Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Truth About Why I Stopped Blogging

For the past few months, my blog posts have been sporadic, to say the least. (I averaged two posts over the last five months.) To justify this absence to myself, I chalked it up to focusing my time on other things. The day job, extra yoga classes, more travel, working towards big dreams, spending more time with friends and family. But the truth is, I was still doing all those other things back when I was blogging three to four times a week. Blogging never felt like a chore to me, I was loving it. So why did I stop?

The truth is - I felt that my blog wasn't good enough. It wasn't what I had envisioned it to be, and I felt like it may never get there. In my mind, I was striving for perfection, and it always seemed far out of reach. I hated that I never had enough "time" to devote to my website, that the design wasn't as cohesive or beautiful as I wanted it to be. The posts themselves also felt a little too rushed and unrefined, and my grammar skills weren't as up to par as I would have liked. I hated the fact that when I read back through my posts, almost every single sentence started with "I". (As you can see, I'm still having this same issue!) When I flipped through the websites of my fellow bloggers, I couldn't help making comparisons… Their web design is so beautiful! Their writing style so witty and smart! Those photographs look like something from a magazine! Look at all those comments! How did they get all those advertisers?! As a result of these silly comparisons, I ended up feeling like an amateur. 

The reason I'm writing this post is because I'm guessing (hoping), that some of you may feel the same way sometimes. And it may not be just about blogging. Holding back on this blog has made me reflect on the other areas I've been holding back on in my life. Instead of just giving up on this blog, I could have kept striving to make it better. I could have acknowledged how awesome it already was. How much it had grown from where it first began. I could have felt grateful for the awesome community that blogging has opened up to me. I could have had the confidence to believe that this website could live up to my vision. 

Confidence is the key word here. I've never thought of myself as someone with low self-esteem or a lack of confidence, but lately I've realized I could be doing better in this department. I may appear confident on the outside, but inside, I've got a whole lot of doubt and fear going on. It's something I've decided to acknowledge and work on. I'm currently reading The Confidence Code, and it's made me realize that it is not super-intelligence, or genius-level talent, that helps people land their "dream job" or design their "dream life" - it's confidence. And it's something I think we could all use more of. Let's be real, those bloggers with 50K followers? They feel the same exact way sometimes. 

The other key word here is action. Those bloggers with a zillion followers didn't just "get lucky", they worked really hard to provide quality content and grow their readership. They work hard now to maintain it. Some of them had been blogging for several years already before they starting gaining a large following. And maybe you've noticed, they are almost always bringing something new to the table.  

"Luck" is not a word that I believe in. I believe in ambition, focus, hard work, and imagination. Call me an idealist, but I truly feel that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. I also think it is so important to reflect on what you've already accomplished. Sometimes we just don't give ourselves the credit we deserve!

Oh, and if you are suffering from a lack of confidence and need a little pick-me-up? When in doubt, buy an awesome hat, or any type of "look at me!" headwear (a crown would work really well if you're feeling particularly brave or fashion-forward). I purchased the hat in the photo above during our recent New Zealand/Australia trip, and something about it just made my confidence level sky rocket. I think it was the beautiful peacock feather pin that was attached. Peacocks are really confident creatures. ;)

I'd love to keep this conversation going in the comments section! I'll be back around the blog more frequently now (although maybe not 4 times a week), and I always love to hear from you. Drop me an email, or catch up with me on Instagram, Steller, and Twitter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Steller Summer

As my blog hiatus continues, I've been finding other ways to get my social media fix…and Steller has quickly become my new favorite app for creative social networking and photo-sharing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it's a "storytelling" app.  Like Instagram, you can share your photos, but unlike Instagram, your photos don't become "one-hit wonders". You create your "story" using a group of photographs, and arrange it in a "book' format, into which you can also add video and text. Your stories get saved in "collections" of your choosing. To see what I mean, check out my Summer Adventures collection. 

I just love how creative you can get with this app! It makes so much more sense for me to tell my travel stories via Steller. To see influential bloggers using this app to share their stories is pretty inspiring too. While I love the advantage it offers to adventure-bloggers, I also love how all different types of bloggers/makers are using it to share recipes, showcase their photography skills, show off their style, sell their products, or even tell a story about a group of fellow creatives. 

If you're like me, and downloaded this app months ago, but have yet to try it out…now's the time to do it. Last week Steller announced some big updates, including the ability to add hashtags within a story and in the comment section. It's easier than ever to search and connect with other users, so why not start connecting? I'd love to read your stories. You know where I'll be

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Big Dreams and the Big 3-0

Is it the end of July already? Where has the summer gone?! You may have noticed my little seasonal hiatus from blogging, and if you're still following, THANK YOU! I'm officially back for good. If you're new to my blog, check in here

This summer so far has been wonderful, and jam-packed with fun adventures. The majority of my weekend hours have been spent outdoors, and I haven't opened my laptop in months. (Which feels pretty awesome by the way. Give it a try if you're someone like me who's constantly hooked to technology). But the truth is, I've missed you guys, and I've really missed blogging. 

I'll spare you all the details of the past couple months (although if you're interested in following my adventures, check out the photo-story on Instagram), but I will tell you the defining moment - turning 30. 

Ok, turning 30 is not that big of a moment, and if you're in your 30s or above, you probably already know that. If you're not yet, rest assured, it's not that serious. I never made a 30 before 30 list, and I made it through ok. 

The reason I never wrote the oh-so-popular 30 before 30 list, is because I feel pretty good about what I've accomplished in my 20s. Sure, there are more things I could have done, but there's also a lot less. No regrets.

Although I did spend the better half of my 29th year reflecting a lot on this "big" birthday  - not so much reflecting on what I've done in the previous decade, but what I want to do in the next one. Like my blog header says, I'm a "dreamer", and the best part about turning 30 so far is….my dreams have only gotten bigger. 

Dreamers sometimes get a bad rep, and I think that's something a lot of creative people can relate too. To counteract the negativity towards dreamers, I love these words by Vera Nazarian: 

"It is interesting that we call something good a "dream," but being called a "dreamer" is somewhat of a putdown….. Without dreamers, no dream would ever be given reality, and we would live in a very small and shallow world….. If you are a secret dreamer, it's time to announce yourself."

My challenge to myself in my 30th year is to be unafraid to share my dreams with others, and to act on them. To act on them without hesitation or doubt. To act on them with confidence. Are you with me? What are some of your dreams? 

One of my big dreams is to travel the world. I've been doing it little by little, and I plan to do even more traveling in my 30s. My goal for this blog is to make it more travel-focused. I hope that's something you'll enjoy, but in the meantime, I'll still be writing about dreamy stuff too. 

{The photograph in this post was taken by one of my fellow creatives, who happens to have a great eye for portraiture, Tracey Wei}

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

Just a quick note to say, "Have a wonderful weekend!" My blog's been taking a bit of side-seat lately, and this beautiful weather has me forgoing post-writing and photo-editing, in exchange for just being outdoors and enjoying the weekends. It's nice to step away from the computer for a couple of days, and just embrace the moments, without feeling like I have to document everything I do. 

Blogging is awesome, but it's only a tiny reflection of our lives. What would there be to blog about, if we weren't out there just living

Enjoy it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Questions & Answers

Much thanks to Charlotte for tagging me, and for asking some great questions! I love these Q&A's, it's a great way to gain a little insight on your favorite bloggers, and to discover some new ones. A little while back this type of post was called the "Liebster Award"

And my questions are:
1. What is/was your biggest dream? 
2. What's your favorite quote?
3. Where have you been and where are you going?
4. What/who inspires you?
5. If you had to write a motto to describe the way you live your life, what would it be?
6. Any hidden talents?
7. Favorite outdoor activity?
8. Favorite thing about being a blogger?
9. Homemade dinner or take-out? 
10. Favorite book?
11. What is the best thing that happened to you today?

Rules: Link back to the blogger that nominated you. Answer the 11 questions requested by the nominator. Choose up to 11 nominees (if you want to) with a small following (could be less than 200 or less than 2,000). You cannot nominate the person who nominated you. You must let the bloggers know they were nominated.

Disqus for Melinda's Musings


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