Things I Was Doing When I Was Supposed To Be Blogging

girl-writing-on-bed

I really hate when people take a blogging hiatus and are like, “OMG I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged in long time. Like so sorry. Sorry I wasn’t there to write things down for you. Sorry.” Like it’s okay? We survived without you? We didn’t even notice?

Which is why I’m kind of rebranding this post as a “First Quarter of the Year” favorites because let’s be real – I haven’t been posting because I’ve had better things to do than talk about myself on the Internet. Here’s a sampling of things I’ve been doing that I’ve been obsessed with for the past few months:

Writing for Spire&Co.

spire-and-co-header
The design stylings of Hannah Ziegler, Spire’s creative director.

Spire&Co is a pretty fucking awesome website that I’m the living editor for (like the editor for the living section. Not the editor that is living compared to all the ones that are dead. Don’t be so morbid, guys!).

Mostly I just write and pitch a ton of article every month and watch every other contributor slay at their craft, too. At first glance, Spire&Co (formerly The Smart Girls Group) kind of looks like the child of Her Campus, and sure, they’re kind of similar (colorful, target demo of 18-24 females), but this site has a lot of its own unique stuff to offer.

Spire&Co is was founded by Queen Emily Raleigh after she wrote a rad book for her sister to help guide her through high school. Since then she’s worked hard on this company that seeks to help every girl use her own awesomeness to conquer all of her goals.

Whether she wants to run a marathon or run for President, we want to help her get there through content, community, and collaboration (the three Co’s “Spire & Co”).

Dancing with DanceWorks Boston.

It’s never been a secret that dance is my one true love. What made me feel better graduating college was knowing that this wasn’t the end of dance and I, not by a longshot. After school ended and I moved past Assumption College Dance Team, I joined DanceWorks Boston, this huge company run for professional working peeps who are still looking to dance at a high caliber.

My co-captain from ACDT does it with me, as do four other girls who used to dance on the team. Besides them, DWB has given me an amazing little dance family, and a dance-filled escape twice a week.

Finding something like DWB, a place where you can continue your passion with other like-minded adults, is the key to entering grown-up society. It gets me up and moving in my desk job living, has introduced me to fellow grown-ups, and given me a way to keep doing something that I love and that makes me feel young (lol… I’m 23). #DWBLove

dance-works-boston-cast
Matt Ziegler photo. No relation to Hannah, I don’t think. Funny, huh?

Watching Gilmore Girls. 

Awk that I’d never watched this before.

A ton of the Spire girls are super into this show, and I was really feeling like I’d missed out on some fundamental part of being a millennial, so I popped it onto my Netflix about a month ago and haven’t stopped watching.

Writing in a journal.

I posted at the start of the new year that I wanted to figure myself out as a writer, so I decided to keep a journal to work out my style a little more. Thoughts and feelings and (probably) unpopular opinions are kept in that thing, and it’s been the best thing for me. I haven’t just been honing my craft, but been reflecting on what I want to do with my life and what kind of vibe I want to put out in the universe.

Something that’s been making me sad lately is the surge of websites that thrive off of personal essays. Some of these essays are super important – this one written by an actual person who lives in Flint right now is a great example of that. But unfortunately, a vast majority of these personal essay websites are just housing trash.

I’m not here to call out a specific website or a specific author or a specific article, but I do want to touch on this really quickly before I end this post. If you write for a website that takes your personal essays (especially if they’re not paying you), please be careful of what you’re writing. Please don’t just think, oh this is controversial so the editors will like it because it will generate outrage/traffic.

Your editors will like it, but they won’t care about how you’re selling yourself in the long-term, and they certainly will not share their spoils with you. You need to think about that. Is it worth it? I’ve decided that no, it’s not.

In fact, I’ve even been scared to apply for jobs because some of my trashy stuff is still so high up in my portfolio; I’m still working on curating enough quality reporting to try and hide some of my dumber stuff.

It’s tricky, because these kinds of websites are such a new thing, and really look like a great get famous quick plan for writers. I know I thought that. Sometimes I still think that.

And I know that it seems like putting on your resume that you generated thousands of page views on your ~*controversial*~ post will get you hired, but when a hiring manager sees that you wrote something racist/sexist/not PC/really not well thought out, they’re going to think twice. They’re going to think, oh wow do I really want to hire this person who blatantly sold him/herself out just to get page views rather than take the time to do good reporting?

Because good, non-trashy op-eds do exist. Just look at the op-ed section of the New York Times or Washington Post or Wall Street Journal. I read good, responsible personal/opinion pieces every single day.

I’m not trying to insult anyone, or craft some take-down piece. I’m just saying that we need to remember that what we put on the Internet is there forever. I can’t go back to old publications and ask them to pull some of my stuff; the industry simply doesn’t work that way. I just wish I had treated my writing the way I treated my other social media. Those pieces should’ve gone the way of keg stand and tequila shot pics – not surfacing on the web at all. Maybe you should consider this, too.

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