And this is coming from a Swiftie

Photo: “Taylor Swift Speak Now — Pittsburgh” by rwoan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Friday the 9th of April, 2021 was a momentous day. You may have noticed something, be it the uncontrollable sobs of women forcing themselves through a breakup album or even the sound of wine bottles being simultaneously uncorked across the globe. Because on Friday the 9th of April, Taylor Swift released her first rerecorded album, and Swifties got to live through the delight of ‘Fearless’ all over again. It didn’t matter that we’re in our twenties or thirties now, singing about high school crushes and loss. …


How to go from first draft to masterpiece

Photo: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash / CC BY-SA 4.0

The biggest mistake that writers make is thinking that it’s just about writing. It’s painful to see people post on writer’s groups about how they’re writing or have just finished their first draft, and how could they find an agent to publish this? It makes me wince, and I must admit that I’m not strong enough to write them the answer they deserve. The answer usually congratulates them before advising them to not even look at that until they’ve done multiple edits. Because you should feel proud, finishing the first draft is an accomplishment. Not everyone can do that; not…


Anxiety and the millennial mind

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Living with anxiety is feeling like you’re always walking on a tightrope. You’re aware of each step, and you have to be, as one misstep means everything is over. You second guess each movement, and you’re desperately grabbling for balance as you feel the weight of the world in your stomach. Then, when you let go, for just a split second, for just a harmless joke or rushed sentiment, you fall, and you keep falling, and you know that you were right to feel so anxious.

I am a millennial living with anxiety, and I’m not the only one, far…


I’m so tired.

Photo: Daria Litvinova / Unsplash

I began writing online in May 2020 with a clear goal. I wanted to write the content that I needed when I was struggling most. That isn’t to say that I don’t still struggle or that my articles are set in the past, but rather that I was motivated to fill the gap. We’re so picky in how we discuss mental health and mental illness. We discuss the easier parts and then don’t approach the darker stuff that continues to affect thousands, if not millions, daily. We shy away from topics like self-harm, suicidality, purging and more.

I’d never change…


And should you create a personalised or generalised playlist?

Photo: Heidi Fin / Unsplash

Shonda Rhimes was the first person to teach me about the writing zone. In her Masterclass, she explained that some writers use a specific armchair or a place to get into this zone, and for her, it’s using a specific pair of noise-cancelling headphones. A writing zone is used to cement the habit, to help you enter the right state to begin writing. Consider it a ritual, as you’re instigating your creativity and motivation through sight, scent, sound or space.

This led me to wonder what constitutes my writing zone. I’m able to write in different places, and often I…


I know it is going to be too good

Photo by author

A friend recommended Normal People to me in 2019, so I was a little late to the Sally Rooney appreciation club. But, despite my delay, I wholeheartedly dived into my appreciation of her. I don’t know if I’ve ever connected to a novel as I did to Normal People. Reading it felt like having my own messy mind translated onto the page. It felt like a deep sigh of relief, accompanied by the stomach twisting of wondering how our stories would end.

Normal People is the closest depiction to my depression, and it felt like people might finally understand.

To…


#2: You’ll rarely be the best at something

Photo by Benjamin Escher on Unsplash

Growing up, everyone would always make jokes about how difficult it must be for my father as the only man in the house. He had been ‘blessed’ with three daughters, all of whom had loud personalities and even louder voices. Even when we finally added a dog to our household, it was female and didn’t help to balance the ratio.

Everyone was so fixated on how difficult it must be for him as the only man in the house that they forgot how difficult it is to be a woman around so many other women. Growing up as one of…


Photo: Andriyko Podilnyk / Unsplash

For the full experience, listen to This is Me Trying — Taylor Swift

When COVID started last year and we all got sent home with a deadline that kept creeping further and further away, I was at my peak of productivity. I was determined to ‘get something’ out of this time and write my arse off. I was still doing my job online, working on my manuscript, writing at least fifteen articles a month and taking on extra freelance work. For a while, I could keep going, and there wasn’t really an exact point where that stopped. I didn’t recognise…


My best article is one of my worst

Photo: Etienne Girardet / Unsplash

I’m on a few Facebook groups about writing, and time after time, I see the same question posted. People say they’re about to start writing articles or blog posts and ask what they should write about to go viral or make the most money. I find these posts kind of disappointing, as it really highlights what this has all come to. That’s a privileged position to have, and I know that. …


One step forward

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

I sit opposite him, and he is laughing at my jokes. He is really laughing, without care, without abandon, and for a moment I glow. He thinks that I’m funny. I am on my first date with him, my first date at all, and maybe I am doing something right. But then I remember when you used to laugh at my jokes, it feels so long ago and maybe it was. Because we only ended three months ago, and yet I can’t remember the last time you laughed with me like this. I can’t remember the last time you found…

Fleurine Tideman

Just another millennial content writer who thinks they have something to say. Mail: info@byfleurine.com | Twitter: @ByFleurine| Blog: Symptomsofliving.com

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