How To: Blog

How To: Blog

So lately, I’ve gotten a few questions from other people interested in starting their own little thing on the internet. I’m not an expert in anything, ever but these are a few of the things I’ve learned in my three years of writing down stuff and putting it online for fun:

Why?

So figuring out the why is crucial when beginning any new endeavor. A valid why allows you to create authentic and meaningful content. For me, I do this whole thing for myself more than anything else. It’s fun to me, it’s a hobby I truly enjoy and it’s what I do when I don’t want to do anything else. It’s also a place for me to keep track of my life so I can look back and remember what the heck was happening when I was twenty. It’s a grasp at permanence in a very impermanent world and a chance to put all the things I think down on a white background. There’s at least 7 billion different reasons to do this. Figure out your own because defining the why sets a template for your vision.

How?

I use WordPress as the content management system for my blog. There are lots of different options available like SquareSpace, Winx, etc. but I’ve found WordPress to be intuitive, inexpensive, flexible and simplistic enough to get what I want done without a lot of coding knowledge. WordPress allows you to customize your domain and site design for minimal fees and it’s also easy to learn for beginners. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube about WordPress to teach you about things like tagging, best practices for online sharing and site design tips. I’ve basically learned how to be alive from Youtube tutorials so I 10/10 recommend.

Who?

We live in a day and age where internet safety and responsibility has been pounded into our heads since middle school. The same rules that apply for social media obviously apply here too. Create content that you would want your grandma or future employer to see. Because they probably will. Your digital brand can make or break you and this is an opportunity to create your own narrative. Sharing online is a fine balance between authenticity and personal privacy and it’s also different for everyone. Share responsibly kids.

When?

Consistency is important. I know a lot of people who start these things and then get bored and don’t post for months or years. Like anything, you get better the more you practice. Posting schedules work well for some people, not so well for others. There’s a feature on WordPress (and most other platforms) that allows you to pre-schedule a post for a set time and date. This is useful during crazy times like finals or holidays but also not completely necessary. How often you post is up to you but I recommend maintaining a certain level of consistency for yourself, as well as everyone else.

What?

Write what you write. This is the most wonderful part of being alive in the 21st century aside from probably modern medicine, increased personal hygiene and Netflix. There has never been less of a barrier to entry in the world of publishing. This is a platform to speak truths or jokes or make stuff up. Share your lens and translate it to pixels on a webpage. People might love it or hate it or think you’re wasting a lot of time. Welcome to being alive. Create your own stuff, take inspiration from others and do your own thing.


This is a very brief overview on a very beautiful and intricate thing. My best advice is to just go for it, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Especially, if you have no idea what you’re doing. Get brave. It’s definitely an intimidating thing, sharing your thoughts publicly for critique, putting words in different orders to be read by who knows who. But it changes you. There are marketable skills to gain, fascinating people to meet and a whole world of 1s and 0s for the taking.

 

 

 

Untitled

Untitled

Everything changed the day that I realized I could be whatever kind of human I want to be. Sometimes you can feel in the bottom of your stomach and the tips of your shoulders what kind of human you should be. Sometimes your soul screams and your feet root to the ground and everything feels very wrong or very right. And you will want to ignore that shouting, that shrieking, that infinite pull because it is inconvenient. It was not in your perfect plan for a perfect life. It was not on the poster for ease and comfort. It is not what they tell you is correct. And crawling back into bed forever seems easier. But that will not make your heart pound drum beats or your chest fill with fire. And you will not be scared. That is your biggest loss. Choose to be terrified. Choose to like it. Choose to do it anyways. Cliff dive into your opposing current; into your fear. Someday we will be dust upon dust. Whether we come to this as fiery wonderful fearful and starry or as beige and safe. We are all headed to the same ends. Choose fire and discomfort and freedom and pure unmatched joy. People will tell you no. They will not understand. They will not agree. You will unintentionally hurt feelings and make mistakes. But you will be living. However scary, compare the risk of never living. Of surviving in a safe bland luke-warm shell. Free from risk, unharnessed by the stream. Burn a lot, be scared a lot, live more.

Leaving

Leaving

When you’re 14 years old and kids are mean in the cafeteria it’s all you can think about. When you’re 15 years old and high school isn’t quite what you thought it would be it’s all you can think about. When you’re 16 years old and you are one stop sign away from passing your driving test it’s all you can think about. When you’re 17 years old and your’e unfinished physics project is due tomorrow and you haven’t yet bought a dress for prom next weekend it’s all you can think about. But somehow when you’re 18 years old and the day is tomorrow it is the last thing you want to think about. Because suddenly these back country roads, overprotective community mothers and small classroom walls don’t feel restrictive, they feel like home. And where ever you’re headed for probably won’t have a movie theater that only seats 50 and you probably won’t have known every faculty member at your new school since kindergarten. Suddenly a comfort zone seems like a pretty nice place to stay. And in the back of your mind you know the familiar words “great opportunities”, “new friends” and “higher education” still ring true and you’ve had a countdown for this on your phone since December of your junior year but still. When you’re 18 years old and the day is tomorrow you’re wondering how the heck it came so fast. And suddenly leaving sounds less like an empty threat to your entire hometown on a bad day and more like a deadline fast approaching, ominous and unknown. And all this time you’ve been trying to kill for 18 years is somehow running out. And you’d be lying if you say you won’t sleep a little lighter tonight in your own bed and get a little sad/scared/terrified when your parents hug you goodbye tomorrow in front of your roommate. But dawn will break and you will be in a new bed in a new room in a new city and you won’t be leaving, you’ll be beginning.

Attempting High School

Attempting High School

I leave for college 2 weeks from today and while I can provide no college advice, I did survive four years of high school. I think sometimes as time goes on we forget the annoying, irritating, less than fun aspects of an event in favor of the good. We romanticize our memories and while I realize high school is definitely one of the easiest time periods of many of our lives I do not think we should undersell the awkward, acne, drama and braces filled four years we spend in one building with 100+ of our best friends and enemies. So as a recent high school graduate I won’t make you feel like these should be the best four years of our life and shame you for not enjoying it more. Because as a sophomore sitting in biology class on a rainy Tuesday listening to someone’s eraser squeak I can’t say I was entirely thrilled with high school. But here’s a few tips to make up for those kind of class periods:

  1. Be involved. Join a club, a sports team, the musical, run for class officer. These are things you won’t be able to do 10 years from now. I know right now you just want to be 25 out on your own and making your own decisions outside of these walls but when you’re 25 you probably won’t be able to casually paint your entire body blue on a Friday night or spend the afternoon building a giant paper mache rock for a homecoming float. This is your time to figure out who you are and what you like. High school has a tendency to create molds for people. You fit into a select category whether it be “athlete”, “band nerd”, “drama queen”, what have you. Break out of that mold. Cross the lines. If you’ve played sports your whole life, join academic team. If you’ve never so much as played a recorder, join the band. Some of my favorite high school experiences were things that some people gave me a hard time for doing. Experiment with what you like and who you are. Go to the football games, tennis matches, cross country meets. Make it your goal to attend one of every kind of sporting event your school offers (yes, even wrestling meets). You are not too cool for homecoming or a student section, just go. Those atypical high school things like prom and pep rallies are only things you get to do when you’re about 17, appreciate that.                                                                                                                  IMG_5406IMG_4606IMG_5861
  2. Be positive. Your attitude is everything. I’m sure you’ve probably seen that on a cartoon poster or two plastered beside a chalkboard. But really high school is what you make of it. If you choose to be miserable, you will be. My freshman year I chose to be miserable and by December I was signed up to visit a private school. That same month I started basketball cheer and suddenly being miserable didn’t seem like such a good choice anymore. I graduated from this same school 4 years later. You get to decide whether you’re going to have a good high school experience or not. It won’t all be winning homecoming queen or the state championship, but it’s an experience and if you’re the same person when you graduate as you were when you walked in those doors as a freshman, you’ve done it wrong. Grow, learn and experience everyday. Embrace where you are right now and know while these might not be the best four years of your life (I hope for your sake they are not), these years are valid and you can choose to be happy.                                                                                         IMG_1674
  3. Be aware. Don’t forget this isn’t forever. The day will come, sooner rather than later, that some well-meaning adult will question you about your life plan and it’s a good idea to at least pretend you have one. That freshman history class WILL be on the transcript you send to colleges. That final exam does matter. Please please please try. You’re setting up a pretty vital stepping stone for the rest of your life. In a world with increasing importance placed on education, a high school diploma is essential. Also fun fact: if you don’t like a teacher, doing badly in their class hurts YOU more than them, don’t take that method of revenge. Take electives: symphonic band, digital photography, sports lit, etc. but keeping that diploma in the back of your mind always. “Real life” comes faster than you think.IMG_6120

You will mess up and there will be Mondays where you just can’t get out of bed at 6 am. You might fail a few tests and overhear a few untrue rumors about yourself. But overall I hope that you dance at your senior prom and I hope when you walk across that stage at graduation there’s a tiny part of you that knows you’re gonna miss it.

Hello world!

Hello world!

To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure what I am doing on here. But I figured if dogs can write blogs now, what’s stopping me? So this is my life, or at least a little of it. This is a freshly graduated 18 year old girl who’s leaving for college in 5 weeks and got 4 hours of sleep last night’s attempt at online content. Bear with me. I suppose this is more so for myself so in 3-5 years I can look back and laugh at everything I thought/wore/did as a brand new “adult” and pretend I’ve gotten so much better at adult-ing since I’ve turned 25. So hi 25 year old me please tell me you’ve learned how to do laundry and cook something other than cereal. Because so far today 18 year old me hasn’t even gotten dressed and it may or may not be 4:04 pm… This should be good.

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