5 Years on WordPress!

It has been 5 years since I imported a year’s worth of teenage rant from another blog hosting website to this one.

It has been 5 years since I made myself a promise that this will be the last personal blog I’ll ever create, but will maintain until I have grand kids of my own.

It has been 5 years since I have been completely mesmerized by WordPress‘ UI, themes, follow-worthy bloggers and user-friendliness that I never thought of trying out something else. I couldn’t be more content.

I still remember blogging in the wee hours of the night in the study hall of my college dormitory in between studying and prying into juicy celeb life online. And I also prayed I won’t see any dead nuns’ ghosts floating around the halls because that dorm stood there long before my mother went to the same university 3 decades before I did.

Although it didn’t take that long for me to fall in love with writing, it’s still quite a feat to look back and see that it has been a decade and a half since I realized I indeed love to write; and eventually poured my heart out and published my very first informal entry into a web full of strangers and readers that hid behind gravatars and anonymity. It also amazes me to have witnessed how simple, personal blogging evolved and continues to evolve  into what is now considered profitable writing and personal branding. Who knows what blogging will be like in the next 5 years? That, I’m looking forward to be a witness of again!

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So for now, I’ll enjoy the moment and celebrate the “wooden” anniversary of my blog! Can I get a high 5?

P.S. Credits to Jonathan Lavender for the super awesome hand illustrations above.

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Blogging 201 / Day1: Goal Setting

I can’t believe I only found out about this now, but still, I’m so glad I signed up just in time before the course started.

I’ve been a really bad employee yet again today but a great multi-tasker (which may either be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it) and have been browsing stuff at work, while still working at the same time.

I checked my emails and saw that the course actually starts today and I got the first ever task which also includes tagging everything we’ll be writing under “blogging201”. So there I was, itching to write about the first task on my blog, but since I’m not that good of a multi-tasker, I decided just to read everyone’s goals first.

So I did and got to interact with a couple of bloggers and even gained 1 new follower. How exciting was that? Anyway, I think I would really love this course and I can’t wait to learn more. For now, just to set my mind on what I would be working on for the next 2 weeks, here are my 3 little goals:

  1. Just like everyone here, I would also like to increase readership mainly just to connect and learn more from them, so my first goal is to increase traffic and get about 15 new followers (same goes for my 2 other blogs) by the end of October and get about 3-5 people to like or comment on each post by the end of the year! Seems realistic? I hope so!
  2. Next goal is to get myself to start a new weekly series or 2 and make them more engaging and fun not only for readers but for me too! (Goal also includes looking for a new blog series or making one myself).
  3. Last of all, which I think I got from reading people’s goals today (or yesterday), is to follow 2-3 new and inspiring bloggers per week and to get myself to interact with them when I can.

That’s it! So one last thing is to post these goals some place where I can see them all the time!

Life Lately: Keeping the Flame Alive

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I’ve been spending more time reading, the past couple of days or make that weeks, actually. It has come to the point where I’d rather read what other people have to say than get what I have brewing in my own mind out there.

I read these amazing essays and articles all the time, and I get overwhelmed by my own stirred up thoughts and emotions, so obviously, I do want to get those out too, but when I try to write them down, they all just suddenly disappear. Does that mean anything? I’m not sure. Did I lose motivation or inspiration to write or to even do anything? I guess. Am I too tired to even think that writing is therapeutic and that it can actually help me wind down and just clear my head of these thoughts? Definitely not!–which is why I’m getting out of this rut and doing myself a favor by putting into words what I’ve been meaning to.

Anyway, I decided I needed to finish the 30 Day Writing Challenge, no matter how ambitious it has become for me. I also want to start on this project (also related to writing) I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time now. I wouldn’t say it won’t be something I might lose interest in doing in the long run because I have been on this road before and you know where that led to. Looking on the bright side though, if this works out, it should serve its purpose, which is to help someone who may be in dire need of I don’t know, an anonymous friend? Any clue what it might be?

I also signed up for 2 courses this week. One is a free course offered by The Nectar Collective called Social Media Superhero, which I fortunately didn’t miss on my email (otherwise I would’ve been moping in a corner by now). Feel free to join too if you’re interested to “learn how to use social media to increase your income, grow your online presence, and build a likable online brand”.

The other one will be a 4-week course created by Sofia Cope called the Open Art School (which I was glad I saw on my email as well). Tagline says “IT’S TIME TO PUT YOUR PASSION FIRST AND START SHIPPING YOUR ART (WITHOUT SELLING YOUR SOUL).”

These should be intimidating but sure as hell as fun! I can’t wait! Last time I enrolled for an art course was 2 years ago (Stefano Mirti’s Design 101) and it was similar to Sofia’s, except that it took 3 months/101 days to complete.

I may really have lost inspiration to do something about my passion so I’m working hard to get that back one step at a time. I still owe Elle Luna a lot for igniting the fire in me to get back on track in pursuing what I believe my heart, mind and soul all thirst for. So big thanks and a pat on the back for that!

Then there’s Abbey Sy, who like most accomplished artists, created a way to share and teach her passion to aspiring hand letterers by creating her own book!

There are a lot more artists I really look up to like the lovely Googley Gooeys, the creative The Postman’s Knock, the inspiring Aida Azlin and Susannah Conway, the analogue ladies Katie and April, the hardworking Jim Black and the rest of them who have continued to support and inspire fellow artists through their work and passion.

I should write a separate entry for all of them as these words are not enough to acknowledge the hard work they do for their followers. They all deserve recognition for what they have done. Cheers! 🙂

It’s been 4-5 hours since I started writing this and I can’t say I didn’t miss this because I did! I’m so glad I still have so much to be thankful for despite having lost a lot. I’m terribly lost in life, but I’m glad I still get to find my way back every time I trudge a little further away from the path leading to where I need and want to be.

I’m also glad I have finally written something after so long!

I was watching the movie “The River Wild” starring Merryl Streep and Kevin Bacon and I remember watching this when I was younger than half my age now and I also did not forget how it felt as intense as it was when I saw it again earlier this afternoon. It was such an incredible, fist-clenching, teeth-gritting, old school film that I’m glad I’ve seen and would be happy to watch over and over again in the future. It was exciting as it was inspiring. I love good, old movies with stories that bring back broken families together.

Speaking of inspiring, I’d like to share something I read this morning that I couldn’t shake off my mind. It was from MEDIUM, written by Nic Haralambous:

“How do you know what you want to do if you don’t know what’s out there to do?”

I don’t know how this could work for me as I’ve never been anywhere out of my comfort zone in a long time, but I’m hoping it is the answer to what I’ve been looking for. I’m hoping I could go out into the world by myself and see how it could bring out the best in me and what I really want to do in life. #soulsearching 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Not that you care, I know, but I’m #justsaying.

P.S. I found it funny how Saab used one too many hashtags on an entry and I thought it’s actually a good idea, being a fan of OA hashtags myself. Ktnxbye!

30 Day Writing Challenge: DAY 13

What are you excited about?

I’ve actually written a draft for this entry a couple of days ago, but I’ll scratch that and start over since I was a bit down then and it wouldn’t have been as exciting.

Looking back at the past few days, I have always thought that going home from work was the most exciting part of the day for me, but hey, right before this week ended, God gave me 3 things to look forward to doing/having, but I’ll just talk about the first two for now!

1) First, there’s my very own copy of Abbey Sy‘s first book, “The ABCs of Hand Lettering“! YAAAY!!! I was very excited when I got her newsletter, but it also got me a bit worried since I knew that I had to wait for payday before I could buy the book, and in my mind, I was panicking because I knew it would sell out in a jiffy. Come Wednesday afternoon last week, right after work, my feet were itching to rush to the nearest National Bookstore, in Robinsons Galleria, and true enough, the book was sold out. The last copy they had was reserved for another hand lettering hopeful. So I asked if they still had copies of the book in their Megamall branch and I was relieved to have a peek at the screen where it says that they still have about 30+ copies there. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to purchase the book that same day because I didn’t want to go all the way back to Megamall. You could just imagine how big of a sacrifice that was for me, to wait another day before buying the book! It was indeed “delayed gratification” in the scariest possible way. I had to trust God that a copy would be waiting for me the next day. I rushed to Megamall right after I got off work the next day and went straight to the arts and crafts section. When I didn’t find it there, I had to think where the Summit Books usually were and I was right, when I turned around, lo and behold, the books were sitting right across from where I was and no, I didn’t even wait for everything to go into slow motion and grabbed one immediately!  Haha! Anyway, to cut the already long story short, I finally got one and now, I can’t wait to practice and develop my own style in hand-lettering! Again, Thank you Abbey!

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Why doesn’t the embed option for Instagram work on WordPress? Anyway…

2) Another thing I’m excited about is another book, or two. Yes, books! Again! I have never been this excited about books since the great Books for Less Escapade last year and my quest for a copy of Alexa Chung‘s book, “It“, half a year ago. This one is different and much exciting though, because I won Hayfamegashi’s book giveaway! Last time I won something from an online giveaway (despite joining so many) was back in 4th year college. It was a pen from one of my favorite bloggers/photographers/artists/fashionistas, Aida Azlin. Back then, she was still in college too, I think, and was just starting out. Now she’s married and has her own online shop and a bigger blog that I’m still currently subscribed to. I won this pretty pen, but what I liked more was the envelope. I couldn’t believe it was possible to ship that fast from where she was to my house and that the envelope came all the way from another country, from someone I look up to a lot! P.S. I had to look through tons of laptop selfies and groupfies to find these photos. I thought I’ve written an entry for this pen giveaway back in 2011 but I didn’t, so thanks again, Aida, for this!

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I’m a sucker for anything handwritten and snailmailed and analog and artsy, but I’ll talk about that on another post.

Anyway, back to this book giveaway. Hayfa Megashi sent me a message through tumblr that I won and I couldn’t believe it at first, but when I realized that it’s real but it was too late for me to respond, I snapped out of the trance I was in, sent back a message and now, I have finally chosen 2 books under £10. I couldn’t be more excited!!! I needed this, so thank you Hayfa and happy birthday!! I thank God too for all these little blessings. 🙂

So, what are the 2 books I requested for? Well, I’ll blog about them soon. Currently, there seems to be a little problem with Paypal, but I hope this gets approved soon! **Crosses fingers**

Why I Blog

When I first created a blog, I think I was in grade school and I did it because my friends were doing it. It was a fad which I liked to be a part of. I also did it because I loved reading other people’s blogs and commenting on their issues and opinion and just dropping by to flood their tagboards. Yep, blogdrive probably was the only one that offered that feature and it was home to my first blog. 

When I created that blog, it was also for the fact that I wanted a place online where I could rant about my life, talk about my crushes and the “silay moments” we had back then. I don’t know if people from co-ed schools or kids these days still call it that too, but yeah, back in the day, in my all-girls’ Catholic school, we call it silay. It’s Filipino for “catching a glimpse of”, or something like that. And it’s what we do back then to our crushes and yep, I repeat, I’m from an all-girls’ school. 

We would all be excited during gatherings like first Friday Mass celebrations, or flag ceremonies, student council elections or during our school fairs because those were perfect opportunities for catching a glimpse of our crushes. Sometimes, we could also be stalking them, which only comes with great courage and crazy friends. 

So most of the time, my entries would circle around our crushes if not on classmates I used to hate.

Come high school, I was surprised I still kept one, and another one and another one. I learned about other blog hosting sites and tried them all. I found my first ever blog idol, Bianca G and her then college adventures and I kept mine trying to save all the memories I had, good or bad. I think it was also the time I started trying to write in English, but I thought that I was trying too hard so I just maintained it in a Taglish format. I also visited strangers’ blogs and had them visit mine. It helped me gain anonymous friends whom shared their opinion and sympathy, which I welcomed wholeheartedly.

Then came college when I still had a few Taglish entries, but thinking that this could help me practice my writing, I started writing in English. Looking back (since I still have them here), I realized how much I’ve changed and how much I haven’t. I found things I have completely forgotten and things that still haunt me to this day. 

So I realized, my purpose for keeping this blog is not to gain followers or readers, but to keep a journal where I can write the things I want to remember the most, or to have an escape from the real world. I also realized that I need this because it acts as my very own pensieve just like what Dumbledore kept in his office, to get all the excess thoughts and memories out of my head and into a written form which I can visit again whenever I want to. I love going back to the times I have written my entries every once in a while. It is like traveling back in time and remembering the sights, sounds and most importantly, the feeling. It truly is like a pensieve, isn’t it?

It is funny though that no matter how completely true and honest I am here, I never want anyone I know to find out about this blog, at least not those who would violently react to my opinion, issues and most importantly to my love story (which I do write about, a lot, no holds barred). This is my safe place and as ironic as it sounds, strangers are welcome here, but the people closest to me are not. Although somehow, I just wish that they’d find it and see how much I admire, respect and love them, which isn’t any less than I admire, respect and love another person in my life right now. 

In line with this, I’ve been thinking of keeping another journal, but this time, a real one. I’d still find time pouring my heart out here, but I’d like to take things to the next level (though I don’t exactly know how that is a step higher than blogging). Somewhere I can be more creative and personal in and somewhere I can truly “write” on. I started drooling on this idea when I saw Chynna Ortaleza‘s mixed media journal on tv and began looking up art journals online. 

Here are a few ones I loved:

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tumblr_n84eeucqsj1qzms0qo1_400These first two I reblogged on tumblr and when I found his/her flickr page, there were so much more art to drool on! So beautiful.

tumblr_n7u6dt79301qzms0qo1_400This next art journalist I also found on tumblr, but when I saw her photostream on flickr as well, I knew, she was someone I would follow online from now on. She is like what it says there, a real craft junkie!

tumblr_n9r6kvbYaj1qzms0qo1_400I feel so pathetic not doing art journals early on in life. The next one is also a very creative art journalist named Tracy and her flickr page is a witness to that. 

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This last one is also an art journalist I only found out about now, and I’m glad that he/she has a wordpress account too. He/she is Casey Nelson and I’m really excited to learn a lot about art journaling from her/him.

I can’t wait to get started. I found lots of tumblr accounts on art journaling and like learning about the snail mail revolution, my mind is blown.

Writing is not as easy for me as for the real writers. I guess I found it easier to keep a blog than a journal because it’s easier to edit and re-edit your entries. Unlike in blogging, real writing would be awfully tragic once you find the grammatical errors after. So good luck to me! Here’s to another artsy and crafty adventure!!