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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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Mass Produced Comments: Are They Productive, or Just Pestering?

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I would like to take a moment to address the actual, physical act of blogging. Blogging requires a great deal of marketing, writing talent, and persistence. You have to be prepared to commit the time, money (if needed), and of course, your blood, sweat, and tears. I, as a writer and blogger, can relate to and commend other bloggers for the work that they provide, the reviews they release, and the wonderful content they exhibit each day. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know how I do it while being in college and holding a job now. It’s shocking to me to see how students, college students just like me, manage to market and publish each day effectively. I’ve had periods where I physically could not write and had to take some time away from the blog to reevaluate the content (I believe in quality over quantity) and redirect my energy toward schooling temporarily. I know it’s difficult to be a committed blogger and I struggle each day to make everything in my life cooperate successfully.

But then there’s a side of me that feels like some (not all, thank goodness) bloggers and writers want to build an audience as quick as possible, and will resort to unprofessional tactics that I don’t agree with, which brings forth an ugly side to the otherwise inspired and intriguing writing community. I often get comments from individuals, including their business emails, with an attached, mass produced spiel about how fantastic and wonderful their company blog or personal blog is. They’ll preface this with what I believe to be a half a**ed response to the post they’re commenting on. A little “awesome job” and “great post”, followed by a novel-long comment about why I should drag myself over to their completely unrelated blog. I can’t help but roll my eyes. I get that you want to be successful and you want to bring in more views. So do I and the rest of the writing community. Success does have to do with readership. However, I don’t mass produce comments. When I take the time to comment on another blog or several other blogs, no matter what category it falls under or who is producing the physical blog, I refuse to spam others with my own advertisements. If the post is relevant to something that I’ve posted as well, I feel it is perfectly appropriate to follow my legitimate comment with a reference and perhaps say “Hey, I wrote something very similar that you might want to check out! *insert url here*”, but pushing your blog on me without any rhyme or reason doesn’t possess me to want to browse. It actually deters me and would make me significantly less likely to give your blog a chance. I don’t tolerate rude blog etiquette.

Writers, bloggers, many of you are like me. Many of you take pride in your work and your brand, and choose to represent it with dignity. You don’t mass produce your comments and spam them across the blogosphere, and I respect that immensely. I ooze respect for people who do the right thing, even if it feels “less efficient” at times. I know it takes time to produce your own blog, let alone respond to the posts of others. I know it’s difficult to respond to comments all the time and to interact within the writing community, one blog at a time. Whatever you do, try to avoid the impersonal, copy/pasted spamming of your blog, the long comments trying to “sell” your writing instead of genuinely responding to the post you may or may not (probably not) have read. Effective content brings viewers to your work just as successfully and ensures that your audience is legitimately interested in the topic you present. It’s essential to build a fan base that respects your literary talent and believes in the methods you incorporate in your writing journey. Easy isn’t always better.

What are your thoughts on advertisement-ridden spam comments?

What are some tips you could give towards blogs that are looking to build a more diverse, larger readership that don’t involve spamming?

Comment below.

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Calling All (Not so) Regulars and New Explorers!

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Do you have a prompt that you’d like me to respond to?
Leave a comment below with the prompt and I’ll create a new post answering it for you!
It can seriously be anything. Be creative. 😉

Mandy