Around this time last year, I bought the domain for my married name, amyalward.co.uk, with all the best intentions of transferring my amymcculloch.wordpress.com blog to wordpress.org and setting up a better website and more interesting blog. Well… it took me until now to sort my online self out! Life, house moves, books and other priorities got in the way. But now I’m happy to properly launch http://amyalward.co.uk!
I plan to take this blog in a bit of a different direction from my previous website. There will still be posts about my books, of course, but with a greater focus on my writing process. There will be even more posts on travel – peppered with advice and tips for making travel a priority in your life. There will be more posts, period ;). My new tagline is Author on an Adventure and since, in the New Year, there’s a real adventure on the horizon, I’m excited at the prospect of blogging properly again. So watch this space!
Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is combine my old travel posts from my first ever blog into this site. I’ve categorised them all so that you can search my old adventures – from my gap year in 2007-2008, through to the new places I’ve been (just use the ‘Travel’ drop-down menu above).
As I’ve been archiving and categorising old posts, I’ve been drawn back into old, fond memories. Reading those first few posts of setting out on my gap year adventure – arriving wide-eyed in Nairobi, eating fire on Zanzibar, the unsettling arrest in Zimbabwe – I can’t help but compare those times to now. How much has changed since then: I met and married the love of my life, I’ve published three novels (unthinkable back then!), climbed the publishing career ladder… it’s been a madcap eight years.
What also sticks out to me is how open and honest my blog posts were back then. They’re true accounts of that time in my life. Part of that comes from having no expectation of an audience – except for, perhaps, my mum! I didn’t worry about comments or SEO or traffic. I wrote faithfully for nine months, eventually turning all of those posts into actual printed books. They became a wonderful keepsake of my gap year that I can pull down off the bookshelf, share and flip through.
But somewhere along the line, I lost that love of blogging and the site turned into just another selling tool for my books – and probably not a very effective one. The blog lost its heart. What I love and return to when I read other blogs are real, honest posts – whether about a person’s writing process, style, travels, or food & book recommendations. I want to turn this place back into a snapshot of my life and the things I’m passionate about: writing, books, travel, food… and all around adventure. And still, if no one else reads except my Mum (hi Mum!), at least I’ll have an archive of text I can print out and bind into a book. Now that’s special to me!
I want to shout out to Carrie Brighton for recommending pipdig.co for the blog theme. It was so easy to install and customise – I was quite proud of myself for doing it all by myself (my 16-year-old coder self is shaking her head at my incompetence). The transfer from wordpress.com to wordpress.org was relatively painless as well. Hard to know what I was waiting for, really.
Well, I’m here now. I hope you stick around!