What It’s Like To Be A (Disabled) Blogger

Untitled

Howdy!

Last Friday, I celebrated another milestone, nine years of blogging! I know some of you are probably wondering why I didn’t just skip celebrating it when it’ll be the big one zero next fall, but I think it’s important every single thing, big or little, that happens in your life. There’s also the possibility I may not continue blogging next year too, although that is not going to happen anytime soon, but a lot can happen between now and then honestly.

For this post, I wanted to give you an insight on what goes on as a blogger, from my point of view as a disabled person. I think it’s important to show you (someone on the outside) what I do on a monthly basis. Honestly a lot of the time I’m in a panic because I haven’t gotten one day of the week finished yet and my mind has already moved on to the next two weeks! It can get really crazy but I have made it a point to not push myself as a writer. I go at my own pace, sometimes it’s a little fast, but it’s a steady pace!

 

A Day In The Life

Where normal people have their laptops either placed on a table or on their laps, I don’t have that luxury. Mine is always at the foot of the bed so I can get to everything easily. I started going about it this way, because it is getting increasingly harder for my parents to pick me off the floor. I did try it on the floor a few times in the beginning, but it was very uncomfortable as far as how I sat on my butt and my back instantly hurt everytime I went to type on the keys. This other way became my only way to continue my blog.

One more interesting part to this set up is the fact that the laptop is not flat on the floor, unfortunately that is too low for the way my feet are arranged, so it sits on a mobile seat cushion that a person would normally use during sports events and even graduations! I’ve used two or three of these things in the last six years, and the one I have now is a beloved, family cushion of Indiana University and yes, I feel horrible that it is literally breaking at the seams!

You might see pictures of other people with their computers, they look absolutely gorgeous as they’re clean and polished. Well, mine is not that way at all! It has a lot of hairs and dust on the screen and keyboard. Hell, I’m even missing the letter “D” but like I tell everybody that takes a look at it, “it still works!” I do try to wipe it off the best I can, but nothing really works. Let’s be really honest, have you tried your best to clean your screen on your phones and/or reading tablet?

13043791_886161798160071_4099192046448435373_n

You are probably freaking out that I actually shared a picture of it, but if I want to be brutally honest about my layout. This is part of it too. You have to remember, I use my toes to type on this, so they can collect different particles, sorry to the ones who are terrified of feet! If you had to use your feet to do everything for yourself. you’d be surprised what could happen! I mean, despite that, think about the ones who have to use pencils to prick the keys or maybe their tongue to work it, that’s a lot of different flecks from various places that get stuck in between those small areas.

Besides the laptop setup, I have two other things that I use to help me out on a weekly basis. My nana gave me a small bookshelf a couple of years, and I actually have a lot of fun organizing it, as I continue to get things to help stack papers together and make more room for other things too. This was a picture I used in the original blog post, it has now changed, but I’m thinking of switching it back to this, because it looks less chaotic! Anyways, I have everything from my pens to numerous notebooks placed in the two shelves, all ready for me to grab and figure out what I need to do next.

14440778_1229737120423949_270250595309355659_n

I have a Styrofoam box that my nana used to get her meals delivered in a couple of years ago. We had one stashed underneath the kitchen table at my grandparents house, and she let me take another one home so I could have a makeshift table to write on right by my bed. I actually use for various things; like writing out ideas in my notepads or looking at my daily planner. I can even use to do simple things like read a book or place my remote on it in the middle of the night so I don’t have to worry about kicking it off the bed!

Despite all of this, blogging is still a lonely thing to do. What gets me is that the only time we allow others to join in is when we want guest posts, other than that we are the ones that do everything for our blogs because it could be we’d rather do everything ourselves. We update our social media accounts and network our asses off! We usually get whatever ideas come to us in different times of the day (or night) and they’ll drive you nuts until you have to get out your phone or in my case To Do List and write out a collection of prompts to keep in mind for future open spots.

Overall though, blogging is fun! You get to “meet” wonderful people that are usually trying to do the same thing you are and because of them, you can express your worries and celebrate every good thing that comes your way. Unfortunately, not everyone will congratulate you on your accomplishments, but there is always someone that will send you a “good job” comment or tweet that will make you feel loved, and I think that’s part of the reason why we continue to do it, because thanks to them, we’re being appreciated for our hard work and it makes everything worthwhile!

snowflake

 

Advertisements

Guest Post |How and Why People with Disabilities Should Start A Home-Based Business by Patrick Young

guestpost2018

Hello!

Today’s post is about something different, I was contacted by Patrick back in May I think, and he wanted to write a piece about why people should create home-based businesses. I thought it was really interesting and a good read for anyone with a disability, and can’t work a normal job.


Having a disability can make both finding a job and working more difficult. A *study showed that 50% of unemployed disabled people reported some type of barrier to employment. Additionally, more than 50% of employment disabled individuals reported some difficultly completing their work duties because of their disability. For these reasons, those with disabilities may look to launching their own home-based businesses to reap the benefits of being their own boss.

Why You Should Go For It

Entrepreneurs with disabilities report that “being able to work from a particular location, in hours that suit the individual, can be hugely liberating.” Working set hours, such as the typical 9-to-5 schedule, can be difficult for those with disabilities, especially if the disability tends to be worse in the mornings, like with Multiple Sclerosis. Similarly, veterans who return home with disabilities find it difficult to work these hours or to work with a new disability, and those suffering from mental health disabilities tend to benefit from a more flexible schedule.

Travelling can also be difficult for people with disabilities, particularly those with mobility issues, such as someone confined to a wheelchair. If you were to own your own home-based business, you could work hours that accommodate your needs and set up a home office that fits your lifestyle.

Starting your own business also means you get to decide what tasks to assign yourself, so there’s no worry about duties that are difficult for you to tackle. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about not getting assigned work because someone else doesn’t think you can handle it, even though you can. You get to determine your role within the company from day one, and you can modify that role as you see fit.

Funding

Running your company from your home will save you money since you won’t have to rent or purchase property, but you’ll still need to find funding for other aspects to your business. Freebies are hard to come by, so when you come across someone offering free help, don’t pass up the offer. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are located all across the United States and support and promote small businesses by offering face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on a variety of valuable topics, including accessing capital, writing business plans, marketing, technology, development and more. Take advantage of this opportunity and find an SBDC near you.

Although federal and state governments do not offer grants for disabled people looking to start a business, they do offer loans with admirable interest rates and grants for entrepreneurs in general. Many private companies also offer loans specifically targeted at disabled entrepreneurs. Grants may be available through colleges and universities.

If you do not get 100% funded from one place, combine funding from multiple avenues. For example, a chef in Chicago worked with her local SBDC to write a business plan, obtain permits and licenses, and launch her corporation. Their combined efforts helped her harness a grant from the University of Illinois at Chicago for $5K, a grant from the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation services for almost $29K, and a microloan from Accion for $7K.

Finding People

In order for any business to be successful, it needs customers. Since you won’t have a storefront in the community for people to find you, you’ll need to utilize social media. Almost every business uses at least one social media platform, so it’s an easy way to reach your audience. Attend events and network with the community and other businesses. Do a giveaway for people to sample your product your product or service.

Once you start your fan base, get them to help you grow it even further. Word-of-mouth referrals from other customers grow your audience and make your business more appealing. Consider providing coupons or discounts in exchange for referrals and reviews. You can also offer a small commission on referrals.

You may be a veteran who is returning home with a disability and cannot fathom working 9-to-5 shift. Perhaps you suffer from a mental health illness, and the ebb and flow of the office environment exacerbates your symptoms. Or maybe you’re confined to a wheelchair, and transportation is a major hurdle for you. No matter your disability obstacle in the workforce, home-based entrepreneurship can offer a way for you to avoid the barriers and work comfortably on your own terms. With a little help and a lot of planning, you can successfully make it happen.

Why I’ve Never Joined A Book Club

dance

Howdy!

Today’s post is going to be a little interesting as it’s something that I’ve never discussed. You have a group of people who are interested in usually the same genres as you, or they could differ with each month or whatever, and after you’ve finished reading, you all get together and discuss what you thought about it. I think that’s a wonderful thing to do!

I’ve watched The Jane Austen Book Club a few months ago and really enjoyed seeing the lives of these women (and one random dude) get closer and unfold as they read all six of her novels. I am looking forward to seeing Book Club with Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Mary Steenburgen when it comes out on DVD. They’re reading Fifty Shades of Grey and that just cracks me up! I’ve also found a book that also talks about it too, called The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott. It’s been on my TBR list forever!

Funnily enough though, I’ve never joined a book club in my life. They always seem like a cool thing, but I have way too many issues to be able to do it. whether the excuse is my disability or can’t afford the book(s) itself.

I remember a time when I was a kid, once school was out, my mom and nana tried to get Blondie and I interested in reading, so they would sign us up for the library’s summer reading program. I absolutely hated it! I would constantly lose my place and stumble on my words, I’ll be honest, reading was my worst enemy. Once I started my freshman year though, something changed where I was allowed to read silently to myself. There were times when I had to read aloud in class, but thankfully it was mainly when we were attempting to read Shakespeare. The whole class was having trouble, it was just us who had issues with reading in general!

I don’t know if this counts, but I did take a class during my junior year of high school, called “Novels” and the teacher picked out four books for us to read, but I’ve also believed there was five, I just can’t remember it! The novels were: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Silas Marner by George Eliot, Night by Elie Wiesel, and Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. This class was only a semester and no, I didn’t have the class around Halloween, the creepy tones just happened by accident I think!

That’s the only “club” that I can say I’ve ever been in, but in a way you were forced to take the class if you need one or two English classes to build up credits, so even though the class itself was fun and everything, it was too structured. It wasn’t the teacher’s fault, he was awesome and he made it fun for us. They had an actual book club, but it was during lunch period and as much as I really wanted to participate, I just never had the guts to do it.

Now you’re probably wondering if I’ve ever thought about creating my own club. Well, honestly I’ve never given it any thought about it because who would join it? Besides it would have to be hosted online because I have no other option. I also don’t know about the various genres, because honestly I like only a select few and unfortunately not a lot of people enjoy them.

What about you, have you ever joined a book club before? If you have, what was your experience with it? Did you enjoy it as much as you thought you would? 

snowflake

 

Mini Wrap-Up Of 2018

friend

Howdy!

I have thought and thought whether or not writing this post would be a good idea, considering I tried to do it three times. As much as I know it’ll help me towards the end of the year, so I don’t have to gather EVERYTHING up and it basically looks like I threw up on a blog post–that would suck–so I kind of pushed myself to figure out my words to make this work.

Originally, I was going to add a special section about what’s going on with accomplishing my 2018 goals, but I decided to leave that at the end of the year instead. This is a list of the movies I’ve watched since the beginning of the year. I’ve decided to rate them as five stars, five being “loved it” to only one star to “hated it” but there are a few that I have not finished yet and so I’m debating whether to rate them or not, but if I feel like there’s no chance of me ever finishing it, then it’s another story.

The Movies Included In My “Coming Soon” Posts – 2017!

Sleepless – Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union

I am still in the middle of this one, and I’m not sure if I will even continue it. It gives you real “Taken” vibes and as somebody who has NEVER seen that movie, I’m a little iffy about it. I mean, it’s good but I don’t know. So I’d give it 3 stars right now.

The Comedian – Robert De Niro, Lesley Mann, Danny DeVito

This was a good funny contemporary film. It was a little dirty, but it was still pretty good though! So I’m giving it a 4 out of 5!

Tulip Fever – Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan

I am not finished with this, but in my defense it is a long movie! It’s good, kind of interesting because it has some historical content as far as how much we as humans value different things–included flowers! I love it because it’s set in the medieval days of Amsterdam . No rating.

The Fate Of The Furious – Vin Diesel, Dewayne Johnson

This was one of the first movies I watched, because HBO premiered it the first or second week of January! I hadn’t seen any spoilers for it and I’m kind of wishing I had, because there were scenes I cried, and the twists and turns, I certainly did NOT see coming, but god, was it good! 5 stars all around!

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr

I had every right to be iffy about this movie, but honestly I’m still feeling the same way. I thought it wasn’t the best, but keeping me entertained was successful. I’d still give it a 3 though.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson

This is another film that I have yet to finish, but it is on my list! It’s kind of funny, not as much as I thought it would but I haven’t even made it to the middle of it yet. It’s 2 stars at the moment.

Power Rangers – Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott

I literally just watched this film a couple of weeks ago. We had a free weekend of Epix and I recorded like nine movies throughout the four days! After I finished it, I saw that they may not do a second which really sucks because I actually liked it a lot! I thought it was interesting to make it feel like the 90’s show, but it also had modern elements too! 5 out of 5 stars.

Films That Came Out In 2017 That Were Not Included

Before I Fall – Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage

This was a very interesting film. I remember seeing the promos for this and kind of being curious about it, but also thought I wouldn’t like it as much but honestly I thought it was really good! Really sad, but still it deserves 4 stars.

The Sense Of An Ending – Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling

I found this, the same week the one above, which I thought was a little weird. I watched them both in the same day, I was a little proud of myself. I liked the story, even though the ending REALLY confused the crap out of me. So if you decide to watch it, just pay a little bit more attention to details and most importantly body language! 4 stars.

The Zookeeper’s Wife – Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh

Now I will say, I haven’t finished this, but I can honestly say I probably won’t because it was really sad and I didn’t like the fact that they had Jessica Chastain as the main role, when she’s clearly not Jewish or German!  No rating.

Going In Style – Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

I have yet to finish this one, and I may not even go back to it, but who knows! Right now I have it as 2 stars.

Paris Can Wait – Diane Lane, Armaud Viard

I loved, loved, loved this movie! I am a sucker for travel movies of apparently any kind, as I’ve seen some weird combinations in the past! However, Diane Lane needs to do more of these types of movies because she makes them very fun and she also sells it a little more too. I just wish there were French translations down at the bottom of the screen though! 5 stars clearly.

All Eyez On Me – Demetrius Shipp Jr, Kat Graham

As I rave about one movie, I am a little disappointed with another. I absolutely hated this one, mostly because whenever they were doing the rapping scenes, it sounded like Tupac’s voice, not the actors. One star for this one.

The Book Of Henry – Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay

Funny story, my mom and dad recorded this for themselves but I’m the only one who’s watched it (and bawled my eyes out!) I don’t see them ever watching it, which is the reason why I deleted it on their DVR because after watching it, I told my mom that she’ll cry. However, I think it deserved 5 stars though!

Lady Macbeth – Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis

This is difficult, as I’ve never read too many William Shakespeare plays, but I do know something of the “MacBeth” plot, so to see this was pretty cool! You get to see the point of view of Lady Katherine, and even though I have yet to finish it, I actually do enjoy it. So I’m giving it, 4 stars.

Girls Trip – Regina Hall, Queen Latifah

Oh my gosh, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! It was very dirty, but I thought it was all freaking hilarious! It made me an even bigger fan of Tiffany Haddish. 5 stars.

Voice Of The Stone – Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas

I remember seeing the preview for this when I was doing my “coming soon” for the first half of 2017, but I decided not to add it, because it was a “thriller”, but I found it on Starz and I actually loved it! However, it’s like “The Zookeeper’s Wife” they used a popular actress instead of an Italian actress for the main role. So I’m giving it 4 stars.

Coco – Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Barnal

This was such a cute, but sad movie! Ugh! I saw all of the comments/warnings of it being that way, but I did not expect to cry through the entire end of the movie! 5 stars.

The Week Of – Adam Sandler, Chris Rock

I saw the promos for this twice and I actually watched it in one day. Oh my god, I laughed my butt off and it gave me flashbacks to Blondie’s wedding last year weirdly enough! 5 stars.

What have you been watching this year? No spoilers!

snowflake

How Do I Stay Organized?

dance

Howdy!

Originally I wanted this post to go before both my seven year blogging milestone and how to become a music blogger posts, but I could not figure out how I wanted everything arranged so I’m going a bit backwards, but I hope you’ll enjoy it just the same!

This post will go over everything I use to keep my thoughts about future blog posts and information for other articles, such as for my pieces for History Of Royal Women in line!

33598362_10204311982957799_6148243210322837504_n

Electrical or manual daily planner?

As a blogger, there are many ways on how to keep things neat and organized, funnily enough I’m just now finding out how good it is to do this. When I was in school, we were given little daily planners (we had bigger ones while in middle school!) and I never used them for myself, my aide(s) mostly wrote in them. So I was never really taught how to follow up on a planner like everybody else, but this also goes for taking notes in classes too, because since I was so slow at writing and typing, my aide or the teachers would provide the notes for me!

I know a lot of people will use planner apps on their phones or Google’s spreadsheets to keep everything on track, which is perfectly fine, but I have become the type of person who needs something right in front of them to organize posts on a monthly calendar. Personally, I figured I’d prefer a larger print calendar, that you can fit multiple things inside the boxes, but then I realized how much space it would take up around my bookshelf, so my mom bought me one in 2015. I was actually really excited to use it, because honestly I needed one, I’d always forget when I’d schedule my blog posts during the week or a few weeks in advance, so I knew I’d eventually have to break down and get one.

It’s a medium sized book, it has enough room to write out multiple things on each day, and at the start of a new month, it gave a two page mini calendar of that month, and then the next page starts it off. I figured I’d use it a lot more, but honestly I think I used the “notes” sections in it than I did anything else! One of the main issues I had been the fact that it was so bulky! Since it had a lot of pages in it, plus the first six months of 2016, it just wasn’t very practical for me, and of course, I felt horrible about it.

33830132_10204311988437936_4957651496750546944_n

By February of 2017, my mom went to our favorite meat place and she saw that they were giving away free daily planners. I don’t know why a place like this would be giving out planners, but okay. She came back with one for me and again, I was excited but also a little worried, I didn’t really use the last one, I thought what would be different about this one? Well, for one, it’s lightweight and had nothing but an actual calendar of the whole month, no individual spots for each day, just a medium sized box that you could fill up.

Unfortunately, again I didn’t really use it all that much in the beginning. It wasn’t until September, when my WordPress calendar went away and I wasn’t allowed to see what all was taken already and that really bugged me, so I remembered the green planner and that’s when I started using the crap out of it! It was really handy and I didn’t dread getting it out all the time either. So, when I went to my mom’s work in October and I was given another one for 2018, I knew that I was set! It had the same layout as the other one, except this is definitely more sharper looking and it has a little bit of a larger print compared to the other one! I also don’t feel like it’s going to tire and/or break on me either!

My trustee black notebook

This is extremely important to me, because I’ve realized that I do get some of my great ideas late at night. It’s not the best of times for it to happen, but if I am wide awake around midnight or three in the morning and a thought comes to me, I’ll write out.

I have a number of notebooks on my mini bookshelf, but nothing compares to my black notebook though. I kind of made a vow to myself that I needed to at least try to finish a notebook in my lifetime. Even when I was in school, I never filled in a whole booklet, and I always felt as though I wasted it! So when I found this perfectly unused notebook, I knew this would become my trustee sidekick!

33574407_10204311980837746_6471848332988776448_n

In the beginning, it was purely just for blogging but once I started thinking and looking up information for my story, it kind of switched to having sections of notes in the middle. Honestly, the whole thing has a lot of stuff stored inside of it, and I’ve only just started to write out my ideas for my future blog posts in like a bullet point format, it’s actually helpful branching everything out like that. Unfortunately, as you can see, it is really beat up! I’d say I have about 30-40 pages left in it, but the wiring is coming undone and papers are starting to slide out-of-place, so I will have to invest in a sturdier notebook soon!

Other things that are handy to have nearby

Whenever I don’t want to shuffle through my bottom shelf for my notebook in the middle of the night, I have a stack of different notepads to use that are very easily to get to in the dark!

My mom got me this red, white and gold love-y notepad for Christmas and every two months, I have to switch out the sheets because I literally have no more room to write on the front. I don’t write out my plans in a bullet point, because of the limited space so I usually try to write the thoughts and ideas, because I don’t look at my phone enough in the day and I know I’m liable to forget about it after a while, so that’s when I started using that hardcore! It’s become very handy for me.

How do you keep yourself organized? Have any tricks up your sleeve?

snowflake

Top 11 Life Mottos To Live By

lifemotto

Howdy!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while. It wasn’t until I saw fellow blogger, Lisa put up a post about her favorite life mottos that made me get my butt in gear to publish this!

Back in 2014, I really wanted to learn how to deal with life. I didn’t want to get started on anti-depressants, and still don’t honestly! I knew what I was doing, wasn’t the best. I had two big depression spells first was in 2010 and the other was late 2011 into early 2012 and at this point at my life, I was fine, but I always felt on edge. I remember being on the website Your Zen Life created by actress Teresa Palmer a lot. I read some of their self-love articles and they really helped me deal with some of my inner demons. I started to learn more about daily affirmations and somehow I managed how to control my patience, which still freaks out a number of my family members!

Blondie and I have adopted a similar way of using life quotes to our advantage. After she got out of a very abusive relationship, one of the things she did to help her find some comfort, was she wrote out different quotes in this small notebook she got after attending a college campus tour. We’ve decorated the back of our doors with quotes and song lyrics that really mean a lot to us in the past, and with doing this, it helped a lot because I was able to see the phrases in front of me on a daily basis and I constantly had them on my mind.

If you follow my blog’s Facebook page and been seeing the quotes I’ve posted on there for the past couple of weeks, this is the reason. Here are eleven different quotes and the stories of why I like to use them on a daily basis. Maybe some of them will inspire you to adopt them into your life.

Train your mind to see the good in every situation.

A few years ago, I found this thing on Pinterest that I was thinking about doing, and I mentioned it to my nana and somehow by the end of our visit, we ended making a promise we’d do it together. So instead of looking at your whole day and knit-picking at the negative stuff first, you’re suppose to select three good things that happened within your day and if you can find three things then you have an excuse to say it was a “good day” compared to what you usually say.

This is how I ended up finding this quote, because it was similar to the activity. After a while, you do start seeing the good in your day that maybe you didn’t before. I mean, you’re going to have bad days, but you don’t want to feel stuck in that pattern for days on end, so this is a good way to start anew.

Sometimes the best reaction, is no reaction at all.

It’s funny, this was the quote that inspired this post because as much as I like to use it on a daily basis, the one thing that it doesn’t work on is apparently basketball. Maybe it’s the papaw in me or something, but I have trained myself to not react to everything, except that!

I think the one thing that I still need to work on, is how to deal with my dad. Whenever my mom goes to work, I spend close to six hours with him and we know how to get on each other’s nerves pretty easily. And whenever he says something that I feel like I don’t need to reply back to, he will ask it anyways. So I’ve learned to select my battles and I try my best to not give him any kind of reaction at all.

Everything happens for a reason.

To a lot of a people, this will seem like a cliche quote to use, but I think it’s one of the most popular quotes ever.

Honestly I use it for probably the most random things ever! This actually comes in handy whenever I watch Jeopardy.  I’ve had a lot of things that I’ve watched on TV, mostly about art, books, food, history become categories on the show within a week later. I always find it both cool and weird whenever it happens.

Prove them wrong.

This one is just embed into my brain. I started using this one when I was very young, before it was a just a simple phrase I heard other people say out loud to me and somehow I ended up becoming that phrase. I like to prove people wrong with everything I do, it’s part of my disability vocabulary, and I still use on a daily basis.

Strive for progress than perfection.

I wish I knew about this one in school, especially when I was in elementary. As the “prove them wrong” was meant as a positive quote to say around, it also had a drawback to it. When I would take art classes, I would become this “amazement” to my teachers and the rest of the class. I was never teased for it, but I feel like I was my biggest bully to myself because as I got older, I started to really hate wanting to be perfect in whatever I did. It took many, many years to get myself out of that mindset, especially when it came to art.

You’ll do it when you’re ready.

This is a like a timeline on what’s going on throughout my life without even trying!

I think this can be taken in many ways. Right now I have a lot of ideas relating to my writer side. I want to branch out and share some of my knowledge and pieces to other websites, but I have a lot of self-doubt that comes with it. I can talk myself up to it only so far before my confidence fades. So a part of me has been writing, writing, writing as I’m trying to follow the advice of Lucy and have a different array of articles in my drafts, so when I do decide I’m truly ready, I can just pick and chose which ones to give out!

Be open to whatever happens next.

I found this quote, prior to the death of my papaw. I don’t know if this was my sign that something was coming, but I have been increasingly embracing this lesson. I think it’s a good idea, because I know you can’t prepare yourself for everything, even though I’ve become pretty good at attempting this. I usually try to say it in the mornings, and it’s been very helpful!

Perspective is everything.

Perspective really is everything to me, it keeps me grounded I think. I’m not as quick to judge things and people, thanks to this quote. I also like to use it when it comes to art too! I like trying to figure out what the artist was thinking about as they were doing the design in the first place. That’s why I usually like big canvases and abstract art!

You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you.

Oh, this was a new addition to my life and to this post. I found it back in mid-April, as I was scrolling through my dashboard on Pinterest! I thought it worked well with how I was dealing with life in general.

I am the one that everybody comes to for advice, or they did, and I’ve been used as distractions in the past. I’m fairly good at doing both, but it’s when people don’t want to be bothered with either situation, is when it can get a bit difficult. Now when it comes to help for myself, I’m scared to ask for it. I like my independence and hate the fact that I need extra guidance to get through life, so a part of me knows that if I want to get better, I’m going to have to accept this obstacle and basically hitch a ride and hope to God, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Everything is a choice.

I think this is somewhat similar to “when you’re ready” and “perspective” quotes. They all go together with the same outlook, I mostly use them for my articles. I need to remind myself that everything I do is a choice, I don’t have to conform to what other people expect me to do, and if they don’t like it, I can take that piece and send it to another person or site and hopefully they’ll be more open to allow it.

Even the nicest people have their limits.

At first, I wasn’t going to add this quote, because I didn’t think it was like the others, but the more I thought about it and I realized why I wanted to write up this post in the first place, I figured out this was one of the most perfect quote/lesson to keep in mind.

I’m a fairly nice person, I don’t have any drama with people, I get along with most of the population. I’m not racist, homophobic, or anything of that nature. I’ll never really talk about these any subjects but I do have an issue with keeping other things, like serious topics locked up and they can swirl around in my head for many, many years without being discussed and I’m very been worried that one day, I’m just going to explode because somebody’s said the wrong thing to me and I’m going say something that’ll sound insulting and that’ll just break my heart.

So, in the future you might see some very brave posts that I feel need to be talked about on here, and hopefully I won’t sound too much like an asshole. I’m just tired of keeping my opinions to myself. This is your warning I guess to what could come on this blog in the next seven and a half months!

Are there any quotes that you love and keep nearby to remind you to keep going in life? What is your favorite quote ever?

How I Became A Music Blogger

music

Howdy!

I’ve been trying to figure what to blog about for a few days and I thought about some advice posts; I like them but I’m also one of those people who doesn’t feel the need to follow the same set of rules of others. These will be things that I do that might be useful to the newbies or somebody who would like to experiment every once in a while.

What does it mean to be a music blogger?

I started writing reviews back in 2011, probably four months after I actually created this blog. I will say, those first few reviews are really bad. I have the worst grammar and I cannot describe what I hear for the life of me! I will say though, since I’ve been doing them and the fact that I try to get out of my comfort zone, I feel like I am getting better at it.

In the beginning, I wasn’t really thinking about what could come out of the review itself, I just knew that I needed to express myself about what I hearing inside of my headphones. Towards the end of 2012, I’d say my music choices started to go in a darker direction and since I was already listening to tons of international music, I knew I wanted to share it with more people, whether it be my Twitter followers, friends and/or family. Everybody wants new music, so why shouldn’t I help promote these artists and groups?

What can you talk about on your blog?

Well, that’s up to you really!

I think it’s important to establish what kind of music blogger you want to be from the very beginning. To me, there are two ways you can go about this, you can be like me and only focus on the music itself–that means you discuss nothing about anything else but whatever you’re presented. Second way is you talk about that artist’s personal life, which is something that I do NOT participate in because I think it’s absolutely rude!

There are a lot of bloggers out there that only review new artists, which is good because they need all of the promotion they can get from people. However, if you do put your email address on your about or contact page, be aware that you may not always get to talk with that particular artist or group, majority of the time you’re talking to a third party. It has its ups and downs, because honestly the artist will make you feel welcomed and allow you to have time to listen and get your words figured out, but the third party does not. At least, from my own experience, they haven’t made me feel like I was going fast enough to reply back to them about anything.

Besides the new artists, you can talk about your favorites, but in reality you’re really closing up opportunities to get to know other musicians. Thankfully, when I started blogging about music, I was already in the thick of international music, so I was listening to stuff all over the world and it didn’t really matter if they were singing in English or not.

There are different ways to review music:

  • Albums/EPs – These are pretty much the only way I review anything to do with music at the moment. However, I do have my own limit. I do discuss an album that’s over 20 tracks. It just puts a lot of pressure on me to stay open enough to speak my thoughts and I never want the number of songs to change my mind about a particular track. 
  • Single – If you’re going to write about a single, be prepared for that post of yours to be pretty short. I think I always had two or three paragraphs whenever I’d review just a single, but on the bright side, I always thought it would be fair to release two single reviews in one day!
  • Music Videos – Music videos are pretty easy to talk about, as you can just find it on YouTube’s recently added and go from there, but you also need to think about something else. Are you going to only discuss the song, the content of the video itself, or both? I always found it to be easier to do both, but whenever I would listen to the heavy metal music, I wouldn’t review the actual video in fear something creepy would pop out and scare me! 

What kind of ways to listen to music to review?

I mostly only use Spotify to listen to my music. They are convenient, because they have the new music on their browse tab. Once you start using it a lot, and you “follow” more and more artists and bands, then it’ll create a “release radar” playlist for you of the music and you basically go from there. After I’ve found an album or EP, or even a selection of them, I’ll create a playlist of each one and save them for later until I’m ready to work on them.

If you can’t use Spotify, then YouTube is my second option. Unfortunately, you will have some issues going in this direction. Musicians and record companies will not always upload a full album onto the artist or band’s main page, it’ll just depend on the circumstance honestly, so if you’re unable to find all of the music on the record, you’re going to need to hope another fan has put it up without tampering with the sound too much and of course YouTube has taken all of them down!

My last suggestion is whether or not, you want to purchase the album on iTunes. I mean, all your doing is reviewing the album, and in case you’re not sure about the genre or if you’re going to like it in general, you’ve just spend $11.29 or $14.99 that you now have to keep in your library. So, everything is up to you on what you want to do.

Here are some tips on what I do before I start the reviewing process!

  1. Have a notepad nearby! It’ll be smarter to write or type out the song titles and date of when the record came out. Something else you should look into, is some information about the artist you’re talking about, you have to remember that you are not only selling the album, but the musician too!
  2. Trust your gut, and I mean this in the nicest way possible. If you are not comfortable talking about a certain subject, do NOT push yourself to write about it. However, on the flip side, if you can’t figure out how to describe the song and how it sounds, go with your next best option. I’ll usually say whatever I’m feeling at that moment. I’ve described song(s) as “driving around in a small town while the sun is setting!” So whatever comes to your head first, then say it!
  3. Don’t rush the process, if you need to take a break in between a group of songs, then do it! I have started reviews in the mornings and finished them at night, and I’ve even spread them out over a couple of days since I usually schedule them at a later date.
  4. If you’re unable to find the album cover on the artist’s social media accounts, then I recommend you making a banner for your future review posts. I’ve used Paint to create mine, but I’m sure you can make really clever ones using your own photos!

I think that are all of my tips and tricks that I can share with you today! If you are thinking about starting on music reviews, or reviewing anything such as books, movies, etc, it’s a fun experience for you as a blogger but it also helps promote the musicians you’re talking about too!

snowflake