Room to Grow

Poinsettias
Speaking of room to grow, this is the poinsettia that has somehow outlived Christmas and is still hanging out on my desk.

 

I read a lot of blogs. Interior design blogs, food blogs, art blogs, writing blogs, DIY blogs, lifestyle blogs. You name it, I probably read it. And while I’ve been trying to cull the herd and only follow blogs with writing I love, I have noticed a trend- they all tell you how to blog. Some more explicitly than others, and they always mean well. “This has worked for me, so if you do it, you can be successful too.” I love that so many bloggers and entrepreneurs are open to sharing their processes. I love reading about people’s behind the scenes and how they make work. Those are always my favorite posts to read.

But it makes it so easy for me to feel guilty about this space. According to really inspiring, successful, nice people, I’m doing this blog thing all wrong. I missed a post last week- and I only post once a week, when I should be posting 3-5 times a week, with a killer blog design and great photos. I should have a design style so that my work is instantly recognizable. I should strategize what I post based on what other people want to read. I should, I should, I should…
I’m exhausted just thinking about all of that. I find myself wondering how I can be successful if it’s so obvious that I’m doing all the wrong things?
This week, I’ve been working on my story notebook, filling out character descriptions. According to a lot of articles I’ve read, I’m doing those all wrong too. No exhaustive biography. No mention of a favorite color or an embarrassing childhood moment. Just some important, basic bio information and personality traits that shape their thought process. Most are only half a page. I started to stress about not doing it “right.” And then I thought, I still have half a page. If I figure out I need to know something out I can always add it.* There’s room to grow.
And I realized how well that applies to this space too. I want to keep growing and keep improving, but there’s still (a lot!) of room to grow. And I’m ok with that. Nothing against bloggers who decide to monetize their blogs or use affiliate links or receive products for review – those are all great opportunities. But (at least right now) this blog is just for me, so I’m looking forward to working and growing without having to worry about supporting myself with my blog.
So here’s to leaving ourselves room to grow! I don’t know about you, but I’ll probably have to remind myself of that pretty often over the next year. But I’m excited to see how I grow, both in blogging and in my “real life.”
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Queen Susan Herself

I recently re-read Prince Caspian, and I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic, especially because I was reading the paperback copy that I’ve read so many times it’s starting to fall apart. While Lucy and Edmund have always been my favorite characters, this time I couldn’t stop thinking about Susan.

 

Susan the Archer

 

Susan is hands down the most controversial character in the Narnia series, but I honestly have mixed feelings about the character analysis I’ve read. Most of the articles I’ve seen are either by Christian men or young women who grew up in a Christian community and later left. I’m a twenty-something woman and a Christian, so I kind of agree and disagree with all of them. At the same time. Confused yet? I know I am.

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My 2015 Resolutions

I’m a day late and a dollar short on this one, but hey, let’s talk New Years’ Resolutions!

Historically my attempts at New Years’ Resolutions have been half-hearted at best. I always picked the typical resolutions: eat healthier, exercise more, go to bed earlier. They were boring and vague, and if I slipped up I felt like a failure, and wasn’t motivated to keep going. I definitely wasn’t setting myself up for success.

 

New year, new notebooks

 

I’m not sure what makes this year different (Maybe it’s my new notebooks?), but I’m really excited for the fresh start! I read about other bloggers’ process for picking New Years’ Resolutions: specific, realistic goals that don’t take themselves too seriously. One of my favorite ideas was from Elsie Larson’s Four Simple Goals… Before 2014. She recommends making goals that will enhance your life, which I think is great because you’re more likely to succeed when you’re not trying to change everything about you. I also loved the idea of making yearly and seasonal goals, so I have short-term goals as well as my big resolutions for the year. Plus, I can make some new resolutions in 2 or 3 months if I get bored or think of something new to work on. It’s the best of both worlds!

 

Here are my “big” resolutions for 2015:

  • Write everyday
  • Keep a reading log
  • Be kinder to myself
  • Learn new things

 

I didn’t officially pick a word for 2015, but “practice” might be my unofficial word of the year. Spoiler alert: I am really bad at keeping up with routines. So this year I really want to work on adding little habits that will build a practice of writing and reading… that doesn’t require becoming a morning person overnight. I’m already making good headway on my reading and writing, and I’m excited to explore them more as the year goes on!

 

While I definitely wanted to make goals that will stretch myself, I also want to be kinder to myself this year. Anxiety runs in my family, and while I haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I have noticed an increase in anxious tendencies since I’ve entered my twenties. I also can have really unrealistic expectations of myself, so this year I’m going to work on self-care and being kind to myself.

 

One way I want to be kinder to myself is by resolving to learn new things, which actually gives me permission to not know things. Sometimes I feel disappointed in myself if I have to ask for help when I don’t know something I “should” know (see aforementioned unrealistic expectations of myself). So this year I’m going to work on looking at things I don’t know as a chance to learn something new. Another bonus about this resolution is that it gives me a great excuse to experiment just because. It’s a win-win!

 

I am so inspired by these big resolutions! They’re just small shifts in my thinking process that I think will make a huge impact, and I couldn’t be more excited!

 

Winter 2015 Resolutions:

  • Eat a fruit or veggie with every meal/ snack
  • Eat less refined sugar
  • Organize my closet
  • Read a new-to-me fantasy series
  • Read some nonfiction
  • Multitask/ procrastinate less

 

These resolutions might sound like the “eat better, exercise more” resolutions, but I like them because they’re small, concrete things I can add to the things I already do. Instead of trying to eat a salad for every meal or eating no sugar at all, I can eat some extra fruits and veggies at lunch, and eat a little bit of chocolate when the chocolate cravings hit. The other resolutions may turn out to be a little overly ambitious, but if I don’t accomplish everything on this list I’m going to take a note from Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves – Don’t sweat the deadlines. My resolutions are written down, so even if I don’t start right away or find myself eating cereal for dinner, my resolutions will still be there. And I can always try again tomorrow.

 

Here are some of my favorite resolutions from other bloggers:

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