Blogging 101, Assignment 1: “Who I Am & Why I’m Here”

The first assignment in the Blogging 101 Course is to write and publish a post about who I am and why I’m here.

Since I already have 5 weeks of planned posts on my other blog, I’m writing all the 101 assignments here.

Who am I?
I’m a stay-at-home mom (and I kinda really dislike that term as a descriptor).  I started blogging in October of ’14, on my original blog, Bringing Back the Rubies, when I was added to a couple of Facebook creativity and blogging challenges, back when I was still a working mom.  As those challenges progressed, I began to feel like I had a lot to say and nowhere to say it.  I was isolated as a single working mother who had no family and was working full-time to provide for my daughter.

I started blogging as a challenge to myself to show myself I could have some discipline to write every day, and as a way to do something for myself.  I’d given up dancing, which I loved, and had nothing in my life that wasn’t work and baby.   I started to notice I liked creative writing.  I also found I liked to write about my experiences in dance, even though I wasn’t a part of the community anymore.  I felt like blogging gave me a way to connect to the community, and to exchange ideas with my friends who I couldn’t often see in person.  I think it also gave me a way to find my voice, after years of stifling it so others wouldn’t be upset with my ideas, as was often the case in my childhood.

Before I had kids, I was pretty active in the community.  I went to dance classes, did performances once in a while, volunteered on a film crew for a year and a half, did a small (and I do mean small) amount of background acting.  I also took a domestic violence advocacy class, volunteered for a few months with Street Yoga in Portland, and went out dancing on occasion, just for fun.  I had a lot of goals when I moved to Portland in 2010, and all of them were put on hold when I had my daughter three years ago.  Blogging is a way for me to continue to have goals and have something to look forward to, and I think it makes me a better mother than I was when I had no goals and was completely depressed.

My blog, Bringing Back the Rubies, has existed in its current form for maybe a year.  It went through some changes as I progressed through the blogging challenges I did.  At first, it was a general blog with all sorts of topics, and now it focuses on energy work, shamanism, healing, and trauma.  I talk a lot about the rape I survived in 2010, just before I moved to Portland, and about how it affected my life.  The thing I like to talk about most in that blog is how energy work helped me to really heal in a way that conventional therapy and Western psychiatry didn’t.  With that blog, I hope to connect to others who’ve experienced trauma and who feel lost in the Western model of mental health, which I feel doesn’t address the soul that needs healing when it comes to mental health.  I hope to share my story to give others hope that there is full-circle healing out there, and that it takes many forms.  No one path is the “right” path for everybody.

This blog, Rubies and Sagebrush, is a blog I started because, even though I was certain I wanted to write about what I write about in Bringing Back the Rubies, I also wanted to write about regular, everyday stuff.  I still wanted to write about my experience as a mother.  I still wanted to write fiction or short stories.  I still wanted to write essays that don’t fit in the theme of energy work and healing, so I started a second blog.  With this one, I hope to reach a more general audience, but I hope that people connect with my writing in some way or another.  Whether they are parents, writers, musicians, or what-have-you.  I write reviews – I’ve written music reviews and children’s products reviews, so far, but I’d like to expand to book reviews and movie reviews.  I’ve considered monetizing my blog to bring in some income while I’m home with my kids, but I’m not sure what all that entails, so that’s on the back burner, for now.

What have I accomplished so far?
I’ve managed to connect with people from all over the world on my other blog.  I have a Facebook page for my blogging which very slowly gains followers all the time, and my blogs also slowly gain followers all the time.  I’m happy to connect with people and engage in conversation about my topics.  I’ve set up auto-publish for my blogging on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr.  I’ve changed my blog designs a couple times to themes I’m happy with for now, and I’ve learned a lot about how WordPress functions, as a program.  I’ve also learned a lot about hashtags and using social media to increase exposure!  I didn’t realize I’d learn so much about that part of blogging.  🙂

I’ve already laid out a couple goals for my BBTR blog, which include posting at least one picture per post.  I also have a personal goal of reaching 1,000 followers by the end of the year.  (Maybe that number’s a bit high?)  On that blog, I also would like to begin offering Reiki healing sessions or giving people a little bit of information so they can find me to schedule a Reiki session, if they’re interested.  Ultimately, I see myself using that blog as a complement to my Reiki business I’ve decided to push for making happen by the end of this year.

For this blog, Rubies and Sagebrush (RAS), I’d like to start doing a guest post series weekly, keep writing my weekly feature #FreewriteFriday (I came up with that) and continue to interview people for another feature, #SpotlightSaturday (I thought I came up with that, but I looked it up recently and I was wrong, haha).  I’d also like to expand my reviews to include music, books, video, games, products of all kinds, and if I’m lucky, I’d like to get free stuff in exchange for my honest reviews.  Maybe if I’m even luckier, I’ll get paid for the reviews….I don’t know that blogging really works that way, but I’m learning. 🙂

I had more to say, but I got interrupted by my kids needing stuff, but this is long enough, anyway.

That’s me, for now.

(Featured image by Lynn Greyling @


4 thoughts on “Blogging 101, Assignment 1: “Who I Am & Why I’m Here”

  1. Hi Juana, great discovering your blog, and i am quite happy you are making most use of your spare time as stay at home mum pursuing your passion in writing. To “5 weeks of planned posts on my other blog” is agreat feat and i hope to achieve that someday. You are an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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