July 18, 2014

Small Talk: Alyssa of The Desultory Dilettante

What Mandy Thinks: "Small Talk" post
My first "Small Talk" post was pretty much fantastic, so I'm keeping it up with spotlighting another awesome blogger!  Alyssa's lifestyle blog "The Desultory Dilettante" (goodness, that's hard to say and type out multiple times) chronicles wedding planning and all that's involved with it as she goes through planning her own wedding.  Check out her mouthful-named blog at http://desultorydilettante.blogspot.com/ 

What is "The Desultory Dilettante?" How did you come up with the name?
des•ul•to•ry  [des-uhl-tohr-ee] adjective
Digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.

dil•et•tante  [dil-i-tahnt] noun
A person who takes up an art, activity, or subject merely for amusement, especially in a desultory or superficial way; dabbler.

I am terrible at naming things, but love to learn new words, so in a desperate effort to name my blog on schedule I started clicking through links on a dictionary site of words I didn't know until I came across "desultory." It was fun and fit the completely random theme of my blog at the time. The Desultory Dilettante (by my interpretation) basically means: Artistically getting distracted in myriad subjects for my own entertainment.

What Mandy Thinks: Image of Alyssa of the Desultory Dilettante
Alyssa of The Desultory Dilettante
Photo Credit
What inspired you to start your blog?
I am pretty new to the blog scene. I didn't start consistently reading blogs until about two years ago. I started following a lot of blogs and I came across one that was based on helping bloggers fix their blogs and thought "Why don't I have a blog? I could do this!" I quickly realized when logging into the blogger account I created years ago, on a similar whim, why I didn't have a blog. I had started, stopped, relaunched, sporadically posted, and tried to blog a few times over the years and it never took. This time with the knowledge of all the bloggers I follow, I was going to have a plan and it was going to stick! I also had a topic with endless possibilities so I guess that is why nine months later I have manged to keep blogging.

The Desultory Dilettante has a variety of topics from organizational tips to wedding planning. Which topic do you enjoy writing the most?
My blog is mostly focused on wedding/party planning and all the random things that are involved with it so my favorite posts to write are the ones where I get to learn along with the reader. Since I am planning my own wedding at the moment, the blog keeps me on schedule and holds me accountable. So when I need to learn how to make ribbon flowers for a blog post where readers are waiting for content, I am a lot more motivated than if my willpower alone was supposed to make me get stuff done. Plus, I love to learn new things!

What Mandy Thinks: Image of blog logo for the Desultory Dilettante
Do you follow a blogging schedule or system? If so, how do you stick with it?
I LOVE planning! And being the procrastinator I am, I tend to never actually do anything unless it is scheduled. Plus when it comes time to sitting down and getting stuff done, it makes it so much easier to start if I already have an outline done. I plan all of my posts 3 months in advance based on whatever I need to get done in my wedding planning. So for example I look at my wedding to-dos for August and plan my September posts with the assumption I get everything done August. This keeps me on track with my planning and also gives me a lot of content to start with. I like to fill in any gaps with "Pin Party" and "Take A Break" posts which give me a little break since they are usually photo heavy and don't take the amount of research a typical post has. I do the main writing and photo editing for my posts the same week they get posted since I have all the outlines done already.

What advice do you have for those running blogs or wishing to start their own?
Work on it for five minutes. That's it, That's all. It doesn't matter what it is, starting your blog, getting that big post you have been planning done, branding, photos, or learning juggling. Just try to work on it for five minutes; set a timer if you need to. Every time there is something I have been putting off because of how daunting or seemingly hard it is, when I told myself I would work on it for just five minutes it didn't seem so bad. You make progress and more often than not you spend a lot more than five minutes on it and any hesitations you had about the project are gone so you can pick the project up again later.

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