Internet Etiquette, Lifestyle Blogging, and Mental Health

Last Monday (July 10th) was my husband Jim's birthday. We spent the day before grilling food, sipping drinks, playing music, and chatting with loads of new friends. Then, on his birthday, Jim and I went to our local city council meeting. Jim got up, during the questions and comments segment, and expressed his concern about the way the city government tracks and reports city wide greenhouse gas emissions. It was exactly how he wanted to spend his birthday.

I look a bit like I'm confused about his birthday activity in this photo, but in all honesty, I'm feeling guilty for not sending him an online love letter the way I've done for many years. It felt very right and important to be where we were, though.
I didn't send him Facebook or Instagram love notes on his birthday either. (To be honest, I'm very inconsistent with wishing anyone happy birthday online, anyways.) He doesn't need the expression of my love in the form of social media. He's thankful of course, but the etiquette of the internet is not something he particularly cares about.

It's gotten me thinking a lot about lifestyle blogging and internet etiquette though. The way I saw it was if the internet is your hobby then you're free to come and go as you please and you don't really owe anyone anything there, apart from your main communication and upkeep of friendships. (If I don't wish you happy birthday online, it's not a personal attack.) That's how I see it anyway. I may log out, take social media breaks, and not feel the pressure to "keep up" with it all, all the time.

What does that mean for this blog though? If you're here you're either a friend or family member looking to keep up with my life or someone who I may not know but enjoys what I write. (Either way, I'm grateful you're here.) This blog has always been a hobby that has maybe paid for a coffee or two in total over the years.

Once I started working for myself, however,  I started to evaluate my hobbies in terms of what could contribute to my income. I experimented with more "branded" blogging ideas and then I stopped blogging completely. A blog of mostly personal updates and "lifestyle" posts was a hobby I couldn't afford anymore. My mental health was suffering and I'm only now really starting to understand all of that.

After I we moved to Maryland, I thought I'd be able to jump back into this blog easily. Instead, I stopped, which also resulted in never posting our wedding photos, honeymoon photos, the photos from many of my trips to Europe, and many other things. I've said before how much I want to change that and catch up but it never happened. I got in my head, thinking no one cared and maybe no one really does to the degree I do. But as a part of dealing with my mental health, I'm going to finally get started. One of the few ways to naturally boost serotonin is remembering happy events. So get ready for my happy memories and please forgive that they are not in real time.

CampNaNoWriMo, BookTubeAThon, and Literary Soap

It's that time of the season! In this video, I chat about how CampNaNoWriMo and BookTubeAThon, are in the same month. I also show off the literary themed soap from The MacBath that I bought at VidCon. It's a no fancy lighting, no fancy lens, no makeup, no script sort of super casual vlog. I honestly need to do these types of videos more, they are so stressed free and make me remember the 'carefree YouTube days of my pre-industry existence.' (That sounded so cheesy.) If you are interested in when I (almost) completed BookTubeAThon, click here. Or if you'd rather watched the start of the time I mega-FAILED BookTubeAThon, click here.

Thank you for watching!

VidCon 2017

After a two year break, I made it back to VidCon! It was a full weekend of making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, making business contacts, laughing, learning, getting inspired, getting discouraged, walking with a cane, singing along, buying merch to support small businesses and worthy causes, and also...some video making...*cough* Oh just watch it and see what I mean.
Okay, so...looking at my footage from VidCon this year I realized that I was going to make the same video that I make every year. So I thought, why fight it? 'Anatomy of a VidCon Vlog' is a video analysis of my VidCon vlog style, and everything wrong with it. For comparison, here's VidCon 2014.

And now, on to the selfies!!!

July Goals | Halfway Through 2017

It's been a while since I actually wrote out my goals. So instead of occasionally looking at my year goals and deciding that I have all year, (the year is now half over!) I'm going to break things down monthly. So lets start with the halfway progress and move to additions for July.

Life Stuff

  •  Read (at least) 25 books.
I'm very behind, but listening to a few audio books to catch up. 
  • Shop more consciously.
    It's going well! I bought a 'Made in the USA' dress from my friend Laura's shop, Tin Lizzy.  So far that's been it but I have plans to go thrift shopping if I find I need some new summer shorts. 
    • Waste less.
        Using a lot of low packaging and reusable products...I might have to make a favorites video soon...
        • Start my journey to a capsule wardrobe.
            Hehhh, not great. I finally donated all the dresses I was trying to sell...but I got 2 new t-shirts at VidCon and that new dress. My wardrobe is not a capsule...but I do wear all my t-shirts!
            • Don't put my life on hold due to fears.
            Doing a bit better at this (it's mental health related) but it's a slow journey...

            Internet Stuff
            • Write about my 2015.
            I NEED TO DO THIS STILL!
            • Write about my 2016.
            I NEED TO DO THIS STILL!
              • (Finally) post wedding photos.
              I NEED TO DO THIS STILL!
                • *Secret* project
                Finally, something I can say I've done! It's livestreaming on Twitch and it's really fun!! 
                • Sort out my digital life. 
                NOPE. Not sure if this will ever be done tbh...

                JULY GOALS

                • Write 10,000 words of my novel for Camp NaNoWriMo
                • Read 'The Handmaid's Tale'
                • Wedding Photos
                • Summer CA Road Trip and a wedding ♥︎
                • Start at least 2 of the 12 collabs I'm working on
                • Try some watch-a-longs on with my Twitch crew (and plan the Cats one for Aug.)
                • VidCon pictures and vlog
                • Start working on the wig I was commissioned to do (and stream it via Twitch)
                The idea is to work a bit on each of these things all week. I might take to Twitter to celebrate or lament about the progress. Here's to a busy (but hopefully successful) month!