Readers, one of the first things I said as I stared writing my very first advice column for TSR in the face was that a problem shared is a problem halved. I still firmly believe that. I’m aware that this particular column has been appearing more and more sporadically, but hopefully, we’ll continue stumbling on together, sporadic though it may be. Writing this particular column for this particular publication has actually made me realise a few things about myself. If nothing else, I’ve gotten pretty good at condensing things into five handy tips, but in all seriousness, after about 50 sessions of staring blankly at a screen for a few hours before knocking out a few hundred words on a topic I think that people should know about, or people think I should write about, I’ve learned a lot.

I really joined the team at TSR on a whim. I worked on my school newspaper, one of the editors of the school newspaper ended up founding TSR. I decided why not give this a shot. It took a while to get into, and I sort of slowed down after writing what seemed to be a particularly comment-worthy piece, but then someone looked at me and said that I seemed nurturing, and was almost a bit of an agony aunt. Okay then… I’m interested in writing, I’m apparently good at listening, why not give this a shot? So I started to type, and I never regretted it.

For someone who had a kind of… intermittent interest in writing, I think pushing myself to knock out an article every week started to give my writing more structure, I started to improve and actually think about what I was trying to say, rather than just sneezing it out. Taking that one teeny, tiny leap gave me the confidence to put more of my words out there and hope people would enjoy reading them. I don’t get a huge amount of responses, but really, as long as there’s something floating around for people to read, then that’s pretty good, right?

I think people are getting comfortable with putting things out on the internet, which can be good for writers, artists, creatives and a whole lot of other people, but sometimes, there’s someone out there somewhere, it might be you, it might not be, but they won’t take that leap, whether it’s producing content for something, or just leaving the house. It’s really important to find something you have an interest for and to jump onto it. If you’ve read my bio, you’ll see that English, writing, literature, isn’t what I’ve chosen to study, but it’s something that I’ve found a passion for. I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller, but I’ve never been any good at it… but I’ve got more of a chance of doing it now, even if my chosen specialism is elsewhere.

I think what I’m trying to say is that if you’re umm-ing and aah-ing about joining up with something, or taking on a hobby, or getting up in the morning, then just do it. Because you can always drop things if you need to, but taking something on might just show you something about yourself that you didn’t already know. I love writing – and talking; seriously, ask anyone that I live with. I don’t shut up. I wouldn’t have realised how much I love writing without TSR.

Don’t worry… this isn’t a thinly disguised recruitment post… unless you want it to be. But this week, month, year, however long, my advice to you is to try something and throw yourself into it. I think we all need to do something new. Join up with something that’s outside your focused field of interest or education and just try it out. Because… well why not? So in a way, this isn’t massively advice, it’s just the reiteration of something you’ve probably already been told, but I think we should all give it a go.

Anyway, I should probably step away from the computer and finish packing. I have to move house tomorrow and I’m not nearly ready. Questions, comments, suggestions are all welcome. Until next time!

(Featured image courtesy of Tony Duckles)