Project 8

Another Big Announcement: Project 8

You thought yesterday’s news was exciting? I’m here with another new project! It’s finally a physical project, too. I’m going to run a 10k.

My (Not-So) Athletic Background

I’ve always been relatively in control of my general health and fitness. As a kid, I was a big softball player. All throughout college, I was a bit of a gym rat. I was never really obsessive, but I enjoyed working out. When I started law school, working out took a bit of a pause. A year long pause to be exact.

Even though I enjoyed working out, I’m not much of an athlete. Especially when it comes to running: my knees face slightly inward so I have a strange run. I also have asthma and feet that don’t quite fit properly into any shoe. On top of that, I’m really slow. I tend to interval run: walk x feet, run y feet, etc. My runs in college averaged around a 5k (3.1 miles).

Despite my quirks, I’ve always wanted to run races. Five years ago, during my freshman year of college, I tried to run a half marathon. Somewhere around 8-10 miles into my training, I got nasty shin splints and nixed the idea since I didn’t want to injure myself. Nothing more embarrassing than a freshman girl hobbling to her classes from a treadmill injury. Since then, I haven’t tried distance running.

But with the creation of this blog, I wanted to try a race again. I figured a 5k was a little too easy and with the next highest race being a 10k (6.2 miles), I thought it might be a good goal. To break out of my interval running, I want to try and do it in under 60 minutes.

My First 10k

Fast-forward to yesterday morning. It was time to kick myself into shape. I figured I’d try the 10k without any sort of training to establish a baseline. I’ve gone on maybe two other runs this month, both 5ks. Besides that, the lethargic quarantine lifestyle has kept me from any other workouts.

So at what might be the most out of shape of my life, I took to running the 10k. My goal was to just be under 2 hours. This is what happened:

Mile 1: There’s some nature reserves and parks near my home that I thought I’d run to. The problem is that they’re at the top of a 300-foot hill. So right at the start of my run I was met with elevation. Great. I didn’t even try to run it. At least I’d coast down it on the way back.

Mile 2 and 3: This is where your body just wants to stop. Hands down, these were the most difficult miles. At the end of mile 3, I made it to a lake which was a nice little spot for joggers. All of them waved hello.

Mile 4: I had now accepted my suffering. My hips started to lock a little, but knowing I was on my way back, I found my stride. I was surprised I had it in me since pretty much every other run in my life was done by this point.

Mile 5: I was so jaded at this point. I did coast down that hill, but it came at the cost of cramps on the right side of my body. Also, queue the nausea.

Mile 6-6.2: I made it to my boyfriend’s house with a tenth of a mile to go. I did little laps around the sidewalk of his place. I was pretty much crawling. I looked like an extra for The Walking Dead. But damn it, I did it.

I was proud to have done it. As a student, I’m constantly pushing my mental strength, but to know that I’ve become strong enough to control and push myself physically was really exciting. I think I might have caught the bug again.

But now for the part you’re all waiting for: my time. I clocked in at 1:41:10. I was so proud to have finished, I didn’t even care. I also saw a variety of factors that could be optimized: I was out-of-shape, it was so humid, it was muddy from rain the day before, my asthma kicked up, I didn’t know how to pace myself, etc. etc. I know that to improve by 41 minutes is insane, but I know I can do it.

It was just so gratifying to complete my first run. I know that I’ll continue to get better. Seeing my boyfriend’s face when I walked in, he was so proud of me. As a runner himself, he was excited to see me trying something he loved so much. That in and of itself made it all worth it. I asked him if he’d plan my runs, go on some with me, and be a running sensei to me. He agreed to all of them.

As if that wasn’t good enough, I did some research: the cutoff time for most 10k races is 1:30:00. That means if I were running at 10k for a race I wouldn’t have finished or gotten my medal. So yeah, there’s still some work to be done. And man am I hungry for it.

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Project 7

Learning a New Skill: Calligraphy

Now that I’m on summer break, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce some new projects. I know, I know, I’ve got other ones to finish – and I will finish them – but I couldn’t help myself. I came up with some good ideas.

Coming Up with the Idea

I realized that none of my current projects are about learning a new skill. Sure, some involve cultivating a skill, but none of my projects start from ground zero. After stumbling across a video on YouTube, I knew exactly what I’d do: calligraphy.

I’ve been floating around the idea of doing an art project for a while now, but I had no idea what to do. I’m alright at drawing but I’m sometimes too left-brained to let my imagination run wild. I like all my art to look perfect. But that’s pretty much the goal of calligraphy, isn’t it? To make these perfect little sentences. Also, it’s something that with more practice, I’ll inevitably get better at. How satisfying to be able to share quantifiable progess!

The Game Plan and End Goals

So with this idea in mind, I took to the internet to figure out a game plan. I found Lettering Daily, a site dedicated solely to learning script. They offer tons of free printables and lessons so I thought that’d be a decent place to start. I also checked Skill Share and found the same tutorials used in that video I saw. I think I’ll start with one of those.

Once my research was done, I brainstormed my end goals. I don’t start projects around here unless there’s a clear end goal so I can concretely say I finished a project. I think this one has two clear goals:

  • Learn five fonts: This requires me to learn different styles which I think can give me a broader understanding of calligraphy in general. Also, between five fonts, there’ll probably be at least one I’m good at… right?
  • Do calligraphy for someone else: Envelopes, weddings, anywhere that needs calligraphy. The test of how good I am is if someone else is willing to display it. It doesn’t have to be paid, just knowing in my hear that I learned a new skill seems to be enough.

Getting the Supplies

With high hopes, last night I set out for the stores to buy my calligraphy pen, ink, some paper, and of course the nibs. Unfortunately, I had no luck finding calligraphy supplies but I wasn’t going to let my artistic flame die. Instead my boyfriend and I got distracted and bought a coloring book. And well, this happened:

Oops.

Anyway, if any of you know anything about calligraphy or have tried it before, do you have any advice for me? Anything you’d like to see me write or try?

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Organization, Project 2, Time Management

A Guide to Organizing Your Entire Life

So, I have a little confession: I’m actually really close to being finished with Project 2. I know that might come as a surprise, seeing as I never post about it… it’s just that I recognize that reading about me cleaning every day is boring.

That being said, it’s not like I haven’t learned anything. I’ve actually learned a lot – both about myself and about how to organize. Reorganizing and decluttering is a much more liberating experience than I ever could have imagined, I really do feel much better having everything in its place. Also, my list extends beyond physical decluttering to mental decluttering in tracking different aspects of my life.

Though I’m not finished with everything on my list, I have begun everything. And it turns out that I wasn’t really able to gauge the difficulty that’d be required for each task. I realized that two things go into cleaning: time and effort. Obviously, time relates to how long it took for me to get something done. Effort refers more to the amount of work required I’d have to put in to get it organized. For example, setting up my photo wall took a lot of time since each picture had to be put up separately, but once I had the measurements all done, it didn’t take much effort on my part. I did most of the project while watching Netflix.

It’s from this premise that I created a bit of a theory. Tasks can be sorted by these two variables, and each of these two variables can be divided further. From there, I propose that there are 9 kinds of tasks as indicated by this fancy graphic.

I thought today I could share with you guys the 9 different types of tasks as they appear on my personal cleaning list with a little insight on what was really required to get things done. That way if you’re looking to clean up something in your life, you can have a better idea of whether you’re in over your head or you can get it done in an afternoon.

The Easy Tasks: Little Time, Little Effort Tasks

These are the easy ones – they don’t really take any time at all. If any of these are on your personal list, start with them because they’re so simple.

  • Keeping Track of Your Passwords: Start a list right now of your computer passwords. Seriously, right now. Every time you go to log in to any website, add it to your list. In less than a month, you’ll have most of your passwords sorted out and you’ll be asking why you didn’t do this sooner.

The Hour Long Tasks: Average Time, Little Effort Tasks

These tasks are easy as pie. On a day off from work, they’ll make you feel like you’ve accomplished something with lots of time to spare.

  • Drawers: You can’t hide from the truth any longer – clean out that junk drawer.

The Quicker Tasks: Little Time, Average Effort Tasks

The tasks that’ll have you saying: “That wasn’t too bad!”

  • Organizing Your Computer Bookmarks: Honestly, this can be fun seeing what corners of the internet you discovered. But beware: distractions are bound to happen.
  • Setting Up Your Calendar: If you already have a calendar system in place, but it hasn’t been updated – this task just requires getting all your ducks in a row. If you don’t have a system that works for you to schedule everything, try looking around. Personally, I use Google calendar and whenever anything comes up it goes straight in. Very easy to maintain it that way.

The Full Day Tasks: Average Time, Average Effort Tasks

I’d recommend you do these on a Saturday so you can enjoy your Sunday and still feel like you had a productive weekend.

  • Organizing Groups of Objects: This is easily one of the most satisfying tasks on the entire list. Think about what you have a lot of. For me, that’s clothes/beauty products and old textbooks/notes. Organizing these individual groups of items by seriously cutting back makes you feel so good. Bonus points if you can make it look aesthetically pleasing!

The Watch-a-Movie Tasks: High Time, Little Effort Tasks

Since these tasks don’t really require you to have your brain present and active, go ahead and watch a movie while you’re doing them!

  • Any Sorting Task: Whenever you have a group of something that needs to be sorted out, you can do it while catching up on TV you’ve been missing. This can be anything from nail polish to fishing bait. Caution: Does not apply to going through photos.

The Thought Provoking Tasks: Little Time, High Effort Tasks

These might not require all that much time, but they requires you to be completely mentally present.

  • Creating a Food Diary: This really doesn’t take too much effort when you start, but it’s certainly high effort to keep it going. I mean logging every. single. time. you eat is definitely a lot to keep track of. But seriously, being able to track your vitamins and minerals is so worth it!
  • Setting Up a Workout Log: Same as above. It’s all in the upkeep.

The Tasks That Require Breaks: High Time, Average Effort Tasks

These aren’t tasks you can get done in one go, but they’re manageable enough to painlessly spread them out over a few days.

  • Cleaning Every Square Inch of Your House: You didn’t think I was going to forget this one, did you? It doesn’t really require all that much effort to get the ol’ spring cleaning done, but it does require that you’re actively thinking about what needs to be cleaned. Like honestly, when was the last time you moved the couch and vacuumed behind there?

The Tasks You’ve Been Putting Off: Average Time, High Effort Tasks

Okay, I’ll say it – these ones are the worst. These projects don’t quite require all day to do, and that’s too bad, because if they did you’d plan a whole weekend for them (see the Advanced, Expert Level tasks below!).

  • Planning a Budget/Checking Your Credit Score: This one is especially painful if it’s your first time since it requires you dissecting your spending habits. If you do have an old budget, it’s painful because you’ve got to look through your old budget to see how accurate it was. No matter what, we all hate looking at just how much money we spend and what our credit looks like.
  • Cleaning Out Social Media Accounts: I’ve found that cleaning out social media accounts requires high dedication to setting the image you want others to see. Those cringe-filled status updates that you posted when you were in high school probably need to be deleted.

The Advanced, Expert Level Tasks: High Time, High Effort Tasks

These are the tasks from your nightmares.

  • Cleaning Out Your E-mail: It’s easy to get rid of spam e-mails. It’s also easy to get rid of promotional e-mails. But oh man is it a lot of work to unsubscribe from e-mail lists. Then sorting which e-mails to trash and which to keep is brutal. Creating folders and reliving moments from the past digs up emotions. Seriously, this isn’t for the faint of heart.
  • Sorting Digital Files: It does not matter what sort of digital files you have, it’s a memory trap. If you stumble across an album of photos you haven’t seen in forever, you can accidentally lose an hour of your day. Plus, they’re everywhere: on your desktop, your google drive, your iCloud, your phone notes, old USBs and more. Hope you don’t find your old Sims CD. Good luck finding a single place to store it all.

What do you think of my list? What tasks are the easiest and most-satisfying for you to get done? Is my method the next KonMari method?

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Blogging, Productivity, Resources, Time Management

What I Learned from Blogging Every Day

If it’s your first time stopping by this week, you might have noticed quite a bit has changed around here. I’ve got my own domain and have changed up the actual site! With a new theme and new featured images, it looks much better!

In the midst of these changes, Abbey and I spent a whole day doing nothing but reading in preparation for a week straight of book reviews. It was something we’ve been planning for a while as a way to relax after me finishing school! Originally, I was supposed to go visit her, but given quarantine we did it separately and checked in over the phone.

A week’s worth of consistent content has been a blast. It was tough to prepare so many reviews ahead of time, but I’ve had the opportunity to work on even more content because of it!

Additionally, I have seen a huge spike in engagement on the blog which has been overwhelming! Having the opportunity to meet some new faces and engage with people reading the same books and doing similar projects has been so much fun! On top of people visiting me, I’ve been trying to reach out to creators whose content I enjoy.

Throughout this process there are a few things I’ve picked up on that I thought I’d share. This week has given me insight as a blogger and my place in this whole mess.

Quality Matters

This is something that’s been really noticeable in my book reviews. There are books I really loved reading and others I just couldn’t wait to finish. Sometimes, it was hard to find the motivation to even write the review after and it showed. No wonder those posts didn’t have nearly as much engagement as the ones that I was proud of writing! The key takeaway I discovered was that if you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, your readers will notice.

With love and affection, it doesn’t really matter what you’re writing about – it only take one reader to identify with your content. For example, a book I really disliked was A Clockwork Orange. It had mostly to do with the – in my opinion – abhorrent slang that distorted the story line. But I really took the time to flesh out these opinions and unpack it a little more. I spent quite a bit of time writing that post and I was happy when it became one of my most-liked posts. My readers could see the love I had put into it and responded to it.

Quantity Matters Too

This week in particular I’ve been focused on putting out content every single day. It’s been challenging, but I came in with a game plan, so it was very do-able. To no one’s surprise, posting every day brought a lot more traffic.

I’m not sure if it has something to do with the Reader algorithm wanting to suggest me more or if I was creating content on subjects others already followed. Nevertheless, I found that when people visited, they checked out my other content too. Because I have a back-catalog of posts on a variety of topics, I saw that visitors were averaging higher views when I was putting out content every day.

Writing often familiarizes others with your content and gives you more of an opportunity to be seen. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll be seen by someone who enjoys your stuff.

Motivation Fluctuation

Just like any habit or hobby, if you’re truly excited about what you’re doing, doing it every day makes you even more excited. I found that I was thinking about content and working on my projects much more this week just because I wanted to.

Motivation is a rarity, so making the most of it is crucial. But exposing myself and quite frankly, some days forcing myself to write, brought more ideas and more of a desire to deliver on material.

There you have it – my thoughts on consistent blogging. It honestly comes down to finding your place and your voice on your blog. But I want to hear your thoughts: What do you think? Do you agree with my observations?

As always, thanks for reading!

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Book Reviews, Project 4

Animal Farm – Book No. 12

This book review is a part of Reading Week. To read more reviews, click here!

58. Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)

Dates: 5/9/20 (3.5 hours)

Plot: Animals rebel and take ownership of a farm. They adopt some methods of leadership similar to ones you may know.

Experience Before Reading: It’s funny because I told Abbey that all I knew about the book was that it was an extended metaphor for something and it definitely did not have talking animals. Whoops.

Takeaway: Since this book is an extended metaphor, I can’t fairly review it without talking about it. If you don’t want the book spoiled, stop right here and come back when you’ve read it!

This book is an allegory for the dangers of communism – particularly Joseph Stalin’s rise to power. This isn’t my first politically-charged book of the project, but it is the first one where the only takeaway is political. Typically I’m apprehensive to political commentary, but this one’s just so damn good.

There’s symbolism in almost everything: from the events that happen in the book to which animals do what. I suppose it’s no coincidence that the sheep follow blindly? Orwell adds an additional layer to the animals by making them inherently “unequal.” Some animals are better at reading, others at plowing the fields, and some don’t have any true skills. It’s definitely left me thinking what he meant by delineating between animals. I don’t want to ruin it, but I’d love to have a discussion about it down in the comments – for those of you that have read it, what do you think?

Anyway, I’m always a little uncomfortable with political commentary since it’s very polarizing. However, I didn’t mind it here. I think it’s because Orwell works hard to not explicitly express feelings towards any of the events in the story: he lets you decide how to feel. By using animals instead of people, he kind of – excuse the pun – leads the horse to the water by showing the absurdity of the situation.

After doing more research into the book, I’m shocked at how many of the characters represent real Soviet figures. The story line even correlates to specific events and ideas. This isn’t just an allegory, it verges on a retelling of history that switches out the names and places. That being said, if you do choose to read this book, please follow it up with research. It enriches the story and leaves you awestruck.

Lastly, I’d be mistaken not to mention the ending of this book. Without spoiling it, this is an ending that leaves you in silence. I was stunned by the power of the last few words. Any perfectionist can find instant satisfaction in knowing that every word is deliberately placed in furtherance of the theme. Honestly, I think that alone is a good enough reason to read this book.

As always, I’d love to hear thoughts and opinions on this book, especially since this review is so one-sided.

Would I Recommend It?: Yes. This is a must-read classic.


Abbey’s Review

Dates: 5/9/20 (1.5 hours)

Plot: Mr. Jones’ animals come together in an uprising following the teaching of Animalism by Major the wise old pig. The novella details the inner working of a farm run by Animalism, and shows the successes and failures that come about.

Experience Before Reading: I read Animal Farm once before when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I remember the plot fairly well, but missed on some of the major takeaways. 

Takeaway: Basically this book is a critique on communism in The USSR under Joseph Stalin and its failings. I think one of the major areas of concern is about the importance of having fully realized political opinions. One of the major issues in the book is that some animals are not able to grasp the concepts being taught to them and “agree with whomever is talking at the moment.” Also, I’m glad I read The Art of War before this because you actually can see some of the tactics in the Battle of the Cowshed.

Would I Recommend It?: This is one of those books I think everyone should read. Regardless of your political beliefs this is an interesting commentary on political systems and the greed of man (or animal?).

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Book Reviews, Project 4

The Art of War – Book No. 11

This book review is a part of Reading Week. To read more reviews, click here!

22. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (5th Century BC) (Our version was the one translated by Lionel Giles)

Dates: 5/9/20 (1.25 hour)

Basic Plot: Military strategist Sun Tzu writes about how to win wars.

Experience Before Reading: Not much other than it’s about military strategy.

Takeaway: I found that I enjoyed this book (treatise?) quite a bit. Since reading The Prince by Machiavelli, I came into The Art of War with a little idea of what it would entail. Many of the themes are consistent and they speak of similar ideas. Seeing as The Prince came about one thousand years later, I wonder how much of Machiavelli’s strategies were directly and indirectly influenced by Sun Tzu.

I will be completely honest and say that I enjoyed The Art of War much more. I think it has to do with the styles of the works. The Art of War is much more direct and reads like proverbs and rules whereas The Prince is more prose driven.

However, I do think it’s important to separate the two from one another because they are their own ideas. Some of the ideas and classifications Sun Tzu presents are pretty thought provoking. As I was reading, I made note of one particular passage and turns out it resonated similarly with Abbey. I’ll let her tell you about it.

I will say that I firmly believe you have to read this more than once to absorb it all. Military strategists have been studying this work for centuries and I understand it takes meticulous attention to detail to acquire all of this information.

Would I Recommend It?: Yes, especially if you play strategy games. Go ahead, go and win Risk. Thanks, Sun Tzu.

Abbey’s Review

Dates: 5/9/20 (1 hour)

Plot: Just a list of war tactics.

Experience Before Reading: I had heard of this but it never peaked my interest.

Takeaway: Meh. This book doesn’t have any plot whatsoever and is literally just a list of war tactics. If I had to choose one thing I enjoyed it was just the discussion of how the faults of generals are recklessness, cowardice, a hasty temper, delicacy of honor, and over solicitude for your men. I think this is true not just of generals, but of all people. Even in a work setting these are all things to avoid.

Would I Recommend It?: I know a few people that would enjoy this. If you are interested in military thinking, this is definitely for you. Overall, just not my cup of tea.

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Book Reviews

The Time Machine – Book No. 10

This book review is a part of Reading Week. To read more reviews, click here!

64. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1895)

Dates: 5/9/20 (4 hours)

Basic Plot: A Victorian scientist discovers a way to travel through time and heads to the year 802,701. He tells his story to his friends.

Experience Before Reading: I knew that this was the book that brought time travel to pop culture. I can’t remember if I had to read it for school. I don’t think so since the story wasn’t overwhelmingly familiar.

Takeaway: This book is a mash-up of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and an episode of The Twilight Zone. Told by a Victorian narrator, the story includes theories on the human condition which were very enjoyable to me. And like The Twilight Zone, the conceptions of the future were a bit absurd.

I’m a little biased because I don’t particularly care for futuristic novels. I typically don’t respond well to any notions of the future because they often age poorly. If there’s even a single element of a futuristic world that’s implausible I instantly get pulled out of the story. Especially when the introduction to the book is so realistic, to dive into a not-so-realistic future isn’t really my cup of tea.

That being said, I can see why people would like this book. It’s fun and has a whole bunch of radical ideas. In terms of pacing though, it seems like some elements of the story were an afterthought and others were so meticulously thought through. I do wonder if pacing were different how I may have responded to the book.

The concept of time travel is a fun one and a lot of our ideas of time travel originate from this book. The machine itself kind of gave me TARDIS vibes – though I never really watched Doctor Who so I’d be curious to hear other people’s opinion who know more than I do!

Would I Recommend It?: All in all, it was fun. If you’re a sci-fi fan or like a bit of adventure, give it a shot. It’s short enough that it’s bearable even for the non-fans.

Abbey’s Review

Dates: 5/9/20 (2 hours)

Plot: Our narrator writes down the story of a time traveler’s escapades into the future. There he encounters the evolutions of humans.

Experience Before Reading: I had literally never heard of this book before.

Takeaway: I loved the writing in this, and the story was incredible. I felt the set up in the beginning was believable enough, and the epilogues lasting picture of the two flowers leftover from the time travelers experiences are very poignant and show that while cultures can have huge barriers, generosity and kindness are a language of themself.

Would I Recommend It?: This was a great book and a very quick read. I think if you are looking for a book that will make you think, you’d probably like this one.

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Project 4

Announcing Reading Week!

Following on the coattails of yesterday’s good news – I’m now a dot com! – I come with even more announcements!

Next week, 5/11 – 5/15, there will be a new book review every day!

Since I finish school tomorrow, I’ll have plenty of time to sit down and crank some books out.

Reading Week will include book reviews from both myself and Abbey. Her reviews haven’t yet been shared because she hasn’t read any of the same books as I have. I intend to update the posts retroactively to include her opinions. It should be noted that her opinions are often fairly different than mine. I’ve been excited to share them with you all and get a conversation going.

We’ve both agreed to read the same books – many of them on the shorter end of our list. For those of you looking to play along at home, this will include The Time Machine, The Art of War, Animal Farm, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. If we finish those, we’ve got more backups to keep Reading Week going.

We look forward to sharing our thoughts and diving deeper into Project 4!

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Blogging

Formerly Project865 – Introducing Jacqueline-Of-All-Trades

Quick post to let you know that I’ve upgraded!

You’ve known me as project865, but I’m now jacqueline-of-all-trades.com. I’ve been meaning to upgrade for a bit, but I knew I wanted to change my name to something more personal. Thanks to my new Project 6, I’ve taken the leap into professional blogging!

Can’t wait for what the future brings!

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Blogging

Project 6: Learn How to Blog

After my longest disappearance since making this blog, this project couldn’t be more appropriate. I’ve been stuck in the trap of pass/fail finals: you need to study minimally to pass, but what is minimal?

Why Project 6

Nevertheless with the end of finals near, I’ve begun to think about my summer goals. With the start of my law firm job delayed, it been a little difficult to plan how much time I’ll have this summer. But my situation isn’t unique, the whole world is at a standstill.

The virus has given me time to reflect on what I actually enjoy doing. As a high schooler, I had semi-successful music blog and another even more popular one on language learning (a secret passion I have yet to share with you guys – don’t worry, it’s coming!). Those, however, were not WordPress blogs. Here on WordPress, I do feel a little confused as to how everything works.

Recognizing my love for blogging, I realized I didn’t actually know what I was doing. I just type something out and throw it into the online ether. I realize that there’s a whole community of people here that I don’t know how to access: people with the same goals and same circumstances but with wildly different life experiences. As the curious person I am, I want to know more – what more is there to blogging?

This got my wheels turning even more: How do I reach people? How can I make my blog look better? Is upgrading my domain worth it? What is SEO? Is it possible to become as follower-obsessed as an Instagram influencer? What will it take to get Fashion Nova to sponsor me?

Before I knew it, I realized I knew nothing.

Project Goals

In this interim summer, I want to learn more about the potential of a blog and stretch it to its outermost limits. Enter Project 6. Like all of my projects, this one needs an end goal. Admittedly, I got a little stuck here – carrying this project out to a certain number of followers or traffic per month is a little weird (and arbitrary), so this project will just have an end date instead. I was thinking August 24, my first day of school. That gives me the entire summer to explore.

I was brainstorming some mini-goals and projects I’d like to explore so this whole journey isn’t without direction. Here are my thoughts:

  • Make my blog look better: The free themes are, well, not so great. They lack a little to be desired in my opinion and I feel like I can’t optimize how I’d like to display my content – which leads to my next goal…
  • Upgrade my domain: I’ve been wanting to do this for a little while now, but this project will accelerate this process. Which plan is best for my goals and how can I utilize it efficiently?
  • Generate more traffic: Here, I’m more interested in what drives traffic: Is it tags? comments? SEO?
  • Learn more about SEO: Speaking of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I don’t know much about what makes google like your blog and bring it to the front of its search results, but I’m curious.
  • Learn the WordPress algorithms: No hacking required. Like any service, there’s some internal tips and tricks as to what pulls something towards the top of your reader. When you search a tag why is it that those specific posts appear – are they getting more clicks or is it something else?

And there you have it. Of course, as I find out what works and what doesn’t, I’ll share it. WordPress is a tool that I know so little about – I’m excited to dig a little deeper. Here’s to the start of a new project!

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