All posts filed under: Blogging

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Since my last blog post I’ve been all over Iceland, spent a long weekend in New York City, returned to Los Angeles for a few days, and took a trip back home to Tucson, AZ. Once I’m back in Los Angeles I’ll have to find a new place to live, move, say goodbye to my sister who’s leaving LA, and find a job. Regardless of the major changes coming my way, I’m still putting off the stress of thinking too much about everything until I can’t avoid it any longer. Beyond the logistics of moving and looking for work, there’s a lot in my life that’s currently up in the air. Graduate school was wonderfully rich and life changing – but exhausting – so I’m glad that’s over now. Aside from personal issues, drumpf and his people are wreaking havoc on this country and our world. I can’t help but feel that Americans are on the brink of a collective meltdown, and we’re all just holding on by a thread. But while all of this has been …

The 7 Blogging Rules I’m Always Breaking

Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the sort of universal blogging and social media marketing rules that I should be following, but don’t. The truth is, I break most of these rules despite knowing that they would surely improve my blog. But is Catch-all successful already? Well that depends on how you define success… In almost every way you look at it, my blog isn’t successful. I’ve been working on it for years and it hasn’t taken off yet and may never. But that’s okay, because I like writing and blogging and for that reason I consider it a triumph in my own terms. Catch-all is a place where I can share my writing, thoughts, and photos, and people will either read, look at it, and share it, or they won’t. And that’s okay. Though I’m still trying to figure out what the identity of this blog truly is and how to best support it, I’m also just enjoying the journey and not giving it much thought. But after working on this list it became clear that if I do ever …

Post-Election Feelings & Taking a Break

I guess I’ll start by saying that I’m absolutely devastated by the election results. I went to bed Tuesday night with a feeling that I’ve never experienced before and can’t fully capture in words. I’m simultaneously enraged, saddened, terrified, disappointed, and disillusioned. How could this happen? What now? I fear for the safety of my friends and family and good people across this country and the world. I am shocked to see just how many millions of U.S. citizens are comfortable electing a xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic man who’s endorsed by the KKK, brags about sexually assaulting women, wants to ban Muslims, and has promised to build a wall dividing the U.S. and Mexico. His rhetoric has stoked the pride of hateful white nationalists across the country, and make no mistake, we are significantly less safe because of him. I’m confused and scared, yet empowered. I refuse, along with so many others, to let hate win. I will continue to fight for a more just world, where everyone is welcomed and safe. Along with the fear …

The Benefits of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for a few years now and it’s something I feel passionately about and love doing. Here are just a few of the benefits I’ve discovered in starting and sustaining Catch-all: It’s a creative outlet When your work life is less than creatively fulfilling, blogging provides an opportunity to express yourself. I’m personally of the school of thought that we’re all creative people – some of us just know how to access our imagination better than others. I also believe that self-expression is hugely beneficial for anyone’s work, whether you’re an accountant, secretary, painter, or writer. Blogging improves your writing and helps you find your voice When you write a lot, your writing will naturally improve. Blogging is far more informal than most styles of writing, but I’ve found that posting on Catch-all has benefited my academic work as well. And after three years of working on this blog, I think I’ve finally become more comfortable with my voice as a writer, which of course is always evolving. Keeping up with my goal of posting weekly also requires that I’m constantly thinking of new ideas, jotting them …

I’ll Blog For You, Too!

This summer, I’m looking to spread my freelance wings and fly! If you’re searching for an experienced writer to produce high-quality articles for your blog, contact me so we can discuss your site’s needs! I have experience with formal academic writing, as well as short-form blogging. If you’re interested in reading a writing sample of my scholarly work, please let me know. Otherwise, here’s a taste of what I’ve written for the web, both on my own blog and elsewhere: ‘Boyhood: In Defense of My Dissenting Opinion’ for Catch-all ‘A Response to Michael Eisner’s Comment That Beautiful, Funny Women Are Hard to Come By’ for Catch-all Jobs review for Critics Associated  Fruitvale Station review for Critics Associated Magnolia Character Analysis for Mr. Rumsey’s Film Related Musings Topics I’m especially interested in writing about include, but aren’t limited to: General film and television criticism and analysis Gender and diversity in Hollywood General pop culture criticism and analysis Feminism and women’s issues Veganism and the environment Various social and political movements Lifestyle and self-care Please email me at vanvalkenburgj@gmail.com or fill out a …

Revisiting My First Blog: Girl in Cannes

I recently rediscovered my first blog from almost three years ago, Girl in Cannes, and thought it would be fun to share it on Catch-all. I started Girl in Cannes as part of a scholarship project in conjunction with my college internship at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. It’s a lot to read, but be sure to check out some of the pictures I snapped in Italy after my internship concluded. I took this photo today at my aunt and uncle’s house in Phoenix. How beautiful! I thought it would be nice to post a picture from Arizona before I depart for Europe. I’m truly going to miss Tucson (not the heat, but my family and friends), but I am OVERWHELMED with excitement. I’ll be particularly happy once I get off the plane, because I am not looking forward to the long flight! I board in 10 minutes, so it’s time for me to say au revoir to America and bonjour to Europe! _______________________ _______________________ I’ve been extremely busy and have had very limited internet access, so …

Blogging: The Basics

1. Although you can blog about absolutely anything in the world, make sure you center your content around a topic or topics that you’re passionate about. Food, fashion, travel, music, books, films, poetry, photography, arts and crafts, interior design, politics, gaming, gardening, makeup, parenting – the options are endless. 2. Be yourself. If you’re starting your own blog, you probably have a few bloggers that you look up to. Be sure not to emulate their style – do your own thing. 3. Though the top-tier bloggers (the 1%) make lucrative amounts of money, do not get into blogging for the cash. The only reason those bloggers are so successful is because they spent years developing their sites before making a significant income. You may never make money from your blog and you have to be okay with that. 4. Seek out bloggers who enjoy the same types of things you do. Bloggers are often open and welcoming people, making for an inclusive online community. Make an effort to engage with others and you’ll be sure to grow as a writer and content creator. 5. …