Nothing beats an early morning forest walk.

The low sunlight pokes through the trunks, causing the dew to dazzle like a field of diamonds, highlighting each droopy stem, heavy with droplets. Soon the sun will burn off the moisture but for now the forest carpet sparkles and glistens.

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I have the place to myself, as usual. A nice perk of living far from a city. Plenty of time to wander among the tall Scots Pines and not be harried by others and forget for just a moment all the trivial things on my mind.

When I’m in the forest I’m immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the immediate moment. There is no time for ruminating, worrying, stressing. …

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Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash

I received some negative feedback on one of my articles somewhat recently.

I’ll tell you this — negative feedback hurts.

The reader even posted a separate article that directly pointed towards mine and ripped it, and me, to shreds. That hurt even more.

It honestly hit me really hard and my writing self-confidence took a big blow.

The words “I don’t really want to do this [writing on Medium] anymore” crossed my mind.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m very sensitive! This is one of my flaws. I know it. …

Since the start of lockdown I’ve been out and about with my camera most days. Shooting through the lens is my way of escaping from what’s happening, and to re-focus on the beauty of nature. And to remind me — life will, and does, go on.

Recently, I decided I wanted to photograph the lockdown. I normally shoot landscapes so this was a challenge for me. But I wanted to capture the impact Corononavirus has had on our little Scottish highland town and to convey the feel of a place with is usually vibrant but now sits quiet and empty. …

Everyday steps to make your freelancing life better

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Image from unsplash

The freelancing economy is booming.

According to Forbes, freelancers now make up an incredible 35% of the U.S. workforce.

More and more people are ditching the 9–5 and are charting their own course by becoming a freelancer.

But whether you’re new or have several years of experience, sadly there are many pitfalls that most freelancers, at some point, will fall prey to.

“Good things do not come easily. The road is lined with pitfalls.” — Desi Amaz

But the good news is that you can do something about them.

You can learn from my mistakes.

Freelancers who are equipped with all the right knowledge and tools have the potential to thrive in this new gig-economy. And the right tools include knowing how to avoid some of the most common mistakes that freelancers make. …

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Photo by Mukuko Studio on Unsplash

Reading Mark Manson’s Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k recently has got me thinking:

We have our focus on goals all wrong.

I love goals and set them regularly, but when I set a goal, all I usually care about is the end result. Sure, I like to break my goals into mini, achievable chunks (in fact, I wrote about that here), but when setting goals there’s a big part I’m forgetting. I forget about the actual daily work it will take me to get there.

We would all love to skip straight to the destination for our goals — the successful rockstar, the award-winning author, the champion weight lifter. …

Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

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Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

Unbeknownst to many, Kurt Vonnegut, as well as being a prolific writer, was also a big commencement speaker.

The below quote comes from one of his speeches:

“My Uncle Alex, who is up in Heaven now, one of the things he found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

What a lovely little message.

If we can’t notice and appreciate the nice things that are happening, when will we ever be happy? …

A 5-part free template for freelancers

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Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

It’s that time of year again.


If you work in an office you’ll be subject to a yearend review or appraisal in the not-too-distant future, if you haven’t had the pleasure already.

I have a love-hate relationship with appraisals. (Don’t even get me started on 360 reviews!)

I love them because they’re a great tool for reviewing goals and reflecting on what went well and perhaps more importantly, what didn’t go so well in a year.

However, getting ‘constructive’ feedback is always incredibly painful for me. I’m not good at receiving negative comments; I’m very sensitive and while I know it’s coming from a helpful place it takes all my energy not to burst into tears during an appraisal. …

And how we can learn it as adults

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Photo by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

My sister had a baby around 18 months ago, a little girl. It’s been amazing to watch my niece grow and a lovely reminder of the preciousness of life. It’s also been fascinating to hear her learn how to speak and to watch her slowly figure out how the world works, piece by piece.

Until the screaming starts, of course!

Mistakes are Commonplace for Babies

The first few years of our lives are all about learning and discovering. My niece keeps getting things wrong and doesn’t fully grasp the concept of everything yet.

Despite that, she keeps going. Through trial and error, she figures out how to put the round block in the round hole, not the square one. My sister, always patient, is encouraging and provides little pointers when things get confusing or troublesome. …

Top tips from one of my favorite authors

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Photo by iam Se7en on Unsplash

I recently started re-reading the Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. It’s a great book, and nice to read just before the Holidays begin!

I loved reading Terry Pratchett novels growing up and I still do. His comedic, fantasy worlds and clever metaphors are both relatable and hilarious.

Reading anything by him is pleasure reading at it’s best — it’s a truly enjoyable way to spend time and you’ll be flicking through the pages well into the night, trying to stifle chuckles while your partner sleeps.

Check out some of these corkers in just the first few pages of the Hogfather:

The [throat-clearing] sound suggested very clearly that the purpose of the exercise was not to erase the presence of a troublesome bit of biscuit, but merely to indicate in the politest way possible the presence of the throat. …

#2. Separate drafting, editing, and publishing into 3 sessions

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

I’ve been writing for most of my life in one form or another, but it wasn’t really until I started work as a freelance writer that I worked strategically on my craft.

In the past three years, I’ve made a few little steps in order to become a better writer.

Here they are:

1. I Use Evernote to Jot Down Ideas

I’m a huge fan of pen and paper. Around me, I have three lists on three different bits of paper.

However, when it comes to writing ideas, I put them in Evernote. That’s because writing inspiration can strike me at all hours — just before I’m about to turn the light off to go sleep, in the middle of watching “The Devil Next Door” on Netflix, or while waiting in line at the supermarket. …


Tessa Palmer

Life after quitting the rat-race.

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