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Tag: mummyblogger

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

 

Mum is best – Can we have it all?

When you get pregnant, you mentally make lots of decisions about how life might be with a family.

You may decide that you want to follow some kind of “written” guidebook of how life will be (the likes of Gina Forde). Or you might like the idea that you can fit the baby into your life and it’ll be easy to have it all.

Of course, you know it’s going to impact your life and there’ll be sacrifices, but you have no idea what they will really be until that little face pops out and drains every last smidgen of energy you have left. The chances are that the naive decisions you tried to make during pregnancy will turn out to have been a pipe dream.

For most mums I know, even though they may have been super ambitious prior to pregnancy, changes happen. Priorities change. Energy levels change. Work changes. They change.

Priorities

For some Mums, they continue their career path and choose to return to work full time. That’s fine. For a lot of us (me included) they seek a more flexible working pattern because their job is suddenly not the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. That’s fine too. Many may not be able to change their work situations financially. Equally fine, although I’m sure they’d prefer not to. Whichever it is, that good old “Mum guilt” will go into overdrive.

I am self employed so I didn’t really take a break at all, as I’d work around the clock. I mean, I was up anyway, so I thought I may as well sneak a bit of work in whilst she was feeding. I now have a more organised structure working only during childcare or at night time if I need to.

Energy levels

Once your offspring is sleeping more, you’ll most likely feel more tired. You might now be doing those extra jobs you didn’t get around to during the day well after little one is down for the night. Or you may still be up throughout the night. In short, you’re still going to be knackered most of the time and that’s likely to influence whatever work situation you have.

Work

You haven’t been around for a long time, and in most businesses, a lot changes in a short space of time. So it’s likely that work won’t be the same place that you left.

So what does that mean?

It means that “having it all” might actually not be the easiest thing to achieve. There is a strong possibility that you’ll constantly feel as though things aren’t quite right and you could do something better. You will probably always feel as though you are letting someone down.

So here’s the thing… you’re not.

You’re doing something amazing.

Whether you’re back at work, a SAHM or somewhere in between, you’re showing your child the realities of modern life. It bloody hard and we think we can do everything. Very rarely do I say ‘no’ to much, hence working with a newborn, but seriously, it’s knackering.

There is no perfect solution that won’t make you feel as though you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s an ever-growing debate, and there is certainly no right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for your and your family.

The way I work, I feel like my daughter knows that I am always around for then important things, but she also knows that Mummy works too. That’s her time to have fun with her friends at nursery.

So my advice is, don’t try to have it all. Try to have a good balance and continue to be uber awesome, because Mum, you are.

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#WorkshopWednesday – Three Easy Ways to Monetise your Blog

#WorkshopWednesday – Three Easy Ways to Monetise your Blog

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

Not everyone who writes their own blog wants to monetise and that’s OK, but some people do. Some people have a desire to make a little pocket money from their musings and others aspire to make blogging their full-time job. Whichever one of these categories you fall into, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the easiest ways to make money from your blog.

Sponsored posts –

Sponsored posts are one of the easiest and most lucrative ways to monetise your blog. Before you begin accepting this type of work though, it’s essential that you know what you’re willing to offer the client. Determine whether they require a ‘follow’ or ‘no-follow’ link and do they want social media exposure? Only do what you’re comfortable with and make sure you’re compensated fairly!

Sell a product –

Maybe you’re a crafty individual who could make and sell beautiful keepsakes, or maybe you have an area of expertise and could write an eBook to help others.  Whatever the product, offering it to your audience is a great way to make money from your blog. The best thing about this is that once the product exists, you don’t have to put too much extra effort in – apart from promotion!

Brand work –

This is one that a lot of bloggers strive to achieve. Working with brands can be a great earner and lots of fun. From sharing their products with your audience, adding advertising banners for them and so much more. Brand work is one of my favourite ways to work as a blogger, it makes all the graft worth it when you get to work alongside some of the best household names!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Ali from Mummy Mama Mum!

Before I had kids I would have definitely described myself as a workaholic. In many ways this hasn’t changed, but the nature of what I do most certainly has!

When I fell pregnant with my first child, Amelia, I knew that I definitely wanted to return to my full time job running a busy retail business, and I knew that I wanted to return full time. I mean, my business was my baby, and even the thought of handing over he reigns to someone else for 6 months brought me out in a cold sweat. Even during the first week or two after Amelia was born, I was itching to get back. When the time finally came around, I was eager to get back to real world, and eager to get back my salary and main breadwinner status. 6 very long and painful months later, I called the regional director on Friday and told him I wouldn’t be back on Monday.

It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made. I felt like I was giving up on a part of myself, and I suppose in a way I was. But I was also creating a very new story for myself and my family, mainly one that actually involved weekends together! I didn’t last long being out of work completely, and ended up taking on a trainee position at the nursery that Amelia was enrolled at. The training has now ended, and I am now a fully qualified Early Years Teacher, which has opened up a whole host of new doors I hadn’t even considered previously.

I worked part time while Amelia attended nursery, until I very suddenly fell pregnant with Wills. I knew that I would return to work again after he was born, but I have to say that this time the lead up to my return was very different. I felt an actual desire to stay at home full time, especially as maternity leave the second time around was when I had started my blog. But return I did, and I must say it wasn’t as catastrophic as I had feared it might be. The washing still gets done, the dinner still gets cooked (batch cooking is most definitely my friend), and we still have lots of time together.

But it is all set to change again! At the end of July, we are moving over 100 miles away from our current home! While Mr C is able to take his job with him, I unfortunately cannot bring the nursery with us! This means that, as things stand, I will once again have no out-of-the-home paid work. I will be a SAHM once again, and while I dreaded it the first time around, this time I’m ready!

I have my blog to keep me focussed and driven, which is what I feel was missing after Amelia was born. And I think that just about sums it up for me; it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as what you choose works for you. After 3 years of trying out pretty much everything, I have finally worked out that it’s not necessarily work that I need, but something that keeps me driven to succeed (aside from the kids, obvs!) That has now taken form in my blog, and I’m suddenly much less interested in dragging my un-makeupped face out of the house in the morning!

Work, no work, SAHM, WAHM, running around the forest barefoot mum! Just do whatever works for you and yours! Forget all the titles that came before; forget about being a stay-at-home-mum or working mum, or any of the others – focus on being a happy mum with happy kids. That is all that matters in the end.

 

You can see more from Aleena here!

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Tailwind Tribes to Boost your Traffic

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Tailwind Tribes to Boost your Traffic

 

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

Pinterest is a major source of traffic for bloggers, but it’s one that a lot of us aren’t tapping in to. If you want to grow your audience, boost your traffic and maximise your reach, then you should be using Tailwind Tribes alongside Pinterest!

Whether you’re a seasoned Pinterest user, or you’re just beginning to grow your presence on the platform, Tailwind Tribes can help give your profile a boost. Not only does using Tribes increase your Pinterest views, it also helps to drive traffic back to your blog. Once you’re regularly using Tribes the chances are you’ll gain more followers as your content is shared more and more!

When you sign up to Tailwind, it can all seem a little complicated and daunting. Don’t be put off straight away, it does get much easier once you’ve spent some time familiarising yourself with the platform. To start using Tribes, first of all you need to find relevant Tribes to join. I found the Pinterest Tailwind Tribes Facebook group invaluable for finding new and established Tribes. Not all Tribes will be relevant to you, so it’s worth having a good look through all of the different Tribes invitations before you join them,  to make sure you’ll be able to share your content within them. Once you’ve joined a few Tribes, you’re ready to start sharing!

Tribe rules –

The first thing to do before you begin sharing your content to Tribes, is to make sure you understand the rules of each one you become a member of. For example: some Tribes request that you only share content with vertical images and some request that you share more than one pin, for each of your own that you’ve shared. The rules can be found on the left of the screen, above the list of members.

 

 

How to add content to a Tribe –

If you’re using a Chromebook or the Chrome browser, all you have to do is install the Tailwind Chrome extension. That way you can hover over the pin you’d like to share and click the blue flame, which will add the pin to your drafts.

 

 

If you’re using a different browser you can create your pins within Tailwind, which will add them to your drafts and you can schedule them from there, or pin them manually to one of your boards. As well as add them to Tribes.

 

 

Whilst in drafts, there’s a little button underneath the preview that says ‘Add to Tribes’. Click on this button and then check the boxes of the Tribes you wish to add the pin to.

 

 

When you visit each tribe you’ll notice there are five tabs across the top of the Tribes content. These include: ‘All’, ‘New’, Yours’, ‘Shared’ and Skipped’. These tabs refer to the pins in the the Tribe, all that you have added will be in ‘Your’s and all that you have scheduled/re-pinned will be in ‘Shared.

How to share other people’s content from the Tribe –

Once you’re sure how many pins you need to share from the Tribe, in relation to the amount of pins you’ve added, take a look through and pick out the pins that are relevant to your boards on Pinterest. From here, type the name of the board you’d like to pin the content to in the box under the preview.

 

 

To finish, click the green ‘Add to Queue’ button. This will add content to your schedule, if you have Tailwind PLUS these will be pinned automatically at specific times. Otherwise you’ll have to manually pin your selections, this can be done by hovering over the pin and clicking the ‘Pin Now’ button which pops up to the right of the content. Once this is done, the process is complete and you can go ahead and add more content to Tribes!

 

This brief introduction to Tailwind should will you the knowledge to get started and improve your traffic over night. If you need anymore Tailwind help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the form below!

 

 

 

 

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls

#MumisBest Guest Post – Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls!

 

I am a Stay-at-home-mom. My husband works and, is the bread winner and head of our house-hold. I stay home, look after our daughters and keep the house running. 

Some feminists out there might look at my life at surface level and immediately label me a sell-out.

Call me what you like, but this is what works for our family.

All during my pregnancy I was adamant that I would return to work after four months’ maternity leave. Then in the 7th month of pregnancy and after months of us arguing about who would be suitable to look after our baby when I returned to work, I just decided that I had to do what was best for her. I quit my job.

Shortly after she was born we moved to be closer to my family. Life went on, and then I fell pregnant with my second baby.

By this time, life was very hard for us. We were living in Zimbabwe with a declining economy. My husband was working with my dad and they were doing well, but the income we were relying on fluctuated monthly. I couldn’t take the stress and uncertainty anymore and we decided it would be best if my husband went back to working for a company in South Africa.

When my baby was 5 weeks old we moved to South Africa. Hardest thing ever!

The visa I am on here is a Spouse permit which allows me to live in SA, but not to work. My permanent residence application has been pending now since November 2015 … “Never rush a good job” as the saying goes. I’ll just leave that right here.

My husband works in construction on large road building projects so we move around quite a lot, moving to where the work is, up till now. This will stop soon as my eldest is starting Grade 1 next year and we don’t want to uproot her and move them once she starts formal education. Not if it is avoidable. Me not working has also given us the flexibility of being able to ‘follow’ my husband around wherever the work takes us. Whilst it has its own set of challenges, I am grateful to have been able to do this.

In around August last year, I was feeling low and frustrated with life. I felt I had no purpose. My husband’s job was going great, the kids were thriving in school, we were done with babies, nappies, bottles, and had moved on to the next stage of kids – out of the toddler zone! Whilst I love being a mother and I love my girls, “motherhood” the job was not satisfying me and I thought to myself that there must be more than just this. I decided to start my blog.

It has been almost a salvation to me. It has given me a purpose, something to own, a creative space and an outlet for all my emotions. I get to interact with adults online and share ideas and learn about other ways of life. I am committed to sharing the reality of my mom-life. The highs and the lows, the ups and the downs. #thisisreallife. We are not an Instagram Perfect family. My home is a place where we can be ‘normal’ – whatever normal is. I can be quite sarcastic and ranty on my blog, but if I’m not letting my personality out on my own blog, where can I? I like to think I can be quite funny too if you get my ‘dry & sarcastic’ sense of humour.

Our days are pretty standard and routine. My husband is gone from 05.00 until 18.00. I get the kids up, take them to school, then run around doing all the chores, blogging and everything I can whilst they are at school. Afternoons are spent ferrying them from one after-school activity to another, swimming, dancing, tennis, football – to name a few. We try to eat at the table as a family most week nights. This is our time to just be together, catching up with each other. Then it’s tidying up, bath, a little bit more TV, and then bed. When the kids are in bed I get to chill and can usually be found with a glass of wine in hand watching Grey’s Anatomy or some other Shonda Rhimes addictive series. 

We often talk about if whether I should go back to work or not, and the reasons why I don’t are always the same:

·        I am available for the kids and my husband 24/7. This is important as we do not have any family support at all.

·        I don’t speak any other language other than English so living in a very Afrikaans area of South Africa, the chances of me finding a job that was worth sacrificing all the perks of me not working are very slim.

·        We don’t need the money – any income I will earn will be used to pay someone else to do all the jobs I do around the house, plus more will be needed for after-school-care for the kids. It really does not make any sense.

·        My sanity is no longer in too much jeopardy now I have my blog. I’m grateful my husband recognises this and supports me.

So, yes, whilst I am a SAHM, I’m so much more to my family. It’s not fair to them yet for me to go back to work. Maybe when they’re older … isn’t that always the answer. Not too sure what my husband will do if/when I go back to work, but I’m sure the kids will be fine when the time comes.

You can see more from Carly here:

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#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

It’s after you get into blogging, that you realise the sheer amount of work that it takes to keep your corner of the internet running smoothly. Most of the bloggers I know are up until the wee, small hours on a regular basis, often there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why it’s essential to develop a few time saving tactics to help you on your way. If you can save a few minutes here and there, it all adds up to time better used elsewhere!

During my time as a blogger, I’ve developed a few key time saving tactics. It makes my life easier and saves me a tonne of extra work in the long run!

Email Templates

Having templates saved on your laptop or phone is a real time saver. More often than not emails from brands and PRs will command a similar reply, so I have a draft email tucked away ready to copy, paste and tweak when I need to. This is especially useful when the girls are around, as I simply don’t have the time to spend on typing a fresh email each and every time I need to reply. Obviously this isn’t always the case, some emails do need a little more thought, but when I can I use a template!

Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m a huge lover of keyboard shortcuts. There are so many you can use, some you will find useful and some you won’t. Have a play around with a few and get used to using them, honestly it makes blogging so much quicker and easier. My most used shortcuts are ‘ctrl + c’ to copy and ‘ctrl + v’ to paste, simple yet incredibly effective in the time saving game!

Store Commonly Used Hashtags

If like me, you’re an Insta lover, the chances are that you’ll have a set of hashtags that you commonly use alongside your image and description. The hashtag limit on Instagram is thirty and there’s absolutely no way I can remember that many – especially as I use a variety of different combinations depending on the image I’m posting. That’s why I have a few different sets of hashtags stored in the notes app on my phone. Copy, paste and voila! Done in seconds!

 

Do you have any time saving tactics?

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jessie from The Spilt Milk

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jessie from The Spilt Milk

 Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Jessie from The Spilt Milk!

Working is therapy you get paid for!

Today I am not embracing the chaos. I cannot embrace the frustration of my newly clean jeans covered in smooshed pear because the baby won’t sit still.  

I am not able to take the needed deep breath to stay calm with my toddler punching me in the back because I won’t let him eat his stolen sweets from the kitchen cupboard. 

Today I just want to be somewhere else and not be called mummy for a few precious moments. 

I have been a stay at home mum since I graduated uni when Noah was 18 months old. Now he is 3 and a half and Oswin is almost a year old. I have moments of feeling like the luckiest person to have no 3rd world worries and that I can enjoy my little ones being little without needing to leave them. 

In the last couple of months I have had more moments of feeling like: 

“Oh my God I just want to sleep for longer than an hour without a mini boobaholic attaching herself like a joey” and equally:  “will I ever leave the house alone again except for doing the food shopping?”

This week I did get the chance to leave the house and even stay out by myself! To do some temp work inputting questionnaire data on a computer. A few years ago I would have cried at the idea of brain numbing computer work but now, good lord it was like therapy. 

I got the chance to talk to grown ups, well 21 year olds, no-one was in competition about how much their toddler could do or what age the baby starting walking. I didn’t even hear one person say how much they love Sainsbury’s 25% sale for kids clothes! 

It was official I was out of my comfort zone and I loved it. I made one awkward comment of “it’s so nice to have my boobs to myself for the day”. I got at least 3 strange looks before I explained that I breastfeed… Then they looked at me like I was old. Boo

I worked for 6 hours, honestly the longest I have sat still since before both babies came along. It was heaven. I missed them like hell after a couple of hours but it was a good distance for us I think. 

Yesterday I took them both to the sea side and I felt more grateful for the time I have with them. We played on the beach and I cuddled them more than I think I do on a general day. 

I don’t think I could be away from them every day but I am looking forward to working again next week. It’s good to feel needed for a really dull reason rather than to literally keep another human alive. Sometimes it’s nice to just blend in and not be so important! 

You can find more from Jessie here:

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#Blogstravaganza #31

#Blogstravaganza #31

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza!

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza news! I’m on the look out for weekly guest co-hosts for #Blogstravaganza, if you fancy joining in drop me a line! 

This week we’re joined by the lovely Jo from Cup of Toast blog, don’t forget to tag @cupoftoastblog in your tweets when you link and comment on her fabulous post! Thankyou Jo for taking the reins this week!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was Undercover Midwife from Mums Army. This post gripped me, I would ask a midwife all of the same questions if I ever get the chance! Grab your badge here:

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

 

 

 

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

*Permissions* By linking up you are agreeing to me sending you an email and/or Tweet reminder each week for #Blogstravaganza.


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Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from home is the perfect set up for my family and I.  Doing so has so many positives for us. As is often the case though, things don’t always go according to plan. Here are three major lessons that working from home has taught me the hard way!

Life likes to get in the way –

I’m the queen of organisation. I have a diary and a set schedule that I try my hardest to stick to on a daily basis. I never have enough time, so the hours that I do get to work are valuable. The trouble with working from home without childcare is that I can plan and schedule as much as I like, but life always gets in the way! Being at home means I’m almost always the first port of call. Even if Dad’s at home, finding peace outside of nap time is a rare and wonderful occurrence! As I type this, I’m on a plastic phone to Peekaboo from the Twirlywoos. You get the picture.

You’re always at work –

There’s no break from work. I don’t get to leave the office on a Friday afternoon for a well deserved rest and I don’t get to shut the laptop, letting things wait until Monday. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do, but it’s definitely not for the faint hearted!

Having a work from home profession also means that a whole day can pass before I realise that I’ve not stepped out of the front door. For that reason planning a jaunt is essential, otherwise I really am always at work!

Early nights become a thing of the past –

Working from home whilst bringing up two young children, means that the majority of my working hours occur after they’ve gone to bed. It’s rare that I go to bed any earlier than 12am and if truth be told I could always fit a few more hours in. Luckily I accepted that sleep was a thing of the past when I had children. It’s amazing how our bodies adjust, that’s not to say an early night and a lie in wouldn’t be nice though!

 

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

As a blogger and a freelance writer, I’ve had more than my fair share of writers block. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work and having words fail you. I’ve even found that writer’s block can hit when you have topics in mind. Often we have a million and one ideas whirring around in our brains, but none of them seem to land on the page!

Fear not! I’ve developed some great ways to get the juices flowing when writer’s block kicks in. No more staring at a blank page and no more procrastinating on social media, hoping that inspiration will hit. Here are my top tips:

Take a break –

This might seem really obvious but when work has been hectic, taking a break can make all the difference. When I’ve had a busy week, it’s not unusual for me to run of words towards the end of it. Even if it’s just a stroll around the block, it’ll give you time to clear your head. Everyone needs a break sometimes, taking one will have you back on top form before you know it!

Change where you write –

If you’re usually cooped up inside when you’re working, why not move into the garden? If the weather is rubbish maybe try a local cafe. Taking yourself away from the norm can give your mind the freedom it needs to explore, a bit of people watching is good for the imagination too!

Get your inspiration from Google –

If’ it’s blog post ideas that you need, there are numerous title generators that can be found through a simple google search. The algorithms aren’t always on point, but they can help to kick-start your thought processes. Even a search for ‘blog post ideas’ can get you going. The internet is full of content that can be inspiring to writers and bloggers, you just have to find it!

Quote yourself happy –

I’m a huge lover of the quotes that circle the web. There are some really inspirational and motivational memes out there that people love to share. Do a quick search and have a read, some of them really give you the kick up the bum you need to get cracking!

 

Don’t let writers block hinder your progress, get typing!

 

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