Hello Darlings,

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I’m back!!

Well sort of.  In my last post I marked a milestone with my two year anniversary.  At that time I was feeling stuck and uninspired so I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  I must say that I missed it.   The entire time away I thought about blogging, writing and life.  Why was I in such a rut and how do I get inspired again and move forward?

I thought about redesigning my blog and tweaked my header a bit, just in case anybody hasn’t noticed.  Even thought about switching to self hosted and all that.

However all of my thoughts and have to be contained…I need to prioritize.

First things first… I have to start writing again.

Get back to my blogging.  I honestly missed it alot.   Making time to get my posts together.  At one point I was scheduling posts and had a basic editiorial calendar but I stopped.  Guess I got lazy.  Blogging can be time consuming and feel like a second job especially if you aren’t enjoying yourself.

Get back to writing…During my time away from blogging  I wrote a few short stories and shared them with a friend.  I got some positive feedback about them and that gave me a little motivation.  I haven’t shared my writing with many people in my daily life.  Sort of afraid to.  Maybe I need to get over that fear and put more of my work out.  Can’t keep hoarding it all to myself.

Sharing it online is different in a way because most people reading my blog don’t know me personally and won’t give me a side look when they see me on the street after reading my writing.  Maybe the evil bitch in the story was them? or the bad boyfriend?

Working on my Internets life…aka My Blog

I feel like my blog is limited therefore limiting me (don’t know if that makes any sense).  If you have read any of my earlier posts, you’ll see that they are all centered around my writing.  I think I mentioned True Blood and Pinterest somewhere in there.  But my content was about writing: what I’ve learned in the process of writing my own novel.

Blogging itself is another outlet for me to express myself.  I want it to be fun and inspiring.  When I put out a post that I enjoyed putting together it is satisfying and I am happy to go back and read it again myself.  There are some posts that I kinda cringe when I read again.  That has to change.

My picture taking skills haven’t improved much so don’t expect too many professional looking pics.  I’ve used Canva and Picmonkey to make a few graphics and will continue with those sites.

In addition to working on posts that I enjoy… I have toyed with the idea of changing the name of my blog and matching it with my address.  I’ve read articles on coming up with names for blogs.  This article from Hatch & Scribe was most helpful.  You should have seen the jumble of words and ideas I came up with for a new name.

I’ve narrowed down my long ass list to two names:

  1. A Novel Soul: This one has sort of a double meaning.  First that I am at a point in my life where I am embracing me for all that I am.  I am going to do my best (not making any grand promises here) to be more open with my writing and stop being afraid.  Starting new and fresh. This is why my blog was called The Next Chapter in the first place.  I was starting a new journey.  Also because I write novels (& short stories).
  2. August Empress: This name to me is just fun.  I was born in August.  August 18th to be exact.  So my birthday was just a few days ago.  I still won’t tell you how old I am.  And when I had locs all the guys used to call me Empress (haha & no I’m not vain).  Since I got rid of the locs, the name disappeared but doesn’t matter…I am an Empress in my own eyes.

The other names were just silly or too specific, which could be a bad thing because people might see the name and say oh this blog is about so and so and come read and see it ain’t about that at all.

So if you see anything changing around here just know that I’m not going crazy.

Which name do you think I should go with? Any suggestions for staying inspired?  Would love to hear from you.

Pinterest round up: April

At the beginning of this month I had posted my favourite pins from Pinterest from March.  I thought it would be nice to do it for the month of April too.

Below are some of my favourite/interesting pins from Pinterest.

Hair:  I’ve been seeing these flexirods styles from a couple of people I’m following on Pinterest.  I’ve seen the rods for sale at one of the beauty supply stores too.  My hair really shrinks up after a wash so this would be a great way to stretch it.  The curls look really nice too.

Stretch 4c Hair With Flexi Rods Tutorial

 

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Blogging: The Blogcademy is a two day workshop where newbie and seasoned bloggers learn skills to take their blogging up a notch. They provide blogging resources and also you get a personal critique of your blog from the headmistresses (as they cal themselves) to help improve your little piece of cyberspace. The Blogcademy takes place in different cities around the world so it might be in a city near you.  Check out their website.  This sounds like a ton of fun and educational.  Would love to participate.

Overview | The Blogcademy

 

Style:  I am in no way a fashionista.  My wardrobe staples are jeans and t-shirts for the most part but lately as I get older I’ve been thinking about re-evaluating my closet and making a few changes.  The first step to that I have realized is figuring out what my personal style is. Can I take my jeans and t-shirt look to another level without compromising comfort?  (I really don’t like heels.) This post from Kinks Are the New Pink was really helpful.

define-your-personal-style

 

Did anyone else find any Pinterest gems this past month?

 

The Next Chapter

To start off my goals for my blog I wanted to give some insight into why my blog is called The Next Chapter. I know today is Monday and I said I was going to post writing related stuff but I thought it would be good to begin this way.

The Next Chapter is a name I chose because this is a new era in my life.  I’m embracing something that I was always afraid to share with others because I thought it would make me seem more of a nerd than I already was.   I’ve always read alot and I’m into Star Wars and stuff like that.  The people I grew up with had to basically be sick to find them with a book.  I was always the weird one.

I started writing a novel quite a few years ago and didn’t finish because I wanted to go to college and instead of pursuing a degree in English or Creative Writing (I thought at the time they wouldn’t be realistic choices), I chose Hospitality Management and Tourism.  After all I live in the Caribbean, on an island that survivied mainly from that industry, it would be a more practical thing to do.

But the stories never left me.  My strong point in college was writing.  I even worked part time as an English tutor.  So now probably a good decade later I’ve finished writing my first manuscript, a few short stories and working on the outline for another novel.

Call it a not-so-mid-life crisis (I’m 31) or whatever but this time I plan to see this through to wherever it may lead.  So far I’ve been enjoying it.

 

 

Blogging for 2014…My blog plan.

In a post a few weeks ago I wrote about possibly changing up my blog content a bit since I found it so tough coming up with something fresh and interesting that was based purely on my writing.  Let’s face it nobody wants to hear me ramble on about being stuck in editing or writer’s block in every other post.

I found an article on writing a blog plan that was very helpful in getting me started with this new direction for my blog.  So I sat down to do some brainstorming.  I still want my content to include writing but I now want to add things going on away from my computer because as much as I want to write I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day.

So I listed

  • what I liked and disliked about my blog (I am really happy with my new header: designed it myself).
  • what I thought blogging should be (FUN!!).
  • a few things that I am interested in and thought of ways to incorporate them into my blog content.
  • Blogging goals for the year.

That being said my new blog plan includes the following:

  • Better/more pictures.
  • My writing
  • Book reviews, what I’m currently reading.
  • Work in progress updates
  • Lifestyle
  • My home

The blogging schedule that I will do my very best to follow will be:

  • On Mondays: a post about writing.  Could be a short story I recently wrote, an article or a book review.  It will most likely be book or writing related.
  • Thursdays will be something about my life, my hobbies, where I live etc.

My blog plan is alot more of a detailed mess and I don’t want to bore you with the entire list.  What I will say is that I plan on following it for the next three months and see if it helps in getting me excited about blogging again.

Does anyone have a blog plan?