On Blogging (how meta)

So I’m blogging again. As I’ve mentioned several times it’s weird to be back at it after a several years hiatus, but here I am and so far so good. A sidenote: If you’re coming here from Facebook, I don’t intend to post about every blog post, especially if they end up being frequent, so be sure to check back even if you don’t see a post on Facebook about it!

So what is this blog all about anyway? I don’t really know. It started as a productivity/positivity project. It’s still going to be that in some ways, but it isn’t going to be just about that. I don’t know what this blog will turn into yet. I do know that to some degree it will be personal, and I am hoping to share my personal organization and self betterment tools and ideas. I also hope to have some how-tos, updates on art I’m making, opinions on books and articles, helpful tips/hints, etc. I obviously don’t have a concrete idea of where this is going, but I guess that’s the fun of it?

That said, I got a lot of positive feedback on the very first post on this blog (I walked into Christmas and my awesome Uncle Larry said “Hey I LOVE your blog!” to my surprise.) I need to point out to those who haven’t noticed that that post is over a year old, written originally in October 2013. I read the post again for the first time in a long time the other day and was surprised. “Did I really write that?” I wondered. It’s not so bad, and the ideas and the plan are good. I’m sad I didn’t follow through with the blog back then, but I learned a valuable lesson (do not launch projects before you’re ready). What happened there was that I was interviewed by my friends over at The Action Mill for their project Death and Design (read the interview here), and because I knew I was going to get some exposure I wanted a blog for people to go to when they read the article. This led to me pushing my launch date up by several months, and ultimately to me getting too overwhelmed and not only losing track of the project and failing to continue it, but also losing the good habits I had built up in the process. Again: Don’t start projects before you’re ready to (but in that same token: don’t put things off because you’re intimidated or scared to start).

Another contributing factor to my blog not getting off the ground was that I wasn’t really thrilled with the blog platforms I was trying to use (Blogger, Tumblr, the company that hosts my website Virb– I do like Virb a lot in general but was nervous about storing my blog archives there). I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what the issue was, but I just wasn’t feeling any of my options. I know I’ve heard of WordPress before but somehow I forgot to look into it when I was originally trying to find a host for my blog. Eventually, I started looking at my options again and the rest is history. I love WordPress. It’s easy to use, more visually appealing, easily customized, etc etc etc. I’m a visual person so using an interface that I find visually appealing keeps me coming back to write more. It sounds silly, but hey whatever works, right?

One thing I will note, I have a major major issue with negativity. I have been working on this for years and always backslide. It’s frustrating. And it’s hard to be negative and know you’re being negative and feel unable to help it. So a huge part of this year will be dedicated to working on being positive and banishing negativity from my life. I know it isn’t going to be easy but hopefully keeping a tangible record of my progress will help.

So here we are. I have a lot of entries planned. And while I am ALWAYS reading a ton of self-help/positivity/productivity material, I am reading more than I ever have lately (meaning getting more and more material for the blog). And I am also getting better at taking notes and really actively reading the material (in hopes of sharing it with the readers here). This is partially thanks to my Kindle Fire that my dad’s wife Sue got me for Christmas. I half mentioned wanting one on facebook a few months ago and she saw it and remembered. Pretty awesome. I read a lot of books electronically on my iPhone and it’s kind of annoying but I had adjusted to it for the most part. It’s hard because I get distracted by texts/email/etc and have a hard time getting myself to turn that stuff off to read, but also the screen size isn’t the best for reading quickly. I had no idea how much having a Kindle would change my productivity as far as reading and note-taking goes.

I also have to credit the Pocket app. I LOVE this app. Basically, if you find an article you want to read you can add it to Pocket and the app will download it so you can read it offline later. I don’t have internet at home so this is pretty great. Once you’re done an article you can archive or delete it, and my favorite part: Pocket quantifies your reading at the end of the year! I have been trying to find a way to quantify the reading I do on the web for years now so I am super amped about this and wishing I had discovered Pocket sooner.

Lastly, I have to thank Tim Ferriss and Maria Popova, Tim’s interview with Maria on his podcast (Click here) was really inspiring, informative, and motivating as far as reading more actively and attentively. They provide a lot of good insight and tips for how to take notes while reading to make it easier to find things later, and this is definitely helping with planning material to write about, and keeping track of things I want to reference. Honestly, that was one of the hardest parts of drafting blog entries last year, and now I have a pretty helpful solution.

I’m still trying to decide how often I want to post. I’ve been reading a lot of material that says you should write every day no matter what (post on this coming soon), but I’m worried that

  1. I’ll run out of “good” content too quickly.
  2. Number one will lead to the blog completely dying.
  3. I will overwhelm readers with too many posts and they won’t want to read anymore.
  4. It may be too egotistical to assume people want to read about your life on a daily basis?

On the other hand, I would like to create art daily and the accountability of having to post some every day could be really good for keeping up the habit. Now I feel as though I’m kind of talking to myself here, but the point is I’m not sure how this will play out but I’d like to write everyday. For now, if I miss a day I won’t beat myself up, but I’ll try not to. I also am trying to get entries done earlier in the day, but we will see how that goes because of work/life/etc. That said, it’s time to get ready for the weekend, I have a lot of catching up to do on my Life Book 2015 project (more on that soon!). Until tomorrow.

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About tamarahala

Tamara is currently living in Pennsylvania working as a Scheduling Coordinator/Payroll Supervisor with Live Nation Entertainment. Looking for fun short-term opportunities during the off season from November to March.

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