Wednesday, July 10

Hi guys, hope you’re having a great week so far. I’m doing really well myself, and I’m actually feeling very busy despite not having a job right now. Yesterday was sort of stressful; I took the T out to Cambridge to find a new pair of shorts at my favorite thrift store, and then I decided to go to Target to get some groceries. However, at some point on my outing, I lost my wallet! The interesting thing is that I didn’t even realize I lost it until the man who found it several hours later called my cell. I was sitting in my room, getting work done, and suddenly a very kind stranger called me to tell me he found my wallet. And incredibly, the first thing I said was, “I lost my wallet?”

So then I had to get back on the train, go all the way to Roxbury Crossing, get my wallet back (thank you, kind stranger for returning it!), and then I didn’t get back to my apartment until 11pm. It was long and stressful, but obviously I am SO happy to have my wallet back and my faith in humanity is slightly restored. 

So I didn’t get a lot done yesterday because I was busy running all over the place, but today was more productive. I woke up and did some morning yoga, took a shower, and then went back to the thrift store to return my shorts because they didn’t fit. And then, of course, I found three other things I wanted in the process! I’m going to be posting a thrift haul on Analog next week, so keep your eyes out for that.

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This is a set of journals I just finished!

It’s about 9:45 right now, and I’m just finishing up all of my writing for the day. I uploaded an Analog article and finished a draft for a blog, and then I applied for a couple of jobs. My mom suggested I go to a temp agency, seeing how I’ve applied to almost sixty jobs and I’ve heard back from almost none of them. It’s stressful times, but you do the best you can and try to stay positive.


Thursday, June 11

Hi friends! It’s been yet another productive day, and I’m feeling really good. It’s also been quite temperate here in Boston for the last few days, so I haven’t really been struggling with humidity or anything like that. Today I took the light rail to my old internship location so I could return my door tag and pick up my things, which was a really surreal experience. I haven’t been to my old workplace since March, so it was very strange to step back in and see all the offices closed down due to the virus.

Anyway, I got quite busy watching Dead to Me and binding journals for the rest of my afternoon. I haven’t listed anything for a little while, but having seven books bound in one day is a huge task and I’m really proud of that. Afterwards, I cooked a healthy dinner of vegan lemon ‘chicken’ and broccoli, and now I’m getting some writing done. I just finished writing a fashion article for Analog, and now I’m going to write an album review for the music blog I started with Nathaniel. 

So it’s been a busy, happy day, and I’m looking forward to eating the ice cream I ordered via uber eats in a few minutes. I’ve been running around like crazy for the past few days, and it’s summer, and I’m on my period, so I’m not going to feel bad about enjoying an ice cream today.

Monday, December 2

I’m back at school after a wonderful Thanksgiving break, but I won’t be here much longer! I’m technically on winter break December 14th, but I have to come back four days later to take ONE EXAM. I’m not really counting that as part of school, however, because I’ll already be moved out by then and the exam will only take about twenty-five minutes. Still, I’m a little annoyed to have to drive all the way back to school just to take one exam. 

I’m feeling pretty tired right now, even though I had my regular morning coffee. I might go ahead and make myself a tea, because I’m going to have a long day and I need to keep my energy levels up. Today is my first meeting for Analog, and even though half of the team can’t be there, I’m excited to lay down the groundwork for this organization!

It’s also snowing right now, which is beautiful to look at from my window (but less fun to walk in). Two of my classes were cancelled due to the snow, so I’m taking this opportunity to tackle some school work due next week. It seems surreal I have less than two weeks left in the semester!

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Friday, December 6

So, I’ve definitely slacked a bit on my catch-up this week, but in my defense, I have been very busy. I’ve been essentially glued to my computer trying to get work done, so thankfully, I’ve reached the end of a very productive week! Between working on Analog, securing my capstone, chatting with potential employers, and knocking out tons of presentations, it’s definitely been chaotic around here. I’m looking forward to simply relaxing and playing The Sims 4 this weekend.

Next week is my final week of classes, and I’m looking forward to coming home and sleeping in my own bed next Friday. I’ve also made plans to see some of my high school friends over winter break, so I’m really excited about that. Per usual, it will be a pleasure to see Eli as well.

I’m going to try to get some blogging done this week, because I’m falling a bit behind on that, but it’s important to me that I don’t overwork myself. Especially since I have such severe sleep problems, making time for relaxation is very important to me. Tonight I’m going to go watch a talent show with one of my classmates, then I might swing over to my friend’s resident hall to keep her company while she’s on RA duty.

 

IMG_4590.jpgIt’s finally here: the one-year anniversary since I started my personal blog! And so, without being too sappy, I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads my articles and leaves nice comments for me. I’ve always been a writer, but I never really shared my work online until I started The Diplomat’s Digest. It’s been a really rewarding experience for me, and additionally, it keeps me motivated to keep writing and trying to inspire people.

I have never been an eloquent speaker, or an athlete, or a genius, or a prodigy of anything. The only thing that I have ever truly identified with is being a writer- and it’s something I take pride in as a part of my identity. I have struggled with anxiety and bullying throughout my life, and writing has always been my way of coping, and my therapy. When you’ve lived your entire life feeling like people don’t listen to you, being a successful writer is such a rewarding experience!

I don’t know what the definition of a “successful writer” is, but I think I’m on the right track. My goal is to eventually support myself as a freelance writer, and work from home, but I know it’s going to take a long way to get there. I’m going to continue to work hard on my blog, and eventually (in the near future), I’d like to expand my media presence into other areas. Like I said, I’m not a great speaker and I’m not too good in front of the camera, but I’d like to try YouTube!

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about potentially holding a giveaway on my blog. I mentioned it in my New Year Resolutions post, and now seems like the right time to actually pursue it. What do you guys think? And what kind of things would you like me to give a way?

So, now that I’ve gotten all that mushy stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at how much my blog has grown over the course of 365 days!

I have achieved:

-105 followers

-116 posts

-3,322 views

-1,956 visitors

-250 likes

-And I’ve written 54,658 words!

It may not seem like much, and it’s really not, but it’s better than nothing. Thank you again for being so sweet and lovely, for reading my posts, and inspiring me to keep writing. Blogging is a key part of what keeps me going, and I can’t wait to see how my style evolves!

Coming up next: Fashion Journal: 1980-1989

Hello, beautiful people!

Today’s article is partly for a college assignment (hence why it’s coming out on a day I wouldn’t normally post), but also partly because I think this topic is very interesting. My lifelong goal has been to support myself as a full-time freelance writer, and with that freedom comes a ton of responsibility and strategy. If you really want your voice to be heard, you’re going to have to incorporate some form of marketing/social media tactics, no matter how talented of a writer you are. Especially since it’s so impossibly hard to keep somebody’s attention on the internet, let alone catch it in the first place.

I came across this fellow WordPress article by This Thing Called Fashion, and I really loved the way she summed up the whole process. I’ll also include her article link at the end of the page, if you’re interested in checking it out yourself!

First of all, the article highlights the importance of tagging businesses and people, but being sure not to do it in a spammy way. One of the quickest ways to drive away business is to over-exert yourself, because it can come across as desperate and excessive. Whenever I write an article about a well-known company or public figure, I do make a point of tagging them, but I also have to keep in mind they are not obligated to read my article. Sure, it would be an absolute honor, and it feels amazing when it happens, but it’s certainly not going to happen every time. Shoot your shot, and if your work goes unnoticed, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. People are always busy doing something else, something more important, but it doesn’t mean your work is invalid for going unnoticed.

The article also makes a great point of encouraging content creators to stay social. Collaborations, liking comments, and reaching out to your followers are a great way to engage and make them feel like their input is valued. My WordPress article is also branched out into a twitter account, an instagram page, and occasionally, I’ll share my links on my personal facebook page. You have to start making connections somewhere, social media is a great place to start. Additionally, if someone leaves a comment on one of my articles (either criticizing it or praising it), I always try to make a point of acknowledging their feedback. If people are going to take the time to leave their thoughts on my content, then I consider myself responsible to at least leave them a reply, thanking them for their words/advice. (Also, ignore the trolls! They are undeserving of your attention).

I feel like this is often ignored or forgotten, so I’m glad the original author decided to bring this up. Give credit where credit is due! Unless I am writing a personal article that completely consists of my own thoughts and feelings, I will always have at least 1-2 sources to cite. You don’t always need to plug in an official MLA citation- most of the time, a simple website link will do just fine. It’s always better to overcite and undercite in my opinion; most people won’t mind you taking inspiration from their content, as long as you give them credit where credit is due. If you don’t cite them at all, well, they’re undoubtedly bound to be pissed off with you.

Last but not least, do take time out to understand your target audience. When you have a better idea of what subjects, headlines, and pictures will draw their attention, you are subsequently improving traffic and relevance to your site. Of course, your first priority should do what makes you happy, and write about what you’re passionate about, but you’re still going to want to attract an audience to read all your hard work. Be yourself, take pride in yourself, and connect with others- the rest will come naturally and organically.

Thank you so much for reading my article. Feel free to drop your own thoughts and feelings in the comments below, and let me know your own personal idealisms you live by in your personal marketing!

Original article: https://thisthingcalledfashion.com/2019/02/04/5-social-media-marketing-dos-and-donts-from-a-freelance-social-media-consultant/

Coming up next: My Favorite Drugstore Products

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If you know me personally, then you probably know these three crucial things: I own copious amounts of fun socks, my dog is my best friend, and I’m a total book fanatic. Needless to say, I love cozying up on the couch with my dog, some socks, and a good book in my lap. Some people just can’t read the same book twice, but for me, I have no problem reading my favorite books again and again and again. The magic of being transported to another magical world just never gets old for me.

Throughout my life, dozens of books have entered and exited my bookshelf- the latter usually ending up in yard sales or in the hands of friends and family. Although my tastes have matured and changed, there are still a handful of books on my shelf that have stayed (and will stay) for the years to come. Sometimes, a story just never gets old, no matter how many years pass! Throughout my life thus far, these are some of my favorite books I’ve kept very close to my heart.

Of all the books I’ve read in my nineteen years, one of my all-time favorites is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Although the novel was published more than one hundred years ago (150, to be exact), the emotions and themes are still relevant and powerful. Little Women is a beautiful story about family, love, sisterhood, and dealing with the natural changes that come with life. I’ve always felt a very strong connection to the main heroine, Jo March; we are both ambitious writers struggling to make names for ourselves in a rapidly-changing world. It is a book, in my opinion, that every young girl should be given the opportunity to read. It was also made into a fantastic movie in 1994, which I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already.

Another book I remember fondly from my childhood is the classic 1999 novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud Not Buddy. I still remember the day I got this book in Barnes and Noble; I was about eleven years old, and my mom was very adamant about purchasing it for me. Obviously, it was a good suggestion, because that book still sits proudly on my shelf. I’ll crack it open every couple years or so, and usually finish reading it within a day or so. I love novels that revolve around the idea of a journey, both physical and emotional. Bud’s journey is nothing short of unique- somehow, we start in a garden shack infested with bats, and end surrounded my jazz musicians in Grand Rapids. It’s a book filled with humor, emotion, and rich details, and it’s guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings all the while.

Speaking of books about journeys, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a book I still buzz about to this day. If you enjoyed Because of Winn Dixie or The Tale of Despereaux, you’re bound to enjoy The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (they are, after all, written by the same author, Kate DiCamillo). It’s written beautifully, yet simple enough that even younger children can understand the story. Revolving around the life and times of an arrogant china rabbit who goes on an imperious journey around the country (world?), it’s impossible not to be enthralled in Edward’s journey and emotional development. I know it sounds strange to care so much about a china rabbit, but I guarantee you’ll feel the same way if you read the book, too. I actually started reading the book to one of my friends aloud, and according to him, he thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you lived through a public school 9th grade English class, there’s a fairly high chance you had to read The Giver. That, or you’ve almost definitely heard of the 2014 film adaption. I’m usually not interested in dystopian society novels, because I think a lot of them are either overdone or rehashed, but this one really stuck with me. The story is so singular and unusual, especially the aspects of diversity and humanity that “The Community” mercilessly destroys in the novel. It’s not something I could really sit down and read in one day- it requires quite a bit of philosophical thinking and digesting to really understand. That being said, I did really enjoy the novel. I still have it on my bookshelf, and think about the story constantly.

Anne of Green Gables, hands down, is one of my favorite novels of all time. I’ve probably mentioned it quite a few times on here, but that’s because the book has had such a substantial impact on my life. The first version of the book I owned was an illustrated young reader’s edition, and my mom used to read it to me frequently. The book’s encompassing theme is the tale of Anne’s adoption into the Cuthbert family, and her metamorphosis into a young woman. Beyond that, however, the book is filled with detailed anecdotes and stories of Anne’s beautiful, iconic life in rural Canada. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve purchased the entire Anne of Green Gables series, which is eight books in total! I also have a reprinted version of the first edition book with the original manuscript- something my mom bought me as a gift when we visited the Anne of Green Gables museum in Prince Edward Island. If you’re a fan of Anne as well, I highly recommend visiting the island and checking out all of the wonderful Anne-themed activities and places. She truly has a monopoly on the entire eastern side of Canada.

When You Reach Me is another story I’ve mentioned before in my book tag. It’d a book that I, admittedly, have quite destroyed with love and adoration. The cover sleeve is missing, the pages are ripped and dog-eared, and the inner cover has a pencil doodle in it that I’m pretty sure I made in middle school. Funnily enough, the main heroine of the story, Miranda, has a similar relationship with her favorite book (A Wrinkle in Time). One of the most unique things about this novel is that it’s written in second-person point of view; more specifically, in the form of letters to someone that’s not really revealed until the last few pages. The book also isn’t written in chapters- instead, it’s written in very short anecdote- blurbs about the events in Miranda’s life in the late 1970s. Everything about this book is interesting: the time period, the characters, and especially the writing style. I love this book just as much as I did when I was twelve, and almost eight years later, I still love it just as much.

Happy holidays, everyone! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a beautiful, relaxing day, surrounded by your friends and family. I’ll be posting on Wednesday all about my holiday and how I spent it with my family, and I’m very excited to share!

Coming up next: All about my Christmas!

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Throughout my entire life, books have been my portal into unexplored emotions and territories. The impact of books extends far beyond mere entertainment; for me (and many others), reading a book is very much like reading the soul of life. It is a way for us to learn the secrets of life that can’t be easily explained- only felt. For me, the notion that we read arranged symbols on a page and understand them is nothing short of a miracle. I cherish every remarkable book that has entered my life, and am so excited to share some of my favorites with you. This is from “The Ultimate Book Tag” by the Chapter Chicks. Enjoy!

Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Unfortunately, I do. I wish I could change that, because I tend to get incredibly bored on long car rides and public transit.

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

When I was younger, I really enjoyed a book by Rebecca Stead titled When You Reach Me. The book is written in 2nd person narrative, which is extremely unusual for a novel. Although the book is aimed for an middle school demographic, I still think about it quite a lot and remember it fondly.

Harry Potter series or the Twilight saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

I haven’t read either of them. Fantasy media usually does not appeal to me.

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books)?

I don’t carry one bag specifically designated to books- I just toss them in with my school bag. It’s not uncommon for me to have a novel or too in my bag, on top of textbooks, notebooks, and my laptop. You never know when the urge to pick up a book will strike!

Do you smell your books?

Yes! The smell of a new book is one of my favorites in the whole world.

Books with or without little illustrations?

It would depend on the genre of book, but generally, I like seeing little illustrations. It’s interesting to see the illustrator’s interpretation of the story. That was a lot of alliteration.

What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

That’s a very hard question. I don’t normally pick up books and then disregard them as “low-quality” writing, if that makes any sense. If I think of something, I’ll edit it in here.

Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

When I was in elementary school, my favorite book in the school library was Great Women in the Struggle: A Book of Black Heroes Volume II. I renewed it again and again and again, and at the end of 4th grade, I was so worried about having to return it that I considered just stealing it! Luckily, my parents stepped in and bought me my own copy for my tenth birthday- a gift I still cherish and read to this day.

What is the tiniest book on your shelf?

The Little Book of Crystals by Judy Hall.

What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

Yes, I have always since a young age identified as a writer. When I was in early elementary school, I used to fold sheets of computer in half (hamburger way), staple them, and write picture books about the goofy characters I created. From there I started writing short stories on my family computer, then poetry, and by the time I reached high school, I had written a novel. These days, I am mostly interested in writing essays and blogs about nonfiction topics. I have always wanted to be a writer for a career, in any way, shape or form I could.

When did you get into reading?

My mom used to read The English Roses by Madonna to me when I was very little. I think that’s what got me interested in character development and human archetypes as a writer, as well. I started reading obsessively in middle school when I discovered the Sammy Keyes mystery series. I still have all eighteen books on my bookshelf! I hope I will be able to pass them down to my own son or daughter someday, and that he or she will love them as much as I did.

If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

I certainly wouldn’t tell the gifter that I hated the book they gave me. What I would probably do is re-gift it to somebody else, or donate it to a library.

What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I really enjoyed the Matched trilogy when that came out. It carries the same dystopian-future vibe as The Hunger Games, but not so much Harry Potter. As I’ve said, I never read the Harry Potter series.

What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?

I’m not sure how “bad” this really is, but I can get totally obsessed and infatuated with my writing. I’ll ignore everything else I have to do for hours (or days) at a time, and just punch out as much writing as my fingers will let me.

What is your favorite word?

I don’t have a “favorite” word, but one word I use ALL THE TIME is “lovely.” That’s my go-to description word of choice. Everything is lovely to me. Also, I love using “enormously” as an adverb to describe how strongly I feel about something. I do love my blog enormously.

Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I prefer being called a nerd. Dork and dweeb both sound on the derogatory side to me.

Vampires or Fairies? Why?

As I said before, I haven’t spent a lot of time reading fantasy books. I don’t think I know enough about either to form an opinion.

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Same situation as with vampires/fairies.

Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

I love reading horror and thriller stories, so spirits all the way! I’m reading a fabulous collection of scary short stories right now called Ghostly Tales: Spine-Chilling Stories of the Victorian Age.

Zombies or Vampires? Why?

Going back to the whole horror-thing, probably zombies.

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

Forbidden love stories stress me out big time, because I get so involved in the emotions of the characters. A love triangle, on the other hand, can be very amusing!

And finally: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Definitely something action-packed! But truthfully, my favorite genre of book is a well-loved classic that resonates with the past. Books focused on the present or even the future are not appealing to me; I’d much rather get lost in a 1940s city or an 1860s farmland than a dystopian society.

If you bothered to read this far, thank you so very much! I had a lovely time filling this out and answering all the questions. I unfortunately don’t have anybody to tag, but do let me know in the comments if you decide to try this as well!

Coming up next: How to Avoid Dry Skin This Winter