blogging

Link Love Wednesday: One Week Till Christmas!

o-SOMEECARDS-facebookThe gifts have begun to make their way in. My office building is decked with trees, wreaths and holly. And the holiday light shows are finally in full bloom! Christmas season is finally here, and it is definitely a jolly (if not uncharacteristically freezing for Central Florida) time of year. Wishing a happy holiday season to you and your family! My gift to you? A fabulous round-up of articles and links you will love!

Any great links you’ve stumbled upon this week?

Happy Holidays!

Kind Words from Tales for Scout: Blog Exchange

Good afternoon, friends! As you may know, I recently did a blog exchange with Megan from Tales for Scout. Want to see what she had to say about So It Must Be True? Click here to read her review of my site and a few favorite posts! :)

Bloggers – interested in doing a blog exchange in the near future? Email me at vmoses90@gmail.com and we can get the conversation started!

Blog Spotlight: Tales for Scout

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Copyright Megan Lierley, talesforscout.blogspot.com

Not long ago, I exchanged blogs with Julie Kesti, a Minnesotan ex-pat artist living in Shanghai. I am happy to say that the experience led to a blog swap with Megan Lierley of Tales for Scout, a blog I will now be reading regularly! Tales for Scout focuses on especially on Megan’s travel adventures in San Francisco, where she lives, but is also a fantastic read for twenty-somethings.

Here is a round-up of a few of Megan’s wonderful blog posts. Definitely check out her page, especially if you plan to visit San Francisco any time soon!

So what are you waiting for? Check out Tales for Scout and let her know what you think!

Interested in a blog swap? Email me at vmoses90@gmail.com and we can get started. :)

Blog Spotlight: Meet Julie Kesti

Copyright Julie Kesti, juliekesti.com

Copyright Julie Kesti, juliekesti.com

This week, I had the chance to “swap blogs” with Julie Kesti, a Minnesotan artist living in Shanghai. Her blog features beautiful original artwork, quick recorded interviews with other artists, Friday love letters and posts about her experiences as an American living and creating abroad.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites of Julie’s recent posts. If you have an appreciation for art and culture, you’ll have to check her page out!

Interested in learning more about Julie’s art and travel adventures? Hop on over to JulieKesti.com!

Fellow bloggers: Want to do a similar blog exchange? Drop me a line and we’ll talk about it!

Link Love Wednesday: Graduation Edition

imagesI graduated from college on Saturday (look out for an upcoming post about it!), and as I prepare to begin my first full-time job next week, I look forward to a lot of the changes I am about to experience. Of course, with every monumental life event comes at least a twinge of nostalgia, and I can credit my university for giving me the best four years of my life thus far.

Some of this week’s articles and links are geared toward graduating seniors in particular, while others are merely meant to make you think or smile. What have you been reading lately?

Enjoy this week’s link love, and feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Blogging Highlights of 2012

woohooI can’t believe the year is almost up!

For me, 2012 has been a spectacular year in the realm of blogging. Although I didn’t have as much time to write as I did in 2011, I experienced some major milestones here at So It Must Be True throughout the past 12 months. Today, as we approach the very end of 2012, I would like to share some of this year’s most memorable moments, and to thank each of you for being such an integral part of the blogging experience.

The Weekend Five: Blogging Highlights of 2012

1. In 2012, I received nearly twice as many visitors as I did in 2011, and I had visitors from at least 77 countries.
It is so exciting to look at the blog’s analytics and discover that people from all around the world are reading! I love hearing from you, and am always thrilled when I receive a notification that someone has subscribed to the blog. I am hoping to grow the blog even more in 2013 through stronger branding and more frequency in posts.

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2. My site received a makeover, including several new pages that made it easier to navigate.
This year, I created a Portfolio page, complete with all of my written work that has been published elsewhere, as well as a special Links page that readers could reference for suggested reading. I also made some major revisions to my About page, and revamped the Awards & Press page as well. A new look is a girl’s best friend, no?

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HS_LOGO3. I wrote my first guest blog.
Earlier this year, I was asked to write an article for a very cool site called HUGstronger.org for its September series. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity! My post, Unhealthy Relationships: 5 Signs That The Nice Guy Isn’t So Nice, was a blast to write, especially on a topic so close to my heart. In 2013, I hope to be able to write more guest posts for HUGstronger and other blogs out there!

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4. I received four blogging awards.
In 2012, I was extremely fortunate to receive the Versatile Blogger Award, the Very Inspirational Blogger Award, the Illuminating Blogger Award and the Kreativ Blogger Award. How awesome is that? I am so thankful to have such supportive fellow bloggers, and I look forward to passing the awards along to other talented writers out there.

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5. I was able to connect with more writers and readers than ever before.
Ultimately, having this blog would be completely worthless without having such wonderful readers. I have been lucky to have the chance to interact with so many of you in the last year and, in turn, explore your sites and share content. A huge thank you to everyone who reads, subscribes and comments on my blog! I read each and every one of your comments, and I truly enjoy looking at your blogs as well.

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Thank you to everyone for making 2012 so bright! :) I look forward to an even brighter 2013.

Fellow bloggers, what were the highlights of your blogging experience this year?

FSPA District 7 Conference

Home sweet home! :)

This weekend, I took a trip back to my hometown to attend the Florida Scholastic Press Association’s District Conference, which took place at my old high school. I gave two presentations this afternoon: Enhancing Your Professional Image Through Social Media and Finding Your Audience: How To Market Your Blog To Readers, each of which I geared toward high school students.

A few personal realizations today: First of all, even though I’m only 22 years old, I feel ancient. I attended this conference as a high school student and yearbook editor in 2008 and 2009 (and won first place in the on-the-spot news writing competitions, thank you very much!), and when I mentioned that to students, they seemed surprised. As someone who is usually mistaken for much younger, I suppose that a nice shirt and slacks will make you look a whole lot older!

Also, during my social media workshop, I asked students if any of them had ever created a MySpace. The answer? None of them. In fact, as I spoke with students later in the day, I found out that some had never really heard of MySpace to begin with! It made me wonder how obsolete our current forms of social networking will become in the next ten years, and what I will tell my children about them.

I also realized that as much as public speaking intimidates me at times, I love to teach. This reaffirms my belief that pursuing a Master’s degree would be a beneficial path for me, because then I will have the opportunity to teach the subjects I love at a higher level.

Presenting my workshops today (as well as a resumé building workshop last weekend at a leadership conference) was a huge honor and privilege, and I look forward to the next opportunity I have to present a workshop.

Kreativ Blogger Award!

Hello everyone! Just recently, I was fortunate enough to receive the Kreativ Blogger Award from the ever so talented Julie (Of a Writerly Sort). Thank you, Julie! To accept the award for creative blog content, I must share seven things about myself and then pass it on to seven other bloggers.

I’m still in the process of selecting recipients for this award (as well as for the Versatile Blogger Award and Very Inspirational Blogger Award), so stay tuned for those. Here are seven facts you guys may not have known about me!

1. I am learning to play the Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World medley on my new ukulele, whose name is Tiberias.

2. My closet is color-coordinated and the books on my shelf are alphabetized.

3. I made my acting debut this past year as Buttercup from the Powerpuff Girls in the school’s Homecoming skit. (There is a video somewhere on the Internet, but I will not be posting the link!)

4. One of my goals in life is to become so successful in my field of study that I am asked to give a TED Talk someday.

5. When I was in high school, I wanted to marry Adam Brody. Then I saw him on an interview and realized I actually wanted to marry Seth Cohen, his character on The O.C. Then I realized I really just had a thing for nerdy (but still cute) guys who listen to Death Cab for Cutie and make sarcastic comments about society.

6. I am a huge fan of roller coasters!

7. Rabid sports fans annoy me more than almost anything else.

I hope this gave you all a deeper insight into my life :-P I would once again like to say thank you for such a lovely award. I am truly honored!

I Won The Illuminating Blogger Award!

On Monday night, I was thrilled to learn that I won the Illuminating Blogger Award for illuminating, informative blog content, courtesy of Food Stories. :) I am fortunate to have such wonderful readers, and I wouldn’t be able to do this blog without each of you.

In accepting this award, I have to share one random thing about myself, so here goes (in honor of tonight’s finale of America’s Next Top Model): Sometimes I do a decent impression of Tyra Banks.

As another part of accepting this award, I get the opportunity to pass it on to five other talented bloggers. Therefore, I would like to give the Illuminating Blogger Award to the following bloggers:

1) Sarah from Bumfuzzled Jane.
This nutrition and fitness blog is motivating and easy to relate to. Not only does she provide a lot of helpful information, but she does so in an interesting and funny way.

2) Julie from Of a Writerly Sort.
The talented authoress shares her own tips for aspiring fiction and YA writers. It’s always fun to hear about the writing process from her perspective, and her advice is helpful for anyone who has ever suffered from writer’s block (read: everyone).

3) Truthlets & Thoughtbits.
Her blog is constantly winning awards for its insightful posts about wellness. You can’t help but feel inspired by what she has to say!

4) HUGstronger.
Headed by the super talented Kaleigh Somers, HUGstronger is the perfect safe haven for college students to turn to. Students from across the country provide their own expertise about the collegiate experience, and bring hope to those who need it.

5) Becca at  College Relationships.
A professional counselor at a university, Becca is an excellent source for all things relationships. It’s always fun to read her perspective on dating in college, and her information can be extremely useful.

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Congratulations to all of you! And thanks again for all of your kindness and support :)

Note: I still haven’t given nominations for some of the other awards I’ve received– I promise I will! I just want to put some good thought into all of them :)

You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog Is About You…

There’s a new epidemic out there and it’s sweeping our blogosphere (or, okay, maybe just my little corner of the blogosphere!). Fellow writers, how many times have you wanted to blog about a particular topic but you were afraid someone might read too much into it, so you scrapped the idea entirely?

This is a problem that I like to call blog apprehension. Because I blog about very personal topics (relationships, friendships and college life itself) without name-dropping or getting into specifics, my posts may leave a lot of room for interpretation for those who know me. I’m extremely fortunate to have such supportive friends in my real life who regularly read my blog and give me feedback, but in the two years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve had my share of “Is this post about me?” and “It’s obvious you were writing about ____ and ____,” which are comments that can be very difficult to answer.

The truth is, my blog posts are inspired by a variety of different things: personal experiences, casual observations, people I’ve met,  random passages in books, what have you. Sometimes I’ll reference a specific friend for his/her own personal amusement, but for the most part, my blog is not a diary of my daily life or the lives of my friends. Instead, it is a place for me to discuss my own beliefs about certain subjects and to hopefully provide some advice to my readers in areas that are relevant to them. Still, I receive the occasional “This post was totally about [insert personal event/relationship/friendship here],” and it can make it a little more difficult to write.

Because of this, I have had to explain to boyfriends in the past that “no, this post about relationships isn’t about you,” and that I refuse to blog about a relationship while I’m in it. I don’t believe in broadcasting your personal life all over the Internet, and I feel that blogging about a current significant other just adds pressure to the relationship. Similarly, for the longest time, I’d been working on a post about the concept of opening yourself up to failure and rejection, but when I finally was ready to finish writing it, I went through a breakup. The post had nothing to do with my breakup, but I was terrified to publish it because I was afraid that the readers who knew me would assume I was writing solely about that.

In the end, I decided to stop worrying about that and just let people interpret things the way they wanted to. But what I would like my readers to take away from this is that chances are, I’m not writing specifically about you. I’m writing about a human experience that may apply to you, but it’s not exclusive to you. I may be inspired by you, but I may also be inspired by ten other people. I don’t write to air people’s dirty laundry or complain/gloat about the people in my life (if I did, I would get a Tumblr!) — instead, I write in the hope of understanding the world a little more, and to share what I learn with everyone else.

But yeah, that one post I wrote a while back was definitely about you. :)