Losing The Self-Promo Mojo

When it comes to blogging, writing the posts is one thing, and promoting/sharing them is another. These days, it’s highly suggested to put a lot of effort into both if you want to succeed. You can’t just write to get it out, you really have to be smart about how you market it.

When I publish a post, it automatically goes to Tumblr, but I manually post it to Facebook and Twitter so I can customize the message for those platforms. I also try to retweet and pin said tweet a few days later in case people missed it the first time, but I often forget to do that, and you can’t schedule retweets on Hootsuite. Otherwise, that’s it. Once in a while, if I can think of an older post that would be relevant to share again on Twitter, I sometimes share that. I should do that more, but as you can tell from the title of this post, I really think I’ve lost the self-promo mojo.

Underweight motivation lazy GIF - Find on GIFER

There are people who promote their posts 10+ times a day every day on social media and people who share their posts in every Facebook group they’re in and people who use every blogging hashtag in the book. And aside from some of this stuff being actually annoying to followers, it’s also so time-consuming. I can’t bring myself to do that. Even if I did, because I don’t have a lot of social media followers, I doubt my numbers would go up that much.

Furthermore, I also used to go through a few WordPress tags every single day and a few Twitter tags once a week, and even that has gotten reduced to a few times a month. I’m just not finding a lot of things I’m interested in reading or following, and I’m well aware that I kind of suck at interacting (though I do try to be better…sometimes).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I miss the WordPress Community Pool. It was so fun and easy to do the self-promoting in that one place while helping others out at the same time. In the Pool, there were a lot of hobby bloggers too, whereas on Twitter I find a lot more job/serious bloggers, which of course ties into why they promote so much more, but still.

we had a good thing and you let it fall apart gif.
Me thinking about the Community Pool and its sudden end

I kind of dislike how blogging has turned into such a production that you need several social media accounts and hours of time and a knack for interacting and strong self-confidence in order to blog. One should be able to write and publish and do some light networking without it being a second full time job or uncomfortable. No one’s forcing this on us, but the nature of the blogosphere has certainly changed a lot to this way as the suggested norm for success. And I’m someone who went to school for marketing and writing, so this is literally my passion, but that doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant, especially when you’re a one-man-show just kind of promoting yourself all the time.

I’m sure this is a phase I’ll get over (soon?), but it’s just something that I’m going through, whether you can tell or not from my Twitter activity, and I’d bet that it’s something that others have felt at some point too. If you have tips to help, that’d be nice.

Well Eventually I'll Get There gif.

 

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The State Of Romcoms

Like a lot of people, I enjoy romcoms (romantic comedy movies, for anyone who lives under a rock). I think they’re great and fun and cute. Some are so iconic and everyone knows them, or parts of them at least, to the point where they’re sometimes more relevant in pop culture than big blockbuster movies that made twice as much money in theaters.

I love romcoms gif.

But I think romcoms and their popularity and purpose has changed a bit over the years. There certainly still are romcoms being made in recent years that are well done and overall enjoyed by their viewers, but I think that compared to the romcoms of yesteryears, they may not have that longevity and popularity years down the line.

It seems to me that romcoms really took off in the 90’s. There of course were some in the 80’s that checked the boxes of having romance and comedy, but a lot were the iconic teenage coming of age movies, and as much as they’re in many ways great in their own right, I don’t know if anyone’s calling Pretty In Pink a classic romcom, ya know? But in the late 80’s and leading right into the 90’s, that’s when romcoms really took off and made lasting marks on the genre. People like Huge Grant, Julia Roberts, and Meg Ryan became legends.

Notting Hill gif.

And then in the 2000s we got a wide mix of content. Romcoms may have kickstarted in the previous decade, but there were so many that were made in the 2000s, with old and new names joining in and contributing. Ones that stand out to me are Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, and Ryan Reynolds. Not all of the movies are worth talking about today still, but they were entertaining, and it is always fun nowadays to turn on the TV to find some old forgotten mid-2000’s romcom and recognize the whole cast (this happened recently with the movie View From The Top).

Off the backend of the 2000’s and going into the early 2010’s, I noticed that the number of romcoms started to dwindle and there was a shift in the kind of comedy (more hokey and dumb) as well as in the leads for the romcoms. I feel like they went from some big-name staples in the genre to being comprised of mostly people who, for some reason, either had or later did have a deep association with an NBC show (eg. Kristin Wig, Paul Rudd, Tina Fey, Steve Carell…).

Once in the 2010s, I don’t know if it was because of the 2000’s romcom overload or if the better movie technology just lead to more action movies being made instead, but there are not a lot of romcoms in this decade. There are some, and luckily for us all, some of the some are really good and favourites of mine, but I find that overall, the genre kind of died out. A lot of the ‘top romcoms’ listed in articles online are ones that I don’t find to be that memorable in terms of a movie and especially not in terms of a romance, like Easy A, Trainwreck, Silver Linings Playbook, or Sleeping With Other People. It’s too bad. The dozens of cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies made every year prove that people aren’t opposed to watching simple romance in movies still.

Where Is The Love? GIF.
Me @ 2010’s “romcoms”

What will the romcom genre look like in the 2020’s? I don’t know and based on the trend, I don’t expect too much. A lot of the romcoms released in the last several years came from streaming services rather than theaters, and maybe that’s for the best as romcoms are best enjoyed at home rather than in a large theater. I also think a reason for a lack of recent romcoms is because there aren’t a lot of mid-20’s/early 30’s aged actors who are a) super popular and b) want to be the romcom legends of the era. There’s a good chunk of early 20’s people (Timothee Chalamet, Tom Holland, Zendaya, Noah Centineo, Hailee Steinfeld) who largely have already jumped into more edgy, action-packed big paycheque projects. 

It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I don’t think the genre will die out at all, but I don’t know if anything made any time soon will be able to match some of the purity and quality of older romcoms and lines like “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,” (even though I kind of find that line very cringe).

What are your thoughts on romcoms over the years? Do you enjoy modern ones just as much as 90’s classics? Do you think the genre is dead or dying?

powerful and relevant performance gif.
My mom, rewatching Love Actually for the 1000th time

That’s all for now!

 

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I Love Jeans!!!

Jeans are the best. I will go to my grave proclaiming my love for jeans. I wear jeans just about every day. Even when I had to ‘dress’ up for work, a lot of the time I was just wearing black jeans. Love them. 10/10.

jean hearts gif.

Jeans often get a bad rap, though, and I don’t know why. I mean, what do we look for in our pants? Comfort, fit, style.

I find jeans super comfortable. If you don’t, you’re probably wearing a wrong pair.

In terms of fit, jeans have a wide variety of them. There’s skinny jeans, wider jeans, flared jeans, boot cut jeans, boyfriend jeans, high-waisted jeans, and more. Not to mention shorts (jorts, if you will) and denim overalls. There is surely a fit out there that’s perfect for your body and your desired look. All genders look good in them, you can dress them up or down, and they’re a lot more socially acceptable than sweatpants or khakis.

Which brings us to style. Listen, I know jeans aren’t viewed as a luxurious, fancy product, but to me, jeans are perfectly stylish. I really like that they go with everything. T-shirts? Tank tops? Sweaters? Jackets? All hell yes. I never have to worry about clashing colours or patterns because jeans, blue or black, just go perfectly with any top. It’s so great to get dressed with minimal effort while still looking put together. I’m no fashion icon, but I never look sloppy or bad in jeans. Of course jeans aren’t a substitute for a cocktail dress or prom attire, but in terms of everyday life, they’re perfect.

a variety of shirts with jeans.
Wow look at all these shirt (and shoe!) styles that all work with jeans!!!!!!

It’s time to end this “no jeans” rule that a lot of places like restaurants or my beloved curling clubs have (I’m not saying I want to curl in jeans, I don’t think they’re good for that, but people should be allowed to if they want to, or even just exist in the building wearing them).

Another benefit to jeans is that they’re thick/heavy enough to keep me warm (I’m Canadian, of course this is a concern!) and not roll up my leg, exposing my ankles/calves uncomfortably. 

I just really love jeans. I can’t see myself ever not wearing jeans, because I don’t know what would replace them. I don’t like leggings, I’m not a frequent skirt/dress wearer (though I do have a denim skirt!), and I think sweatpants are too casual and basic looking. I’m not a huge fan of some jean styles like wide jeans or high wasted ‘Mom jeans’ but I’d rather wear them than sweatpants almost any day.

Mom Jeans GIF.

So shoutout to jeans and jean lovers. This one’s for you. 

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: February 2021

Well, we’re one month into 2021, and I found it to be pretty good, all things considered. Maybe February will be decent too. I don’t have much going on, but maybe some calmness is okay. I’d rather have nothing going on than a month of chaos and ruined plans.

monthly look ahead logo

  • More Arrowverse shows are back/starting this month. The final season of Black Lightning begins on the 8th, which I’ll see to the end even though I’m not a huge fan of the show overall, and Superman And Lois starts its first season on the 23rd. I also don’t have high hopes for this, but it’s something to watch on my lunch breaks, and maybe it’ll be delightful like Smallville.
  • It’s not confirmed, but it’s rumored that the new Among Us map will be out this month. There’s no date other than “early 2021”, but a few sites I read said they’re thinking February. Of course, the last time I did a ‘this thing should be happening this month’ in an MLA post, it did not happen that month, so who knows.
  • A musical that I adore, Hadestown, has a new behind-the-scenes book called Working On A Song that I was immediately interested in when I heard of its existence. My local library doesn’t have it (though I did submit a request for it), but I found recently that the library in the city I went to University does have it. In ebook form. And my card still works. So I’m excited to borrow it from a distance and read it.
    Cover image for Working on a song [e-book] : the lyrics of Hadestown

As I said, not a thrilling month for me, but that’s okay. I’m in a routine now with work, I bought a Nintendo Switch so I’m gonna be gaming more than I was, and I’m surviving the pandemic. What’s your February looking like?

That’s all for now!

 

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Keeping Your Brain Active

Depending on what you do for work, there’s a chance your brain is not stimulated as much as it should be. I don’t know if there’s a statistic on how much you should challenge your brain per day and I don’t care to do any research, but still. My retired father recently asked if he could use my old Nintendo DS to play Brain Age and Brain Age 2. He doesn’t play every day, but I respect that there is an attempt to stimulate learning and brain activity.

exercising brain gif

And it got me thinking about what I do to keep my brain active, even though I’m young and it’s not a huge concern for me (yet?). Aside from work, blogging and any writing I do is certainly good, but I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of complicated things going on here that require focus and critical thinking. I just kind of pour out words on whatever I want and click publish.

I think the biggest thing I do that keeps my brain active is playing Words With Friends. I’ve been playing nearly every day for several years, mostly against random people online. Trying to maximize points by strategically using bonus tiles or big words does force a level of thinking that challenges me to some degree. I can’t just do it on the side while talking to someone or while half asleep.

happy girl on phone gif.
Me defeating someone’s grandmother on WWF

I’ve also been playing Mario Kart Tour every day for over a year, though there’s nowhere near the same amount of brain activity going on, so as much as video games can certainly be great for thinking and puzzle-solving and all that, some games really aren’t the best, even if you have fun playing them. In related news, I also got a Nintendo Switch this month and have been enjoying a higher caliber of gaming once again.

And not everything needs a screen. My mother does crosswords in the newspaper and sometimes I do the sudoku, and those are also good brain activities, provided you’re working at an appropriate skill level. Doing a puzzle or a Rubik’s Cube can also be good.

Currently, Ontario is in a second total lockdown, and since this is now our new normal and we’ve adjusted, I think having things to do that not only pass the time safely or amuse you, but also help you stay mentally healthy and active is important, and will continue to be important even once this pandemic is over.

Big Brain energy gif.

What do you do to keep your brain active?

 

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