Category Archives: Blogging

Finding YOU: Rediscovering your writing voice

Finding YOU: Rediscovering your writing voice

Okay folks, it’s story time. When I started blogging over 10 years ago at Crestfallen, I blogged about anything, but that anything was told in a voice that was dark, cynical, and most times, sarcastic. Yes, I was a Debbie Downer for a good chunk of my time at Crestfallen (and that was a good 6 years before I rebranded…if you even want to call it that). But sometimes I was able to make light of it. I mean, being asked if I masturbate by a psychiatrist? At the time, it was WTF worthy. These days, it’s kinda funny albeit creepy. At that point of time, whether or not it was the writing voice I wanted, it was the voice that I portrayed.

Then I found out that I can make money off my hobby. I mean, it took several years after my mental breakdown to find a job that was legal and paid. It wasn’t much, but at the time I was living at home. It was enough to feed my blogging addiction and love for journals and video games. Some things never change. That is, except my voice. While I was trying to make peanuts off my hobby, I slowly lost a sense of me. At that point, I was writing more sponsored posts than actual posts that were me. Or, in some cases, I would dig further down and try to be creative with these sponsored posts. At first it worked. At least I thought it did. But for this certain company, which will remain unnamed, it became repetitive. Even as a non-niche blog, you can only write so much about diet pills and guitars. I lost so much of my original writing voice, that I ended up sounding almost robotic.

I ended up not having as much passion for blogging, or writing for that matter. Essentially, I was so desperate for some form of income (and trust me, it definitely helped a bit when the little one came!) that I just said “screw my writing voice, I’m getting paid now!”

When, in actually, I really wasn’t, and I was sacrificing me. My writing, my voice, me.

So what went wrong in getting paid and keeping my writing voice?

  • I felt that the real voice of mine would have been undesirable to brands. I happen to like the F bomb. I happen to use said word a lot. Let’s face it, excessive swearing is looked down on as unprofessional. Me, trying to play a wolf in sheep’s clothing, said “okay, let’s cut down on the swearing because it’s unprofessional and unintelligent”. Yeah, fuck that shit.
  • I was asked to review things that I’ve never even used. How the hell does one review things that you have never used? You…don’t? I’ve reviewed things where I actually had the tangible item. This doesn’t apply to those couple of reviews. But I remember when I was working with this particular company, some of these would be reviews of PVC pipes. I am far from a handywoman. In fact, I went to pull weeds and broke out in hives1, if you want to see where I stand at home improvement. Writing a review on something you have never received? That’s like saying you love curried goat but never actually ate goat. In all seriousness, I don’t mind writing reviews, but please…give me the damn product.
  • I became what I hated about other blogs who blogged for money. Some bloggers who do this for monetary gain do it well. They aren’t pushy, and you can see them even though they get ad revenue. Then there are others where there was nothing but ads. Even trying to be creative, it was downright blatant. And…I saw it happening to me. I did sponsored posts 90% of the time because at this point, I didn’t even think I was interesting. I did it just so I can get my paycheck. There was very little me in those posts. And even when I did do something that I wasn’t getting paid for, it was lackluster. Which brings me to my next point…
  • I burned out. I realized that I was pimping out my blog like a bad pimp. In doing it, I burned myself out from my actual purpose. I wanted to make money off my hobby, but I didn’t want to do it this way. But at the same time, thinking about the how burned me out. So…I quit blogging for money for the time being, and thought that taking that piece off would help rekindle my flame for blogging and writing in general. It didn’t. In fact, it took years to actually find my mojo. Then I did. Sorta. My mission was clear, but I was still feeling the burnout. Something had to give.

Then I made this post. It was something that I had to address. I wasn’t in love with what I did, and I needed to find that again. So I joined a 6-week mentorship class held by Julie, which helped massively even with my overwhelms in the midst. Now the ball was rolling. I now had my purpose. I wanted to blog again. I wanted to make money doing it. But I wanted to go about it another way that didn’t sell me short. I didn’t want my blog to be a low-class whore anymore. I wanted it to be a high-class escort if anything. Then someone by the name of Allison from Wonderlass came into my life. She also likes helping others build their blogging business. Something about her tone of voice gravitated to me.

Then I saw this post. Wait…did she just drop the F bomb? SHE FREAKING DROPPED THE F BOMB! That isn’t the only reason why I fell in love with her, I promise. She just had this tone and I simply said: “That is how I’m going to get me back”.

“Why the fuck not me?” indeed. So hi. I’m Natalie, but you can call me Nat or Nama. I am a creative mind who now knows exactly what she’s gonna do. My tone is mainly sarcastic, but believe it or not, I can be raw and from the heart through it all. I am a writer first and foremost. Writing has always been my happy. Hell, creating has always been my happy. I want to help not only myself, but others find their passion through creating. Whether it be writing, which is my main shtick, or digital drawing, which I dabble in once in a while, I want to help you find your voice. Your happy. Your me. Yes, my voice may be intense. I swear, maybe sometimes a little too much even for me. But it comes from the heart. There is passion behind these words. Is there passion behind yours?

By the way...
So here’s the deal: in an attempt to find my writing voice as intended, I found a way to spell out the what’s, why’s, and how’s. What is my writing voice? Why am I not using it? How the hell can I fix this? And that, my friends, is why I have this worksheet for you! You can print as many as you need out to find your writing voice once again! All you need to do is subscribe to me!
  1. Due to allergies, not nerves

Quality or Quantity: The Age-Old Question

Quality or Quantity: The Age-Old Question

When I first started blogging actively back in 2004, I blogged pretty often. It was, at the time, mainly a way to keep sane, and to keep writing. I talked about my day, talked about friends, talked about my…interesting encounters with my psychiatrists, just to name a few. Yeah, I literally talked about everything; I was the epitome of non-niche at the time. One of the things that I didn’t find until well into my blogging career was balance of quality or quantity.

Quality or Quantity? That is the question.

Blogging back then, from my point of view, wasn’t all about getting brands to like you. Hell, it wasn’t entirely about the writing at all; my blogroll was akin to a virtual fashion show of who had the best designs (most of which would have caused cease and desist letters if they were done today) and a post a day about what happened at lunch at school. I wish I could say this was an exaggeration, but in many cases it wasn’t.

Back then, it was the amount of comments that got you noticed, not necessarily the content. It was a plus if you had really good shit to give away to others, but the blog itself, for some, was secondary, not primary. A good friend of mine, Mimi was a pixeling queen. I think I still have the icon she made for me so many moons ago. She’s an example of where quality vs quantity comes in; she didn’t blog or create as much, but when she did, it was quality.

For me, I tried to keep up with the graphical Joneses and always fell short. I learned a little bit after keeping up on my last blog to exploit the hell out of my strengths, which…was always writing. And thus I did; I got rid of my “content” page, which was nothing more than crappy layout designs that would have gotten me cease and desist letters, and worked feverishly on getting my writing page up. And I did.

Skip back to a few days ago. I was answering a few questions about blogging on a Facebook group I’m in, and one of the questions that always comes up is “how often should I blog?” It’s a very valid question, indeed. I’ve even asked myself this question a few times. If you haven’t noticed, I try to blog at least twice a month. I want to make it more often, but at the same time I have to ask myself if it’d hurt my quality. I am a firm believer that if you have less, but this “less” is really good “less” then it’s perfectly fine. On the other hand, there is a possibility of this “less” not being very good. Like for example: just having a one-line post. I’m guilty of doing this in the past1.

Inversely, “more” isn’t necessarily a good thing either. Posting 5 times a day and not having anyone read it isn’t gonna do you any good. Think…balance.

quality or quantity: balance

Back when I used to post entries like this one, the last thing on my mind was “hey, this isn’t something that anyone would want to read”. Hell, I’m not gonna even lie, I cringed at how unfocused I was back then. Just think: 4 posts like this, within a space of a few days. Quality or quantity? I chose quantity.

Fast forward to these days, where I am still non-niche for the most part, but I toned down the angst, turned up the sarcasm, and narrowed down my thoughts. Then I found myself asking that question again. Once again, I had to think from a blogger who wants to make this her full-time gig and not just a therapeutic outlet for me to spew shit all the time–literally and figuratively. I also had to think from a blogger who now has a full plate and still wants room for desert. Back in 2003, I only had to worry about getting to the dining hall before 6:30 on Sundays and getting up for classes. I didn’t have a 4-year-old, a quasi-husband, a full-time job, bills…you get the idea. Not to mention time for me, because that’s still important too.

To avoid burnout, which is a real thing, I settled on trying to post something once a week, give or take. Some months, I’m off by a couple (like this month). I believe that posting for the sake of posting because I’m “due” for a new entry would cause my quality going down. Yes, my entries are somewhat longer now, but are of substance. Or at least I think and hope they are. Quality or quantity? I choose quality. But whatever you choose is up to you.

How often do you blog?

By the way...
By the way, if you like what I write, why not consider subscribing to me? You get monthly digest emails and maybe some random free stuff in the future! Feel free to follow me on social media as well!
  1. Okay, so that was two lines…sue me

The Non-Niche Blogger: Yes, there is such a thing

The Non-Niche Blogger: Yes, there is such a thing
The Non-Niche Blogger

Edit:I just realized that the subscription wasn’t sending out the welcome emails like I thought. I’m still a nubbiscuit at Mailchimp! It should be fixed now!

A fact about this non-niche blogger: when I first started blogging, I had no direction. Not even kidding; I blogged more often, but it wasn’t about anything in particular. Now, while I do blog about anything within reason, there is some kind of focus. No, I don’t necessarily just post about parenthood. No, I don’t necessarily just post about how to find your happy. No, I don’t necessarily just post about gaming (although I keep most of that on another blog). I am a woman of many interests, and while I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of main topics in comparison to its predecessors, I still haven’t quite gotten it right.

And I’m actually okay with that.

Angie, a good friend of mine for umpteen years1, started a link-up a couple of years ago called Nix Niches. The true lifestyle blogger population was dwindling, and she started the link-up in hopes to connect with other lifestyle bloggers who chose not to niche themselves. Due to life happening, it has been put on hold. More often than not, through groups or otherwise, I’ve found more people who are fashion bloggers than those who don’t mind spilling their hearts about real-life things. Not that fashion isn’t real life, but…

What is comes down to is passion. If that means being non-niche, so be it.

If you have a passion for something, it comes more naturally. I love blogging, however, I don’t have a passion for just one topic. I happen to have a passion for a couple. “But…brands like niches!” And yes, they probably do. But not having a particular niche can open you up to more opportunities. You can still make it work for you. Don’t feel that you have to fall into just one.

With that being said, I’ve decided to start a group that targets the non-niche blogger. It is simply called The Non Niche Blogger. Who would benefit from this group?

  • Those who enjoy blogging about more than one topic. Does this mean that niche bloggers are banned? Not at all!
  • Those who need that moral support. Here, I hope that people will ask for advice and engage with each other to help make each other grow as a blogger.
  • Those who want to share what they do…without being pressured into like-for-likes.Like-for-likes don’t particularly work. We want to connect with other bloggers either on a personal level or a business partnership level. To achieve this, engagement with other bloggers is imperative. If you’re looking for quality engagement rather than just a number, this is for you.

What is the price of this? Zilch. You simply just need to sign up to the group. You will get access to the group, which is on Facebook, and you’ll get a digest e-mail bi-monthly. I am also looking for a couple of admins to help make this group kick so much ass that the asses won’t feel themselves for months.

Okay, that joke was bad and I should feel bad. I kinda do.

By the way...
By the way, if you like what I write, why not consider subscribing to me? You get monthly digest emails and maybe some random free stuff in the future! Feel free to follow me on social media as well!
  1. Over 10 years, she was one of my first friends through blogging

Flashback: Blogging Origins

Flashback: Blogging Origins

Some people like paper, others prefer the computer. Whatever the case may be, letting out your feelings through words is always a good thing. I prefer blogging.

As you may know, I have been blogging for over 10 years now. In those 10 years, I have had 5 domain names, two livejournals, and a couple of other blogs. In those 10 years, I have evolved from a fresh-out-of-high-school angst-filled teenager with a passion for theater to a college-bound young adult…with a passion of theater to a woman with some of the darkest times of her life growing her into what you see on Namari now.

So how did Namari’s roots begin? I suppose I can give a more detailed (and hopefully interesting) story about how I started blogging.
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