A City Girl Story: Behind Blogging

Why some things don’t work out.
When I decided to put more effort into blogging I decided to join and invest into groups that I thought would give me a leg up in blogging. I thought joining them would tell me what I didn’t already know or give me opportunities. What I learned was I really didn’t need any of it.
Sure, joining enabled me to network and connect with more people, which I liked but I have done that a lot on my own. And sometimes adding the hashtags just didn’t work, or the people in the network just weren’t people I could relate to which was disappointing. They were also telling me what I already knew, and I’d heard over and over again, like SEO, domains, content, and hashtags. I soon began to realize that just like in life, single holiday’s, becoming a writer, I could do it all on my own.
For example, getting ads or working with other people. I’ve gotten e-mails, and even the group I joined had opportunities where I could get paid, which I know ads on blogs seem so wrong. But, I want to make a living, and also it doesn’t seem to bother people to have ads, especially if they are still following, watching and reading the content. So, I never get why people complain when people have sponsorships. I understand if it sounds fake. For me what the organization or what was being e-mailed to me was all too over priced, nothing I would ever wear, or seemed like they were just trying to get my money. Plus, they would take over my Instagram, or I would pay them for 24 hours of posts which would give me a set number of followers. All I could think was that this was my instgram and how could they ensure I would get that many REAL followers.

I do not like to conform or if making this into a career means giving up myself, being told what to do, then what the hell was I doing here?
I began to hate it. I wanted to take away my e-mail. I wanted to diconnect myself. Because I knew I personally did not like that, I don’t like the idea of putting or working with others that just weren’t me. I didn’t want to go into these dressing rooms to try on clothes just to get paid. But, what was a girl suppose to do get her blog noticed? To get herself notice? A question I began to ask myself a lot lately.
Postive side. The group I joined had an interview with bloggers/business women in media who said that small groups are better; they connect better with their followers. I 100% agree. When I follow someone who has 1.5 K followers I don’t feel as “close” to them as I would with someone who has 300. It’s all about the little people.
I don’t see my blog as the typical blog.  I think a lot of the time it’s hard to be original and have it get noticed. It’s even harder to like a trend and stand out. It’s hard to be real in social media all together. I’m not doing this to be liked, I’m doing it because I love it. I love taking pictures, I love creating content, I love writing, I love sharing stories.

 
I do struggle in creating content for each post. I do find it difficult to go further with my blogging because I know I’m not typical, nor do I want to be. I don’t know if what I have to say will bring others in or want to work with me, but it doesn’t matter because I blog because I enjoy this type of writing. Plus, when I did get more than 100 likes on a post it doesn’t bring me satisfaction, it gives me anxiety when my phone constantly blows up with notifications.

This post is saying how I will always keep it real, that when I do work with someone or a businesses you will know I am still being 100% me, and to remember I am doing this because of my passsion for writing and all on my own.

We are keeping it real.

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Update on A City Girl Story blog

 

img_6726Blogging isn’t just keeping up with a blog anymore. And even though it isn’t my job, it’s something I like writing and want to do more with it. 

This weekend I was thinking about my social media platforms for A City Girl Story and what I could do to improve them. But, I hesitated because when it comes to public things there are rude and creepy people out there–like in real life you have to be safe. And knowing this I pull myself back. Yet I feel that shouldn’t stop me from doing what I love and want to do.  I’m not going to be sharing personal things but sharing things that is A City Girl Story for people to develop a connection to my blog. This may make sense once I go into what I’m planning to do.

Because I want to make good blog posts that are worth reading, as well as good content for each post, one blog post a week is all I can do.  If something changes and I have a lot more time during the weekend then maybe there could be two. If you want to know what to expect from the blog in 2017, you can read it here.  And because social media comes in handy, it can be quick and easy to share something. And that is what I am going to do.

I am not going to change anything for my Instagram account. I love Instagram and having this one really helps not only my creativity but my ability to share all the photographs I snap. Some days I really struggle other days I explode. So if you follow me on Instagram nothing is going to change. For Facebook I’m going to post a lot more links, quotes, and style trends. But, I am only going to post as often as I feel the topics are relevant to A City Girl Story. Having a facebook page will allow me to share more inspiration stuff because that is what A City Girl Story is all about. 

So follow Instagram and Facebook for more of A City Girl Story. All the links to them are in the right corner.

xox

kole

2017 & A City Girl Story.

What’s to become of A City Girl Story in 2017.

If you follow me you know that A City Girl Story is my voice, my story, and a place where I write about things that I know and feel would be interesting to share with my readers. I’m writing for the every day girl because I am an every day girl. A City Girl story is a blog for people to read, enjoy, get advice from, and maybe become inspired. Sometimes I will write about personal things like my disability, but I am careful to be selective on what I share so that I am no too exposed. I will never hold a camera to my face and I will keep some moments of my life private because those moments aren’t a city girl story.

That being said I have some plans for 2017 for A City Girl Story, I plan to do:

  • creative writingI’ve said this a lot and I really want to put my writing on my blog, but its harder to share because a lot of creative stuff take time, edit, writing, and rewriting. But I’m quite fast. 
  • topics.  I’d like to talk about more issues that girls face. I’ve done a few pieces like these, a lot more talked about in my “city girl story” post. However I’d like to go away from the “I” and into more ‘looking at it’, lets talk about it issues like body confidence.  
  • more on style.  I say this a lot but I never really do  it, I post pictures and if I am in them I have clothes on but I never really did like a lookbook.
  • share my photography. not on my blog, but through A City Girl Story with a new Instagram account called Where She Stood. I am going to test the waters because it’s something to do during the evening. While some people read books, I edit photos.

A lot of these things are for me to just get myself out there more, to not be afraid or second guess myself and just post them out. I’ve done a lot of research about blogging and I learned to really be a good blogger you have to,

  • Put in the time and effort
  • prepare and plan
  • have good content
  • network and communicate with other bloggers
  • love it!

I’m learning that my skills I used in school planning, being organized and always being two weeks ahead editing, and really working at something are still useful. Those things will help me not only with blogging but to become a better writer and get me where I want to be in life. Because I want to get more into blogging, which I do, I post once a week, but I feel like I can do a lot more-I can create so much more then what I have done. And I thought I was going to go at in October but I wasn’t ready. Now 2017 I’ve done my research, I figured out what works, and how to put in my time and effort. Of course, content!

So what is to become of my blog A City Girl Story? I want it to become a voice for all girls! 

A City Girl story Update: photography

Photography is a hobby but I want it to be more….

2If you haven’t notice I love taking photos. I love taking them either if its just taking pictures to remember something, or to create content, or even to tell a story, put words and pictures together. But most of all I like photography. I’m basically snap happy. However, I just don’t take photos to have, I have a background and knowledge in it. And these classes forced me to think critical and with a purpose when taking photographs. I remember in one of my many visual, photography classes he shared Dorothea Lange photographs of the great depression, she was suppose to take pictures to share what life is like for people affected by the great depression. She took many, but there is one that said it all and everyone hasn’t forgotten:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression#/media/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg

I always remember that lesson.

I have different aspects of photography just like in my writing. Like actually take pictures for a the human eye, take pictures to tell stories vs just taking pictures to share. Over the years I have taken pictures, I’ve shared them but I didn’t know what to do with my photos that I’d consider freelance/professional photographs. I had a Flickr but it wasn’t getting me anywhere. I decided to join this site, 500 px. which is like a cool version of Flickr which had a lot more going for me once I joined hitting the “popular” page a few times, however, it seems to only be for photographs. And well me being me not really someone who doesn’t really like to sell herself or put herself out there, I wasn’t going to do more. Yet, I wanted to.

Thus, I began to think about how to put my photographer with blogging even though they are different. And I’m trying it out a lot on instagram and having my creative post Fridays with my stories and photographer- volume 1 is here. I’m just hoping to do something with my photographs without them being something on Facebook or on my hard drives. It’s a hobby I’d like to share and if doesn’t work maybe I will create a instagram for them but I don’t want people to question me having two- you know?

It’s a circle I keep entering and going around in. And wanted to let you know what you should expect to come. Check out my 500 px or comment below if you have any suggestions 🙂

xox

Kole.

A City Girl Guide: What to do this Summer

A city girl guide to what to do for your Minnesota summer 

I haven’t had a proper Minnesota Summer in a long time. This one is going to be different not only is it my first summer back and I’m trying to find the best places; I’m still experience culture shock and trying to find where I  belong. But also I personally have some big decisions to figure out. So far I’ve done a few different things to make it the best summer it can be. Which I’ve shared on Instagram.

The best time to come to Minnesota is Summer; we spend about 6 months of the year inside that those summer months of being outside we use it up; there are events to movies in the park to concerts in the park to so much more. So if your coming to Minnesota plan to come to Minnesota with an empty suit case cause we have the biggest mall in Northern America–Mall of America and there are no tax on clothes! (selling it!)

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But really there is a lot more to do then shop. This list can be applied anywhere really.

What to do in Minnesota?

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  • Minnesota State Fair: its at the end of the summer but its probably the biggest most anticipate event of the whole summer. With food stands, food on sticks, music, horses, horse shows, pigs, cows, chicken and ducks, concerts, more food, rides, different booths with a lot of free stuff, car shows, tractor shows. Then there is the people watching; its a Minnesota event that you don’t want to miss.
  • Lakes: sure you can go on your boat, go tubbing, jet skying. But I live in the city and really getting thrown off or hit by a wave (from a boat) isn’t really ideal–i’d do it if I was invited; but more like hit those city lakes or rivers. Go sailing, paddle boarding, tube down the river is something I want to do. Minnesota is NOWHERE near a OCEAN we are the land of 10,000 lakes with dirt. But on those hot summer days. Lakes are what you got and time to enjoy before there is ice on them!
  • Parks: there are a lot of state parks around Minnesota to go and spend a nice afternoon; hike, have a picnic. Enjoy the outdoors. And for me a day in the outdoors is just fine.
  • ROAD TRIP: take a road trip to a small town; doesn’t have to be too far, could be a 20 minute drive outside the city (like Stillwater)  take the day, go somewhere small. Walk, sit in a pub, outside, have some food, a beer and some good conversation. Find the most random small town. I want to go to New Ulm cause they say its like Germany I been to Germany, lets check it out!Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
  • Brewers or Roof top bars: Brewers are big here; and really summer is a good time to enjoy yourself. So going to the brewers sitting on their decks; going to a roof top after work is a great way to spend the evening and enjoy the nice weather after being inside all day.
  • Spend a weekend up north: I loved when I went somewhere especially Galway or Killarney for the weekend. Here we have up north (Duluth) near lake superior. Rent an Airbnb and spend a weekend there; your even near a city there is Duluth.
  • Movies in the Park: I would spend a lot of my summers in Minnesota going to the movies in the park. They would have them all over the city parks a movie for the whole summer. Its a bit buggy, but so fun to have an evening out in the park watching a movie. There is also music in the park too.
  • Baseball game: If you every in America there is nothing like going to a baseball game. its something you have to do at least once maybe twice a summer.

And that’s the list. I plan to do more about guides to Minnesota esp. Twin cities of places and things to do. This is a BIG city, not as big as New York but bigger then Cork. Kind of why it can be overwhelming and feel lost at time. But I plan to do it by area so look out for those. My goal is to convince you  to come to Minnesota if your going to come visit the states. cause what I figure out not many tourist attractions or a place people know expect for Fargo but thats in North Dakota.

A City Girl Review: Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

A book you should be reading….

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In Asking For It, Louise O’Neill explores a topic that most people would rather not talk about. She brilliantly portrays a young girl who has been raped and the subsequent psychological trauma she’s forced to endure. O’Neill has us confront the reality of sexual assault, victim blaming, and consent, and what it is like to go through these things as a victim. She also touches on generational differences, the impact of social media on society and modern perceptions of women.  

O’Neill, from West Cork, Ireland, is an Irish novelist who is no stranger to diving into controversial social issues in her writing. Her first novel Only Ever Yours is a dystopian story in which girls are bred to please men. Asking For It focuses on 18 year old Emma O’Donovan, an unlikeable young woman who craves attention and isn’t nice to her friends. She flirts with all the boys, even her friend’s boyfriend. Emma goes to a party and  wakes with no idea what happened but feels uneasy. Then photographs start to surface of her and it comes clear of what happen. She was raped by a group of boys. Instead of being seen as the victim she is called a liar, slut, a girl who asked for it.  

  I first came across O’Neill’s book while at graduate school in Ireland. My friends were talking about a novel they had to read for class called Asking for It. As they told me about it I thought about how a book about such a sensitive topic would never have been assigned in a class in the states. A few months later, I finally picked it up the book and wasn’t ready for what was about to come.  

The book progresses through Emma’s life before and after she’s raped and we learn her thoughts and experiences what she is going through and how the assault affects her physically and emotionally. We come to understand what Emma is going through; she feels,​“My body is not my own any more. They have stamped their names all over it.”   

Emma’s story is hard to read but its one you need to read.

 O’Neill did extant research on Asking For It to make sure the story she was writing was real one. And it is very real, sexual assault, rape and the culture that enables it is real. And it is something every culture needs to address.  O’Neill continues to speak out about the topics she explores in Asking For It. She wrote a documentary, Asking For It?: Reality Bites, which aired on RTE2 on November 1, 2016. Asking For It has been placed on many best-selling lists and was the Irish Times Book of the Month in September 2015; The American Library Association awarded it a Michael L. Printz Honor for excellence in literature written for young adults and it is included on many college must reads.  

Even though the book takes place in Ireland, its themes are universal. It is critical that we open up dialogue about what factors contribute to rape culture,causes sexual assault and what can be done to change it from happening. We need to talk about rape and consent and affirm that women are treated better as victims of sexual assaults. We need to understand how rape affects an individual’s physical and emotional well being. We need to recognize and attempt to understand the conflicts that will arise within friendships and families.  And this novel does just that.  We need more books like Asking For It.

I actually got to meet Louise during my placement it was such a real experience. She informed me on so much with advise and you can see her passion and drive. Also met Lisa McInerney (pictured below). I was so nervous and excited about my internship especially when the Tuesday would come and fiction writers would come! 13653187_10154230644803463_8092185432130690256_o