The Truth About Writing Full-Time | You Have A Purpose

I’m starting to realize why writing for a living can be tough. Often times, I denied that fact and thought I could do whatever it takes. But I’m not giving up, even though it really is hard and can make you feel a tad manic. I’m not trying to be an Ernest Hemingway, who was a quote-unquote “abusive alcoholic.” And yes, I just quoted “Ten Things I Hate About You.”

For those of you who don’t know, I recently published an eBook of poems. No, this is not a “self-promotion.” This is where I get real. Again, unfortunately, it may an eBook for the rest of its existence. It wasn’t the way I wanted it to come out, mostly because I was trying to self-publish with little to no money. In fact, I published it without spending a dime! I personally don’t know of any authors who self-published and were successful, except maybe Rupi Kaur (correct me if I’m wrong.) Self-publishing is hard! Really, it is. You know what’s harder? Making it as a writer. I’ve had trouble making it as a blogger!

Everyone knows the story of J.K. Rowling and how she got into writing. If you know me, you’d know that I am a sucker for literature and the authors that compile some of the greatest works of all time. I write this as I look at my unread copy of War and Peace sitting on my shelf along with Moby Dick and On the Origin of Species, all of which I am determined to read and conquer one day (or within multiple days.) Two summers ago, prior to starting my career at RWU, I read Ernest Hemingway and Jane Austen excessively. Like myself, Hemingway was a budding journalist before realizing he wanted to write creatively.

I remember when I was still at SAC, my Spanish professor heard me quote Ernest Hemingway (in Spanish) and she strongly encouraged me to write for the campus newspaper. This was a week after I started this blog. Again, as I’m writing this, she’s not the only one who recognized my talent in writing. How am I just realizing this? I don’t know.

But Hemingway was more than an alcoholic, even though it was highlighted in some of the characters of his novels and short stories. But that’s the thing with us, writers. We build based off of personal experience, which may seem like it’s hard to write at times. Coming up with content, even for a blog, is hard. There are touchy subjects that need to be shared in order to empower. Hey, I think I just came up with my reason for #WhyIWrite. And that’s just the thing! You write for a reason, no matter if it’s sports journalism, technical writing, grant writing, travel writing, creative writing, etc. You write because you have a purpose on this planet. That’s the same concept of why people teach young minds, serve in the military, etc. — you have a purpose. Any profession is hard, but you’re doing great.

 

 

FESTIVE FRIDAY NIGHTS: How To Make Your Dreams Come True | How I Realized Mine

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I may not have read The Alchemist, yet. But I know one thing to be true: I am just another up-and-coming “Girl-Boss” trying to make her way through the world she has barely even experienced, just to find that treasure. And by the “world,” I mean the world of the digital age coexisting with publishing. That’s right, publishing, my dream job.

It has dawned on me while searching my brain for topics to write about that I have never discussed my “dream job” with you all. I remember when I was in kindergarten, I had a collection of dolls called the Pop Dreamers, who were based on Disney princesses. One of them kept repeating, “dreams are just wishes and wishes come true.” And then there’s the song, “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” from Cinderella. I even recall writing a poem in fourth grade titled, “What is a Wish?” I wish I still had the poem, first of all. But that was when I first started writing poems and had a knack for it. If it weren’t for that stupid 86 I got on that book of poems in sixth-grade English, I would have continued to write poems.

This may or may not be a cliché, but college is all about discovering yourself. It takes some people less time than others, and for some, it can take possibly a whole lifetime! No matter if you choose to go to college or not, you will find your treasure in the depths of the Egyptian Pyramids, or somewhere more realistic. For me, it happened to be about rediscovering yourself through the odyssey of resilience (that’s actually a title of a poetry book that I WROTE coming out in 2019.) If you know me well enough and have seen my incessant self-promos on Facebook, you’d know that I wrote for a platform called The Odyssey Online — manager found my work to be so impressive that he made me the editor in chief! All of this stuff about journalism and writing came back to me. Even in fourth and fifth grade, I was a part of the Newspaper Club. At the time, what I found to be my “passion” were stuffed animals, particularly Webkinz and Shining Stars. I wrote about what I knew at that time, did some investigation to find out what was the “Webkinz favorite” of Dale Street School (yes, I was the mastermind behind that.)

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be interning for Rhode Island Monthly (do I bring that up a lot? Yes, yes I do. Don’t like it? I don’t care, it’s my life) and even taking on a web manager position for the English and Creative Writing department and managing editor position for our soon-to-be online magazine, Voices. Even though I have a full year left of college (I graduate December 2019), I am in the process of looking at grad schools. Also, you may congratulate me because I am officially a first-semester-senior!

Anyway, as I was doing my search, I have concluded that I want to start my own magazine, or start out small and work my way up to being an editor. No, I do not know what it’d be about, but again, it’s about working your way towards it. I’m going to use that redundant phrase, dreams don’t work unless you do right in this very sentence, because I think it’s quite relevant. If you want something to be a “hit,” you have to make it a hit. In the end, it’s all up to you. It’s okay to get second, third, and even ten opinions, but your destiny meets you. It’s like what my mom always tells me, “always have a Plan B; I’ve gone as far as Plan K!” I certainly will not know what I’ll be doing after December 2019, but I have the amazing help of everyone on my side. Seek help, if need be. In fact, scratch that, it’s imperative that you ask for help.

 

Here’s To The Best Summer Of My Life: A Reflection

So, as most of you know, I just wrapped up my editorial internship at Rhode Island Monthly, and it’s been a dream come true.

Rhode Island Monthly is the premier publication in Rhode Island, and I’m forever grateful to have been a part of it for nearly four months. It’s almost weird not going into Providence every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Some of the highlights include:

  1.  Best of RI Party

image2 (11)

I wrote an entire blog post about my experience here.

2.  Interviewing Maria del Carmen Mercado

IMG_0296-748x1024

via Rhode Island Monthly

Maria del Carmen Mercado is an RI fashion designer. She taught me so much in this one interview. For example, why post on social media every day when you can just post something and say “hey, this is what I’ve been working on,” or something inspiring. Read the entire article here.

3.  Trying out a (free) fitness class

image11

Photo by me

To read the full article, click here.

4.  Branching out of my comfort zone and writing my own fashion blog!

At RIM, I was blessed with the opportunity to create my own “fashion plate” on the site. One of the (many) things I did was go out and take photos of young women in PVD to compile a Fashion-Forward: Street Style in PVD post. This was definitely one way of branching out of my comfort zone.

5.  Throwing the first pitch at a PawSox game

39900367_1816766138370575_6657540007080755200_n

I know, I have bad form, but my aim was okay! This came as a surprise for all three of us, interns. It started with a picture, then we were told to get into a single-file line onto the field and we were each given a ball. None of us knew what we were doing! When we were told to throw the balls to the catcher, Fernando, we just went with the flow and, yes, someone got a picture of us throwing the FIRST PITCH! We then had to get all of the RI Monthly employees to sign our balls. Did the PawSox win? No, but we all won a HUGE highlight of our summer internships.

6.  Meeting fashion icon, Iris Apfel

35922328_1723030817744108_7276143502478540800_n

Yes, this is Iris Apfel still killing the fashion game at ninety-six-years-old! I met her at RIB & RHEIN in Newport. For the full article, click here.

I definitely found fashion to be my “niche” this past summer and will continue to write about it wherever the wind takes me! Rhode Island may not be the fashion capital of America, but it certainly is the “Creative Capital.”

Thank you, Rhode Island Monthly, for the best summer of my life ☺♥

Next stop, an Editorial Fellowship at College Fashionista, my junior year at RWU, and SENIOR SEMINAR/THESIS!

xoxo,

April

 

 

 

Celebrating the Best of Rhode Island at the 25th Annual Best of Rhode Island Party

I trudge down to the back of PPAC in my five-inch heels thinking to myself, “I’m definitely changing out of these later!” Then I see the red carpet set up exclusively for VIPs. I then think to myself, “I can’t believe I’m here at Rhode Island Monthly’s Best of Rhode Island party!” I work the event with two other interns handing out VIP lanyards (that were a team-effort to get untangled from each other) for a total of ninety minutes. Then, at 6:30, the back doors close and we head to the stage where every winner and their guests were mingling in large crowds.

image1 (37)

I search to find my seat (and my mom) and then I grab two glasses of prosecco (one for me and one for my mom, don’t worry!) I sit back down and John Palumbo, himself, comes on stage — the man who started it all. The audience gets a kick out of the Family Feud parody that’s played on the screen. After that, they unveiled the cover, and in no time flat, we were all rushing to the back to receive our copies of the August issue (and to get food, beers, wines, and cocktails, of course!)

image2 (11)

I remember looking at my Instagram feed this morning and seeing that picture I took for Feast Sandwich Co. I walk into the Rhode Island Monthly office feeling empowered, capable, and absolutely lucky for what this summer internship has brought me.

I might as well showcase what I’m wearing, while I’m still writing this, because why not?

To view my “Get Ready With Me” video, click here. I apologize in advance for how underdone it is, I’m still getting used to video-editing. But good news is, I finally learned how to edit a photo on a computer!

Sorry for the sidenotes, but let’s get into it, I bought my pink, scalloped dress from SHEIN. They sell the cutest clothes for cheap prices! I paired with it pink stud earring with little green polka-dots that I bought at the Providence Flea and my mom’s pearl necklace. Finally, the shoes that I put on after I ditched the heels were from TJMAXX.

For those of you wondering, my style ranges from trendy to preppy ☺

OH! I promised I’d share with you my “big news!” Drumroll please….

pug-gif-2

There are actually two parts to it, and both of them have to do with plans after RIM:

  1.  I’ll be a contributer for Marjorie Magazine.
  2.  I applied for an editorial fellowship (I can’t say where, yet).

There ya go!

In short, Rhode Island is a small state, but we have so much to offer, and I don’t think we get enough credit for just how wonderful we are. It’s definitely not where I thought I’d end up, but now I know PVD by heart than I’v ever known Boston. Although I will be trading it in two short years (after I graduate,) I’ll remember to include it in my social media bios ☺

THE FASHION DIARIES: Fourth of July Style

I’ve been a tad MIA on the blog for a while; I’ve been too busy killing it at my internship! Speaking of which, I have a journalism portfolio coming out, as soon I’m ~less busy~ which we all know is probably not going to happen, any time soon. But don’t worry, I’ll let you know ☺

It’s one of my most favorite times of the year: Independence Day! I live in Bristol, home to the oldest Fourth of July celebration. Needless to say, everything gets pretty crazy, especially the style! I remember my first summer here, I donned cowboy boots with jean shorts and flannel…… yikes!

This week, I really wanted to keep the patriotism alive through my outfits. Without further ado, here are my top three Fourth of July week outfits:

1.)

36513136_2114500872120059_4308432778682171392_n

This is a simply stylish white-jeans and speckled peplum blouse outfit. I got this top as an early birthday present for myself (was that really two months ago!?) at H&M. I wanted an outfit that would be appropriate for the office (and for getting a root beer float, afterward.) This outfit screams for both ice cream and summer!

2.)

 

This next style features a simple navy short-sleeved top tucked into my favorite kind of pant… guess which ones… PALAZZO PANTS! If you look closely the pants have stripes and small polka-dots on them. I’m also wearing my new sandals from my new favorite store, Zara. This is a perfect combination of the famous red, white and blue — also appropriate for the Beach House dinner right on the water (where you can also catch a perfect glimpse of the Bristol July 3 Fireworks). I swear, people must’ve seen my Fourth of July article for RIM because I mention the Beach House! I’m also rocking the sunburn, lol!

3.)

36614127_2116394095264070_6563599571849576448_n

This picture was taken today at the Bristol Fourth of July Parade. Here, I am wearing a red and white pinstripe off-the-shoulder dress with rose-colored vans, complete with a cross-body bag (because you seriously don’t want to carry a big metallic bag like mine to a parade — such a hassle!) And especially in this heat, a water bottle of any kind is essential.

Today, I also documented the Roger Williams University Orientation Advisors’ appearance in the parade — float and all (which won ‘most original’). I must say, it is fun taking charge of social media; I felt like Katy Bellotte in her latest YouTube video

Last Saturday, I had the amazing privilege of meeting Maria del Carmen Mercado, a local fashion designer. As she and I chatted for two whole hours, I learned a lot from her that I think all millennials (and Gen-Z) should follow. But I’ll save that for another blog post.

Have a safe, healthy and cool Fourth of July. Oh yeah, and happy birthday, America!

xoxo

April

A Day In The Life Of A Blogger

7:00-8:00 AM: Wake up (and hit the snooze button a million times)

8:45-9:00 AM: Arrive at school (I commute to school)

9:05 AM: Grab a White Mocha Iced Latte at Starbucks (yes, I’m addicted), and catch up on some reading

image3 (3)

***But first, let me take a selfie***

image5 (2)

10:00-10:50 AM: Class

11:00AM-12:30PM: Lunchtime! I usually get a cheese quesadilla on the grill or a salad.

image6 (1)

1:00-4:00: Tutoring — I’m a writing tutor! I usually make about 2-3 cups of coffee during my shift (I told you I’m addicted). They’re usually Nantucket Blend with half&half and two Splendas.

image1 (15)

5:00-7:50: Yes, three-hour classes exist. I just so happen to be taking two of them this semester — yikes! But I’m not complaining because I’m loving all of my classes.

image4 (3)

8:00 PM and after: Hawks’ Herald meeting. For those of you who don’t know, I write recipes, fashion, and fitness articles for my campus newspaper’s Arts & Culture section. Stay tuned for my article on palazzo pants!

I also use this time to do homework, eat, study, go home and pour myself a drink and say “a toast to myself, and this blessed life I was given.”

In between everything else: My trusty Pandora stations! I usually turn to my Top Hits station, Chainsmokers, Miley Cyrus, and when I really want some throwbacks, Jesse McCartney and/or NSYNC!

This is just a typical Monday schedule for me; if you’re wondering where I fit in my workouts, I work out five-four times a week. ☺

Have a great week, A(pril)-listers!

 

 

 

Being A Journalist Not Majoring in Journalism |Going Back To My Second Love

I haven’t been on a plane since I went to Europe my junior year of high school, which was also the last time I traveled “solo” — except I wasn’t really “alone,” per se. Nevertheless, I was extremely anxious. But, as I watched the watercolor skies slowly turn to darkness, I had old-English poetry and the latest issue of Vogue. 

The trip was an adventure for self-discovery (while getting shin splints just from walking places — my luck). But particularly self-discovery as a journalist.

*By the way, this is the College Media Association 2017 Conference I’m talking about.*

Either way, I learned a lot from the conference. I have my trusty red Moleskin internship/journalism journal to prove it. I learned to manage a magazine, how to come up with features stories, going from journalist to novelist, investigative storytelling, social media tips, and more!

I might as well mention that there is a role I have reprised. When I was younger, I loved fashion, but I never quite figured out how exactly I was going to thrive in that field. But now that I’ve been exposed to great minds, I answered that little 16-year-old’s prayers. I decided I want if I want to be a well-rounded journalist, I have to dip my toes in everything, and that includes…

FASHION!!!

I can remember fourth grade and in newspaper club, the one thing I wanted to write about was fashion. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what I wrote, but I’m sure I wrote something about my favorite things back then: sequins, hair clips, and ballet flats. God only knows what I wrote about boys fashion. Let’s just say I’m sticking to writing about women’s fashion.

I wrote a poem about my mild hatred for the topic, saying I “sold my soul to the devil,” just like Andie in The Devil Wears Prada. So, who knows how long this fad will continue? Maybe I’m better off writing about features and political affairs. My goal is to work for the Washington Post or The New York Times. But it’s true when Hanna Marin from Pretty Little Liars said to Aria’s mom on the night of her remarriage to Aria’s dad, people take a break and go back to their first love. But I’m not talking about romance. Let’s put it this way: writing was my first love, fashion was the second.

I’ve been in a rut lately, both emotionally and in terms of my education. I’ve been missing my old school, lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love RWU, but I can’t help but think of the stuff that I could’ve done at my old school whether that be at the Institute of Politics or the women’s collective I was going to start. Yes, I wrote a poem about all that, too. No, I am not changing my major (again). After a talk with my mom, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m sticking with creative writing while getting as much journalistic experience as I can. Whatever happened to my broadcasting career? Okay, I stuttered a lot, but I still found it fun to be in front of a camera and babbling about whatever topic I had in mind.

My point? You can major in any English subject and still be a journalist! But it’s going to take a lot to build up my journalistic resume. I’m planning on getting an internship next summer, oh, and did I mention I’m now a Style Guru Community Member for College Fashionista? Funny how life works out. ☺

One of my friends said I need a life outside writing, and I can’t be on social media all the time (checking blog statistics, retouching my Instagram, and what-not). I’m thinking… broadcasting again? You won’t find out until next semester!