Great Expectations

April 13, 2011 · 44 comments

in Community, Style & Beauty

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of great inspiration – from any standpoint, really, not just blogging – but when you finally settle in to draw on it you find that your expectations have spiraled out of control? This has happened to me twice in the last few weeks; I want to do posts with chutzpah (new favorite phrase courtesy of Anika) but somehow it doesn’t happen. I almost exhaust myself with the anticipation of writing it, and in the end I feel unsatisfied. Chutzpah eludes me. Typically I’ll work it out because I’ve set a date for that great post and I’m going to keep it. This time, though? This time I’m not. Today was intended to be a post the likes of which I’d hoped would be IFB material, but I wasn’t feeling up to par and that’s just how it is. So I’m here without the post, accepting that as a writer/blogger I’m not invincible and I do have moods and sometimes it’s just not the right time. Try again later.

Blogging is hard. It really is! With every metaphorical tick of the clock potential content becomes increasingly closer to the old news category. Take your time, work things out, but also – be quick! Because the fashion industry moves fast and chances are your article will get the best response now that it will ever receive. To some extent I feel like saying, “So what? If it’s not ready it’s not ready. I’ll write about what I want, when I want.” But that’s only realistic to a point, isn’t it? Hard work is necessary and sometimes we just have to push through and cut our losses.

But not today. Today I think I’ll put on my favorite shoes (which aren’t mine, they’re my mom’s; she’s got style, I know) and go shopping for colorful clothes so I can – gasp – try the color blocking trend.

What do you do when your expectations are just a little too great?

I want to thank the lovely Sweet of Pens and Lens for featuring me as part of her series highlighting the members of Kristy Elena’s Full Time Fabulous Community! I love being part of such a supportive, interesting and fabulous group of bloggers and I’m genuinely honored that Sweet chose to spotlight me first in the series. I can’t wait to see her feature posts on everyone else in the community and learn a bit more about these wonderful bloggers!

Comments

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Monica April 13, 2011 at 11:17 am

I think as bloggers happens all the time. BTW the hat is fabulous!!

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one it happens to! So many great bloggers (like you!) seem so accomplished in working around it that I wouldn’t know you ever had those sorts of days. You make it look easy! ;)

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Jenmarie April 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

I know what you mean. I feel, sometimes, when I can’t get my words out (or there are none to begin with) that I’m not smart enough or something. But then I remind myself that everyone has their off days and I think about how important inspiration is and that we should constantly surround ourselves with it. I feel like it’s one of those key elements in blogging? And it does take work, thank you for saying that! I wish everyone could understand that blogging is fun but it’s not just for fun, you know? So many of us have goals and dreams that we are persuing through and with blogging!

I just love how honest you are about everything in this post because really, who writes a post admitting this? I find it so encouraging and reassuring.

On a different note, I love your hat (of course) and your moms shoes are so perfect! Aww, I just love her! Good luck on your shopping trip! I love the look of color blocking, but have yet to try it myself.

Congrats again on being featured on Pens and Lens! It was such a great interview!

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Thank you, Jen! I definitely understand that, especially when it comes to fashion. It’s an intense industry and there’s so much to know. I think it’s easy to feel like you might not be taken seriously if you aren’t fluent in all the details which, for me, makes me really insecure. Keeping yourself inspired and keeping up with the inspiration is definitely a big part of making it all work, I think.

And who does write a post admitting it? Haha. I was worried it might be too personal/vulnerable, that it might not fill the reader with much confidence in my blog, but I guess it’s good that I’m not trying to be something I’m not, right? (:

I’m loving my hat! I’m excited to wear it more over the summer. And I definitely can’t wait to try the colorblocking trend. It will be a fun adventure! x

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Tanvi April 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I think that happens to all the Bloggers!!! And then we some how manage to get it together no? :) Love your shots! You are looking so chic. Love the hat!!!

? from © tanvii.com

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thank you, Tanvi! You’re absolutely right, all the bloggers I look up to and admire manage to work through it and create wonderful things. I hope I can achieve that someday!

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Lyndi April 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Love the pictures, especially the hat one! Did you take them from a shelf with self timer? Blogging is HARD! I’ve finally got my second post finished and am waiting for a friend to proof it before I post it. Phew! Every time I sit down to work on a post, I totally appreciate all the hard work you put into this! <3

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I did, I took them from atop a dresser actually. I’m trying to get creative with where I put the camera. Ha!

Can’t wait to go check out your second post! And you’re sweet, thank you. It is hard work – a lot of fun, but still hard work. With time I think it gets easier, you start to establish a groove. But then there are the days like these where the groove vanishes and you’re left floundering. I guess those are just the days to turn off the computer and go shopping! ;)

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Marissa April 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Congrats on the feature at Pens & Lens! You may be having trouble with writing, but you can’t see that in your photos. You look stunning in your big floppy hat!

Oh, and as the token Jew of our little blogger family, I’d just like to point out that it’s chutzpah with a chhhhh. You’ve gotta get the back of your throat into it! ;)

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Thank you so much, Marissa! I really appreciate that. ;) And I’m sorry about the misspelling, thank you for pointing that out. I’ll go fix it right away, though I can’t promise I’ll ever be able to pronounce it properly! Ha.

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Marissa April 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm

No, no! I was totally teasing. I don’t know if there even a proper spelling. I was just making a joke about the pronunciation. I hope I didn’t come off like a complete a-hole!

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Nooo, not at all! And I think you were right – Vahni suggested the same spelling. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was truly a word so now I’m glad I’ve learned something new!

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Kirstin April 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I really don’t know how you do it! You always have such well written posts! Even when you don’t have IFB material, they are still great. Without inspiration I often find myself relying on outfit photos… I can never think of good ideas to write about!

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Thank you so much, sweetie! Your outfit posts are inspiration enough, I think. Few bloggers can really accomplish a rich blog through just photos, but I would say that even if you relied entirely on your outfit pictures it would be an enchanting place to visit. (:

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Arash Mazinani April 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I know what you mean as well sometimes I feel uninspired and it then becomes difficult to come up with an idea for a post. Then on some weeks I have loads of ideas… so it’s swings and roundabouts…

Btw loving the photo, the hat, the pose everything, looks super chic and sexy!

Blog:http://www.arashmazinani.com
Twitter:@arashmazinani

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

It really is. I’m learning that it’s less of a science and more of an…emotional thing, somehow. It’s all about being in the right mood and taking advantage of that. I can’t really turn it on and off, in a way. But it’s a learning process, so I’m happy to grow through it!

And thank you so much re: the pics!

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GRIT & GLAMOUR April 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Casee~

First, congrats on the feature! Fantastic!

Second, you are right…blogging, and blogging well, is hard work! It’s time consuming. It’s fast-moving! And we DO have a lot of expectations going in. I know a lot of bloggers use editorial calendars and set goals for themselves in terms of publishing, but you know what? I actually don’t. Which is why I think I’ve stuck with it for so long. I have high expectations of everyone and virtually everything in life, but the only expectation I have of myself in terms of blogging is to never post or write unless I want to. If I have nothing to say, or I don’t have the time to flesh something out, so be it. I stay silent. If you miss a “scoop” here and there, it’s OK. There’s always another, since fashion changes 2-3 times a year!

Leaving topics and posts open-ended allows me to not have my expectations dashed, and it keeps blogging from feeling like a burden. Sure, there are frenzied times when I work many, many hours on a post, but it’s because something struck me that week, and I need to write about it. It’s an impromptu decision. I think this post is evidence that you are beginning to see that maybe at tleast in this area, you should just let it flow, and write from your heart. That’s the most important thing: a clear, unique, voice. A voice with integrity and character, which you have. If your gut is telling you not to post, that you’re not inspired, you aren’t! Just let it go. When you are inspired, then go for it.

And don’t worry about being timely. What matters is giving your unique perspective relative to the topic, not so much the topic itself. As bloggers, we’ll nearly always be beaten to the punch by traditional media giants. What makes us relevant and interesting is the ability to provide a real, highly-personal account, experience, or recollection. YOU are the reason people come here. Nothing else!

PS: FYI, sweetie, “chutzpah” is the correct spelling. The English major in me had to point that out. But I don’t mean it in a bossy English teacher kind of way!

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thank you so much again for this, Vahni. It was a huge help.

I’m glad to know you take the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach and that it works so well (obviously!) for you. I wanted to be organized and to plan things out, but I just don’t think that suits me. I’m finding that I can’t schedule time to write posts because I can’t just turn it on and off like that. If I have an idea I just have to shift my blog-related priorities and get it done. I guess sometimes you just can’t try to make a science out of an art. It’s a little too hard to control. But I’m glad you think I have something to contribute, it helps me put it all into perspective and keeps me from getting quite so discouraged on the off days. And thank you for the correction! I’ll go fix that right away.

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MJ April 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Congrats on the feature! I absolutely LOVE that picture of you rocking the hat! I have to get one of those this Spring!

Writing period whether it’s blogging or other things is hard. It’s hard to be creative and innovative all the time! it can be quite exhausting too! I just try to remember that I can have superstar work all the time and when I’m starting to feel burned out, I have to take a time out. Have to let my muse get a breather and when I get back on track I will have the huspa I need to keep going! (I love that word huspa by the way! I haven’t heard that word in years! LOL)

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Thank you so much! The hat was from Forever 21, I was pretty determined to get one for spring/summer. (:

You’re right! I always hate when I have an off day because I feel like I’m failing in a way, but it’s important to keep a healthy perspective on it and know that we all have those days when we just need to let it go and take a break. It can’t be chutzpah all the time, but that’s okay!

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christine April 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I love the way this post reads, from the pictures to your honesty – that in itself is creative and true! To get the fashion part out of the way first – that hat is amazing. I’m inspired to wear some lovely headgear! I also get worn down by trying to drive creativity. It’s like riding a wave but not making the crest. At that point, you just have to try your best! Keep at it and congrats on the feature, going to check it out now.
xo
christine
http://un-stitched.com

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Thank you so much, about everything! The hat is Forever 21, I couldn’t resist it for spring. I definitely agree, that’s exactly how it feels for me too; sometimes it’s just too hard to control the creativity. But I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles with it on occasion! (:

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Anika ByAnika April 14, 2011 at 5:15 am

Sweetheart Casee, my darling friend. I want to thank you so much for your honesty. The feeling of writer`s block, feeling stressed by deadlines and expectations is something we all battle with I am sure, and there is no reason to not be honest about it.

Creativity is the first victim of stress I find, and in my learning curve as a blogger learning to blog with hutspa (how ever it is spelled :D) is all about trust. Trusting that my readers will come back, that my inspiration will come back, that I do have something to offer, that blogging is worth all of the hard work. I wholeheartedly agree with Vahni about having a flexible approach to my blogging schedule. I do try to post around three times a week, but if I don`t feel I have anything to say, I don`t. I don`t want to create pressure for my self, instead I want to look at blogging as an outlet, something to enjoy, something that tickles my fancy, something that get`s me inspired. The chutszpa (oh dear, how is it spelled again?) comes when I touch on something that is close to my heart, when I feel a release of energy, when I feel the post is a conversation with my readers. When my reflection about me and my blogging becomes self doubt all of that goes out the window, and I am left feeling very sad.

We come to read YOU, you do have an authentic voice, a distinct, lovely voice. I say, take control of your blogging in a way that makes you feel happy, that makes you feel enough, and the rest will follow. I love you and am rooting for you. Big kisses are on their way over the Atlantic to you. <3

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Casee Marie April 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Thank you so much, Anika! As hard as it is to balance out the creativity and put the chutzpah-less days into perspective, I think I would’ve given up a while ago if I hadn’t the support of you and Vahni and our beautiful blogging community. They say we’re our own biggest critics and with blogging I think that can make it all the more difficult; even if I’m not happy with something it doesn’t mean it won’t resonate with someone, somewhere! I try to post about three times as well – I feel like I haven’t quite earned anything else, you know? I think to some extent when you’re first starting you have to keep at it in order for your blog to grow, in order to grow yourself, and then when you feel comfortable and your readers feel comfortable you can post less often without worrying about people losing interest because by then they know you and your content and they’ll wait for it. But at the same time I much prefer a blog with fewer yet substantial posts than one with too many posts that aren’t from the heart. So I guess it’s about tossing that all together, everything we learn as we go along, and making out of it whatever we want to, whatever works best for us.

Thank you again, lovely. You’re so empowering! Mwah!

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argo April 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

Amazing shoes !

visit our blog at http://uhooi.blogspot.com/

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Ashleigh April 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Oh my gosh are you in my brain? I love you for always saying what I think ;)
I’m def. moody when it comes to writing…sometimes I’m just not feelin’ it. I’ve missed my chance more than a few times with the blog but personal life trumps virtual life for me at this point. When the inspiration is there and flowing I try to keep on going but otherwise I try to decide what needs to take priority and go from there. Some days are just ‘off’ ya know. Have a fabulous time shopping – hope you find some wonderful items to share!

P.S. You’re a dollface!! Love you in that hat!

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Casee Marie April 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Aww, thank you! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who deals with those “off” days. I think it’s easy to lose perspective just a bit, because the industry can be so…all-consuming, sometimes! But it’s a learning process and finding that right balance can make it quite fun. (:

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Miss Rockwell April 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Great outfit! Your mama is fly!!! Straight up DIVA.
But yeah, blogging IS hard- because you want to make sure that you post just the right content to leave people coming back for more but then there are other times when you just wanna do you want, take a few days, maybe even a week off, and relax. It’s borderline stressful but in the same since it sorta serves as a type of therapy or a means of release so to speak.

http://thriftyandshameless.blogspot.com

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Casee Marie April 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Ha thanks, doll! You’re so right, blogging definitely has those elements that can be overwhelming but it’s so worth it! (:

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Madison April 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm

You constantly write what I’m feeling and I love that Casee! Blogging is definitely hard work. I’ve come to realise that for me I can only do the best that I can & with fluctuating work schedules I blog when I can… even though it’s not your average style blog, it’s still me & I’m comfortable with not getting wrapped up in having to {post} when I am not feeling my own post or simply not inspired.

It’s probably best not to post if you aren’t inspired, rather than just posting for the heck of posting. I also liked what you said, “So what? If it’s not ready it’s not ready. I’ll write about what I want, when I want.” But that’s only realistic to a point, isn’t it? ” True this is, of course having a schedule for certain days to post is ideal, but if you can’t why beat yourself up about it! Originality and a personal voice is worth more than having high posting entry count!

Nice post dear! *You look great BTW!!
Ladyofashion

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Casee Marie April 15, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Thank you so much, Madison! I really appreciate this comment. I’ve always tried to avoid blogging out of obligation, though sometimes when you follow series posts such as Friend Friday it can be easier to feel obligated because you want to have content in between every series entry. But I think there are ways to work with that. The worst thing for me is when I do have inspiration but I just can’t get it from my mind to the blog in the exact way I want it. I’m sure it will go better if I put a little less focus on it and just let it be whatever it wants to be, whenever it’s ready. (:

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Juju at Tales of Whimsy... April 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Those are hot shoes!
I love the hat too.
You look fantastic.

Btw, thank you soo much for your prayers and kind words of support. They mean allot. :)

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Casee Marie April 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Thanks, Juju! And of course, I hope everything is going as smoothly as possible and I’m certainly keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.x

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Heather April 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

OMG Casee I LOVE that hat (And that beautiful chair in the background)! Is that your new one?

I was actually just thinking of writing an “epic” blog post about inspiration and how everything and the kitchen sink seems to either get in its way or just suck it out of you. And what’s worse is those hours when you do have time, enough inspiration, and then now desire to tap your fingers to the keys. For the most part, mine things get written when I’m procrastinating on the other. Horrible, isn’t it?

BTW, I love the buckle on those shoes!

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Casee Marie April 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Thanks, dear! It is my new one, from Forever 21. And the shoes are awesome, aren’t they?

I would love to see that post from you, absolutely. Inspiration is a fickle little bird. I have the same problem; some days I’ll want to write and have no ideas, and other days I’ll have something I really want to write and no motivation. You would think the two would coincide once in a while!

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Nnenna April 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

How do you always take such amazing pictures Casee?! Seriously, that last one is especially fabulous! Also, I really love those shoes- so nice that you can borrow them from your mom from time to time. And the armchair in the corner of your room looks so cozy- I love the purple pillow and blanket draped on it!

Okay, now on to your question. I agree, blogging is hard, but so rewarding! I feel pressure to post often enough, to take good pictures (seriously, my #1 struggle and the area where I think my blog could use the most improvement), to meet my goals of responding to comments in a timely manner, and to post content that I think my readers will find interesting! There are just so many things to think about! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I think the best thing for me is to just take a step back. Then hopefully I can come back a few days later ready to tackle all the things I want to. And along with that goes soaking up the support from lovely people like you! Even when I’m not responding right away, I’m reading the comments and they make me smile each and every time. Or I try something new (like taking outfit pics for the colorblocking challenge today) for the blog and I have so much fun! It is a roller-coaster ride and I try to relax by realizing that my blog is growing in the direction I want it to a little bit every day =)

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Casee Marie April 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Aww thanks, dear! I try to be as inventive as possible with where I put my camera. This time I had it tilted down on the top of a tall dresser. It’s amazing what strange things can actually work out.

And thank you for sharing your insights; that means a lot and it’s always motivating to me to learn how other people handle blogging ruts. You’re right, there’s so much that goes into blogging that it can be increasingly difficult to keep up! Thinking up new content, creating the content, responding to comments and visiting other blogs, it’s quite a time-consuming hobby to have, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. (I would happily add more hours to the day, but you know.) I’m beginning to think that recognizing our limitations helps us to be an even better bloggers. (:

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sweet April 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Blogging in fact is really hard…I started blogging because I wanted to record all my adventures in Thailand but it then it evolved into a fashion and style blog with a twist of personal love and stories…but then…it is still hard to weigh what to write, what to posts…and of course you cannot please everyone…

I am even honored and happy that you have been one of my friends in the blogging world…I wish I would be able to meet you someday :)

Kisses
Sweet
PensandLens
@mistytewest

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Casee Marie April 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I have so much trouble wondering what fits into my blog and what subjects won’t interest the readers – and then sometimes it surprises me, because they seem interested in everything. I love how you bring so many personal and fashion-related things into Pens and Lens, and then of course all the technology and information you offer too. And you’re right, we can’t please everyone. Sometimes that’s the difficult part to overcome as a blogger, accepting that not everyone will like some subjects or posts. But that’s okay, because the true friends and supporters will stay through it all. (:

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McKenzie Truman April 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Want.That.Hat.Now. :) You’re are so sophisticated! Love your post. I completely understand what you’re saying. Blogging is really hard. I always feel like it’s a competition (for me). It’s so hard to live up to what all the other already have going for them. But I think it’s best to get past that and just let it be a creative outlet and all that you want, and if you benefit for being you than that’s fantastic.

You’re awesome! :)

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Casee Marie April 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Ha, thanks McKenzie! The hat is Forever 21 – sadly it’s not on their site anymore. (They take stuff down so fast!) It’s definitely easy to feel competitive or to feel inhibited by the bigger blogs out there. Everyone wants to monetize, everyone wants to work with brands. It’s exciting because brands are responding and fashion bloggers are getting a decent say in the industry, but at the same time growing your blog to achieve your goals can be really difficult given the amount of bloggers out there, etc. The best we can do is make our blogs what we want them to be and let things happen as they happen. (:

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jessica April 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

I went through a couple of really tough weeks in March, I struggles to get the posts up and ended up being disappointed with myself. I think I was pushing myself too hard and when you do that, you lose your motivation! Its tough and I wish I had just taken a break for myself and done a post like this one, honesty is always the best policy!! Ill remember for next time… :)

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Jamillah April 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Oh my gawsh! Bloggin IS hard! True true story and thanks for expressing your struggle with “keeping up”. I feel like things are 10 times faster since I’ve been blogging. Like last week feels like last month, it’s really bizarre but illustrative to how fashion spins at a crazy rate.

But my mom told my mom gave me this advice and it applies to soooo many things in my life. “You can’t make a rock bleed.” You can’t make something happen by just pounding on it and trying to force something to come out; I want to be excited about every single post and although I maybe trying my hardest to find something inspiring it can’t happen all the time and it doesn’t have to.

I do make a very loose calendar, but not of topic, I just allot time to blog and to work on posts. Also sometimes I’m inspired just walking down the street and I try my darn best to write that down.

So funny that you had writer’s block and ended up writing a post I can really admire. Also hubba hubba at your mom’s shoes!! Gawsh you’re lucky my mom is the best but the lady wears crocs, lol.

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Casee Marie April 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Thank you so much for this comment, sweets! I love your mom’s advice, and it’s so true. Blogging isn’t easy, but I think realizing that and considering it when working on posts makes you an even better blogger. It’s a crazy business but putting everything into perspective and not feeling obligated makes it easier. (: And I’m so glad the post resonated with you!

P.S. It takes a pretty stylish lady to rock crocs – I’m sure you’re mom is a stunner! ;)

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