Hello Blogging World! My name is Melissa and my blog is called “Perspective Changes Everything.” I am not sure where I fit in, in the blogging realm. I am not a fashion or beauty blogger, a lifestyle blogger, a travel blogger, or a self-help blogger. I just write about the topics or situations close to my heart. In a way, I feel like I am sharing my experience, strength, hope, failures, successes, and faith as I journey through this thing called life. I am thirty-seven (vigorously approaching the dreaded 4-0) and live in California. I have lived in the same county my entire life. I grew up in a small town called Atascadero and went to college fifteen miles away at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo (our local university). I graduated with a BA in English and entered the teaching credential program. I have been an English teacher at a local school district for twelve years now. I am married to an amazing man, and his kids and my son make up our family. I call them my perfectly imperfect blended family.
I love the outdoors–fishing, hiking, camping, sunrises, and sunsets. I love to travel and go on adventures. It makes my soul happy. There is a part of me that could literally put everything into a van and just go…go anywhere and never look back. I have always been told I have a hippie-like, gypsy soul. I love taking pictures. Pictures are all that will remain once we are gone. For the last three years, I have been a CrossFitter. I love the feel of a barbell in my hands and giving everything I can to finish a workout. I wouldn’t say working out is something I love to do, but it is something I need to do in order to keep myself healthy, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I love reality TV (it is definitely a vice) and social media. I am a recovering alcoholic, and I have been sober over five in a half years. It was by far one of the most difficult roads I have ever walked, but it has been by far the most rewarding. I love Jesus and going to church. I absolutely love singing. I am not good at it at all, but I still do it (especially in the car). I have a 6 lb. terrier-chihuahua mix named Serenity, and she is truly a girl’s best friend. I am an avid reader, and for as long as I can remember, I was writing.
1. How long have you been blogging?
My first official blog post on my website was March 6, 2018. So, I haven’t really been an “official” blogger for very long; however, I have always been a writer. I love to write. I journal, I write things down based on how I am feeling or about a certain situation and post them on Facebook. I love my relationship with words. I still dream of publishing my own novel one day. Hmm…
2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?
No, I am not a full-time blogger. Although, since I have just been getting my blog started and trying to put it out there for the blogging world to see, it has felt like a full-time job! I love it though. For the past twelve years, I have been teaching English and Drama at a local school district. For the first four years of my career, I was at the high school teaching mostly 9th and 10th-grade English-Language Arts. Before the start of my fifth year, I volunteered to be transferred to the middle school level because of budget cuts and layoffs. I was lucky enough not to receive a “pink slip,” but the switch put me in an entirely different world–middle school is a very special age. For the past, eight years I have been teaching 8th-grade English-Language Arts, 8th Grade GATE (Honors course), and I started the Drama program at our school five years ago. I gave up the drama this past year because I needed a break from the number of extra hours I was putting in while trying to still maintain my English classes and my home life. I am around reading and writing day in and day out.
3. What got you started into blogging?
Like I said before, I have always written just not as a “blogger.” My husband was in a nearly fatal dirt bike accident in November of 2017. I kept a daily “blog” or journal about what we went through as a family and wrote his story. I shared these daily digests on Facebook and in messages for our family and friends to read. My husband has very little to almost no memory of the first thirty-five days in the hospital, so I decided to write his story so he could read it whenever he wanted. Over the course of those fifty-five days, I realized how therapeutic writing really was for me. I had numerous people tell me I needed to start writing more or to write a book, which prompted me to start an official blog. My husband can go to my website and read his story, and I have a place where I can share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences for whoever reads it.
4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?
Like I said, my blog is mostly about my experiences, my feelings, my perspective on life. I don’t know how you would categorize it.
5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?
The blogging community on Twitter and Facebook have been amazing. It takes some work to get your blog out there, but it has led me to meet some great people and learn from people who have been blogging a lot longer than me. I think what works the best for me is being honest and staying true to myself. I write about what I know and I write from the heart. I also have some amazing people in my life who enjoy reading my writing and have become my faithful audience and number one fans. Even if I was only writing for one person and it was helping them in some way, it would be worth it. Maintaining that perspective is working for me.
6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?
Pinterest didn’t work out so well for me. I honestly could not figure it all out and got frustrated. So, I have yet to try to tackle that feat again. Other than that, I am not sure yet what isn’t really working. I didn’t like that my blog was so full of other people’s pictures and quotes when I started writing about other topics besides my husband’s story. I didn’t want to take away from the authenticity of my blog. So, I started taking my own pictures and going through scenery pictures I have taken in the past, stamped my name on them and have been using them on my blog as much as I can. I was using a picture I found online as my logo picture and “face of my blog,” and it bothered me I was using someone else’s photo. My current logo is 100% me.
7. What tools are you using that you can introduce my readers to?
I use Bluehost as my website provider (I think that is what you call it) and WordPress is built into it. Other than that, I use an app (LiveCollage) to format my pictures. I am pretty simplistic, I guess. I am still learning about all the available features that can be used.
8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?
Do it. I wish I would have started years ago. If you want to write, blogging is a great place to start. Find what you are passionate about and write. Also, I wouldn’t get too caught up in the number of followers or likes you receive. When it boils down to it, you should write because it is something you enjoy doing. It is nice when I get a surprise comment on my blog from someone I don’t know, but I am not desperate for a certain number of followers, likes or comments. I can see how people can get caught up in that, but I try to maintain a more genuine approach to my blogging, especially because it is not something I earn money from. It is a hobby.
9. Where can everyone find you?
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