The Guardian’s been hating on The Tab

In my third year of Uni, I wrote for The Tab’s Hull site. I enjoyed it but was not paid. As someone who aims to write for a living, this might seem a little odd.

But I didn’t write for The Tab to make money – I knew that writing for them wouldn’t directly make me any money (they are now experimenting with a payments/prize/bonus/rewards system for writers based on how many shares per month their articles recieve.) but that it would reward me in the future.

The Guardian posted a story earlier today that is a grumble against The Tab, because despite raising a couple of million in venture capital, and generating income through sponsored stories, does not pay all of its writers. It does have a few paid staff, and is now experimenting with a rewards program, but I don’t think the reason that people write for it is the money.

It’s for the experience. I wrote a couple of stories a week (or at least, I was meant to), and I learnt how to write for a specific audience – look at the difference between some of the earlier and later stories to see this.

But why not write for your Uni’s student newspaper?

When I was at Hull, The Hullfire wasn’t that good – despite the efforts of its editors and writers. I remember arguing with some of Hull University Union to say that something should be front page on the newspaper (there were complaints against one of the sabbatical officers), and being told that the newspaper wasn’t allowed to criticise the Union… despite there being a standing order that explicitly allowed them to do so. By the time that I left Hull, the newspaper was growing more critical.

That was why I decided to see if I could write for the The Tab. They said ok, and then I started writing. They told me where I was going wrong and if something wasn’t that good.

And they were independent which meant that we could be critical of HUU… and have great fun during the student elections.

The Tab also had opportunities for its writers – assistance to get on training schemes, work experience at their office, contacts in the industry, talks… Student newspapers don’t generally have that level of access to opportunities. For some people it is something that they can put (or maybe hide off of) on their CV.

Leave off The Tab, Guardian, they are doing a good job!

RealLife got in the way: An update

So RealLife has been incredibly busy and stressful lately. This has meant that I’ve had little time to write anything for Thoughtspill. However, things will slow down a little bit now, meaning that I can resume writing.


The PGCE is going well. I’m currently on half term – yay. I’ve also had my 1b assignment back and have a few adjustments to make on it before the next deadline (22nd.) I’ve handed in a proposed title for my 1c assignment (research) – although this is going to change as the scheme of work has now changed.

I had an interview for a job at my PP2 school, and was told that my lesson was excellent as was my interview – but I didn’t get the job. The job had a large emphasis on drama teaching, and I have (currently) minimal experience teaching drama. I have an application out for another school, so my fingers are still crossed.

I’ve taught a couple of lessons at my PP2 school. It was nice to be told by a student at the end of a lesson with a supply teacher that “at the start of the lesson, we were bored and then you made it interesting” and would I be teaching them again? (I will be.)

Writing and Flash Fridays

I have been writing, but I haven’t been able to keep with the Flash Fiction Fridays. This is because that RealLife thing got in the way a bit too much. I have made considerable progress on the gaps in the NaNoWriMo2015 novel, though – some of this will be posted later today. Hopefully the first draft will be completed by the end of the month.

My series of novellas has had a few more ideas added and progress has been made on the actual writing of the first (it’s now at about 18,000 words); plots and frameworks have been written for several more.

It’s still possible that 2016 will see my first books available for purchase.

Reading and Poetry

I had said that I would be keeping a poetry journal on here. While I have continued to read poetry, I simply haven’t had the spare time so far to write it up on here – it will appear…. eventually. It’s more or less the same for reading. I have been reading, but I need to sit down and write the reading journal post. This will appear by the end of the week.

I think that’s more or less everything. Stay tuned.

Well hello there, 2016!

So it’s 2016. I’ve decided to kick the year off with my New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. To write 1,000 words of fiction a day.
  2. Update PGCE blog fortnightly. This will turn into an NQT/MEd blog in September 2016.
  3. Self-publish my first novel.
  4. I will have 1,000 blog followers by 31st December 2015.
  5. Publish 5 short stories in paying markets, the majority of which will be at semi-pro level or higher.
  6. Update blog with weekly flash fiction. (This was irregular last year.)
  7. Complete NaNoWriMo.
  8. Read one non-fiction book a month.
  9. Read a collection of poetry a month.
  10. Keep a poetry diary.

I have two fitness goals as well:

  1. Run 5k in 20 minutes.
  2. Run 10k.

Hope you all had a super Christmas and let’s all have a great 2016!

More posts = more views

Who’d have thunk it?

The more you post, the more views you get.

Last month, when I was posting on an almost daily basis, Thoughtspill was getting a few hits everyday – usually 20 a day.

This month, with a lot less posting, there’s been almost no views of the site.

It’s a pretty simple formula really isn’t it? More posts = more views.

If you don’t give people something to read, then why will they visit?

While we’re almost halfway through this month, I do have a few more posts lined up, so hopefully I can make it to 500 views in 2015 (99% of which will come from November and December).

The aim is to get 500 a month in 2016.