Getting out of my Blogging Comfort Zone

Getting out of my Blogging Comfort Zone

The past three weeks I haven’t posted anything. Partly because I was not feeling well and had a lot going on (I’ve been in a bike accident, was stressed with uni, and had some “trouble” with friends), but also because I’m in sort of a writing slump. Recently it hit me that while my posts are usually quite alright, they lack something. They’re not edgy enough. I’ve always played it safe because I’m still too worried about what other people think.

I’m a very opinionated person and I definitely don’t hesitate to speak up about what I think or believe in, even at the expense of other people’s comfort. However, I still won’t dare to do that in my writing. I guess it is because I try to stay friendly and avoid offending anyone online as I won’t necessarily get to hear the readers’ reaction (unless they comment, of course) and can’t be sure I won’t be misunderstood. Also, I still struggle with opening up about myself – that is the real me with all my views, thoughts, fears, emotions. I sometimes wonder whether the majority of people around me actually know me? But maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it and everybody feels this way.

The first thing I did was to try and remember why I started this blog in the first place. There are several reasons: I love to write, I always loved reading what other people had to say and wanted to be a part of that community, I like talking about my interests and getting to meet people who are into the same things, it is a way to distract and occupy myself, and that I will always be able to look back on what I thought at this point in my life. Basically, I am doing this for myself and should, therefore, not waste my time worrying about whether anyone approves of what I write. That’s the whole point of blogging in fact. Of course, I’m always thrilled when I see that someone has read, liked, or commented on my blog!

But completely shutting off my brain and forgetting that anyone could read my blog is easier said than done. With honesty comes the risk of feeling vulnerable and exposed. being judged and hurt. But, at least for now, I’m willing to take that chance.

So, after having given it much thought, I’ve decided I do want to open up more. In real life and on my blog. Say what I really think. Stop analysing beforehand what others are going to/might say. Take more risks. That is not to say that I won’t write my usual posts about books, movies, and motivational stuff. I just don’t want them to be so bland anymore.

My next posts will show whether I managed to shed my doubts and find my own blogging voice.

Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential. 

Setting yourself goals… and actually achieving them

set and reach goal concept

It’s now been about three months since my blog post Here & Now and I am happy to say that my outlook on life has changed. Not to say that keeping my spirits up hasn’t been difficult and there have been some low points in between but I’ve finally reached that stage of feeling at ease with how things are going. Little has actually changed, I just seem to “enjoy life more” (as cheesy and clichĂ©e as this sounds) simply by taking everything as it comes, day by day. Since focusing on what really matters right now, I find myself to be so much happier.

Also, I’ve learnt quite a bit these past few months. One thing would be that setting yourself goals is only worth it when you’re going to be strategic about their realization. I figured out that one needs a certain amount of willpower, ambition, drive, and dedication to actually achieve one’s big goals (duh) and that always sticking to these is sort of hard. What I’ve come to understand, as well, is that one cannot overlook small goals and achievements just for the sake of the bigger ones: there is a certain order one has to follow. As the saying goes: “Rome was not built in a day”, neither will all your dreams and wishes come true all at once.

With that in mind, I decided to not only think about what I would like to change in the future but what I would like to change now. Today. Asking yourself that question and working towards those minor goals can actually provide really good practice: I now know how to motivate myself to do things that need to be done (it took me 19 years!!!). That feeling after having checked everything off your to-do list is amazing and never fails to brighten my mood.

So, to sum up: my point is that everyone has dreams, hopes, goals they want to see fulfilled/achieved and although one should never lose sight of these, it is crucial to not only work on one’s future but also one’s presence. With the right attitude, even the most mundane, trivial day will seem extraordinary!

You are as happy as you make your mind up to be

My Plans for this Blog

My Plans for this Blog

oh-my-blog-

The past few days I’ve been thinking about my blog and how it’s been going since I started writing again. While I may not have always kept my promise of posting once a week, I’m still quite happy with myself for continuing to blog.

One thing I realized, though, is that I rarely (ok, never) write anything on books and literature, which, apart from being one of my biggest passions, were among the reasons I even started this blog. The subheader says Literary Musings, after all… Therefore, I have decided to try and write more on books and literature starting this weekend. Having finished several good books recently (among them The Book Thief and Generation X) and about to tackle my huge pile of ‘to-be-read’ books, I’m positive I will come up with blog ideas quite easily.

That’s it for now – Lit Post is on its way!

x

image source: styleandthecityxoxo.wordpress.com
image source: styleandthecityxoxo.wordpress.com

Versatile Blogger Award Nomination

Finally I get around to responding to my Versatile Blogger Award nomination!! I know it’s been over a week since I’ve been awarded but I just had so much Uni course work to do (due to procrastination and bad time management but oh well…).

I want to thank Bianca for nominating me – definitely go check her out on her blog Stumbling For Balance!!! Thanks again, I appreciate it!

So, now to the 7 random facts about me:

  1. I’m allergic to cats.
  2. My first language is German.
  3. I’m going to London next month :)
  4. My all-time favourite book is Catcher in the Rye (closely followed by On the Road).
  5. I’m currently studying English and American Studies but it is my dream to one day got to film school.
  6. I’m half Jamaican.
  7. I’ve never been on a rollercoaster.

My favourite blogs (some with more than one author):

Here and Now

Here and Now
Live in the Here & Now!
Live in the Here & Now!

Does that happen to you, too, that you are too focused on the future: where you want to be, what you want to do, whom you want to be with? Instead of living in the here and now, I tend to invest all my time and energy into dreaming and thinking about where I want to go and don’t enjoy what I’ve got. Only recently did I realize that this is the wrong way to go about it.

We should, if not enjoy, appreciate life every day; no matter at which point we are. After this occured to me a few weeks ago, I actually felt better. I want to enjoy life right now and not look too far ahead. The future (undoubtedly) will come. There really is no need to rush it – I know, we shouldn’t waste our time, life is short etc. …. but who says that what you’re doing right now is umimportant or trivial?

What has been stressing me out as well are my “life resolutions” aka the list of things I want to achieve. Weirdly enough it feels like I am already running out of time to accomplish most of these, which, of course, is ridiculous. I don’t even want to be able to tick off everything from that list yet: there wouldn’t be anything left to do otherwise.

I always used to say that my life hasn’t really begun yet because I’m not at that (ideal) place yet but that’s not true. My life began 20 years ago.

We never noticed the beauty because we were too busy trying to create it

Importance of Dreaming

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Langston Hughes

These are the first lines of Langston Hughes’ poem “Dreams”. I think it is so beautiful, meaningful, and at the same time very “accessible”. Although I love poetry I often cannot recite even my favourite poems – this is one of the few exceptions.

The poem actually consists of two quatrains; a fact which I was unaware of until just know! As I have originally first read, and ultimately fallen in love with, only the first four lines I decided to post only these, but in case you would like to read the whole, check it out!

Bad Days and Finding Motivation

So, the past three or four days were not my best. I’ve been quite stressed and a lot of things definitely were not going right. I had to deal with work, organize a trip abroad, and family issues. To be honest, for most of this week I’ve been feeling miserable and frustrated. I find that during those phases in which one thing or another does not work out the way they’re supposed to, one very easily starts to focus on everything one is not happy with. Instead of reminding myself of all the good stuff in my life, I can only think of my worries.

Fortunately, experience so far has already shown me that life cannot always be dandy and there are rough times ahead, always. Learning to cope with those and finding ways how to change the situation/ solve the problem is essential. What’s also important is to accept that things don’t always work out and to realize that there is not only one possible way. Rather think of there being several different options to choose from and that even if taking one particular route is impossible there still are other paths to take.

I’m not quite sure why I decided to share this – I was originally going to blog about something completely different but then I remembered a gif I had once seen on tumblr:

It has been on my mind for quite some time, mostly because I have been guilty of such thoughts. Comparing myself and my “achievements” to others my age sometimes makes me feel as if I am not accomplishing anything. I know that this is the wrong attitude to evaluate what I am doing; however, we do live in a very competitive society which does encourage comparisons to be made between oneself and others.

I actually don’t know why that is and how we’ve gotten to this point for everybody’s going not only at a different pace but also has different goals and aspirations. It frankly does not make sense to make yourself feel bad because somebody else is making their dreams come true, especially as often times your dreams are not even the same ones.

In such cases (i.e. when I do feel down) I find it helpful to look at corny, motivational quotes and pictures for inspiration. Maybe it’ll work for you too!