What I've Learned Writing for SparkLife: Faye Says "See You Later"
I’ve written a ton of posts for SparkLife, but this one’s a little bit different. That’s because this is it. The end. Now don’t go getting all emotional on me Sparklers. Don’t. Don’t do that. Stop it! Pull yourselves together!
How to write for SparkLife:
If you’re looking for where to send emails inquiries to become a SparkLife writer, you’re in the wrong place. Unless there’s a fancy link here where you can learn all about that. Just kidding, that’s not actually a link, but if there was, it would take you to a YouTube video of a cat jumping into boxes.
But seriously, this is more about what I’ve learned writing for SparkLife. And maybe you’ll learn something that helps you write your own blog or someday write for SparkLife, too:
-Have a purpose. Know where you want to go. You don’t have to know the way exactly, just the final destination. So write about books, adventures into college, or your quest for a prom date (and dress). If you try to write about your life in general, it’s too broad and you’re going to get lost along the way.
-List first. I’m a big fan of listing things out first. I like to throw up all my ideas onto a paper and sort of stir them around for a while until they resemble something. I know, it sounds appetizing. But it also works for writing.
-Don’t procrastinate. As I say that, I’m already writing this two weeks after I meant to write it because I did that very thing. Which brings me to the next point:
-Know when to take a break. Staying up all night might get the job done, but mostly it’s just horrifying to see what you created the next morning. You might open up a word document to find a fluffy purple octopus like creature that only speaks in metaphor.
-You never know what’s going to be good. And sometimes people like fluffy purple octopi. Sometimes the posts you spend the most time on will get 4 comments, and then the post you could barely look at you were so ashamed of it will be on the front page.
-Be careful to whom you tell your deep dark secret. The best thing about blogging is that you can be yourself. You can say what you think because it’s safe behind the computer screen. And it’s exciting and you want to tell people. But the more people you tell, the more holes you poke through the screen and the more you have to restrain yourself. Here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Let’s say you tell your mom about your blog. It’s okay at first because it’s good clean fun that’s mother approved. After a while, you want to write about things that you’d rather not have your mother reading, but once you’ve told someone you can’t take it back.
-Find the right balance between what to say and what to keep quiet. Even if you don’t tell anyone, that doesn’t mean you can write horrible things about people online. Well technically you can and people do—but you shouldn’t. Don’t write about first impressions of people, because they’re hardly accurate, and try not to rant. Your internet self should be an extension of your real-life self, preferably with more of the good funny parts. And that brings me back to the beginning of this story.
Faye. That’s the name I came up with when I started this whole thing. Back when I was blogging my quest for a high school prom date, Faye was my motivation. She was the reason I did crazy things—I needed something to write about each week. I would think, well what have I got to lose? Even if I crash and burn, at least it’s hilarious. Faye was fearless. And then I blogged the book, “The Naked Roommate,” and my freshman year of college, and whatever I did last summer, and my sophomore year of college. And somewhere along the way I went from awkward shy high school senior to awkward confident college girl. I became Faye.
Honestly, blogging for SparkLife has been an incredible experience and I’ve loved every minute of it (even the exhausting ones at 2 in the morning). Which is why I’m not saying goodbye, but see you later. Because I’m sure someday I’ll be back to fill you in on my embarrassing stories, helpful tips, and life lessons.
And if I could give you one piece of advice, it’s this—live life for the stories. Whether it’s getting a date for Senior Prom, daring some guy to ask you out, or blogging your life for the world to see, if it scares you that means you have to at least try. So this is where I leave you all. Get out there and enjoy every minute. See you around! :)
Alyssa (aka Faye)