One Year Later

One Year LaterOne year ago I sat down and decided to start a blog. I debated names with my mom and sister for hours that day and still didn’t settle until after I hit “publish.” Now Scribbling in the Margins finds itself closing in on the first 100 subscribers and 63rd post.

I haven’t spent as much time blogging as I hoped when I started it. School took up a lot of my time and I struggled to develop new and creative post ideas once a week. I became really discouraged with my lack of progress and motivation. I wanted to push myself to be creative again and write for fun. Yet I wasn’t able to keep up.

All that changes now. Scribbling in the Margins is going to look very different in the next couple weeks. I’m moving blogging platforms, completely redesigning the site, and rebranding. I like my blog fine as is, but I’m ready to make it look a bit more serious and a bit more me. I want to create something I’m excited to work on everyday.

It’s still a blog about writing and books. But it’s going to be more personal and more reflective on my young adult life. As of tomorrow, when the Class of 2015 walks across the stage, I will be a senior in college. A lot of changes are coming and I want to be able to blog about them, before and after.

I’m hoping to have everything up and running before June, but May is a busy month and I make no promises. If anything starts to look weird or posts don’t show up, please let me know. I’m hoping this will be a smooth transition, but a part of why I’m doing it now is I have little to lose and time to learn.

Thank you for everyone who’s been reading Scribbling in the Margins in its first year! I hope you’ll continue to enjoy it as I make these changes. I look forward to hearing what you think and seeing where this next year takes us.

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The Quarterly Update

The Quarterly Review | Scribbling in the Margins blogBack in January, I wrote down my five goals for 2015. I thought today I would revisit how I’m doing so far on those goals and what I need to do to keep moving:

  1. Prepare for a job in 2016. I’ve made progress in this, simply by realizing I don’t have to have a job after college. I could do a long-term paid internship, volunteer for a year, work at Disney. I like the idea of not jumping straight into a job after college, but there’s still research that needs to be done.
  2. Read 50 books. Not doing so great on this one. I’ve only read 9 books out of the 13 I should be at. I know I’ll catch up some over the summer, but I need to pick up the pace. Part of it is my lack of interest in books for some reason, but that’s a discussion for another post.
  3. Waste less time on the Internet. Cough cough… I’m failing at this. I’ve got to get better. Any tips?
  4. Consistently post on the blog. LOL we all know how this is going. Again, I haven’t been reading much and therefore don’t know what to say a lot of the time. I’m in a slump kids, a slump so bad that when I sat down to write about it a couple of days ago I couldn’t think of anything good to say.
  5. Run 5 miles. I’ve been making progress on this goal. I’m up to 2.5 miles right now. I was really excited, because I thought my goal was a 5K, not 5 miles. But if I can make it to a smooth 5K by the end of the summer, I think I can be near if not at 5 miles by December. We’ll see!

So, two out of five are going well. That’s something! I really need to get on my reading game; hopefully the other two will follow after that :)

How are your New Years resolutions coming along? Any advice for me?

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Below the Line:

  • If you want to keep up with my writings elsewhere on the Internet, check out my professional Twitter @lesausser. I tweet every time something I write shows up somewhere on the web!
  • Less than four weeks of school left. Terrifying, exciting, and incredibly sad. All at the same time.

Mantras

Mantras | Scribbling in the Margins blog

“Don’t spend your precious time asking ‘Why isn’t the world a better place?’ It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is “How can I make it better?” To that there is an answer.” –Leo Buscaglia

I found this quote in a box my friend Jordan keeps on her desk, a square little thing that allows you to switch out a quote whenever the mood strikes. Buscaglia’s quote, the first one I came across, really struck me. A part of it is recent events in my life, but also after seeing the Cinderella movie last Saturday.

“Have courage, and be kind” is the mantra of the movie, the words Cinderella lives her life by. Yet they seem to fail her, causing her to let others bully her around while she just waits for something to happen. Instead of working to better her predicament, she just accepts it in order to remain “kind” and “courageous.”

When I first left the theater, I wished I was more like Cinderella- always kind and never letting others affect my character. Which is fine, but I’ve realized since then that you have to be more than that. Wishing is not enough; you have to act to get what you want.

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#DearMe | International Women’s Day

Dear Me | International Women's Day

Dear Me,

Sweet, beautiful, 13-year-old Leeann. You are so smart, and so clever. You have a big heart for a teenager, and that’s why those girls pick on you. They don’t understand what it means to have empathy, or to defy peer pressure and be who you want to me.

I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but you will be so strong because of them, because of this swirling mist of doom they call junior high. You will never let people tell you how to feel or who to be again, because it doesn’t make you happy. And walking around miserable all the time isn’t doing you any good. You have so much potential, so much talent. Mom and Dad see it. I see it.

Life is not junior high, thank goodness. And although you’ll love it, life is not high school either. Or college. Life is what you decide it will be. Right now, life is words. It’s writing them, reading them, shaping them into something completely new. Life is taking control over what you say and what you do, and most importantly how you feel.

Don’t let the bad stuff become you. Do not become the bad stuff. Soak in the good, let it enter your soul like an endless stream, flowing into your mind until you can’t remember why you were upset or what discouraged you. Surround yourself with people who make you feel special. Walk away from the people who don’t. Taste the content on your tongue, sing it out to the world, for that is what life is. A song to be sung, and only you can sing it.

As Walk Whitman wrote:

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

                                    Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

In that powerful play we call life, what will our verse be? In that powerful play we call our life, what will your verse be?

For each thought we have and action we do (or don’t) take shapes us into who we are. Every word we say slides into a slot of the bookshelves of our lives and becomes our verse in the world.

“Life exists, and identity.” It’s the power we gain from our life, our identity, that can change us.

That can change you.

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In Review: January 2015

January gave 2015 a great start. I had a wonderful internship, got an extra month at home, and managed to catch up on sleep and regain my sanity before heading back to school.

This year, I want to focus more on what I loved about each month. So I thought a quick post after each month would be a fun way to look back and remember the good things 2015 brings, one month at a time.

Let’s begin!

Favorite Book

What I Read: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Favorite Post

Since I only wrote three, this is fairly easy. I’ll have to go with my review of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore; I really liked that book and loved how the review turned out.

Favorite Photos

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Winter Term internship at Indianapolis Monthly

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Awesome coffee shop, Coal Yard Coffee, I visited for Indianapolis Monthly

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Breakfast for dinner at a truck stop with a friend

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

DG Bid Day 2015! Welcome Abroad to my friend Olivia. I’m so glad she’s anchored here (enough puns yet? :))

What are your January highlights?

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! | Scribbling in the Margins blog

I don’t know about you, but 2015 couldn’t come fast enough. I try not to wish away years (especially since this time next year I’ll be looking at my last semester of college) but 2014 was a rough year for me. 2015 brings an opportunity to let go of parts of it and use the lessons I’ve learned from it to make 2015 one of the best yet.

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, since I make changes at whatever point in the year I decide something needs to happen, but this year I’ve decided to make some goals for myself. I’m ready to let go of some of the fears I have about the future and do something about them that lets me take control.

So here my goals for 2015:

  1. Prepare for a job in 2016. By this time next year, I want to have a good idea of what I want in a post-graduate job. This means trying different things in my internships, searching the types of jobs out there and what kind of skills I need to learn for them, deciding how far I’m willing to move for a job, and getting advice from recent graduates. Hopefully in a year, I’ll feel more prepared for a future outside of education and less afraid of it!
  2. Read 50 books. This was a goal for 2014 and I failed. This year I want to take advantage of my free time and use it to read instead of watching TV I don’t really care about or scrolling through social media. Which leads me to…
  3. Waste less time on the Internet. I often come back from an afternoon class and sit and stare at Twitter for an hour. There is nothing on Twitter that demands an hour of my attention. So this year, I want to only use social media on my phone (where I look at it less) and save my computer for things I need to do. The goal is to see my computer as a productive place, not an unproductive one.
  4. Consistently post on the blog. I was doing really well with this in the summer. But as soon as the semester started, I put all my attention to school work. Not this year. Even if it’s only once a week, I want to have a schedule for my blog and stick to it. I think I’m going to try just posting every Thursday, and then if I feel like I can return to twice a week I will (and I want to!).
  5. Run 5 miles. I’ve been running for over a year now, but I’m stuck at 2 miles. Part of this is how much time I have, but another part is lack of motivation to run further. So this year, I want to be able to run 5 miles without walking by the end of October. I’m hoping along the way I will start to run faster and more frequently, making my exercise routine more of a productive routine.

What are your goals for 2015?

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Below the Line:

  • I’ve been compiling my stats for 2014, and I’m excited to share them with you! Look for a bonus post coming soon evaluating Scribbing in the Margins’ first year.
  • I start my winter term internship on Monday with the local magazine. I’m really excited to try a 9-5 “job” and learn about writing/publishing careers.