Tag Archives: writing

Free at Last! (Personal Update + Poll)

Hello, my darlings!

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This has been a stressful homestretch, scattered with the anxiety of finishing group projects by seemingly impossible deadlines and the threat of upcoming exams that I felt mildly unprepared for, regardless of how hard I had studied. But this semester is finally coming to a close, I’m days away from sleeping in my own bed, and I feel my lungs gaining breath again. I feel like, in the last couple of weeks of a semester, I can barely breathe. I can never manage to take a full, deep breath and close my eyes to pure silence, because I know that once I close my eyes, reality will come back to bite me and remind me of what’s next on my list of things to do. But my head is officially clear, and I can begin to focus more on my art and writing again, and await the moment I can leave campus for an entire freakin’ month to go home and see my family and friends. It’s honestly the best treat a college kid could ask for, at least if they have a tight-knit family like I do. I always miss them when I’m away, but still, I definitely do not regret leaving for college because of this……But yes, I just feel good about everything lately and I am ready to come home and do nothing but things I want to do for the next few weeks. It will be glorious. Went on a bit of a tangent there. Moving right along. But yes, things are dandy on my end if you were wondering! 😉 And if not then….well, fine then. Suit yourself.

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Anyway, I’ve got some time to blow, and I’d love to get your input on a few things. I’m going to start writing daily again (I hope you’re as excited as I am!!), and would like to know what kinds of articles you would like me to write more of! I write for you guys just as much as I write for myself and I’d like to take some requests and what not for this holiday season. So if you could, take a moment and answer my poll below. Hopefully I can take your requests and write something wonderful for them that we’ll both enjoy! And if you have a specific prompt that you’d like answered in a new blog post, my email is mandirito@gmail.com! I’m happy to take email requests as well! I even made it easy. The contact form below will allow you to send your requests straight to my inbox. So go ahead, don’t be shy. I want to know what you think!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful last few weeks of your semester and annihilating your finals like I actually sorta did. You’re almost there. I believe in you! And if you’d like some finals inspiration or just want to peel your eyes away your textbooks for a moment or two, go ahead and check out the facebook page, where I post a bunch of relevant things regarding to finals, college, inspirational quotes, recent blog posts, and other stuff that you might enjoy! And I mean….if you love me….it’d be nice…..: facebook.com/mandirito.the.blogger

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Cmon. You know you want to.

Here is the poll:

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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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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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5 Things I Am Grateful for This Week (And Yes, I’m Back for Good, My Beautifuls!…and Handsomes?)

A much needed update. I feel absolutely awful for spending so much time away from writing, but I’d like to tell you guys what’s going on before I continue this journey. This semester, so far, has had be taking an emotional and physical beating. I feel completely drained. I’ve done really well in college so far, gotten generally A’s and B’s up until this point, and now that I’m diving into my major-related classes, I’m working double as hard to keep those A’s and B’s I’ve strived for in the past. And yes, I’ve got ’em currently, but seriously, I’m whipped. So here we go. I am back in the writing game, I’m happy to be back at my blog, and I’m ready to continue this journey with you guys, everyone that’s supported me and cheered me on even when I felt like giving up. This one’s for you for being as awesome as you are.

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10 Things I am Grateful for This Week!

1. I have my inspiration back! For the love of God, FINALLY. I have a writing course that I’m taking that drains the creativity right out of me, so having this creativity in my grasp again is a blessing. I feel like writing keeps me going, and if I don’t have the energy to do it, I’m just not the same. So I am thankful for being inspired again!

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2. I am thankful that my car is in pristine (working) condition again. You guys weren’t there for the sh*tshow that ensued with my car situation and how every morning felt like a new adventure trying to figure out whether I’d get to class or not on time, or whether I’d be giving another desperate call to AAA. My little beater, Antonio, is officially back in business. Ladies….

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3.  I have rediscovered my obsession with Civilization 5. Between classes, I’ve been coming back to my apartment and continuing what I believe to be the longest single game I’ve ever played, with 15 cumulative hours played. WTF am I even doing with my life? 20 minutes in real life feels like 2 seconds in Civ 5. I feel like the best conqueror the world has ever seen. I think I’m just gonna take this love a step further and start talking to people in Civ 5 terms and if they know what I mean and can relate to the craze, they’re automatically friends.

Friend: “I had a good time today. We should do this again.”

Me: “How about we make a Public Declaration of Friendship for 15 turns to make it official?”

Friend: “Girl, you took the words right out of my mouth. Might as well open our borders as well, just for old time’s sake.”

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4. Ever since I started my subscription with Ipsy, I feel like I’m better equipped to look dashing in every situation and actually feel like I do. I’m learning how to accept using new products that I’ve never seen or heard about before without feeling like I’ve betrayed my regular purchases and am becoming more accustomed to experimenting with new makeup. *Fit Me foundation hysterically crying in the distance* I’m sorry, shhh, it’s not me or Ipsy. It’s you….You just….don’t Fit Me anymore

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5. And finally, last night I got a total of 12 hours of sleep, on accident. Yes, I repeat, on accident. Didn’t even mean to fall asleep, but your girl feel like she’s got rainbows shooting from her eyeballs. Sleep is such a beautiful thing. Every college student in the entire world knows this struggle.

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What are you thankful for this week?

Leave a comment below if you love me. And if you don’t? Well, I don’t love you either. The feeling’s mutual, buddy.

NEW BLOG INSTAGRAM: Let’s be friends!

I’ve decided to make a BLOG INSTAGRAM so I can connect with all my readers (EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU), so if you’d enjoy having my company on your dashboard (or want to be best friends), go ahead and click the follow button on:

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In addition to that, you know the drill. I have a Facebook page for the blog as well, if you click the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/Mandirito.the.blogger

Stay beautiful, and thank you for your undying love and support. I’m so thankful that, one day, I decided to start a blog and really stick to it. I feel so encouraged by this project and I look forward to many years ahead of continuing joy and discovery in this journey as a writer. This is only the beginning.

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Just Another Q and A with Mandirito! GOT A QUESTION?

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Got a question? Need advice? Wanna cure some boredom? Up for making friends? Found something funny today you wanna share?

NOW IS YOUR OPPORTUNE CHANCE

Leave a comment below and I’ll answer it.

Brownie points for creativity 😉