Tag Archives: writing

Blog Maintenance Tips & Tricks

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Blog Maintenance Tips & Tricks

Hiii everyone and TGIF! While I was sick AF a few weeks ago, I found myself worrying a lot about my blog, because I was not well enough to take care of daily maintenance. But, upon returning back to a healthy state of being, I found that I didn’t have anything to worry about, because I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Daily blog maintenance is so important, even when you can’t do it daily. How is that possible? I’m going to show you how:

Prewrite, Please:

You might notice on lifewithlilred that all of my posts are published at midnight every night. That’s compliments of prewriting. At one time, I normally have three to four posts scheduled so that I don’t have to worry about three to four days of writing. That’s why, when I was sick, I could breathe a sigh of relief because I had articles on backstock being published every day. This is the perfect solution for those who don’t have the time to write daily, but might have a free evening to knock out several posts in one sitting.

But, where do you get ideas for multiple posts at once? So glad you asked, because this leads me to my next tip:

Take Notes:

This sounds so basic, I know. But, damnit, if it isn’t the most valuable tip on here. How do I get so many things to prewrite about? Because I take notes on anything and everything for inspiration for future posts. Even if I just need a reminder to write about something the following day, I make note of it, because god knows how easy it is to forget an important memo in one days’ time. My notes range from writing about a new pair of shoes that I just bought to taking pictures next time I go on a hike in one of Ohio’s amazing Metro Parks. Reviewing my notes gives me ample inspo to create daily posts, which is something that is important to me for lifewithlilred.

Create Goals:

This ties into the last sentence of Taking Notes. Creating goals for yourself and things that are important to you for your page definitely can help keep you on track. What’s important to you for your page might be different than anyone else, but that’s part of what makes your blog unique. My goals for my page are to maintain daily posts and to log on at least once per day to interact with my readers in the comments. Once you identify what is important to you when it comes to blogging, every thing else just falls into place.

What are some of your goals for your page? What are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to blogging? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

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Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

Nurturing your inspiration is a vital requirement if you hope to continually enjoy your best creative self from year to year. Remember that creativity is a fire to be kindled, not a pool that continually refills no matter how you encourage it. Many people think that reading books, watching movies or television, and even playing story-driven video games are simply efforts in pure recreation. However, are they really? Consider what you are doing during this time. You are intellectually absorbing a story, emotionally feeling through the methods the medium is using to present its ideas to you, as well as serving as a way of connecting with narratives that may not be present in your life.

This is why stories and recreational entertainment will always be a powerful tool for inspiration. For example, no good writer has ever managed to write an amazing book without being skilled in the art of reading or understanding the narrative elements that help a book come to full fruition. Every painter can list their favorite paintings. Even some of the best stories known are inspired projects. For all of the incredible writing and extremely polished narrative arcs of the Harry Potter series, even JK Rowling herself has credited the New Testament and Joseph Campell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’ as helping her formulate the basis of her efforts.

It’s likely that you understand the need for inspiration. But how can you find it in the world around you? Are there methods of helping you attain this without difficulty, or do you need to work at it in order to kindle your levels? Well, not entirely. Consider the following:

Live Theater:

Live theater offers the power of presenting us a story in a dramatized fashion and, as such, can be tremendously useful to see the full visceral and creative power of a story. In order to make the most of this experience, you need to stay present, and also know what to look for in the first place. Heading to the theatre can be an absolutely essential experience for many people, but not enough people head to the shows that aren’t mainstream. The theatre can completely transfix you in thought, show you a story with more intimacy than a movie or TV series ever could, and inspire you with the creative beauty and excellence of actors and dramatists in their prime.

Go to a hit show, like Sleep No More in order to feel sustained, or find your favorite theatre practitioner and decide to view many different plays in their style. Some of the best shows, such as Sleep No More, are adaptions of some of the most famous plays of all time, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There are reasons stories such as these have survived for hundreds of years, and they deserve your attention. This historical performance and memorable peak that is presented to you can really inspire you. How could it not? Heading outside of your comfort zone and to a show like this could be the first bedrock of inspiration you consider applying to your life.

Biographies:

Literature can teach us many things. It can serve as a means of not only shaping the world around us by depending on it artistically but can help us learn the lessons of a period, become intimate with a setting, or understand human nature through both fictional and real-life vessels documented with beautiful language. If you rarely read, you are sorely missing out.

However, instead of insisting that you read Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky in order to feel inspired, sometimes nurturing your own motivation and creative interest on a personal level can be best achieved by reading the biographies of those who you most respect. From people who have managed to turn challenges into beacons of positivity such as Michael J. Fox, or historical figures that spearheaded a movement such as Mary Wollstonecraft, biographies have the power to help us feel and think as a person who we admire.

You might find biographies that inspire you to work out, help you through an injury, or to help you manage loss. Remember that you are human too, so connecting to others through this personal yet private experience can help kindle your inspiration.

Personal Achievements:

Of course, finding inspiration needn’t come from others. Sometimes, you should look to yourself for this. Remember, it’s likely that you are much more amazing than you think and have completed many great achievements that your modesty will not allow you to celebrate. Remember your best self, because this is who you are underneath everything. Understanding this and reminding you of it can help you bring that side of you out more often, and can generally help you feel more comfortable using that side of you to conduct most matters of your life. If you make this effort, you are sure to experience inspiration.

With these tips, you are sure to feel fueled and nourished from day to day as a more inspired individual.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Blog Post Ideas For When You’re Out Of Blog Post Ideas

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Blog Post Ideas For When You’re Out Of Blog Post Ideas

As writers, we all have those days where we can’t seem to come up with anything. Whether that be writing a novel in pen or typing away on your blog, when nothing seems to click, it can be nothing short of ripping your hair out frustrating. We’ve all had writer’s block in some way shape or form as far as creating content goes. And today, I am here to help you get unstuck when you need some ideas for posts on your blog. Take a look:

You can write about…

Your Favorite Travel Location:

Whether it be your favorite family vaca or just your local coffee shop around the block, shine some spotlight on it. Everyone daydreams about travel, so give the people something to wanderlust about. Perhaps you visited Harry Potter World in Florida or California. Maybe that cute little smoothie shack in town makes the best strawberry banana treat that you’ve ever tasted. Giving people an escape from their own world is what blogging is all about, so literally let them escape and transport them to your favorite place.

All Things Beauty:

Do you have a cupboard full of makeup products or nail polishes? Do you dye your own hair? Perhaps you’re a cosmetologist, hair stylist, or nail tech. Tell us more! Beauty tips and tricks will always be popular, but it’s seriously such a hot topic right now. From YouTube influencers to celebrities spilling their secret hacks, everyone seems to be enthralled in learning more about the world of makeup. Dish about your favorite products, tricks, or your profession in the industry and watch your stats skyrocket.

Passion For Fashion:

Are you a shopaholic like myself? Are you a shoe hoarder? Do you love styling OOTDs? Similar to beauty, fashion is a hot trending topic right now. Whether you’re a full blown fashionista or just starting to develop your personal style, fashion posts will always be in demand. Tell us where you score the best deals for designer looks. Write about your tips on finding amazing steals at the thrift shop. Teach us how to style a wardrobe staple, like a blazer, two or three different ways. Or, maybe you have some crazy stories about working fashion retail. No matter the topic, those with a passion for fashion will certainly appreciate it.

Snap Some Pics:

Are you a budding photographer? A selfie queen? Or, you might just love snapping some quick pics on your iPhone of things that interest you as you make your way throughout the day. Like writing about travel locations, pictures can transport the reader, as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a photography professional or just starting out, because a picture is worth a thousand words. Show your readers the world through your eyes, and discover or refine a newly found or old passion.

Tell Us More:

A blog is literally an online diary and sometimes it can help to treat it as such. Maybe you had a bad day. Perhaps you had a totally embarrassing moment that, in hindsight, was hilarious. Or, something amazing happened and you want to scream it from the mountain tops. Write it out. Your days might not be interesting to you but, to others, it might feel like reading reality TV. Everyone has had the feeling before that literally every single person on the planet has a more exciting life than them. Or, they might just want to relate to someone else’s problems instead of focusing on their own. No matter what the case may be, share it with the world and watch as people come forward to share their own similar situations or just offer a kind word.

Blogging is a tough job, but somebody has gotta do it. So why not you? Getting stuck on creating content can certainly suck. But, with the guide above, you should be able to start cranking out new posts in no time!

How do you shake the feelings of writer’s block? What is your go to topic to write about? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Planet Minecraft

Blogging Tips (Since You Asked!)

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Blogging Tips (Since You Asked!)

Hey! Okay, ever since my post about my 2017 stats, I have been receiving a lot of cries for help in the blogging world for tips and tricks. So, today, I thought that I would share the wealth and give some advice for those who want to see more action on their page. The tricks that are seen below have worked wonders for lifewithlilred and I have already seen an increase in my numbers in this month alone. Let’s get to it!

Write, Write, Write:

You can’t have a blog without content and it is SO important that you keep cranking posts out. In 2017, I posted every single day and that gave me the best stats yet in my almost four years of blogging. Can’t commit to daily posts? Then try and create a schedule and stick to it so that your readers will know which days to come back to see something new.

Branch Out:

I always thought that my page would be strictly a beauty and fashion blog, but one will find that they lose inspiration for content very quickly if they limit themselves to just one or two categories of writing. Try giving other styles of writing and different subjects a go and see the spikes in your stats from your spicy new content.

Interact With The Blogging World:

Bloggers won’t bite, I promise. The blogging community is so fantastic, talented, and welcoming. Explore different blogs, make new friends, and gain insight into literally any topic that you can imagine. I have made countless amazing friends through lifewithlilred and that’s what is most important to me, always. The extra exposure that you can get from interacting with others is just another sweet added bonus of the blogosphere.

Social Media Is Your Friend:

If you have a ton of Facebook friends or followers on Twitter and Instagram, then why not share your blog on your social media? My URL for lifewithlilred is the first thing that people see when they find my personal Facebook page. I never am spammy about my posts or anything like that, but my URL is there for those that want to explore my blog further.

If you have a specific likeable page for your blog on social media, that’s great. I have one, myself, but I pick my battles and I chose to spend more time on my actual WordPress blog rather than trying to get more people to like my lifewithlilred Facebook page. Be picky about what you put your time and energy into and make sure that what you choose is what would benefit your blog the most.

In Conclusion:

Admit it, when you started blogging you thought that it would be a piece of cake. You also might have been a bit shocked to find out that it’s not in the slightest. Blogging is hard work that you really have to dedicate yourself to if you want to see results. Not only that, but it’s a little bit of luck, as well. But, with the tips above, you can make the odds of seeing the fruits of your labor flourish turn more in your favor. Good luck!

What are your blogging tips and tricks? What are your goals for your blog? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pinterest

Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

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Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

Do you remember the early days when you were locked away in your room learning the guitar or piano and finding out there is no such thing as B-sharp? It was your continual curiosity that piqued your interest in becoming a musician in the first place. And if you are moving on to that next stage where you are trying to create your own music and writing songs, it’s important to get back to that metaphorical head space where you were curious. But it’s also important to get a good physical space in which to create, so here are a few things to think about:

Learn From The Best: The greatest thing about being a songwriter is that you have thousands upon thousands of people to get inspiration from and you can spend countless hours learning from others. You could spend your time reading books and listening to other artists to help you keep fresh when you are in a creative lull. If you are ever feeling dry, it’s very likely because you’re not assimilating enough inspiration.

Create a Space Conducive to Songwriting: If you haven’t got somewhere that you can tune out the world, you’ll be lucky to get any semblance of songwriting completed. But it’s also vital for your practice that you have somewhere where you can be free to experiment in a place that’s your own, but also be surrounded by a constant source of inspiration.

A good place to start in your space is with the classic vinyl records that are clearly pointed out to be a superior listening experience (which we all know deep down). It’s important to be surrounded with the right materials. New Order’s recording studio had a poster on the wall with a lot of old film titles which ended up being the basis for a lot of their songs in the 80’s including Cries And Whispers. So if you have the right environment in which to create, with adequate inspiration from books to posters and, yes, records, it will start you off on the right foot.

Throw The Rule Book Away: Thom Yorke (by way of Tom Waits) said that it was the ignorance of certain instruments that made them more infinitely fascinating. Noel Gallagher has been using the same 4 chords for 20 odd years but is still able to make them sound like new. So sometimes it’s important to unlearn what you have learned to free you up. If you are bound by structure, it can be inhibiting in certain ways, which is why it’s important to be able to make mistakes and play a bum note because you are in the experimental stage.

People place a lot of pressure on getting things right the first time especially if you’re in a band, but even a band like Genesis (love them or hate them!) made the vast majority of their later songs out of studio. The musicians were freer with each other by this point to experiment. Your own worst critic will always be yourself and when it comes to songwriting and creating the right atmosphere in which to do it, it’s important to create this space inside of your mind as well as in a physical location.

Featured Image By: Pexels

A Welcome Letter To Spring

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A Welcome Letter To Spring

Hi everyone and welcome, welcome, welcome to my Think Spring guest bloggers series. This six day extravaganza was created to help everyone shake away the blahs of winter by celebrating all things spring. From creative writing and spring cleaning tips to the perfect soft spring time makeup looks, this series has it all. To kick start the fun, this series will start out with A Welcome Letter To Spring by my dear friend, Tanya, over at TanyaTales. Her blog will help take your imagination to a new level and I encourage everyone to check it out! Now, let’s get to it:

A Welcome Letter To Spring:

Dear Spring,

In truth, I know it has only been a year since we have been apart and though I know you have only just returned I fear that soon you will depart. A year may not be long in the grand scheme of things but it has given me a chance to reconsider what each month you offer me brings. I look upon the long and difficult year I seem to have ahead of me and see not tasks or challenges but the four seasons of which there will be. The winter, the autumn, the summer and not to forget you. For spring is the season which starts the cycle of life brand new.

Each seasons in the year presents its own role within the family and you, young spring, know your role as the bringer of life and vitality. You are a fresh start, of that I am sure, and act as a constant reminder that when god closes a window he opens a door. You are my favorite of all the seasons and this letter should outline all of my reasons. While most choose to ignore your friendly and gentle breeze which causes the grass to shiver slightly and shake the high standing trees, I chose to see only the good for us you do and although it isn’t acknowledged by many it is appreciated by us few.

The way you dress giggling children, hooded and footed in rain boots and coats as they jump in puddles pretending to be pirate boats as across the sea they float. While you, dear spring, watch on quietly not seeking attention or feeling need to gloat. Your breeze fills their sails and creates new tales of which they will play out. Untold tales of undiscovered lands and shores which glitter with multi colored sands.

But as children grow into young teens your spring days are suddenly given very different means. It offers new tales of bright and blossoming love in the time old image of flying white doves. Fluttering through the sky their feathers floating to the ground as they fall around us without making a sound.

Your days they bring images of fluffy yellow ducklings breaking free from the confinements of their shells and brings pictures of babies, pure and innocent, taking their first breath and telling worried mothers that they are alive and well. As fresh air fills every newborn’s room with clean and fresh scents of flowers in bloom and your unpredictable April showers rain down on young birds chirping in the early hours. As dams are built by busy beavers, message of your arrival spreads in the form of hay-fever.

Oh spring, you may not offer the hot and relaxing summer holidays but you bring back stolen light in a warm spring blaze. You wash away the winter snow while placing glistening dew on the green grass which glows. You put back the leaves which autumn took away and by the time the year reaches May, our windows are graced with bright pastel colors and beautiful leaves which takes out the anguish every time you make me sneeze.

Oh spring, if I am only sure of one thing it is that, I am most definitely glad that you have come back.

^^^ Thank you again to Tanya for such a beautiful post to start the Think Spring guest bloggers series with. Tanya offers new pieces of creative writing on her blog every Friday at 7 PM so definitely take a look if you like the piece that she wrote special for lifewithlilred. What images comes to mind when you think of spring? What is your favorite season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Worst Book Ever Edition

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Monday Update: Worst Book Ever Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! Welcome to another week here on lifewithlilred. If you’re a faithful reader of my blog, you might have gathered a few things about me throughout the years. Two of them being that I love to read and that I refuse to not finish something that I start. This second Lil Red Fun Fact rings especially true considering that I’m reading the literal Worst Book Ever. Let’s discuss:

My mom brought me home Maestra by L.S. Hilton from the library. I read through the synopsis on the jacket and inspected all of the rave reviews from authors and the like on the back of the book. Many were comparing it to Gone Girl and saying how the lead female character, Judith, was similar to Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth is one of my all time favorite fictional characters and TGWTDT will always remain one of my favorite book series, as well.

I knew that this Judith lady would never live up to the love that I have for Lisbeth but I was willing to give the book a shot. Unfortunately, after the first two pages of Maestra, I knew that I was in for the worst reading experience of my life. Even more unfortunately, those two pages read damned me into having to finish the entire three hundred page book. Fuck me, right?

The premise of the book – an art gallery employee gone rogue was nothing that impressed me. It seemed desperately unoriginal and you could tell that Hilton was trying really hard to channel her inner Gillian Flynn and Stieg Larsson to no avail. I could get past this bland story line if the writing was actually good but the novel didn’t even have that going for it. And there was also one major issue…

This book is legitimately like reading pornography. Judith is very in touch with her sexual side and spends her free time going to parties designed for people to have a romp with complete strangers. The writing goes into specific/explicit detail about sex, sex, sex and then falls into the dull lull of a high schooler’s attempt at writing something edgy.

So we learn that Judith is a straight up sex junkie. This is all very well – if she were smart. This is where I start getting angry. Lisbeth Salander was able to overcome every obstacle in her way because she was intelligent as hell. Judith just uses the fact that she’s willing to have sex with anyone to get out of the troubles that she thrusts herself into.

See the difference? One is smart. One is a slut, for a lack of a better word (I know that I’m going to get some backlash for that!). So for people to compare this Judith character to Stieg Larsson’s genius Lisbeth just seems like a slap in the face to an amazing book series/character. Maestra has easily been the worst book that I’ve been essentially forcing myself to read in my life. You know that Hilton is a poor writer when her erotica is better than the actual story. -_-

If you’re in to reading a really shitty book with some porn thrown in for good measure – read this book. But if you’re in to reading about intelligent, cool, innovative, and truly edgy female heroins then do yourselves a favor and stay far away from Maestra. Crack open a copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, instead. You’ll thank me later.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Worst Book Ever Edition! What is the worst book that you have ever read? What’s your favorite book? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah