/close friend of GOTN in real life. Winner picked at 9pm (UK time) Monday 4th April).