Guest Post: Lucy Ruthnum | Absolutely Lucy | How Blogging and Social Media has Changed my Life

UK Blog Awards 2015 – submission from Lucy Ruthnum,  (nominated for Best Individual/Freelance Lifestyle  and Travel Blog  ).
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"This time last year, I had only been blogging for around three months, I had barely told anyone about my new lifestyle blog and was still trying to figure out how I wanted it to look. Fast forward to a year later and Absolutely Lucy is a travel, festivals and lifestyle blog with a sleek and unique design that I love, I share my posts with hundreds of you each day and I actually have a plan, with goals and ideas for the future. I never thought blogging would even turn into such a huge part of my life in such a short space of time, I barely dared dream that people would enjoy reading my posts so much. But it's safe to say that the last 12 months of blogging has changed my life. Am I being a bit over-dramatic? I don't think so, let me tell you why...

Working as a journalist and editor, I always loved writing and am a bit addicted to the whole process of constructing a story and developing it as I move further down the page. But journalism leaves little opportunity to express your own personal views and ideas, so I looked elsewhere for something that could fill the void. Blogging allowed me to not only develop my skills and portfolio as a writer, it also gave me an outlet for all the millions of thoughts and opinions swimming around my brain - trust me, you guys barely get half of what is going on up there! Having a blog meant I not only got to share my views, but I got to share them with others who were interested and wanted to start a discussion on the topics covered. These intelligent, interesting and vibrant people were quickly counted among my friends, despite having huge oceans and hundreds of miles separating some of us.

Social media has opened up a wealth of opportunities to meet people, get advice and talk directly to other bloggers based all over the world, to be considered for blogging opportunities and to be invited to events. It has also given me the drive to carry on my work at Absolutely Lucy because of the direct contact with my readers - the messages, comments and likes have all meant the world to me and have inspired me to continue following my passions and my dreams. Yes it has taken over my life a little and I do dedicate a lot of time to both blogging and social media - but the enjoyment and the rewards that come from this far outweigh any negatives. I may always be 'on call' with all the alerts that pop up on my phone and iPad from Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest. But I genuinely love every second - this is what drives me to open up my laptop and start all over again after a long day working two jobs. I may be tired, but I count myself as one of the luckiest people in the world to have a career and a hobby that allow me to indulge my true love of writing.

The biggest change to me as an individual has to be the way blogging has affected my confidence and my choices. Anyone who knows me will tell you I was never lacking in confidence, but blogging has made me BOLD. It has given me the boost I needed to make a huge life decision to quit my job and travel the world... alone. I had always dreamed of travelling with a friend or my partner, but the timing had never been right for us at the same time. I realised not long into my blogging career that I had to leave my job - I needed a change and suddenly it hit me that what I really wanted to do was to travel. Nobody was able to come with me and I've always been lucky enough to have an amazing family and friends around me, so the thought of going solo was terrifying.Then I realised, I was already striking out on my own by blogging. I realised travelling would give me the most amazing experience of my life to share on my blog. I realised that I couldn't let fear hold me back from achieving one of my greatest dreams in life. So I did it - I booked my tickets and quit my job and now I'm all set to head off on January 6. I genuinely don't know if I could say that had it not been for the boost that blogging gave me, and I'll be glad of the amazing support I have had from the blogging community when I set out on my travels.

"Blogging has inspired me to be bolder in my decisions and my boldest one yet is entering the UK Blog Awards despite only being a mere speck in the shadows of some amazing bloggers who have a huge network of support. The fact that I feel I am in a position to put my name in the pot, even if nothing comes of it, shows the huge way my blog has grown in a short space of time and I am proud of that. It is a great achievement. I feel privileged to have my tiny blog listed on the site amongst some real blogging heroes of mine and I really look forward to seeing the awards develop while being a part of it - that is honour enough for me. But if you do fancy voting for me, it would mean the world to me. Follow the links below."

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