Some Thoughts on Being Freshly Pressed

While I run the risk of this sounding like an award’s speech, I have to thank Krista and the team of WordPress Editors. Thank you for reading and selecting a piece that I thought only a handful of people would read and introducing it to a much larger audience.

An audience who has shared their stories and sent their support, which is another thing entirely to be grateful for. You’ve given me courage, strength, and acceptance. Which are some of the most extraordinary gifts to give, particularly through the internet. So, thank you readers.

When I first started this blog, I agonized over which platform to start from–Blogger or WordPress? It seems to be the eternal question of today’s blogger. What ultimately made WordPress my home were elements like the Freshly Pressed page that so clearly showed a blogging community eager to support and challenge one another.

Talking with many of you in the comments has been a pleasure and though I am still sifting through everything I have been looking at many of your blogs and have found some lovely writers and new friends to follow. This is the unexpected joy of being Freshly Pressed: to discover the people who have discovered you.

The past few days have been a riot of emotions. Shock. Elation. Pride. Grief. Gratitude. And fear.

Fear of letting you down, you new readers. Like most humans, I’m a mix of shallow and deep. The Joan Didion review is deeper and darker waters than I have swam–at least publicly–in a long time.  I suppose, the central fear is disappointing many of you when I splash into shallower territory.

For me, I love writing about books and movies and, recently, beauty products. I have a B.A. in creative writing and literature and a M.A. in film studies, so that’s what stokes the fires of the first two topics on that list. As for the beauty products, I have never stopped being the little girl playing with Mom’s lipstick. I try to shuffle all three things into the regular lineup for variety, but some weeks are heavier on one topic than others.

This blog has always been a tad spastic. Or what I’ve affectionately termed Writer’s ADD. The more complicated answer is that I write about whatever speaks to me or makes me happy in the moment. I think for many of us this is true: we write about whatever helps us handle our stress in our daily lives. Whether it’s cathartic non-fiction or haiku or photography. WordPress is our escape and our happy place.

These are the things that bring me little nuggets of joy. So whether you’re stopping in for a moment or joining in for the long haul,  I hope in reading about my misadventures you enjoy yourselves as well.

Again, thank you all for listening!

This Blog is Slow on Purpose

As I was poking around my WordPress dashboard this morning, I discovered a button in the settings that was not there before. It read, “Fight for Net Neutrality.” For WordPress users, you can enable a protest button on your blog that simulates the slow loading times we would experience if Net Neutrality were to be extinguished.

So if my blog is being slow, please don’t leave.

It’s being slow because I’m protesting against what the internet would look like if cable companies get their way. This issue may seem vastly boring and unimportant but if you want to keep streaming cat videos and read BuzzFeed in peace like the rest of us, then protecting Net Neutrality is vital.

Here’s a man who can explain the situation with much more wit and humor, John Oliver.

This post from Free Press also breaks down the situation quite nicely.

The FCC will be taking opinions from the public and there is still time to sign protests or make phone calls. At the end of 2014, the FCC will make their decision on how to classify the internet as either an “information service” or a “telecommunication service” and that very dull sounding distinction could change how Americans use the internet for the worse.

Companies like Netflix or WordPress would have to pay not only TimeWarner but Verizon and other internet providers excessive sums in order to have fast internet speeds for their websites. Which in turn will likely force these websites to jack up their prices for consumers.

I love this little blog. It’s my outlet, my small corner of the internet, and the people I interact with here give me the warm fuzzies. And I get to do all of this for free.

If Net Neutrality ends many blogs like yours and mine may cease to exist, because there may come a time where WordPress has to start charging us free bloggers money in order to keep up with cable companies demands. And it wouldn’t just be happening here, but across all internet sites.  Scary stuff.

If you want to put a stop to this, please share information with your friends, family, or readers. You can click on the link on this blog that will appear underneath that bedamned circle of loading torment in order to sign a petition to protect Net Neutrality.

Whether you’re an American reader or an international reader, thank you for bearing with me on my faux-slow blog. I hope you understand why I’m concerned about this issue and passionate about Net Neutrality.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, so please comment down below with your two cents.

Confessions of a Novice Blogger

Honesty is the best policy according to folk wisdom, so let’s talk policies. Of blogging that is. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme from The Broke and the Bookish is about all our blogging confessions. I remember doing my book confessions when I first started doing Top Ten Tuesday posts (check that post out here), so I decided to focus this week’s meme on my blogging habits. These tips, tricks, and tidbits are all fairly basic, but hopefully they help you figure out some of your own blogging habits. Nothing fuels my own self reflection like having someone else spell their own out. Or that could just be me. Anywho, let’s get into my blogging confessions…

  1. This blog is having a bit of an identity crisis. I suppose it always has. I’ve called it my writer’s ADD where I talk about whatever crosses my mind, because a lot of things do. Ultimately this blog has become about reviewing things. Be it books, movies, or beauty products. But finding the balance between talking about these interests is still something I’m working on.
  2. I used to have a travel blog on Blogger for when I was studying abroad in Cambridge, England.
  3. About 90% of the photos I take for this blog are done using my iPhone 4s.
  4. Titles are one of the hardest parts about writing. In any medium, really. And figuring out what to name each post is so tricky. I get really stressed out when trying to come up with a catchy title and probably always will.
  5. I usually force myself to do laundry or run the dishwasher while blogging. Otherwise I get lackadaisical with my chores and “forget.”
  6. When blogging there are usually several tabs open in my browser: Facebook, WordPress, and an empty Google tab so I can look up prices of items or check my spelling.
  7. Since my blog has slanted more towards the beauty aspect of late, I try to post a beauty review and then a movie or book review to balance things out. It’s more for my peace of mind than anything else, so that I feel like all my interests are touched upon. Sometimes the ideas for a blog just flow so easily and I can have several posts in a week. Other times it seems like it’s pulling teeth to get one thing down right.
  8. List posts are my absolute favorite. Which is why I’m such a fan of Top Ten Tuesday or my monthly beauty favorites posts.
  9. When I first started blogging I would write my entire post out in Microsoft Word first and then copy + paste everything into the WordPress post box. I’m not sure why I did that. Maybe because I’ve always done my writing in Word for school. But now I just type and edit everything in my WordPress Dashboard.
  10. I recently purchased some business cards for the blog from Vistaprint when they were running one of their specials. I get asked a lot for the name of my blog when I mention in passing that I write. Now I have an easy way to get people connected to my reviews. So I’d highly recommend doing something similar for any blogger out there.

Not exactly Earth shattering info here but these are my blogging quirks at their finest. I hope you enjoyed my blogging confessions!