In this very first feature of my new blog series The Person Behind, Joana from Gigantic Thought Bubble talks to me about her ongoing voyage of blogging and shares valuable lessons on writing and social media.
Fiona: Hey Joana, how old are you?
Joana: I’m twenTEEN-one
F: What prompted you to start blogging?
J: Honestly, it was out of boredom. I remember it was my semestral break in college and I have nothing to do on most days at the same time I’ve been reading a lot of personal blogs from people that I know, it kinda encouraged me to create my own blog which I had been wanting to do for so long and also during those times I just really needed to vent out some stuff. I guess I can say that the reason why I started blogging is the same reason why most bloggers started blogging as well, mainly to express and to have an outlet.
F: You touch on so many different subjects on your blog – could you give me a brief description of your blog’s philosophy?
J: I first started this blog to really just document my life and to just have an outlet of emotions but I guess it became something more than that. Now, I don’t just write for me, I also write for others after realizing that there are many people who feel and think the same way as I do, I felt like I needed to share my stories to lessen those people who feel alone in this life.
Gigantic Thought Bubble is now a collection of thoughts where you can find a bit about everything that there is about going through life and mostly poetry, essays, stories about the struggles I/we face trying to understand life that can eventually lead to self-discovery and finding purpose.
F: You recently brought a series called “Social Media Rant” to life on your blog which I enjoyed very much. What advantages and disadvantages have you experienced in the online world and what advice would you give bloggers who are new to the game?
J: First, thank you for reading my “rants”. I honestly had second thoughts on posting that series because I’m trying to lessen my “care” on pop culture but yeah I mostly ranted about the self-righteous people who use social media and how social media had negative effects on us. As a millennial of course I enjoy social media the same way others enjoy it for its advantages like, it’s a great way to express yourself, to be updated, to promote causes but there are times where I think it takes over our lives which is the greatest disadvantage of using it. Personally, I used to waste my whole day scrolling through different social media apps and as I’m getting older and getting more mature I guess I’m starting to realized how to truly value time and how to make the most out of it and it’s not in front of a screen. Some also use it to harm others not physically but emotionally and psychologically which is way worst. I for one experienced that where I have these certain opinions and beliefs but then I read one of those posts where they state their own opinion in a way it degrades other people’s opinion and making them feel like they are wrong— like I was wrong, it made me question what I believed in. I took an action and limited my usage and what I read.
I still consider myself as a newbie in blogging but what I’ve learned so far is that growing audience for your blog should be the least of your concern when you are starting, just focus first on the cause of your blog, the reason why you started your blog. When the content is genuine readers will see it, like it and share it. Your blog will grow not just because of how you promote it but also because of the content.
F: On your blog you constantly keep readers updated regarding your school life, work life and personal life. Is it hard to open up to your readers (basically strangers) like that?
J: In order to connect, to be understood and to express you need to share something about yourself let it be personal stories and experiences. You need to let others know that you are human. And the truth is it’s actually easier to share stories to strangers especially in this community because they are more understanding and respectful towards people’s thoughts and emotions. I guess it’s different for each person but for me I’m actually comfortable sharing here in my blog rather than to talk about it with my friends and family.
F: You also write monthly playlists, tell me, what song are you currently listening to on repeat?
J: Music is life for me even though I’m not gifted with musical talents. I’m just really a music enthusiast, it’s a form of escape just like writing (headphones on and ignore the world) just a small fact I sleep with my earphones on it helps me sleep better and I know it’s not advisable but what can I do lol. Anyway, I think at least every week the music that I listen to constantly changes and right now I’m listening to a lot of Alec Benjamin, a great upcoming artist. Currently his songs Paper Crown, The Way To Nowhere and I Built A Friend are on repeat. Check him out!
F: What’s one thing you’ve never written about on your blog before?
J: Everything in my blog is the way I wanted it to be about and I created it to be just like that but yes there are a lot of things I wanted to do for my blog, I really wanted to do a feature where I can share real stories from people that are inspiring, a feature about kindness and restoring faith in humanity.
F: The reason I found myself drawn to your blog is because I first noticed your poetry. What inspires you to write and how do you think has your writing evolved since you first started out blogging?
J: I started writing poetry because I struggle to talk about deep and personal stuff in a normal blog entry. There are things that I just can’t write about but I still need to write it and let it out. In the poetry/stories that I write I get to vent out in a way not giving exact details but just to let out the emotions and the exact same feeling that goes with that “stuff”, that is why my blog is not really a complete reflection of my life there are things in it that are just part of my imagination but it carries the same emotion I’m feeling during the time that I wrote it.
Life in general inspires me to write and I think over the years the way I write and what I write about changes because I guess the way I see life also changes. I like to believe that I’m getting better and I’m growing as a writer as well as a person. When I started blogging I was too conscious about my writings because it’s personal and I’m exposing myself but I realized that every writing is personal no matter what the content is, just the way you write and the way you used words says a lot about you as a writer and as a person. Right now I learned to let go of that worry of being exposed because in order to produce genuine writings I needed to not hold back from what I really wanted to say. That’s why I believe that my writings improved compared to the first day I started blogging not because of how I construct words but because I put myself more into it without holding back.
F: As I ask any writer I come across – how have your experiences with writer’s block been and how do you overcome it?
J: I recently had a writer’s block. Like, for weeks I couldn’t write something that I was satisfied with but I still wrote something even if I thought it was crap, even if it was just fragments, phrases and even just a word. Then I took a break because it was quite frustrating and draining to force myself to write. Sometimes writer’s block comes and it’ll go away by itself, you just got to wait it out . That’s what I do sometimes I just wait it out, take a walk, watch movies, read books etc. sometimes I get ideas from doing those things.
F: Any last words / advice for your readers?
J: For Gigantic Thought Bubble readers sorry I haven’t been posting regularly I’ve been quite busy which I will be sharing why hopefully soon but right now please bear with me. To all the people that read, liked, commented, shared, for taking time to visit my blog or even just accidentally pressed a link to my blog THANK YOU SO MUCH! I guess on behalf of other bloggers who started blogging, we all thought that no one would ever read what we write, so it’s quite flattering to even have just one person who viewed our post/s. I appreciate every single one of you. I love you all guys! Remember to be happy always and spread kindness.
Joana, thank you for being part of this series as my first interviewee ever!
About this series:
The Person Behind is an interview series I started on this blog to ask fellow creatives about themselves and their work. In this online-dominated world the way we communicate and work has shifted – blogs, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels are one of the most common ways of expressing ourselves and sharing our art. To shed light on this, The Person Behind focuses mainly on online personalities and their individual platforms.