Saturday, 30 August 2014

Life Offline

There have been a couple of instances over the last few weeks where I've been forced away from my laptop screen and not through choice. Without going into details, there was an instance where we were left without power throughout the house (except from one plug socket in the kitchen that for some reason wasn't affected) and another where my laptop basically decided not to work for a day. Both times made me realise just how heavily I rely on technology, specifically my laptop.

If you're reading this now, chances are you're more than a little familiar with the internet. As someone who is fairly active online on most social media sites I spend a lot of time on my laptop. And I mean a lot. If I'm not watching YouTube videos I'm blogging or chatting to my friends via Facebook Chat or seeing what the latest news is on twitter. I've always been aware of the time I spend on my laptop but I never really considered how much I rely on it.

Obviously, spending time on my laptop is not the only thing I do. I'm a fairly big reader so if technology is down my automatic reaction is to head to a book. I love that I'm able to do this and I have that back up, but I've noticed that my attention span when it comes to reading isn't great anymore because my brain expects things to be constantly moving forward like a twitter feed. It takes a really good book to captivate me and hold my attention for hours at a time these days whereas even last summer I read whole books in a day because they held my attention. I feel like because I rely on technology so much, I feel like I always have to be connected to the world around me through it which means I find it difficult to switch off from the world and enter the world of a book.

I don't like how much time I spend on my laptop, but I don't think it's a massive issue either. I'd like to not rely on my laptop as something to hold my attention for long periods of time and a tool for curing boredom that nothing else can cure but my reliance on technology has also led to me setting up this blog and my others. That proves that the time I spend online isn't a total waste because at least I have produced something at the end of it. 

What do you think? Do you rely heavily on technology? Do you think it's a problem if you do?

Lucy x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Taking Photos at Live Performances

A few months back Carrie Hope Fletcher uploaded a video to YouTube titled 'Instagram Generation' in which she discusses taking photos during live performances. Since then, I've been thinking about it a lot and I've sort of developed a little policy for myself. I definitely fall into the category of wanting to document everything and I like having photos of things I've seen and done to look back on at a later date. That being said, I've decided that from now on when I go to a live event where it is appropriate to take photos, I'm going to follow my new little rule for myself. That rule is that I only take a few photos and once I have one that is instagramable for me to post on the way home, I stop. 

One of the reasons I like to take photos of things, besides for myself to look back on, is that I like to share what I've done through instagram or on this here blog. This little rule for myself allows me to do that but stops me from seeing the whole live performance through the screen, something I could very easily fall into the trap of doing (and definitely have done in the past).
Upload 3: Dave Giles, Danny Gruff, Luke Cutforth, Emma Blackery, Bribry and Candice

That being said, notice I said above 'when I go to a live event where it is appropriate to take photos'. I would never, under any circumstances, take a photo during a theatre performance. Having grown up performing in plays and musicals and going to see them I know all too well what the rules are for photography in theatres. It's pretty much, don't. Taking photos during a performance where people are acting can make it incredibly hard for them to stay in character and it just inconveniences everyone involved. The likelihood is that you will then have a member of the theatre staff come up to you and they will ask you to delete the photo (often for the copyright reasons Carrie mentions in her video) and it just creates a lot of unnecessary hassle. So please, don't take photos in the theatre.

If you're at an area or stadium gig and you love taking photos of things like this and are happy to experience it through a tiny screen, by all means take as many photos as you like. Flashes going off in this size audience will make no difference at all to the performers. However, if you're at a smaller, more intimate gig, try and be respectful. Why not try out my instagram rule? Take a few photos but only enough to know you've got something to share with the internet. As a musician myself, I can tell you that if I was to play a gig in a small venue and everyone in there was more focused on a screen infront of them and taking photos it would be incredibly off-putting. In smaller venues, the acts can see almost everyone in the audience and they want to see you and see if you're enjoying it or not. They don't want to see what camera or phone you have. However if the act is a relatively unknown one, seeing photos online after a gig can be amazing because it shows you enjoyed it. If you do take a few photos, don't be scared to share them on twitter or instagram, I'm sure the act will be grateful.
Evan Gardner and me. Photo taken by Young Promoters Network

Obviously my thoughts here only apply for the average person attending a live event. If you're particularly into photography and have permission from the performers to take photos it's a whole different story. My instagram rule only applies to the average person.

What do you think? Are you like me and you like to have at least one photo to share online or does that not bother you? Or do you disagree completely and think taking photos of live performances is fine regardless of the circumstances? Let me know in the comments.

Lucy x

Saturday, 16 August 2014


For some random and unknown reason it would appear that recently my blog has been on my mind a lot. It would appear that with a break from school which means a break from writing essays every week my idle hands have turned to my blog in search of somewhere to write. I've always enjoyed writing my blog. As I've said before, I think of it as my own little slice of the internet where I can write and post what I want. As I said in my 'Numbers' post a few weeks back I know that there are very few, if any, people who follow my blog or even read more than one post so there is really no pressure for what I write to be good which really helps.

I don't write things on my blog for it to gain attention from other people. I write it because I like to have a place to write and share my thoughts on anything I feel like I have thoughts worth sharing. If other people enjoy reading it, that's fantastic. But it's not my primary reason for writing. I tend to turn to my blog if I don't feel I can write a song about a subject which would explain why my ideas for blog posts have gone up considerably recently. I've not written a full song in weeks.

My blog is different to most of my other social networking type sites because of it being just as much for me as everyone else. My YouTube and Twitter are both primarily to try and get my music heard by more people and most of the others are primarily to link people to my YouTube channel. Although I do mention my music and my YouTube channel on here quite a lot, I would never sit down to write a blog post and think 'I'm going to include a link to my YouTube channel in this', it's more 'adding here that I have a YouTube channel makes my opinion easier to explain' or something similar.

Although I'm aware there aren't many eyes reading this right now, I would really love it if anyone who does read it could leave me a little comment below just letting me know you've read it. Tell me anything! Your name, where you're from, what you enjoy. Anything that you want to share that lets me know you're here. I'd love to hear from you.

Lucy x

If you do like what I write I have a few other blogs too! You can click on the banner here and it'll take you to them.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Exams and Results

With A-Level results day mere hours away, I'm sure I'm not the only one with exams on my mind. Tomorrow morning students all over the UK will be picking up a little piece of paper with numbers and letters on it that can determine their fate. Although I'm not in the category of those finding out whether or not they will be able to continue their studies to university, I will be picking up results and the letters on that piece of paper could determine which universities I apply for, what subject(s) I study or even just what I do from here on.

I've been thinking for a while about the exam system. The more exams you do, the more you get used to them which is brilliant. You develop techniques that work for you in coping with exam stress and you learn which methods of revision work for you etc. The annoying thing about exams, however, is that the more of them you do, the more important they become. Last year I was incredibly nervous to pick up my GCSE results and this year I'm just as nervous, if not more so, to pick up my AS results and I have no doubt that next year that nervousness will be doubled. Nothing weighs too heavily on my results this year, but if I want to get in to the university I have in mind when I apply in a few months I need to have reached what I wanted to reach. Although if the results are lower than I'm expecting I will be able to apply to a different university with slightly lower requirements, I would be very annoyed at myself for making that happen.

Like I said, I know that next year I'm going to be far more worried than I am currently and, to be perfectly honest, the thought that the day where I will find out which university I will attend is only a year away terrifies me.

If you're picking up A-Level results tomorrow, particularly A2 results, I wish you the best of luck. If you do get the grades you wanted, congratulations! If you didn't, remember it is not the end of the world and as is often said on the internet, you cannot be defined by a letter on a piece of paper. That being said if you're feeling really down about your results don't hesitate to contact me for a chat. You can either leave me a message on here, tweet me, send me an ask on tumblr or head over to my facebook page and send me a private message on there. I'm more than happy to talk to you. 

Lucy x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Jon Cozart's 'The Truth About Disney Princesses' TEDxYouth@Austin Talk

Having found Jon Cozart (aka Paint)'s After Ever After video with the rest of the world last year, I very quickly became a fan of his. I think he's an incredible singer and a very smart guy who seems to be able to very clearly see what will go viral, a skill I think we all wish we had! I just came across this video and although what he says is pretty simple, he has a very good point.

In his TEDx talk he says 'if I don't give people a reason to click away, they're not going to click away'. Such a simple thought but one that's entirely true. He later goes on to say that this means he's careful about the quality of what he posts from the material itself to the production of it all. I'd never really thought about it before watching this talk but Paint must be one of the very few channels on YouTube with 2 million subscribers+ that only uploads new content every few months (if that). Despite not uploading content weekly like most YouTubers have to do to retain their audience, every single video Jon Cozart has uploaded to his channel has well over a million views. This means he must be doing something right.

His mantra about not giving people a reason to click away obviously works, his view count and subscriber count show that, but it would be naive to think that's all there is to it. Although, as a content creator myself, I wish it were that easy, I'd be willing to bet that nearly all of his subscribers are there because of his wonderfully unique content. Sure, the production of it helps, it's always nicer to watch a video in HD rather than one that looks like it was filmed in the 1950, but his views are that high because he has a real talent for creating unique and interesting content.

Do you have a theory as to what makes a good YouTube video/YouTuber? Let me know in the comments below!

Lucy x

Saturday, 2 August 2014


I love winter. I love Christmas and fairy lights and the type of weather where it's so cold you can see your breath yet it's still sunny. But because of that I always forget how much I love summer. I only seem to remember feeling too hot and being uncomfortable because it's so hot when summer is over, but the last week or so has reminded me what I love about summer.

Summer to me is going down the beach every day with friends that I see about twice over the course of the rest of the year and the fact that it doesn't matter that we've not seen each other for six months, we just pick up from where we left off.

Summer to me is spending the days at the beach, the evenings playing pool with my friends and then waking up to do the same thing the next day without getting bored of it.

Summer to me is walking a minimum of 5 miles a day to get to the beach and back and not even noticing.

While it's very easy for me to remember the exciting things that happen every December, I forget what happens in July. I forget just how much I love the friends that I rarely see outside of July, with the exception of August, and I forget how much I love having a beach within walking distance, no matter how far that walking distance is.

But I've remembered now, at least for a little while.

Lucy x

This has sort of followed the style of the 'Letters To July' series by Emily Diana Ruth. If you don't know what I mean click here to watch some of them on YouTube, they're beautiful and definitely worth your time.