On February 3rd 2018, my new blog went live!
Hol7ly.co.uk came alive when I was in second year of university and wanted to get back into doing journalism-y things, and also publish my short stories. I had a lot of ambition for it, and started to edit and rejig old short stories I had previously published on old blogs and write and plan new short stories. I planned an interview with Thomas Welsh, whose book Anna Undreaming was set to come out soon after as well as Hings writer Chris McQueer, I wrote what was ultimately a shit post about Friends and also about my favourite show Reign and for a while I wrote weekly recaps of iZombie as the new episodes came out. That last one prove to be a bit of a waste of time, if I’m being honest.
The most exciting thing I had planned for the launch of my site was a short story called ‘Hydraulic Press.’ Before that I wasn’t writing a lot of short stories for my own pleasure, but rather I was working on a book and short stories mostly for uni. ‘Hydraulic Press’ was a big step away from what I was used to writing because, primarily, it wasn’t a horror story. I don’t write a lot of horror anymore, but I’d love to get back into it! But, I’m not much in the horror mind-set these days.
Over the months, the site lost momentum as I was occupied with uni and work and my own life in general, but I tried my best to publish at least one thing per month. I managed to do that in nearly every month; in June, nothing was written but it was a busy one for me.
My site has encouraged me to engage with more writers on Twitter mostly, and I think I’ve made new friends from it and gotten insight to the writing community, which has helped me improve my skills as a writer (hopefully?).
I’d like to think I made some strides in what I’m doing as a writer; Speculative Books published my poem ‘Number Four got a New Door’ in their collection, the View from Now, and ‘Hydraulic Press’ won joint third place in the Keith Write Memorial competition – my first (sort of) win! I engaged more in poetry this year and for the first time, got up and read stuff aloud. I’ve never been a confident public speaker so this was like a…big deal.
Also, in 2019, I finished the first draft of my first novel. Literally wild.
If I had to say which of my short stories I was proud of it definitely would be ‘Hydraulic Press,’ followed by the Gordon Ramsay one (that I’m still waiting for the big man himself to read) and then one called ‘Lollipop Lady Olympics,’ which isn’t public. I submitted it to Gutter and didn’t get in, but fuck it. You can’t win them all.
This year, I’m planning on writing and publishing one short story a month on my blog. January’s short story was ‘Grass’ and February’s will be the final installment of my fucking weird wee trilogy, the first two parts of which are ‘Hydraulic Press’ and ‘Industrial Shredder’. It’s gonna be called ‘Slime.’ Looking forward to it!
Also, I’m going to be submitting short stories out left, right and centre! I’ll be writing more poetry too, and blogging more as well (because, you know, this is a blog).
So, yeah. Happy first birthday to my site, hol7ly.co.uk! I’m hoping this year will be as fun and eye opening as the last!