Why I’m Doing The #ConsistencyChallenge

Hello readers! I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t it Monday? Do my eyes deceive me? Why is Mara posting a new blog post?” Yes, it is Monday! HAPPY MONDAY. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, this post is real. I’m posting on a Monday (straying from my typical Thursday posts) because THIS month I am taking part in Mattie James’ #ConsistencyChallenge. This last part may have added more confusion so let me tell you what I’m talking about.

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Back in May, Mattie James, one of the first influencer/bloggers I ever followed, hosted a #ConsistencyChallenge on Instagram. For that challenge we had to post on our Instagram feeds every day for the entirety of the month of May. We didn’t just do this to improve our analytics (which did happen) but we also had the chance of winning $1,000 prize. That was exciting but I was more interested in proving to myself that I could do it. When it comes to my various projects (Instagram, podcast, etc), I always struggled back and forth with consistency. Now I’ve learned how to plan out my feed and stay consistent on the gram.

Okay so you’re probably wondering “what does that have to do with you posting on your blog on a Monday?” Well, this month’s Mattie challenged us to post a new blog posts, EVERY DAY, Monday-Friday. I’m not even going to lie to y’all, I almost backed out. I’m still wondering how I’m going to create a new blog post for every weekday. However, similarly to the Instagram feed challenge, I need to prove to myself that I’m capable of doing this because I AM. It will also help me get better at blogging, something I’m always striving to do.

Here are the rules for the challenge, so you can all know what to expect from me.

During the challenge you must:

  • Blog once a day – Monday through Friday only
  • Monday, July 6 thru Friday, July 31 (20 days total!)
  • Posts should be at least 150 words long and include at least one photo/visual
  • Submit your favorite blog post you wrote of the week in the Facebook group every Friday am (there will be a dedicated thread for post submissions)

(Read Mattie’s entire blog post about the challenge here)

That’s what I’ve got going on this month. I’m super nervous but also excited to see what I accomplish. Wish me luck!

Leave a comment with a blog post you’d like to see from me this month. If it’s selected I’ll shout you out on the post.

3 Tips for Getting Out of a Creative Funk

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I can’t remember the last time I left my house or what but the last few weeks I have been struggling with deciding what content to put out on both my blog and my Instagram. My podcast has been a tad bit easier just because I usually do interviews and for my solo episodes, I always have something that’s easier to talk about than to write about for a blog or put in an Instagram caption. Whatever the case may be, I have definitely been going through my own version of writer’s block…taken a step further and an overall creatives block. As I mentioned on the most recent episode of my podcast (listen here), I started Mattie James’ #ConsistencyChallenge for my Instagram feed. Long story short the challenge consists of posting a picture on your Instagram feed every day, preferably ones that represent your brand and such. I have actually enjoyed it and will probably write more about it at some point in the future. However, after a few perfectly planned pictures and captions, I started to draw a blank. That carried over into my blog and finals season being in full effect didn’t help me. This led to me not having much to blog about and having to figure that out and how the hell I was going to post for the rest of the month. I would like to say I somewhat figured it out and decided that I should share this process with all of you.

Do a Brain Dump

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The first thing I do when I’m not sure what I want to create is to have a brain dump session. A brain dump session consists of me getting a blank piece of paper, setting a timer (usually for 5 mins or so), and just dumping all of my thought onto the page. The fact that I already know what the purpose for the brain dump is probably helps my mind focus on thinking about content, my assignment, or whatever it is I’m trying to garner creativity from. I feel that 5 mins in the perfect amount of time to force yourself to just get everything out and then figure out what to do with it later. After I brain dump, I sift through the words on the page and see if anything sounds like something I can expand on and usually I have at least 1 or 2 good ideas to run with.

Research What Other People in Your Niche are Creating

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I’m not saying that it’s entirely impossible to create never before thought of content or posts or whatever it is you need to create but let’s be real, many things have been talked about before and THAT IS OKAY. As a lifestyle blogger the topics aren’t necessarily what make me unique. What makes me unique is my perspective and experience with a topic. When I’m particularly stumped on what to create or write, I google “lifestyle blog ideas” or whatever topic I’m interested in writing about, whether that be “fitness blog posts”, “law school blog posts”, you get the idea. It’s okay to get inspo from other content creators. If the topic is entirely too specific, be sure to give that person credit and link back to their blog. The same goes for Instagram content as well. Creatives deserve credit, which I’ve made my thoughts on such known on my podcast as well (listen here).

Ask Your Audience What They Want to See

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Don’t get me wrong, this may not be the best approach depending on your audience and/or your relationship with them but it doesn’t hurt to try. I remember when I was not entirely new to blogging but also still figuring it out I used to come up with ideas and conduct polls on my Instagram stories to see what kind of content my audience wanted to see. After all, they are going to be the ones reading and/or engaging with it. You might as well see if they have any suggestions for topics they’d like your opinion or help with. Definitely don’t do this one too often or your audience will wonder why the hell are you a content creator if you can’t think of any content. I would say this is good to do once every few months or so. When done properly, it can be extremely help. The reason I even thought to write this blog was due to a suggestion from one of my mutuals on twitter. Thanks Della girl!

These are some of the ways that I deal when I can’t for the life of me think of what kind of content I want to create. Usually if I do one or all of these 3 things, I can get out of my creative funk and figure out what it is I want to write about or create. Hopefully these tips can help you if you are having a similar block.

Did I forget a suggestion that has helped you? How do you deal with writer’s block or get out of creative funk? Let me know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share it on your social media or with a fellow creative!

Why I Started Blogging

The last few weeks I have been struggling with thinking of  posts to write that aren’t related to law school. Law school has just become a major part of my life so it makes sense but I do want to get back to the primary reason I started my blog. Two factors I consider before I write a post are 1. Do I care enough about this to write about it at length and 2. Will this post help my readers in some shape or form? As a reflected on these recently, I decided that it may be important to revisit why I started my blog in the first place and sharing that with my readers would benefit you all and me.

When I first wanted to start this blog, I was really in love with the name “Motivated/Motivating Millennial.” Unfortunately for me, that name had already been taken by someone else. I went with “The Musings of Mara” instead. Regardless of what name I chose, the intent behind my blog has always been to motivate millennials (and now generation Z as we figure out what twenty-somethings fall into that category).
At the time nearing my college graduation (and even now), the word “millennial” was used in a condescending and negative way. People talk about millennials as if we are lazy, entitled, and unwilling to work hard. My blog started with the idea of showcasing that NO, we’re not any of these things. I and other millennials are some of the hardest working people I know.

As I moved away from the “motivated” adjective and more towards the “Motivating” adjective, my goal then became to motivate other millennials to live their best lives. To toot my own horn, I have accomplished many education related things in my life and wanted to help other college-aged people do the same. However, as I finally settled on the name “The Musings of Mara”, my goals shifted once again.

My current tagline of my blog is “creating a life I love through honest self-reflection & introspection and inspiring others to do the same.” I do not only want to help people live their best lives through education and work (which should only make up a small part of our lives) but also through sitting with oneself, reflecting, and achieving a balanced life and great overall wellness. The purpose of my blog is to encourage twentysomethings to strive for balance in their lives by not neglecting their well-being (emotional, mental, spiritual or whatever else) in the pursuit of their goals. As I had to learn the hard way in undergrad, being “successful” doesn’t mean shit if you are fighting off panic attacks daily and are facing an internal battle with your low sense of self-worth and lack of self-love. I went through it so you don’t have to.

If I can continue to help my readers achieve a balanced life full of joy and self-awareness, my blog will serve its purpose. If you’re reading this, I hope I’ve helped you at some point in my blogger life!

Do you have a topic you would like to see me blog about that would help you live your best life? Leave a comment below with a topic suggestion!