It’s weird to think that at just 28 years old, I’ve bagged my dream job of becoming a magazine editor. I’ve drifted in and out of various jobs for so many years now that I never believed I’d ever actually get a lucky break.

Though the magazine isn’t the most exciting in the world, the role itself is challenging and exciting: plus I have learned so much about an industry I never gave a second thought to beforehand. Becoming a magazine editor has taught me a lot too.

Formidable Joy | Lifestyle | 5 things I've learned since becoming a magazine editor | Career

YOU’RE NOT JUST A MAGAZINE EDITOR
I don’t just sit and sub a magazine. I actually write pretty much the entire magazine myself as we’re such a small team (which I kind of like as there’s the belief that once you become an editor you actually stop doing the creative writing side of things), but I also source content, source new clients, chase clients for content, sell AD space, sell editorial space, brainstorm new feature ideas, attend events, attend meetings all over the country..and, not related to my role specifically, I also plan a glam awards ceremony in London once a year. Oh, and I chase invoices. Invoices are the bane of my life.

YOU STILL DEAL WITH SH*TTY PEOPLE
I thought that by leaving retail, I’d never have to deal with a tough customer again. I was wrong. Although all of my clients are super lovely, I have had to deal with the odd customer who makes things..challenging, shall I say. Luckily, they never last long but there’s always going to be someone somewhere you don’t see eye to eye with. But when it’s something that can be fixed? We come to a solution.

YOU GET SO PEDANTIC ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS
An extra space between words in the Editor’s note? A wrong photo used during a feature? I can’t have it. I’d like to say I’m not a bitch about it but each time an issue goes to press I still take the courtesy to thank everyone in my team for their hard work and apologize for being so pedantic about the little things. When it comes to something going to print with my name on it, I’m super aware of my responsibility to make sure it’s just right.

…BUT THERE’S STILL TONS OF OFFICE JOKES
The girls always take the mick out of me when I end up swearing at my computer, whereas we tease one girl for looking like Morph. Another recent colleague gets teased for her habit of always leaving a tissue in her bowl of soup when putting it aside for the washing up. It’s all in good jest of course, but with tight deadlines to meet and many late nights at the office, we need to take the pressure off somehow. We also have the tradition of going to the local pub on a Friday after work too..

IT KIND OF TAKES OVER YOUR ENTIRE LIFE
But when this is your career taking off and you’re a single lady with no responsibilities, it’s a good thing as it’s a great way to get ahead. When it comes to press day, I rarely get home before eight…in that entire week. Recently, my boss and I flew to Portugal for one day to meet a client (although they did ply us with lots of traditional Portuguese food and port) and we’re often driving all around the country to meet clients too.

Although some of these points might seem like bad points: they’re honestly not. Learning so much about a challenging role is so great, as is being able to go on business trips to places like Portugal! Being able to call myself a magazine editor is one of the proudest things I’ve ever done and right now, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Plus I get to sit on my ass and drink tea all day…what’s not to love?!

Do you deal with any of the above things in your role? Let me know!

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Hey edgy witches and spooky bitches, it’s finally October! I’ve got so much Halloween content coming up but, as tradition states, the start of the month has to be what I’m looking forward to throughout this month.

Please note, there are a few Halloween events I’m reviewing and I will mention these in my Halloween in London post but for this post I’m shying away from Halloween specific things.

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina

THE BOOK
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera sounds like a pretty refreshing take on a modern romance novel. It follows Arthur and Ben attempt to get together but struggle with the first, second and third date. Arthur tries to hard…and Ben, not enough. It’s a frank look at modern relationsips – back in the days of our parents and grandparents it was so easy and people settled young – whereas now, some people do seperate simply because one fights for the relationship more! I like that the main characters are gay too and this is the first time a romance novel about two gay characters has come to my attention (although I’m sure there are many) – so I’m excited to read this.
What If It’s Us will be published on the 9th.

THE NETFLIX SERIES
Whilst I’m still not used to the idea of a Sabrina The Teenage Witch reboot, the fact that The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina is going in a much, much darker direction makes me happy (as opposed to doing a direct remake that doesn’t do the original justice). I haven’t been following many of the details of the show but I know it looks awesome judging by the trailer and is set in the same universe of Riverdale, which I couldn’t help but love. Plus it drops just in time for Halloween…
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina will be available from the 26th.

THE GIG
October is Oxjam month and because being a magazine editor, contributing to music websites and running my own blog apparently isn’t enough responsbility for me..I’ve decided to attempt to put on my own gig. I have a huge passion for unsigned talent – and supporting independent venues too – so it’s a no brainer really. The gig will take place on Halloween (whoop!) at MK11 Live Music Venue in Milton Keynes. Know any local artists who want to play? Let me know..!

THE MOVIE
I do love a bad boy and I especially love Tom Hardy. I thought it would be weird crushing on him in Venom but I heard he’s actually a sort of anti-hero as opposed to a total bad guy, aka making it acceptable to still sort of fancy him? Anyway, I don’t know much about the character of Venom apart from his appearance in Spider-Man 3 but the trailer makes it look amazing. Now I just have to find someone to come and see it with me..!
Venom will be released on the 5th October.

ANYTHING ELSE?
I’ll be constantly updating my Halloween guide throughout the month so if you know of anything awesome going on in London this October, let me know! Tweet me at @Lady_Louise_ or email me directly at Louise.Joy@hotmail.com. The quirkier the better…

What are you looking forward to this October? Let me know!

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To most people, autumn signifies the start of cosy nights in, oversized jumpers and pumpkin spiced latte. Whether you’re an outdoorsey person or not, everyone tends to swap days out for hours spent in the warmth, catching up on TV shows and basically going into hibernation.

But if you’re anything like me, you’re already worrying about how you’re going to hit your step count or stay fit now that the nights are drawing in. On top of that, as much as I prefer staying in to going out, it’s still good to at least get outside and breathe in some fresh air: plus it helps you sleep better.

So even though you may think there’s not much ‘to do’ in cold weather (it’s not like you can go and spend a day at the beach or visit a pub garden), there’s still some reasons to get out and about this autumn.

Formidable Joy | Lifestyle | Autumn | Outdoors

POKEMON GO
Yeah, I know, the trend is long gone (and you can bet I jumped on that trend at the time). But there are still so many people playing it and the best part is you don’t even need other people to enjoy it really (unless you want to battle lots). I’m back on the trend simply with the aim to collect as many pokemon as I can. Visiting new places helps me do this, obviously, and brings back many memories of playing on my Gameboy when I was younger. I still have my (old school red)Gameboy somewhere but it doesn’t work anymore because the batteries in the back exploded. Oh the days of small hand held battery operated devices. I feel old now.

SCENERY
This seems like another obvious choice as we all know how gorgeous all the coloured leaves look in autumn, but there’s a big difference between driving down country roads and actually heading out to visit somewhere (and hear that satisfying sound of leaves crunching beneath your boots). My nan and I always like to visit Ashridge (photo above) because after an afternoon spent strolling around and taking photos, there’s a cafe on site that serves light snacks and delicious hot chocolate.

GEOCACHING
This is perfect to do with your family and I’ve been trying to rope my dad into it for years now. Geocoaching is basically like a real life treasure hunt where you use a GPS (or the app) to find hidden containers/caches. Usually there’s something hidden inside which you can take in place of leaving your own gift and it’s really fun trying to tick off all your finds. Dads will love it.
Plus it’s actually CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) week right now, so what better excuse to start?

GET YOUR SCARE ON
Okay so Halloween is still a little way off – and trust me, I’ll be covering all about scare attractions on the blog come 1st October – but getting a little spooky is another fun excuse to get out more this autumn. For the brave: a fright night at a themepark is always really fun (I wonder if riding a rollercoaster adds to your step count?) and families will love visiting farms for their toned down Halloween events. Instagrammers can find solice in one of the many pop up Pumpkin patches this year – an American tradition that has since become popular in the UK in recent years.

SEE A LIGHT FESTIVAL
No, I’m not talking about fireworks (although that’s a good excuse too) but an actual evening lightshow. Places like Kew Gardens, Waddesdon Manor and Longleat are renowned for hosting stunning light shows/festivals throughout autumn and winter which are jaw-dropping displays of colour, lanterns and entire light up scenes – plus most of them include indoor activities too if it does get too cold..

Will you be braving the chilly weather this autumn to do any of the above? Or will you be going into total hibernation? Let me know!

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I’m not the world’s most successful blogger but after seven years of blogging, I am pretty proud of my little space on the internet. I’ve had some great opportunities through blogging, have made amazing friends..and overall, found myself incredibly proud of myself for keeping it going for so long.

Even though there have been lulls where I’ve lost all motvation or personal stuff has overwhelmed me, as a whole, I’ve stuck at it and, in recent years, have stuck to a pretty secure deadline of blogging every other day. There’s been odd times when I’ve missed this – take this week, for example, where I missed my Sunday post simply because I’d been away since Thursday and simply hadn’t had the time beforehand to do everything = sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But when you stay focused and stick to a schedule, it makes all the difference. It’s incredibly easy to see the difference between a post planned and written in advance with great content and stunning photos as opposed to a post that’s been half-heartedly written with a stock photo thrown in to hit a deadline (trust me, I’ve done this before!). Sticking to a schedule or some sort of plan makes your blog look better, impresses clients and leaves you feeling proud of your content.

Here are some tips on how to get your sh*t together when it comes to blogging and how to always stay on top of things – even if you work full time like me!

Formidable Joy | Blogging | 5 ways to stick to a blogging schedule | Lifestyle

GET TO GRIPS WITH A SPREADSHEET
Google Spreadsheets are my absolute savour, mostly because I can access them from anywhere – home, work or my phone for example. I used to hate any sort of spreadsheet when I was younger and now people at work even make fun of me because of how much I rely on them! I keep one strictly for everything blogging and this is a place for me to list ideas, what’s going live when and tracks things like statistics, finances and more. Although I do scribble down posts in an actual planner, I find this so much more useful because posts get swapped around all the time and I can keep an eye on where everything is shared. Having it laid out in front of me makes me notice things like if I’ve got three lifestyle posts and then three music posts in a row – prompting me to mix them up – and see what needs doing to make the posts live.

SCHEDULE TIME IN
Whether you can only write when inspiration strikes or you can only write on a Sunday morning in bed for example, always, always schedule some blog time in once a week (or less, depending on how regular you post). I always give myself a Sunday afternoon and in this time I do any blog admin like tracking followers, commenting on other blogs, approving my own comments, going through my to do list etc. I find it much easier to do this in a set time weekly because it helps me feel prepped for the week ahead. I also use this time to plan my social media – beforehand I’d share my blog posts once on Facebook and three times on Twitter – that’s it. Now that I plan other content (not necessarily related to blogging but just to grow my social media following and help me seem more approachable), it makes so much difference. For example, being away and not planning anything over the last week or so has led my Facebook audience reach to drop by 33% compared to the previous seven days, whereas my page views over the last month have gone up by 5%. So you can see the difference: by taking the time to regularly schedule things, my reach has been creeping up and up. But it drops very quickly when I don’t take that time. Which brings me to my next point…

TRACK STATISTICS
This is a tough point because it can be argued about what statistics are most valuable/true and a lot of people believe you shouldn’t blog for followers/numbers to go up – and I agree. But if you’re producing regular content – especially sponsored posts or content about brands – it’s always good to keep track of audience reach and page views. Not only is this useful for any company you’re collaborating with, but it really helps to understand your reach a lot better. Facebook and Twitter can show you what links actually get clicked on and on some websites you can track the best times to post for the most views. It’s a great way to keep on top of what you’re doing right and what isn’t working which, overall, saves you a lot of time. I quickly learned from Twitter that my tweets with media/photos get the most impressions, and Facebook taught me that my audience are on Facebook more in the afternoon and evenings and so taking time to schedule things to go live early in the morning is a complete waste of time.

BULK WRITE
This is something I’m still getting used to; usually on a Sunday after I’ve written one or two posts and done all my blog admin, I feel like I’ve done more than enough. I struggle to understand how some bloggers can find the time to bulk write up to five posts in one day! But I think this is super important, especially when you know you’ll be going away or won’t have the time to write. If you’re on holiday, I do think it’s important to take a break away from it all and that it is silly to feel pressured to have content up in that time but on the otherhand, if things like sponsored posts need to be written for that time, then it’s good to sit down and bulk write it in advance. I’m always well aware of life throwing obstacles at you too – sometimes I’ll have no motivation or family/work stuff going on, so my current goal is trying to have a set few posts sitting in my drafts always ready to post in case of something popping up. Things like book reviews or ‘get to know me’ posts are great for this type of thing as they’re not time sensitive so can go live whenever – even if it’s months after you wrote it! Y’know, unless you did a get to know me post about hooking up with an uber hot rockstar then all of a sudden you’re married…that’s not really a great time to make that kind of post live..!

GET A PLANNER
..not just for blogging, but in general. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt really on top of things via my spreadsheet and mentally decided that I’ll take all my photos or do a particular review one evening…then look through my planner and see I’ve got meetings like, three days in a row which means late finishes from work and NO TIME TO BLOG. I mean, if you already prefer to keep some sort of blogging schedule in a planner then great. But if not, it’s a good idea to realize that, well, if you’re not a full time blogger, blogging often takes up ‘you time’ – evenings and lunch breaks for example. So I find it helpful to stick to a Google Spreadsheet for the bulk of my blogging planning, but cast an eye over my actual life planner per week too. Also, I tend to plan posts per month, then write them into my planner weekly because yes they get swapped around a lot, but by a Sunday evening I usually manage to have a clear plan with whats going live that week coming up, so can write it in and pencil in any last minute photos or social media shares I need to do.

However, it’s also important to remember that people plan in a variety of different ways. A lot of people prefer to just write when inspiration strikes, instead of putting on a business head and planning lots. I know I prefer to write when inspiration strikes (which is luckily on a lazy Sunday afternoon) so I mix the two: plan all my blog admin but not plan the actual creative side of things. So it really is whatever works for you. In my personal experience, sticking to some sort of schedule makes me feel a lot more relaxed and confident about my blogging and personally I feel that shows through my writing.

How do you blog? Do you stick to some sort of schedule? Or just write when inspiration strikes? Let me know!

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Modern entertainment can be a little bit of a whirlwind. In some cases a popular character or franchise is spread across so many elements of entertainment and culture it seems bigger than any one film, show, game, or whatever its origin may be. This is true largely for two reasons. One is the increasingly blurred lines between television, streaming, and film that can allow a character like Jack Reacher to exist on TV and in movies, or which can provide for both TV and film wings of the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. The other reason, however, is the sophistication and prevalence of modern gaming, which provides a huge variety of avenues for people to enjoy popular franchise characters, from Lara Croft to Iron Man.

Considering that second point, we wanted to ask a simple question: What are the best gaming opportunities for modern franchises and characters? That is, if gaming can be credited for making these elements of our culture more ubiquitous (and more successful), what are the best ways for a franchise to get involved in gaming to begin with? A few answers to this question come to mind.

Formidable Joy | Guest Post | The Best Gaming Opportunities For Film & TV Franchises | Gaming

LOOSELY RELATED MOBILE GAMES
Mobile games are relatively small and can be made affordably, and for that reason games accompanying movies or TV shows are fairly common. However, they tend to fall into two categories: those that attempt to replicate the exact action of a production, and those that merely use the same theme and characters but wind up being wholly original games. And most of the better ones fall into the latter category. This list of the best iOS options in this category makes this fairly clear, with games like Pirates Of The Caribbean: Master Of The Seas, Men In Black 3, and Jurassic Park Builder taking cinematic concepts and turning them into random but enjoyable games. Looking at examples like these we can say loosely related mobile games are often the way to go.

LICENSED MATERIAL ON SLOT ARCADES
If you pay even a little bit of attention to online games and casino sites specifically, you’ll notice that there tend to be a fair number of games that are using directly licensed images, characters, music, and concepts from major film or television. And it’s no wonder why. According to this guide, slot selections are always changing and evolving as the different sites try to keep up with new games and compete with one another. And that means fresh and interesting content is vital. This would seem to open the door to a lot of films and shows that might have interest in gaming spreading their own brands through slot arcades.

EMBELLISHED CONSOLE ADVENTURES
All we mean by embellished is that if a movie or TV show is going to make it all the way to a console-quality game, it has to go beyond itself. Take a classic example in the form of the iconic Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007. It’s based on an actual James Bond film, and uses real characters and scenes from the film. However, it also injects additional bad guys, more challenging levels, and a multiplayer mode that became legendary. In other words, it was true to the film, but also went beyond the film. This sort of embellishment makes for an excellent opportunity for the right properties.

POPULAR STYLE IMITATIONS
The idea here is simply that if one style works, other properties can probably take advantage of it too. This isn’t easily done for something like GoldenEye 007, but consider instead something like the mobile GO series from Square Enix Montreal. A report actually indicated this summer that this series is being discontinued, but a few great games emerged from the concept. Franchises including Tomb Raider and Hitman both got puzzle games that basically could have featured any characters or settings and been the same from a gameplay perspective.

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