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I Don't Even Know Anymore

The dreaded blogger hiatus. It affects even the greatest of bloggers from time to time. As for me, it hits me more often than I’d like to admit. I try to bring my various blogs back, but then something comes up and I make one post, maybe two. (And of course that one post is made up of, "I’m trying to bring the blog back, please bear with me, new content soon!" and then... radio silence again. It's a wonder I have any readers anymore.(I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that I didn't, actually.)

I get consumed by certain things, where it's what I want to do all the time, and that's what can affect what I'm blogging about. If I have a blog related to what I'm currently into, I'll blog about it. Otherwise, I won't. (Though, now that I think about it, I should use this blog for anything that doesn't follow the "rules" of my other blogs, since it truly is a catch all grab bag blog for everything else that doesn't fit on my themed blogs.)

Maybe blogging just isn't for me, I don't know. I used to really enjoy writing about my day, or doing blogging/journal memes, or just keeping this thing semi-updated back in the days when LiveJournal was really big. (The only reason I haven't moved from this blog is the history, to be honest. I created this journal in 2002. I loathe to start over anywhere else, and I also have this weird quirk that I don't want multiple blogs on the same platform. Like, my cross stitch blog is on Blogger, so none of my other blogs can also be on Blogger. It's why I have blogs on LiveJournal, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Weebly, and Postach.io.)

Now, of course, the next question that I inevitably struggle with is why have so many blogs? Why not consolidate them all and just have one blog? So if I want to blog about cross stitching one day, and about makeup the next. That way the blog stays current. And I've thought about it, I really have. And at one point, I believe I did do that here. But then I read those "How To Gain Blog Reader" guides that tell you to not have too broad of a subject matter otherwise you alienate your audience (people there for nail posts don't wanna read about cross stitch/crafty stuff and vice versa. Stuff like that.)

I find it funny that I do this, after making a blog post about a year ago on how to avoid this. I should learn to practice what I preach, huh?

We'll see.

Edit: Apparently this is my 900th post. Go figure.

Battling Blogger Burnout

You would think that the fact that I have *counts* six different blogs across as many different categories (and as many different platforms) would mean I never have to worry about getting burnt out and then not blogging on any of them, but that's where I'm at right now. I've got a serious universal case of Blogger Burnout, and I'm trying to dig myself out of it. (As you can see, I mentioned weekly aggregation posts on this blog. Has that happened yet? Of course it hasn't. I haven't had any posts to aggregate.)

What Is Blogger Burnout?

Blogger Burnout is a term I first heard about in the nail polish blogging community, and in a nutshell is when blogging becomes more of a chore than a fun thing and it gets pushed back until you're not blogging anymore. I also add that the longer you put blogging off the harder it gets to start up again. (I equate it to cleaning house: if you keep up on it, it's easy, but the longer you go without cleaning, the harder it gets to get up and going and the dirtier your place gets. Yeah, it's kinda like that.)

How To Fix Blogger Burnout?

Honestly, I haven't quite figured it out myself, clearly. A lot of people say taking a break fixes it, and sometimes for me it can help (cause for me, I tend to get Blogger Burnout because I focus on one blog at a time, and my interests wax and wane. Right now my interest is mainly in cross stitch, so The Cross Stitch Geek is getting a lot of love. At the first of the year, it was reading so I was all about Pass the Bookmark.)

Writing prompts can help a lot, too. I love Writer's Block here on LiveJournal, because I have a guaranteed post if I can't think of anything else. I also love the themed challenges that the polish blogging community came up with (there's one going on right now that I could jump into at any time, and I'm trying to come up with one of my own). They also help for the same reason.

A media change can also help. Though I was still stitching, I was loathe to scan my work and write a post, so even The Cross Stitch Geek was suffering. I joined the YouTube cross stitch community (Flosstube) and started posting videos, also going ahead and throwing them on the blog. It helped.

In Conclusion

Blogger Burnout sucks, and can be tough to get out of. I don't consider myself an expert on overcoming it (or even relatively good at it. I only really know the basics), but I hope what little tips I could offer help. If even one person gets back in the swing of blogging based on my tips, then I've succeeded with this post.

It's Something, Maybe?

So I'm going to be doing a weekly aggregation of all my blogs, because I have so many. It's probably going to be mostly for my own benefit than anything else. (Me posting everything here weekly will hopefully convince me to try to post more often.)

First post is going to be Sunday, August 16, encompassing the week of Sunday, August 9 to Saturday, August 15. All blogs will be included (with the exception of Marshmallow Couture because it happens to be down. Again. Because Postach.io just so happens to be a paid service and I didn't find out until after I had secured the URL and set up the blog. I went back to start posting again and guess what! It was giving me "Your billing information is incomplete" errors upon login. I get my first paycheck from my new job on the 21st. I'm considering just paying for Postach.io's service - $10/month I believe - opposed to moving that blog to something free.)

So in short: Aggregation. Sundays. Yeah. *thumbs... up...?*

Answer for question 4176.

What would you say is your favorite album/CD of all time?
First off, hello Writer's Block, and welcome back!

Second off, what a good excuse to have something to post about to keep this blog going in the new year!

And now to actually answer the question... that's a tough one, and yes I will most likely pick a Backstreet Boys album because of course I will. If I had to choose, it would be Unbreakable. There isn't a song on there I don't like (which is rare for me, even when it's my Boys), and that's the album which houses my favorite song of all time, so yeah, I'd have to go with Unbreakable.
I figured that this year I would write out my Blog Action Day post in advance, because the last time I participated, my post was less than stellar. In addition, this year's topic is something near and dear to my heart, so I really wanted the post to be something special. This post has been sitting for quite a while, waiting to be posted.

This year's topic for Blog Action Day is Inequality. Inequality is something that has been close to to me for a while. From the moment I became aware of the world around me, I've always thought we would all be better off if we treated everyone the same. I once wrote a (Writer's Block post) about polygamy and said that as long as all parties are consenting, who does it hurt?

But even with all that, inequality hits closer to home than even I imagined. It hits me when I walk into a clothing store, it hits me when I open up Vogue or Cosmo or Redbook, it hits me when I check Pinterest for cute photo ideas for the inevitable moments where I'm taking engagement, wedding, or maternity pictures.

In every store ad, every magazine, every cute photoshoot that goes viral, the people are thin. They're thin and cute and look good in a wedding dress or have the cute "basketball in the shirt" baby bump. Dresses don't flow out on me, and I'll barely have a bump, if at all. I don't think I'll see a cute viral image with a woman that looks like me.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg for me. There's also the "fat tax," the fact of life that a piece of clothing will cost $10 more in a size 20 than it does in a size 12. There's the look of contempt when I sit down to eat at a restaurant, especially when alone.

It's the fact that clothing companies think the only thing I want to go swimming in is a bulky swim dress. It's that I should never be seen in shorts, or a tank top. ("Why do you wanna display those fat arms/legs oh my God!")

It's the fact that people assume I am not worthy of love. Or sex. News flash: I have both. But I'm not "supposed to." I'm just supposed to live my life alone, probably with cats (unless, of course, I do decide to lose the weight. Then I'll be attractive.)

It's the people "concern trolling" and telling me I'll be much healthier if I just lose a little (or a lot, I have heard both) weight. Excuse you, I am most definitely healthy, thank you very much. I don't need you worrying about me, okay? You do you.

It's the fact that this is so perpetuated that for the longest time... I believed it. I believed that I wasn't beautiful, that I wasn't sexy, that I needed to conform in order to be either. I've been very fortunate that I was able to over it and feel beautiful in my own skin, love handles and all, but there are still people who are stuck in the cycle.

I have made many leaps of progress in my self-image, but there is still a long way to go. I no longer have to order clothing online (unless I want to) to find something in my size (I had to do that with my prom dress ten years ago. The mall trip leading up to that point was a nightmare.). I no longer think I have to drop pounds to feel sexy. But that was something I did on my own, society didn't help me much. We need to get to a point where every woman, regardless of size (or color or level of femininity) can feel comfortable in her own skin.

On Writing

I haven't been writing much lately. I've been trying, but there have been things preventing me from having the time to sit and write. My poor writing blog has been woefully neglected. I wrote a few things here and there, mostly for fanfic exchanges, and I do have a couple WIPs from my Martins universe I need to finish and type up. Maybe I'll do that this week, I dunno.

(As an aside, Aleria is a real place. Whodathunk it?)

I've been wanting to write more non-fiction, but I don't know how to start. My Blog Action Day post is going to read a bit like a memoir essay, which is going to be good, I guess. I signed up for Medium, but I haven't posted anything yet, for obvious reasons. Sometimes I think writing non-fiction is so much harder than writing fiction.

I've wanted to rebel as part of NaNoWriMo and write a non-fiction piece one of these years (this year is not gonna be that year, FTR. I will be writing fiction), but I think what's throwing me off is all the research involved if you're gonna write less than a short essay (and even then those can require citations).

What's the catch to writing non-fiction? Anyone know?
So I'm halfway through a bottle of 90 proof Peppermint Schnapps at the time of starting this post, and there will be more drinking as this post goes on. So this is a drunk post.

Alright, so what has Erika been doing since her last post?

Well, a lot of things. First we went to Disneyland and California Adventure (a year ago tomorrow, actually!), and that was super fun! I have pictures from that too:

Disneyland and California AdventureCollapse )

Then in November, we got the worst call we've ever had: Tommy's dad died of a heart attack at the age of 48. (To put things in perspective, he's only 3 and a half months older than my mom. And I couldn't imagine losing my mom anytime soon.) So we ended up having to go back to Arizona for the funeral. We essentially never left.

We made it back to Denver for a few months, before Tommy lost his job and that caused us to go back to Tucson (his mom was selling us a mobile home). So now we're living back home which is nice because we're both close to our families again, but we miss the city life of Denver and hope to go back some time.

It hasn't been so bad, because I ended up landing my best job ever. It's a call center, which says a lot about the jobs I've had in the past. But putting the call center aspect aside (and boy, could I tell you stories), the fact that I have a guaranteed 40 hours, benefits (I actually have health, vision and dental insurance) and the ability to earn PTO and sick time (though I've already used all of it because of reasons) is more than I've ever had before. Which is nice.

I haven't been totally absent from the blogosphere though. I've been devoting a lot of my time to The Polished Fangirl, which if you haven't checked it out before I recommend checking it out. I have a post that I plan to write this weekend that will be kinda cool (my first review of a product I got as a press sample, so I'm super excited about it.)

So that's what I've been up to. I'm hoping to keep this blog more active (which I attempted last year but as you can see, it was a massive fail, we'll see what this year brings. I'm participating in Blog Action Day next month, so that's something.)

It's crazy what comes out once alcohol comes into play. I'd been sitting on this post for days. The lowered inhibitions must have helped. So, yeah.

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Fanfic by Erika
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