Hello friends! On June 11, 2014, I wrote an introductory blurb on this website. A lot has changed since then, and a lot will definitely continue to change.
As I like to remind people, I was going through a really tough time when I decided I wanted to start a blog. I knew I wanted it to be for me. I was truly inspired by Zoe Sugg and Bunny Meyer.
I remember thinking of a name when I was in the bathtub after a long, anxiety-ridden day. Next, I took to Polyvore to design what I originally had hoped would be my blog's logo, but, as you can tell, it became a little unfitting for my blog's ever-changing design.
Along with this photo, I wrote my initial goal. And it was one I still do stand by--to inspire others. And not only that, but as I've continued writing honest posts, I've grown to want to impact readers on a positive level. I wanted readers to know that they weren't and aren't alone in their struggles with mental illnesses.
So how have I managed to keep writing my blog posts?
It all chalks down to inspiration. I look up to bloggers and vloggers like Estee Lalonde, Arden Rose, Zoe Sugg, so on and so forth. They've all created their blogs and/or YouTube channels with pure passion, then proceeded to gain a following, sell merch, and some write books!
Their positive energy and creativity inspired me from day one to find issues and subjects that I'm passionate about and to just write about them. And I've loved putting my thoughts out there.
What all am I passionate about?
Basically all of the topics that I include in my blog are topics that I'm passionate about.
The first is hobbies. These posts consist of me sharing what books I love, photography tips, inspiration from magazines and media, and my vlogger and blogger inspos. Next, fashion. In this section, I basically just share both flat-lay and non-flat-lay outfit photos for all to see. I'm someone who believes that fashion is a super fun form of self-expression. Another topic I'm extremely passionate about is beauty. Not only do I love sharing fun makeup tutorials with people, but I also describe what I use for skincare and what I use in the tub to relax at the end of the day.
I also have shared a few DIY blog posts. There aren't many of these, but at least you know how to wrap a gift and even how to make cat flats. Also, I have a miscellaneous section for random joys that I have no idea where to categorize. So this mess pretty much just consists of my room decor, my favorite candles, and my love of wax melts.
Finally, the two topics that I'm most passionate about are life and love. In "love", I mostly just discuss dates (with my boyfriend of two years). He's a fun guy. And I love him. So yeah, of course I'm passionate about putting him in my blog! And in "life", I discuss subjects like my current struggle with depression, my anxieties, and my occasional, frustrating insecurities.
What sort of mindset is ideal for blogging?
Personally, for me, any mindset is absolutely wonderful for writing a blog post. Sometimes I'm super excited about a new beauty post, inspired to create a DIY project, or motivated to put together different styles of outfits using flat-lay photography. These are all fantastic mindsets to be in! But sometimes, I feel like my best work can even be found in negative mindsets, like during a panic attack or during a bout of depression. My blog helps me turn negatives into positives, to regain my happiness and to hopefully help people who are going through similar situations. Thinking of these people I'm potentially helping drives me to keep doing what I love, despite being upset or anxious, which is why I haven't lost any passion for what I do on this website.
I do want to take a second to thank my boyfriend. I told him about my blog back in 2015 (one year after I first created it) and he encouraged me to make it public and to tell my family and friends (which has been so rewarding). He's definitely been there to motivate me to face my fears and to not give up through hard situations. Without him, I don't think I would be able to be quite as helpful on this blog as I'm currently trying to be. I'm planning on facing a huge fear soon, and hopefully I'll be able to document it in some way. So thank you, dear, for supporting me through all of this since I first told you about my blog.
How do I plan out a blog post?
Sometimes I plan it out in my trusty notebook, sometimes I brainstorm it mentally (like this post, for instance...I knew I was going to write a post for G&N's third birthday, but it's taken over a week to simply brainstorm what I wanted to actually discuss!). As for life-related posts, those are usually spontaneous. I'm usually in tears when I go to write something about anxiety or depression, but by the end of my post I'm excited to have prepared something personal and deep for the public to read and interpret for themselves. My lifestyle posts are usually the ones I'm most proud of, because they benefit me and hopefully benefit others as well!
When I do brainstorm ideas in my notebook, I usually just do an outline. So I'll use bullet points to pinpoint ideas that I want to go in depth about in particular posts. Here, I'll also think up titles and which topic they'll go into. However, there's one blog post that has been in the works for months now. It's the only post I have fully written out on notebook paper, and one that I'm super excited to finally put out there. The only reason it's still in a draft on paper is because I didn't have wifi when the idea came to mind, I was in a very emotional spot earlier this year, and I just needed to get my ideas down. I still haven't put in online since I simply don't have any photos taken for it. Here's a hint of what it is:
So yeah, that's that! As for vlogs, if I have any voice over I'm planning on doing, I write down a little script in my notebook so I have everything timed accurately.
Yep, I just exposed myself for you. You're welcome.
What are my goals for the future?
My blog is honestly one of the only things I'm extremely passionate about doing. So I've already been taking classes related to graphic design, photography, etc. I'm not sure what career I'll get with this Visual Communications degree, so I'm still definitely deciding if I'm going to continue to pursue that. I'm still looking at options, education-wise, but I would love to move forward with this blog. I want to grow Grins & Needles into something many people can read when they're feeling down, when they need advice, or when they just want to read something fun! I like to keep a variety of posts on here for any reading occasion. I also might even utilize my YouTube channel a bit more considering I only upload a video about once every five months. It's a little sad.
I was telling my boyfriend that I'd love to follow in Zoe Sugg's footsteps. She creates honest content, has a wonderful and supportive following, and continues to inspire young girls every day. She's someone I truly respect and look up to, and I'd like to inspire people like she does.
Thank you all for reading and for supporting my blog thus far! We'll see where this blog goes from here, but I'm super excited about the journey of it all.