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By Louise Jones

1st year BU student, BA (Hons) English

I had just turned 16 when I started blogging. Not for any particular reason, I was just…bored. My brother was probably hogging the TV, I probably couldn’t be bothered to do my homework, and 140 characters probably wasn’t enough for the rubbish coming out of my fingertips that my viewing public so obviously wanted to read.

Because that’s what it was: rubbish. My blog posts had no structure, no theme, and no writing tone or voice. They were just diary entries for me to look back on in years to come, like my old Bebo page. But, bless my little heart, I carried on. I wrote on there constantly and tweeted them out, urging people to read them. And they did, the weirdos. People liked the ranting, incoherent, and mildly amusing girl throwing her blog posts into the world with no motive or goal.

But soon enough, it became my thing. I was gaining more followers and an actual audience. I started taking the posts a bit more seriously and considered my opinions on topics to write about. I decided I wanted to be a journalist, and figured blogging would set me on the right path. I started sourcing out journalists on twitter and linking them to my posts to gain feedback, and they did, and they tweeted them out on their pages which gained me even more of an audience. And just like that, my blog spiraled into something that was never first intended.

At the end of September 2010, I was sent a link to a Channel 4 News competition to find Britain’s best young blogger. In short, after entering a piece on a 17 year old’s view on 9/11, I won it. I was interviewed live in the studio and featured in national and local newspapers, and it was this event which was the trigger for a variety of opportunities to come my way. Over the next year I did work experience stints with Channel 4 News, HarperCollins Publishers, and Heat magazine, and in the summer of last year I was given the absolutely incredible chance to be a London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer. It was quite easily the most insane and emotional day of my life so far and really brought home how lucky I’ve been.

Since starting university, my blog has taken a backseat. But in its place came an offer to write for GoThinkBig, a fantastic student and graduate website powered by Bauer media and O2, during my first year, and an offer of literary representation. I am now signed to Rogers, Coleridge & White and am in the process of writing my first novel. Mad. Every now again I do still write on my blog, and my most recent piece on my experiences on sexual assault went viral and even prompted a story on BBC’s Radio 1. So I’m not quite done with it just yet.

But my focus now is writing this book. Above anything, I want to be a published author, specifying in YA fiction, and specifying even more in creating strong, funny, diverse female characters in the coming-of-age style. Juggling writing it along with university will be tough, but if I’m enjoying both then the time management shouldn’t be a problem, and they might even complement each other. It’s just about getting a realistic routine, and sticking to it. If I don’t get the routine right, then it’ll start to become a chore. Not enjoying what I’m doing is the biggest fear I have. I’d probably even put that over rejection.

I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunities I’ve had so far, and I definitely don’t take them for granted. By the end of the summer I want to have at least half of my first draft complete, and by the end of second year I want a full manuscript. Slow and steady, but consistent and determined. I know one day I’ll have my books on the shelves. I don’t think that’s arrogance, I think that’s confidence and ambition. I’ll do it. Mostly because I can’t wait to change my Facebook work infomation to ‘Author’.

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