Checking in with the newbie tag

Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

As I chug along in my writing journey, I have been clicking around the interwebs to check out other blogs. I am always intrigued by alternative formats, eye-catching featured graphics, motivations for writing and voice. As a magazine major, always, voice.

I both comb through tags and find content through raw Google searches. I also belong to a few writing communities online. Here, I can bounce ideas off of other writers. I can also see what my fellow black femme bloggers or black travel bloggers or  black bloggers based in Britain or just generally British bloggers are up to.

A few days back, I came across a post by lifestyle writer Erika Parks of PAE Reviews. They participated in “The Newbie Tag” and invited any beginning blogger to do the same.

I have been writing my entire life, but I will have been blogging for only two months as of Saturday.

Anticipating England while stateside may feel like ages ago. I may be smack dab in the middle of fall semester, saluting midterms good-bye. But I am definitely new to the game: of being my own reporter, my own photographer and my own head editor in this daily journalistic grind, everything! So here is me taking a crack at The Newbie Tag.

Why did you start this blog? // I started this blog to have a record of my travels and hone my craft. The more I have worked on it, I have realized that I ultimately want to help other students poised to study abroad, other black travelers, women travelers, queer travelers and those woke hipsters consumed too with wanderlust.

What are some fun and unique things that you can bring to blogging? // I can bring my love of multimedia and social media to blogging. I can bring my corny, pun-susceptible, inclined-to-light-shade-tossing sense of humor.

I can also bring a cross-cultural and transnational feminist perspective. Is that fun? Human rights are fun.

Also, just all around nerdiness: a deep-seated love of world history, the arts, film, literature and pop culture.

What are you most excited about with this new blog? // I am excited to have a platform to express myself. As a journalist, I rarely talk about myself in my work. Even when I was a Gender + Sexuality columnist, in the Opinion section, I was expressing (deeply-held but rather general views) about why women and the LGBT+ community deserve to be respected and treated like human beings.

As a magazine major specifically, I am excited to get the chance to create a bunch of little reported essays and get practice with writing on a quick turnaround.

And of course, hopefully, helping people live better lives by learning from my mistakes or at least knowing they aren’t alone in the world.

What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome? // The hardest challenge to overcome is a challenge I overcome every night before I lay my head to rest: writing every day.

I just came back from a concert (which you’ll hear about tomorrow) and I am quite ready to pull the covers up over my head. But no, I’ve made myself some pitiful pasta and sat down to put a post out in the world before I close my day.

Another challenge is finding something interesting to say on the days where I have only really have woken up, gone to class, done homework, studied, showered and eaten. That’s when I push myself to dig up something unusual or noteworthy about London to share with you guys.

Where do you write? // At home, always. I have yet to find a café with enough outlets, decent wifi and the perfect balance of silence with noise. And if I am out and about, that right there is the story. Once the show or event is over, I probably can’t wait to go home, sit down with some food and process it all.

Ninety percent of the time, I write from my kitchen table. Sometimes, I feel frisky and switch which side of the table I am sitting on.

What blogs do you like to read? // Switching gears from traditional journalism to blogosphere, I haven’t found my must-read blog yet. I have found a few blogs I am keen to hear more from.

Recently, I have soaked up some sage travel narratives from:

I also enjoyed seeing Pittsburgh from the pocket of Shana Was Here, Napa Valley from Ianthia Smith’s glass, Mexico City from Afro Buenaventura’s perch and Qatar from the lens of American Teacher Overseas.

What are my goals for this blog? // To help, help, help, and to express myself. Those are the goals of good art and good communications, aren’t they?

By Caroline Colvin

Black retro-obsessed non-binary baddie ♡ pleasure & wellness advocate ♡ aesthetic archivist ♡


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