Lifestyle

Musings || Blogging with Intent

On the 2nd of January (the Bank Holiday Monday) with Sam away in London, and having the whole day unfold before me, I decided to grab the new year by the horns and create a whopping 36 page blog business plan for myself. It revealed some of the ways that I wanted this space to unfold in the next few years, but more importantly it helped me identify a more succinct identity for Rhyme & Ribbons. I’ve long known what I’ve wanted to write about but struggled with a continuity of genre and voice. I don’t want to change any of the topics that I write about, but I want to give myself the freedom to blog with more intent. I find myself losing interest as a blog reader and a blog writer when too many posts are cotton candy fluff (something I myself am guilty of). 

When identifying aspects about myself, my blog and my readers, I came to realise that I wanted to talk more about social responsibility. I want this space to be an ethical framework for my own personal values. I don’t want to alienate readers who differ in opinions to my own, and I always welcome civil disagreements. If I had a word for 2017, it would probably be “intent”. I want to blog and live my life with more intent. I want my life to have more curiously earnestness and eager intention in it. Maybe that means longer and more fleshed-out and thoughtful blog posts. Maybe that means more focus. I’m not sure yet, and that’s okay. 

With that I’d like to just go out there and lay my beliefs out on the line. Some or all or none of them might rear their heads in my writing this year, but I must acknowledge that my beliefs affect the way I approach life. 

I believe that there’s nothing wrong with being a “progressive” but lately it’s been bandied about like a pejorative term. I’m claiming it. I believe in the importance of feminism. I believe that Black Lives Matter.  I believe in the importance of multiculturalism. I believe in universal healthcare, longer paid maternity and paternity leave. I believe in trans rights. I believe in gender equality. I believe in a woman’s bodily autonomy. I believe in global warming, and in the importance of switching to green energy as soon as possible. I believe that Islam is not a religion of violence; violent people create a cult of violence. I believe that soon a woman will (and needs to) shatter that highest glass ceiling. I am pro-immigration. I believe that I am privileged and I need to remind myself every day of this bias when I form my opinions on the world. I believe that you can never, and should never stop learning about the issues. (And I believe that both the Labour Party in Britain and the Democrats in the US are facing very similar problems at the moment; thus I believe in disentangling legitimate grievances from intolerant populist rhetoric.) 

I believe that in the US we should institute automatic voter registration. I believe that building a more progressive society by cutting done on predatory lending, increasing the lending wage, expanding public housing and public transit benefits everyone. On smaller issues I believe that if everyone took one for the team and had a few meatless days per week, the environment would greatly thank you for it. I believe in spending less in general and reducing fast fashion consumption. Buying less but better (or not at all).  I believe that there’s no such thing as “clean eating” and it’s just a fad diet like any other, fed to you to make you feel inadequate and react by opening your wallet. 

Agree with them, disagree with them, but those beliefs are mine.

So here are goals that I’ve set myself for 2017:

Whenever I hear microaggressions regarding myself or others instead of biting my tongue as I’m want to do, I will politely challenge the issue. 

I will donate more of my time and money. Last year, Planned Parenthood was at the forefront of my mind. 

I will continue to remind myself that hard-work isn’t just for personal gain, but improvement of the community. 

I will continue to be curious and encourage transparency. 

We must demand more of our politicians. Call your senators, call your representatives. Let their offices know your opinion as a constituent. 

I will not “normalise” Trump. He’s a misogynist and a bully. Anyone who doesn’t adhere to basic respect of others should be challenged on it. 

I will read more. And I will read the opposition more. I will read more critiques about the failures of the Democratic party. I will do more reading on euroskepticism and the leave vote.

I will remind my nieces and nephews that they can like pink or blue or orange or purple; they can do ballet and play in the dirt. I won’t use adjectives like “girly” to dissuade them from an activity.

I will stay optimistic. 

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  • Yes! YES YES YES!

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    I’m looking forward to reading more lovely. It’s great to read blogs that aren’t all macarons and fluffy cushions πŸ™‚

    • Totally. I love all that fluffy stuff. But I also want to give myself a bit more freedom of expression! x

  • yes!:)

  • Reading this makes me want to punch the air in delight! I agree with so many of your beliefs, I’m hopeful that many more people agree too, and the more we speak out, the better! The political upheaval of 2016 is scary for sure, but I also think it’s radicalised a lot more people – for better or for worse. Certainly discussion regarding politics and other beliefs has become more widespread in my friends and family and that can never be a bad thing! xx

    • Definitely! I think it’s made me realise that the people have a very strong impact on our governments (something I think a lot of democracies/democratic republics/etc have been a bit jaded about this millennium). People flexed their power in 2016 and I think a lot of progressives (myself lumped in there) had been so used to low voter turnout that we never really took things as seriously as we should have. The right has been very instrumental in mobilising this year and I think we all need too. xx

  • I love this so freaking much. SUCH a great post Amanda!!! I’m so excited for absolutely everything you’re going to be writing about. I think people talking more about politics and world issues can only be a good thing. Do you read Life Outside London? She wrote an amazing blog post yesterday about Meryl Streep being told she should “stick to acting” and I think you’d really like it! xx

    Little Miss Katy

    • Thanks Katy! I’ll have to bookmark her post to read this evening. (Meryl obviously slays at everything she does and Trump and the MAGA crowd can’t take that away from her ;)) xxx

  • So much love for this post. I think more bloggers need to be using our platform to talk about life changing issues like these – it doesn’t mean we can’t still write about fashion or travel or what have you, it’s not mutually exclusive!

    • Yes! It’s completely not mutually exclusive, and that’s something that I needed to give myself freedom to believe. I can write about cake and fashion and still care and write about politics and mental health. I think this year, I’m finally feeling confident enough in my voice to let people in more to my opinions. xx

  • This all sounds great! It’s not often you find bloggers who are willing to talk about real life issues because they can often come across as not ‘pretty’ in a feed of stories. Looking forward to reading more!

    The Little Things | Louise x

    • Thank you so much Louise! I do love a good “pretty” story and I don’t want to stop writing about food, fashion and travel, but I do want to give myself the freedom to express more of my personal opinions and beliefs. And I was a bit too scared to do that before. x

  • I’m so looking forward to your ongoing posts into 2017! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Agreement from the Mayfairy sector is forthcoming. It’s so freeing on the blog and on social to cut out so much of the bullshit and try to be better. Not that everything frivolous is “bullshit” necessarily, but giving yourself permission to write about the stuff that you want to write about is an amazing feeling.

    • Totally! I still want to write about all the things that I was already writing about (food, fashion, weird historical homes) but I also want to give myself the freedom to write about things that I really care about too! x

  • I can’t wait to read more blog posts about these kind of topics in the future.

    I myself struggle to accurately explain everything I feel, everything I believe in. I feel very overwhelmed by it all and I tend to just stick my head in the sand.

    This year I want to do better. I want to challenge, I want to question why people think what they think if it differs from my own.

    I think this blog post sums it up perfectly for me. Thank you for inspiring me! xx

    http://www.one-more-slice.com/

    • Thank you so much for your really kind comment Lynsey.

      I too am guilty of sticking my head in the sand. I still will always blog about food, fashion and travel, but this year I really want to give myself the freedom and push myself to express my own beliefs and opinions a bit more. I think I’ve been a bit tentative because I was scared that I’d alienate readers, but hopefully it will just encourage more dialogue! x

  • Yes! Thank you Amanda for writing this and go you for saying it loud and clear. I agree wholeheartedly with all of these. It shocked me the other day when I saw someone use the word ‘progressive’ as a pejorative term for the first time. Baffled me completely! I’m all for being progressive, which in my mind means always push to better oneself and society, for the collective good, for feminism and multiculturalism, etc. and I just don’t understand the logic of those who don’t. Perhaps it’s ignorance or taught hatred, etc. but like you said it needs to be challenged. It’s scary but it needs to be done more. I take my hat off to you πŸ™‚

    • 2016 really unsettled me. And that is my privilege showing. So much rancour and hatred reared it’s head this year and it totally took me by surprise. I tend to believe that what is best for the collective good is best for the individual in the long run, but i know that there are people that fundamentally disagree with that. x

  • Sounds interesting and very readable. Fluff really isn’t of any interest to me either. I’ll be tagging along πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Jane. Haha, I really don’t mind fluff. And I enjoy writing it from time to time. But I don’t want it to be the majority. I’ll still be writing about fashion and food and travel, but I want to give myself the freedom to talk more about the issues that I truly care about and believe in. x

  • AMANDA. Oh my god. This is so so good. Thank you for laying things out so clearly; that takes courage. I’ve been away from the blog world for a while but I’m super excited to start reading yours again.

    • Thanks Samantha! I’m not going to stop writing anything that I wrote before (food, travel, fashion) but just broaden my scope a bit to talk about the issues more often. Especially post Jan 20th. Hope you’ve been well! x

  • Fluff is ok from time to time but not all the time, boring dribble from me is ok from time to time but if you read my blog you will know I like to throw in some history as well

    • Totally! I really enjoy reading fluff but I like some substance here and there too. (And I love a bit of history!) xx

  • “Intent” is a word I’ve been thinking a lot more about with my blog too. As well as photography. Being more intentional makes me think more about what I want to express. Definitely harder at times, but life would be dull without a few challenges, eh?

    • Definitely! I’d love to be more intentional with my photography too. And life would be totally dull without a few challenges πŸ™‚ x

  • I love this – very excited to see everything on the blog in 2017!

    • Thanks Jasmin! I won’t be taking any topics away that I write about but hopefully just adding a bit “more” x

  • These are great goals to have!

    Francesca Andrews

    P.S Definitely guilty of fluffy blog posts over here!

    • I don’t mind fluff all the time (I’m so guilty of writing it too) but it’s nice to have a little substance mixed in. And thank you so much! X

  • I’ve always loved your blog, but THIS. I love this SO much, and I’m looking forward to read this kind of posts in the future xx

    • Thank you lovely! I don’t want to stop writing about any of my old topics but just open up the doors to my beliefs a bit. X

  • Love this. I’m right there with you on your beliefs and living with intent.

    • If there’s anything that 2016 taught me is that it’s important to speak up. And ashamedly, I shy away from confrontation most of the time but I want to give myself more freedom on this space to explore my beliefs. X

  • So many great goals, I hope you achieve them all.

    Kisses,
    BLOG | TAISLANY

  • Brooklyn

    36 pages! Wow that is amazing!
    Great goals πŸ™‚

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

  • I am impressed by your 36 pages and I admire you for taking the time to write this! I second your decision about giving more back to the community let that be via doing charity or becoming a better person and/or professional!
    I am looking forward to see what 2017 brings for you!
    xo
    Anastasia
    http://www.natbees.com

  • Miu

    First of all, 36 pages? Wow! (Do you want to write my 17-page essay by any chance? ;))
    And second, I could basically copy this post and use it as my own. While reading my mind was like, “Check, check, check aaaaand check”. I would love to read some of your insights here on the blog πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much! (And when I did my masters dissertation I really stuggles to finish- I was so bored of writing it by the end so you probably don’t want me writing any essays πŸ˜‰ xx

  • I always feel like I sometimes want to write about world issues, but when I start I can’t get my words right! A writer I am not. A documenter, better description haha. You write so beautifully and articulately, and can really get your points across so you’re the perfect person to use your platform to write about issues that are important to you. And holy crap a 36 page plan? You are supremely organised haha.

    • I used to get really nervous about sharing my personal opinions but this year has pushed me so far out of that comfort zone that I’m like. “Yep. You can do this!”

      So I’m freakishly organised. Sam says the best job for me would be to go in to people’s homes and organise their lives for them. I’d love it. I sometimes alphabetise (movies, books) to relax. So weird πŸ˜‰ x

  • I love this post and am now eagerly waiting on what you write about! All topics that should be talked about πŸ™‚

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

  • I’m so proud of you!!! It’s not easy blogging about controversial topics–believe me, I speak from experience. But it’s SO important for us to raise our collective voices to inspire change.

    I cannot WAIT to see what else comes from your blog! xoxo