Tag Archives: blogging

Ipsy’s July Glam Bag: First Impressions!

I’ve missed doing the whole beauty product review routine, so I’m back at it with my first impressions of Ipsy’s July Glam Bag, and boy, do I have a lot to say!

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If you’re one of my regular readers, you’d know that I don’t prefer getting skin and hair products in my Ipsy bags, first off because with my hair, a sample size of hair product won’t do much. My hair is practically down to my hips and realistically, a sample size could probably only treat 1/25 of my tresses, give or take. Not worth the $10, to me. Secondly, my skin issues are something that I’ve been viciously battling for years and I’ve finally gotten to the point where my acne is “backing off”, with just a blemish or two, here and there. Now that my highly active skin is admitting forfeiture, I’m avoiding experimenting with new skin products for the most part. I stick to my guns about the lotions and cleansers I swear by and don’t generally deviate from them. With all that being said, let’s get started on first impressions.

I’m going to start with the products that I was highly impressed with. To start off, the beauty bag the products came in is SO. CUTE. Overwhelmingly cute. It’s bright, festive, and something I’d love to carry around in my purse! The bag is almost always as great as the products! I got five products total in my glam bag this month: a coral-toned nail polish, a 2-in-one eyeliner and shadow, a sample-size dry shampoo, a brightening serum, and a pair of brand new, baby-pink tweezers.

The first thing I stumbled across was the bubble-wrapped (already a plus!) nail polish. Ripping off the bubble-wrap excitedly, I was thrilled to see the Gel Effect Nail Lacquer by Aurora in the color #112, called “4 Alarm Fire”. The color is spot-on for Summer vacationing and a great pick-me-up for the Summer class blues. I was also blessed with a full-size nail polish instead of a sample size, but knowing how gorgeous this color is going to be against my olive tan, I could imagine this polish is going to go much faster than the others. Beautiful color, great texture, and it seems like an excellent, high-quality polish. I’m thrilled to try it on!

Next, I have the absolutely adorable pair of Crown Brush tweezers. I am the kind of girl that buys about ten pairs of tweezers, only to be able to find one around the house on rare occasions. I always lose my tweezers, even when I feel like I put them all in the same spot. Weird, right? So needless to say, I’m happy that they went ahead and sent me another pair. The first thing I noticed was the weight of the tweezers. The ones I’ve bought in the past were either plastic or a light metal, but this pair has some weight to it. I like that it has an angled plucking side so I’m able to grab hairs closer to the skin with ease. These will come in handy the next time I shape my brows. I’ll update you on their effectiveness.

I then grabbed the Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Shadow. When swatched on my hand (which is slightly darker than the shade of my face, as my body tans a million times more than my face ever does! ha!), the pencil is a deep chestnut color with a mauve undertone, which is something new and different on my end. This color is going to probably be my new go-to eyeliner this Summer when I’m looking for a more subtle, dewey look and trying to avoid the harshness of black eyeliner. There’s a time and place for a smokey eye, and many more times and places for a moderately nude face, which I know this pencil will help me achieve. And the absolute BEST PART of this pencil is that it is cruelty-free! Hallelujah to that! I love receiving cruelty-free products!

*Sigh* Alright. Now, we’re onto the two-products that I just…don’t know how to feel about yet. Both are sample sized; one is a hair product, the other is a skin product. The skin product is by pur~lisse and is an “ultra skin brightening serum”. I’ve never had anything like that before, and I’m willing to try it, but I don’t know how a sample-sized skin product is going to make that much of a difference. I’ll let you guys know. As for the hair product, I received an Eva-NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo which, even though it’s a sample size, would probably be more useful out of the two, seeing as the weather where I live is on and off, and dry shampoo is something I can always use to rejuvenate my hair when it’s as tired of the dry heat as I am. It’s promising. Plus, I can put in in my book bag or purse to carry on the go! I’ll find a use for it.

I hope you guys enjoyed my first impressions review and I look forward to continuing to write here in the future! Leave a comment if you’d like.

If you have requests for posts or want to contact me regarding a product review I’ve written, a potential product review, or anything else business/blog related, shoot me a message at Mandirito@gmail.com!

Thank you for reading, and have a beautiful day!

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Media Monday: 5 Things We Should Stop Doing on Social Media (IMMEDIATELY)

For today’s Media Monday post, I’d like to discuss a few things that I see from time to time on social media that are gag worthy in a number of ways. Often my generation is called the “Social Media Generation”, because we live our lives not only offline, but online as well, which sometimes also leads to pretty rough consequences. As a 21 year old with quite the brain full of experience with digital media, I’d like to outline to my readers and non-readers alike the things I have seen online through social media networks that need to end…like….yesterday.

1. Following others on social media to gain their following, and then unfollowing them to reduce the number of people you’re following while maintaining their….followership? I know that was confusing, but bear with me. Here’s an example. The other day, a brand that I really like (not gonna throw them under the bus here, so I’ll leave it at that!) decided that I was worth a follow on Instagram. Me being as excited as I was about their mutual appreciation (and my realization that they had an Instagram, which I hadn’t known prior or I would’ve followed them already!), I clicked the follow button. Big mistake. As soon as I did, they unfollowed. *Sigh* AND THEN MY LIFE WAS OVER. No, but I was annoyed. Why follow me to get me to follow you, only to unfollow me? This also happens in blog support groups (this phrase makes us sound like we’re all addicts. Which we are. Writing addicts.), which I’ve come to realize. Another blogger and I will decide to follow each other to support each other’s blog and writing endeavors LIKE ADULTS and then, like magic, my followers app says, “Hey, this blogger’s a sucker. You lost another one” and I continue to roll my eyes for all eternity. Let’s just not do this anymore. Don’t be shady online, kids. Oh and have a good unfollower app because some people don’t like to play nice with others.

2. Copying blog posts like a bad blogger-sport. Look here, mister (clearly I’m bringing out the big guns). I work hard for my posts. They don’t always come easy to me. They can be a jumbled mess sometimes. I’m not always inspired. I’ve got school work everywhere I turn and, that thought in itself, can destroy my motivation. But you know what? I persevere. I get it done. I plan, I outline, I motivate, I drink lots of coffee, and I put the work in writing. It doesn’t matter if you wrote my blog post letter by letter, word by word, or just copied my cleverly created title that I thought of in the midst of a sugar-induced burst of creativity. From the moment you do this, you’re dead to me. We all have our battles. The fuse to make that bomb-a** post on YOUR OWN BLOG in YOUR OWN VOICE is in your hands, not mine.

I punned so hard on that one. My apologies.

3. Spamming for support. When it’s a known fact that it’s annoying and ineffective. For all of us. And the worst part is I can’t even bring a pitchfork and riot in front of your house because ALL I KNOW IS THE STUPID WEBSITE YOU WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE ABOUT. And no, I refuse to check out what your spam is raving about. I’ll pitchfork riot from across the street. I’m not giving you the satisfaction of this annoyance.

Spammer: “Great post! Let me tell you about this new seo–”

Me: “No.”

Spammer: “seo tool tha–”

Me: “I SAID NO. Can you stop? Thanks.”

Spammer: “……seo tool that–”

Me: “THIS IS MY HOME. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. If my blog had blinds right now, and a front door, I’d be closing both RIGHT NOW. In your face. Hard.”

Don’t be THAT GUY, the blogger that only cares about their own content. Read blogs to engage in discussion, not to spread your butter all over everyone else’s bread. That sounds creepy, but you know what I mean. I hope.

4. Airing out our dirty laundry on social media. I think we’re all just a little bit guilty of this one, but it’s just horrible. We go on social media and point fingers at others (usually anonymously to most, the subject known to few) to an audience of hundreds, let them all know that we’re fuming on our side of the screen, maybe muster up some support and maybe even some fingers being pointed in our direction, but for what? Does it make us feel any better, to tell everyone at the same time that we are mad? Or hurt? Definitely not. If anything, it fuels the frustration. Why tell a bunch of strangers your list of grievances? There’s nothing they can tell you that can make your complaints go away, other than the typical “you alright?” response and the even less engaging, “feel better” reply. Get a diary, make a friend that doesn’t mind you scream-venting in their face, or take up paintball. Take all that weird, fiery energy and use it in a way that doesn’t make the whole internet groan.

5. Shaming others for their bodies in the safety of our homes and under the shield of online anonymity. If you’ve ever taken a moment to browse a sensation on any of these social media sites (celebrities, musicians, etc.), you’ll realize that at least a handful of the comments are directed towards their bodies. “You’re fat”, “you fat cow”, “eat a cheeseburger”, the list goes on. You’re not any cooler for putting someone else down, you know that right? We all know that the people who comment these things would never have that lack of a heart to say the hurtful things they say online to the subject in person. And if they do, well, that’s sick and disgusting and they need to be parented all over again, or maybe they need a parent that’s going to teach them the right way to treat people. Let’s make the internet more positive. If you don’t have something overwhelmingly heartfelt or positive or encouraging to say, zip your lips. Save your positive comment for someone else who you think deserves it. Having a bad attitude is never in style, not even in the digital world. The world would be a better place if people bothered to be….dare I say NICE to each other.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday, and if you liked this post, share, comment, subscribe, and like! Remember, the humor is all in good fun, but I do mean what I say about the internet doing some spring cleaning. Some changes should definitely be made in the digital social-sphere.

What are some other things you believe people should stop doing on social media?

Leave a comment below!

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Makeup of the Day: Peachy Keen!

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Today, I did a very simple, clean makeup look. I wasn’t feeling like going all out with colors but the natural glow of my skin this morning gave me an idea to go for more peachy tones. I don’t usually go for pinks/peaches just because I generally like to pack a punch, but today was an early morning class and I thought this look would carry through the day well. I started off by applying a sunscreen on my skin. I have oily/combination skin so I generally like to use sunscreens that don’t add an excessive amount of oil. On a regular basis, I like to use Olay sunscreen because it feels light, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave my makeup feeling cakey (worst feeling ever). During the time that it’s DSC_0082absorbing, I usually brush my teeth and my hair to make sure that, in the process of applying my makeup, I’m not removing the sunscreen. After it’s absorbed well, I start with my Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in #200. The color is fairly light for me, but to ensure that it matches my skin on a day to day basis, I like to add some warm bronzer (In this case, I used the NYC Color Wheel Mosaic) lightly on top to blend the color more effectively. I like to use my makeup sponge to dab the foundation underneath my eyes gently, as well as on the eyelid and area underneath my brow. However, I don’t use the makeup sponge much on other areas of my face just because I feel like it’s pretty difficult to clean and tends to soak up a great deal of foundation whenever I use it. It’s generally only used for touch ups and details. Then I used my Elf blush in “Pink Passion” on the tops of my cheeks to illuminate my skin. I don’t worry so much about my cheeks looking abnormally pink, because the next step allows me to make it more natural looking. I take my Covergirl “Translucent Light” powder and dab it across my cheeks and along my skin with a large powder brush to set the foundation and blend the blush into a more natural, rosy color. After I’ve set my makeup, I used just a touch of Clinique’s “Almost Peach” eyeshadow and dabbed this glittery, subtle pink just underneath my brows to illuminate my brow bones. The final step of this look was applying my new lipgloss from Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth series in “Rich Raisin” very lightly, applying one even coat and blotting the excess.

I hope you guys enjoyed this step by step makeup of the day look, and if you have any suggestions on other posts that you’d like me to do, please do not hesitate to contact me! I love hearing from you guys! If you enjoyed the post, feel free to share and comment. Your support is always appreciated. Thank you! 🙂

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Illuminating Our Perfection, or Purposeful Deception?

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I got an email the other day that had me thinking about the significance of makeup, especially in my life. She asked how I felt about the accusations that using makeup is a deceptive way that women represent themselves. I figured I’d respond to this publicly because I feel that it is essential to my readers to understand why I write what I write and the role that makeup plays for me personally.

Let’s start with a little personal history! I’ve gotten on a beauty kick lately more so than ever. I’m really loving experimenting with makeup and different products ever since I visited Ulta and later got an Ipsy subscription, which delivers new, varying beauty products every month for only $10, making it pretty much impossible for a girl like me to refuse. My love for using makeup has been a consistent love. I remember, as a young child, I used to carry around one of those caboodle carrying cases full of makeup and sit around with my friends and create “makeovers”. Sure, they probably weren’t as aesthetically pleasing then as they’d be now (I’ve learned at least some skills since those days), but even then I understood what makeup meant to me. I loved using it because makeup is artistic as well as purposeful.

I see so many comments on the pages, videos, and posts of beauty bloggers by men (and some women) saying that makeup is deceptive and that it hides one’s natural flaws, making the individual more attractive than they actually are, attracting individuals who apparently think they naturally look flawless. Ahh. Let’s get this straight here. Makeup enhances one’s beauty and gives the individual the ability to exemplify certain physical traits while toning down traits they see as less desirable or bothersome. That’s not deceptive. It’s something that we, as humans, do similarly with many things. We always want to put our best traits forward, whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, whichever. Makeup is something that allows women to accentuate their best physical features.

Some women, like myself, also use makeup as a way to conceal acne scars in order to be more comfortable and confident in their own skin and especially in face to face social situations. For me, I focus immensely on the base of the makeup look: the foundation. I have had severe acne for the majority of my young adult to adult life and it has left me with unsightly, discolored scars that I don’t always like to leave bare. It’s a sensitive thing for me, having others ask about the permanent marks that were left on my face from these years, so I find that knowing how to apply my makeup effectively gives me a major confidence boost. Others aren’t looking for scars, but rather social queues on my face, which is a nice change of pace. I could imagine many others apply makeup for the same reasons. They would rather reduce the distraction of little flaws and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin than go out, barefaced, knowing that the uncomfortableness will ultimately hinder them. I remember feeling like I was going to cry every time I’d look in the mirror and see how badly my skin had gotten. Makeup gives the individual the freedom to look glamorous and to feel beautiful, acne scars or not. It’s more so for the individual’s sake than for any outside force, meaning that the use of makeup isn’t as much for “deception” as many like to call it, but for the expression of illuminating one’s perceived best features in vibrant, inspired new ways, neutralizing the flaws we have that chip at our confidence.

Makeup is enjoyable for me. I love to be able to have a clean canvas to create new looks every day and to experiment with different color palettes. I can change my look to fit my outfit, my mood, anything I desire. I honestly think using makeup is as “deceptive” as a woman looking beautiful in nice clothes. Is that deception too, because she’s not spotlighting the bumps and rolls that are just a natural part of her figure, but finding pieces that illuminate her best assets?
Realistically speaking, how is makeup any more deceiving?
Why should I not feel comfortable in my own skin?

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13 Reasons I’m Thankful this Thanksgiving!

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It’s that time of year again. The time where we all come together, with friends and family, to celebrate the things that we are most grateful for. Lately, I feel like there are so many wonderful, incredible things in my life that deserve to be noted, but because this is “13 reasons” and not “300 reasons”, I’ll try to limit it to the very best of the best!

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1. I finally have my camera charger back! Silly me, and this is going to sound really bad, but when I moved to college for this semester once again, I forgot a tiny little thing that I would need for my camera: the charger. So I had everything, from lenses, to carrying bags, to my DSLRs that I love so very much, and no charger. For either camera. But since I’m back home and spending this week having quality time with the fam, I was able to charge my camera! It’s been way too long, and I’m going to be pretty snap happy for these next couple of months.

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2. We always have the best, most delicious coffee at home. It’s one of the little things I miss when I’m away at school. I don’t even know what it is that makes it so much better. Perhaps the fact that it tastes a little stronger, even when it’s sweetened? It’s like crack. That must be the secret ingredient or something…

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3. I have time to blog again! With all the craziness of finals week arriving and the closure of my courses in combination with everything else, I have had absolutely no time to write, and I’ve missed it. I do it for you guys because I know you enjoy my work, but I especially enjoy it because in most cases, it feels quite therapeutic to me. Stay tuned for all the new posts coming soon! THEY’RE COMING.

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4. All the positive feedback I’ve received as of late. Even with me being busy and not having as much time lately to write for you guys everyday, you’ve still been so loving and supportive. I’ve barely lost any followers and subscribers, and it means a lot to me that you guys have stuck around!

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5. Sleeping in my own bed. It’s a pile of fluffy sheets and copious amounts of blankets that feel a lot like what heaven would feel like if it were a place to sleep. No bed compares to my bed at home, not to knock my bed in my apartment that highly resembles the hardness of blanketed concrete. But yeah.

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6. The weather is just gorgeous! I came from school, raining ferociously and wind blowing over bikes, to back home, sunny, breezy, and clear-sky-ed. It’s not even boiling hot. It’s a dream, really.

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7. After several months of being away from my family, nothing is more exciting than getting to spend time with them again. I’ve been here for only a couple of days so far and it’s been amazing. I look forward to countless more memories in this week alone, err….these next few days, the last few days…. before I have to head back to take my exams! *sigh*

The child within me weeps at the thought of leaving them and going back to my responsibilities. D*mn you, adulthood.

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8. This is the first time I’ve had an ounce of free time, and I’m clinging to them desperately. My major is definitely for the sleepless, but these breaks help me refocus. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize, even if they’re watery and red from tiredness.

I don’t have a ton of time, but I sure am a professional napper and cryer at this point.

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9. I have access to all my pretty clothes (and BEANIES!) that I didn’t get to bring when I moved away to college. It feels like I have brand new clothes every time I come home because there are so many pieces that I haven’t seen in a while. It gives me inspiration to try new outfits and rewear the clothes that I already have!

See that gif? Yeah, that’s me at college, staring in despair at my overflowing yet empty closet. NOTHING TO WEAR. NOTHING TO WEAR AT ALL.

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10. I can finally catch up on my latest guilty pleasure and the most successful procrastination technique I’ve discovered thus far within this semester: the Vampire Diaries series. It’s pretty dangerous when I have time to marathon on Netflix and when Netflix actually has to ask if I’m still there. Someone send help (Is there a life alert for Netflixers?!)!

Oh, and the answer to that question? College. Yep, yep. Feeling nothing. Team no sleep. Kinda numb. Coffee running through my veins. Sweatpants all day, everyday. It really does things to you…..

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11. I have time to work on building my audience. I’ve been slacking lately and I feel like my blog has come to somewhat of a stat-standstill, so it’ll be nice to dedicate some time to gaining exposure again. It takes a chunk of time and effort to create and manage a blog, and I don’t want to be that person that gives up when time gets tough! I, no, more like WE, will work through this. I have a good feeling.

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12. I’m learning to be much more independent and actually relishing in the independence. I think after a breakup, it’s best to learn how to focus on yourself and what you need to personally accomplish, and I feel like I’m doing that successfully lately. Sometimes I do need to turn my attention to myself and figure out what I want in order to prioritize my own dreams for the future.

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13. Everything feels like it’s falling into place. There are times in all of our lives when we feel fluctuation, when things get bad, get a little bit better, but then revert back to what we’ve been dreading. Lately, though, things are looking up. I feel like I’m cultivating a lot of positivity and I hope to maintain this positive outlook for the remainder of the year, and hopefully extend it beyond that. I can honestly say that I feel good, both physically and mentally. Things are looking up (knock on wood).

So now it’s your turn. Go ahead, tell me.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Comment below!

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Grateful and Guilty – Barnes & Noble: The Scene Before Me

Grateful and Guilty – Writing Prompt

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Note: The prompt asks the writer to discuss a guilty pleasure. If you haven’t guessed, my guilty pleasure is spending my free time in Barnes and Noble, preferably in the seated cafe area, and soaking up the environment. There’s so much more to learn beyond the books that line these aisles. Following this statement is my description of the scene before me on today’s trip to Barnes and Noble. I hope you enjoy it.

As I sat on the floor of my local Barnes and Noble accompanied by my purse and laptop, the building swamped with locals taking shelter from the rain, I took a good luck around at the faces present among me at the filled seats. Students, potentially from my university, families with small children giggling at the sight of a new picture book, middle-agers catching up on the latests magazine publications, hot coffee warming the palms of their hands. There’s a lot you can learn about the people you see around you just from observing their choices. What do I mean by that, you ask? What they’re eating, what they’re dressed in, how they present themselves among the crowd. Do they smile back when they catch your gaze? Are their faces buried into a novel, concealed? There are so many factors that come into play when you’re evaluating strangers. I often do this before I sit down, if there are choices to be made between seats. I like to scan the area and make mental notes. Who could I see myself talking to? Who seems to have the same interests? Are they reading that psychology book for study, or for pleasure? Do they look intrigued, bored, indifferent? Are they accompanied, did they bring their work from home?

This time, however, there are no seats. I begin fiddling with my fingernails, picking off the remnants of my icy blue nail polish. I can feel my leg falling asleep, and shake it out from under my other leg, stimulating the blood flow to my dead limb. I look up to see a woman packing her work in a rushed manner, the individual on the other side of her phone line consuming her thoughts. Purse and laptop in both hands, I wait for my approach. As I wait, I catch a glimpse into the conversation of the woman sitting behind her joking with the cafe cashier about prioritizing the production of the pumpkin spice latte. I feel like gagging at the mere thought of pumpkin. She evacuates, and I claim the table before anyone has the chance to grab it first, a little table in the center of the room. The room has grown silent, aside from the scattered orders at the cafe every couple of minutes. An increasingly apparent chatter has grown with the expansion of the cafe line, attracting the attention of the readers. They seem agitated by the sudden introduction of noise. And that is simply what it is at this point: noise. Words exchanged between the ten individuals are essentially indecipherable. Even with such a diverse audience, such a broad spectrum of types of people, Barnes and Noble still captures the essence of calmness, focus, productivity. It’s an environment that sparks and nurtures my creativity.

What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Comment below.

The Common Question on Blogging: Profession or Pastime?

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Do you consider yourself a “professional” blogger? Why or why not? What does that mean to you?

Many define the act of being a professional as “one who receives payment for the work they produce”, but the definition, according to Google, our lovely and highly-reliable search engine, defines “blogging” as “having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful”. I don’t believe that you have to receive your primary source of income from something in order to be leaning more toward profession. Am I skillful? I would like to think so. I’ve been told I’m skillful, and I do consider myself a jack of many trades. I would also go as far as to say that I invest a tremendous chunk of my time and energy toward this particular journey in my life, so I personally do consider my writing and blogging as somewhat of a profession. I feel that, in an idealistic world, there’d be about 10 extra hours each day for me to put forth toward this long-term project and that I would bring in at least some pocket change when I’ve fully established myself, but I know and accept the fact that building that kind of literary empire and being able to create a community among my readers is easier said than done and will take plenty more years to establish. I am in no rush to develop my skills and expand my audience to a more diverse range, nor am I discouraged by the bumps I’ve run into along the way. Writing takes time and patience, just like many of the things we’ve learned to do. Learning a language takes time, riding a bike takes practice. Many of the abilities we possess today were not “second nature” from the start, and I believe that blogging is no different. It takes passion, determination, and the ability to accept failure. Yes, there will be failure at times. In the beginning of this journey, I couldn’t help feeling discouraged by the lack of an audience. I felt like I was writing in an empty room. No feedback. It was me, myself, and I. But I’ve become more skillful at exhibiting my work, about my marketing my abilities, and about growing what I believe to be a little sub-community within the blogging community. I probably spend about 5-6 hours a day working toward improving my writing and my blog, whether through editing, marketing, sharing, or interacting. Even though I consider myself a professional when it comes to my work, I consider this also to be a major pastime. I believe that my love for creating and exploring has brought me to writing and that desire has kept me going strong from the founding of my blog to its current state. I don’t see this as a struggle or a chore. It’s an effective exploration of myself, and regardless of whether I define it as a profession or a pastime, it’s a major chunk of who I am today and the milestones I hope to reach in my future.

How do you define yourself as a blogger?

Leave a comment below!

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