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8.05.2010

Lately I've been struggling. I've been struggling with my blog; with my photography. I feel that I'm not good enough.

A few days ago, I lost three followers. I know I shouldn't focus on numbers, but it makes me wonder why people decided to stop reading my blog. Even though I don't want it to, it hurts.
Mourning over my lost followers triggered some other thoughts - I'm tired of almost always writing about me. I'm tired of being a narcissist. (And see, here I go again. I just started this post and I'm already talking about myself.) From now on, I'm going to try to post more about other things. Silly things my siblings do, tips on various things, etc. I've already had a request for a room tour, so I'll get around to doing that soon - once I clean my room ;)

I've also been thinking about the name of my blog. Pastor's Girl's Ponderings. I liked it when I first started my blog back in 2006 (aka the time period no one read what I had to say. And I don't blame them.), but now...I don't know. I don't even blog about being a pastor's daughter.
I've been toying with the idea of changing it. One name that I came up with recently is "Cerulean". Or "The Cerulean Crayon", perhaps.
When I was younger, my absolute favorite crayon in the box was a lovely shade of teal called "cerulean". I loved that color to death. It was always the most used crayon in the pack - I used it to color everything. And just like I used that crayon to color everything, this blog is pretty much about everything. It ties in quite nicely, I think.
If I would change my blog name to "Cerulean" or something close to that (Got any other variations?), I'm afraid I would lose readers. I suppose people have sort of "attached" my name to my blog name. I would of course redirect it, so if someone clicked on "Pastor's Girl's Ponderings", they would be switched to "Cerulean". But there's still always that risk. What do you think? Is it worth it to do it now, before I get more readers? Or should I just leave my title as it is?

As for photography - this is where I've been struggling more. I feel my photographs aren't so great. I see so many beautiful photos taken by other photographers, and yearn to be able to capture beauty like they do. How did she get such great bokeh, I want that lens, oh I wish I could have shot at that location, the list goes on and on. I feel so inadequate regarding my photography. I'm constantly comparing my pictures to others'.

I've had so many readers tell me that I'm talented. And it may be true that the photos they were referring to weren't half bad, but I don't exactly believe that I'm really, truly talented. Sure, I've improved my picture-taking skills in the past few months, but I'm still so insecure. I still have so much to learn. I know I'll get there in time; I'm still young. But in these months, maybe even years, in between, it's hard. Very hard.

And now, I'm ending this post with one of my favorite photos...


I realize I've posted this before, but I still love it. I snapped it on the way back from Texas.

-carlotta

PS I'm sorry to kind of dump y'all with this...but it's something that I just wanted to get out - and maybe get some advice in the process. Thank you for bearing with me :) I promise I'll get back to my normal posts after this.

50 comments:

  1. You do have amazing photography!!!! I love it. And I think all your recipes are really good too. :) But I'm sure whatever change you do we'll all still like it!

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  2. Aw, girl....you are SO awesome! Never ever forget that! I love your blog! It's most def the best one I read (and trust me, I read a lot of them.) You are probs the coolest person ever! I am truly envious of your photography and blog....it has so much of a flow and it is so serene. I genuinely look forward to reading it! You are just a fantabulous girl so never second guess yourself on something as little as a blog! Someday something will come along and totes conquer the blog world and I am sure you will be at the top of the food chain with that one too!

    So, don't even worry...because you're amazing. nuff said. (:

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  4. Abigail8/05/2010

    I love your name now. Even though you don't post about being a pastors daughter, your blog is called 'Pastors Girl's Ponderings.' I've always thought of that name as what you think about, like, dislike, your opinions. Not all you talk about is being a pastors daughter.
    That's just my opinion. you wouldn't loose me if you change your name, but still, I really like your name now.
    I'll post another comment latere. ggtg now.

    Giving GOD the Glory!
    ~Abby♥

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  5. 1. I really like the title of your blog and if you change it I promise you I will still follow and love the new name just as much!

    2. I love your photography. I am always looking back at your blog to see what I can do to get my pictures look like the ones you took earlier. (I also often compare mine to others.)

    3. I would love for you to show the pictures you take day to day. Also to talk more about your siblings.

    4. You could get more followers if you added a linky to your "miscellaneous ramblings" post. I would love to join. I am guessing others would too.

    5. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! :)

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  6. Carlotta, I love that picture too!
    I think your an awesome photographer, I think the new name is but I also like the one you have now! :)
    Sorry, I wasn't to much help...

    ~Alex!

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  7. Abigail8/05/2010

    Okay, so about the photography. You work is AMAZING!!! And it's not just 'cause you have a nice camera, it's because God has given you an AMAZING talent!!!!!!!
    My older sister (the photgrapher) recently wrote a guest post for somebody about photography. here's the link-
    http://brandcampblog.com/guest-author-emilee-fuss/
    Hope it helps!

    Giving GOD the Glory!
    ~Abby♥

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  8. I love your blog for what it is and what is has been. If you think it needs changing that's up to you. As for the name, I think that's a really great idea (even though I can't really pronounce the name haha). I think every blog needs to change it up from time to time.

    Your pictures are so amazing, don't ever doubt that you have skill. Keep on practising with it and know that you ARE A PHOTOGRAPHER (:

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  9. I just found your blog, and I love it! I think Cerulean is a great name, I used to like that color too. :D Your photography is much better than what I do... :D

    Have a great week!

    Abby :D

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  10. Abigail8/05/2010

    P.S You have come a LONG way since you've had a blog too! I remeber when I first started reading your blog, you only had 14 or 15 followers! You've come a long way. And people like you and your photography! I mean, c'mon, they follow you!

    Giving GOD the Glory!
    ~Abby♥

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  11. I really, really like your blog! The layout is really cool and the name is great! If you changed the name to Cerulean (which is awesome!) then I would still read your blog!
    Your pictures are awesome! And even if you don't think you have talent, other people think you do!!!
    You are the best part of this blog! You are fantastic Carlotta!

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  12. I love you and your blog! It's one of the best around. :)

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  13. I think whichever name you prefer! They are both great!

    When I first started blogging, I felt the same way. Truth be told it was one of the reasons I hated posting. I felt like the number of comments defined what I was writing.
    Anyway, I got back into blogging and began to just enjoy it without looking at who was reading or commenting. I gave it completely up to God.
    But recently Satan got back under my skin when I realized one of my guest posts had 2 comments, while the other guest posters had between 6-9 comments on their post. I didn't know why it stung me, but it did. I felt like maybe I wasn't as good of a writer as I thought, or I wasn't interesting enough. I realized that those feelings of inadequacy were just Satan trying to get me to give up on something (my blog) that God had put into place. A few nights ago I told God that I'm not going to look at numbers anymore, but that if my blog ever gets to the point of not glorifying Him, then it needs to be shut down. I've realized that letting commenters or followers define your blog will always disappoint you.

    I also wonder if I am ever to wordy :D

    Haha, and about your photography - it is amazing! You certainly have a gift...

    Soli Deo gloria,
    -Maddie

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  14. I bet you are going to get loads of comments on this one about how everyone feels this way some times. I thought I would say it as well. I am a new blogger, a couple of months/52 posts/4followers. I struggled, and still do sometimes, because I would see these beautiful, confident, creative bloggs with loads of followers and feel like I will never get that way! Then I've read on one blog that you should avoid following and reading bloggs that intimidate you, make you feel bad about yourself, only read those that inspire you. I like that! Just thought I would share. There are many things we want to be able to do good, the idea is that we are getting there, and you and me alike should learn how to enjoy the process of learning. Just so you will know, I truly love your photography and I could never guess that you would be ashamed of it! I changed my name and my URL and ended up loosing ALL the existing comments on my blog... maybe it's not a good idea...

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  15. I know what you mean about feeling down about your photography...but you truly are very talented! I've noticed you have a great eye for the tiniest detail and you are really good at isolating it from other confusing "points of interest." I guess my point is...don't give up! Sometimes it is really depressing to compare your work to others' and notice big differences...but they had to start somewhere, too. I've found it helpful to email some of them and ask for tips...that has been so great!

    So anyway...keep it up! And I love reading your blog posts, too, by the way. =)

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  16. Well - I nearly fell out of my chair -- your photography is awesome!!! In fact - my mother (who took a peek at your blog the other day) commented a lot about it... ;)

    And if you don't mind -- I'll make up for one of those lost followers. :D

    ~Bethany

    P.s. - Love your blog!

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  17. ohmygosh! What a beautiful blog you have! I'm so happy you stumbled upon mine:) I L-O-V-E the color you mentioned for your name btw, that was always my favorite color too. I used to use it till it was a tiny nub inbetween my fingers! Whatever you decide, I think your readers will love and respect. Such a sweet little place you've created here with magical photography!

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  18. I'm a lurker...thought I would finally come out and comment! I'm really wanting to get into photography so I love looking at all of your pictures! Don't worry about losing some followers...it has happened to me before as well. Your parents look really familiar. I think we may have went to the same church. I'm from Texas and use to attend Salem Lutheran Church!

    Christa

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  19. Seriously...don't beat yourself up. We've all been there with regard to our own work and you'll jump over this hurdle as well. I feel the same way when people leave my blog. I shouldnt' focus on numbers but I do wonder why people leave. It does kinda hurt. Anyways, keep doing what you're doing...I won't leave if you change your name. Doesn't matter to me one bit. Just be authentic. That's all that counts.

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  20. Okay coming back over...so did you leave me before? :( Glad you're back.

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  21. I am so sorry that you lost followers but you just gained one! I am now a follower of your blog! :) You are a very talented photographer and I'm not just saying that to cheer you up, you really are a phenomonal photographer! :) I love that picture you posted-it's gorgeous! I hope you'll check out my online, Christian magazine for tween/teen girls: http://bloommagazine.webs.com. I would love it if you subscribe!! :)
    KyAnn

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  22. i think that we can all feel inadequate sometimes...especially with our blog! ughh, sometimes I wish the follower gadget didn't exist. your blog is great and has blossomed sooo much lately. just remember that you have a ton of readers that love your blog. as for the photography, your photos just get better and better...seriously!

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  23. Your photos inspire me to get out take more photos..which is something as a photog major I need to do anyway!
    And I know for a fact that changing your blog name won't loose readers, changing your URL could possibly do that though :))
    I've also suffered some readership loss, but at the same time I don't blog for 300 people to read it, but more for myself and people who are genuinely interested in reading.

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  24. Those silly three people! They don't know what they're missing out on. I love your blog, your writing, your photography. :] You really are a wonderful photographer, and don't let the nay-sayers get to you! (by the way, that picture you posted... is it yours? I love it, it's absolutely beautiful.) There will always be negative people, just remember it's the positive ones who matter. I heard someone say once that it takes ten positive things to cover up one negative thing, and I think that's true, because it's just so easy to shrug off the positive things, and take the negative comments to heart!

    As to your name change, if you want to change it, go for it! If you want to start blogging about other things, do it! It's YOUR blog, you should be able to do whatever you want on it. :] I can't imagine why people would choose to stop following you just because the words at the top change. I certainly would still follow you!

    <3

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  25. You are AWESOME! I L.O.V.E. your photography and have learned much from your posts! I "steal" your photography ideas often! I hope that's ok! :)

    It's easy to get discouraged and wonder if anyone even cares about what you post, but why did you begin blogging in the first place? I struggle with this sometimes, but have to remind myself that in the beginning my goal was to share my heart and bless others so even if I only had 2 or 3 followers, I'm doing what I love to do!

    Don't let blogging become stressful or worrisome! Have fun with it!

    I hope you will continue to blog your way and keep your adorable alliterated name! I found your blog a few months ago and though I'm not a follower or have never commented before, you are on my favorites list and I read on a daily basis!

    Keep blogging, girl!

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  26. I know how you feel, Carlotta! I've lost followers before too, and even though I try not to let it bother me, it does hurt. But really, numbers don't matter!

    As far as the name, I actually like "Pastor's Girl's Ponderings." I think it's a great name for your blog. If you want to change it though, that's fine too. Remember, this is your blog! ;)

    Okay, really... your photography is AMAZING! I always enjoy the photos you post. They're all gorgeous! I know what you mean though... it's so hard not to compare your photography to another blogger's. I do that a lot, and my pictures aren't nearly as beautiful as yours! I only have a little point and shoot, so wishing for a nicer camera is my problem. :/

    Anyway, keep up the amazing work, Carlotta. Your blog really is a lot of fun to read! :)

    -- Much Love,
    Lindsay <3

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  27. You are not going to lose me! Seriously! I don't see how you can think your photography isn't very good- it is AMAZING! And that is saying alot- my mom is a photographer too, and I really love your stuff. :)

    I like the idea to change your blog's name- I say go for it! :)

    Something meaningful.

    Love, Makay

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  28. I've told you before and I'm gonna tell you again...you photography is amazing!

    We all feel like a dump sometimes. (I feel like that at least once a week) But that doesn't mean you have to go changing you style of writing, your style of photography, or you blog title. I always thought that you blog title suited your blog amazingly. Pastor's Girl's Ponderings, has a ring to it don't you think? :D

    Your blog is one of my favorites, I always loved it! Sure I wasn't reading it when you first started out but look at how far its gone since then!?

    Keep the way you do things and don't compare yourself to others, God gave you such an amazing gift of writing and photography. Be yourself...a pastor's girl. And don't change the way you blog just to match others way...it would be very boring if all blogs were the same wouldn't it?? :D

    Reading your blog everyday, is constantly putting a spring in my step. Thats just how much I love it!!

    Hope this helped

    From your blogging friend Briony Katie. :)

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  29. I sometimes feel the same way about my photography. I want people to love it so much they want to hang it in their homes. I just started Project 365 and I've only had one person look at the blog I have for that and I even have a link for it on my main blog. I think everyone compares their photographs with others and wish to be like theirs. There was even a time were I thought about giving photography up all together. But here I am. You're an amazing blogger/person/photographer!!!

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  30. oh, cute blog.
    thanks for stopping by mine.
    :)

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  31. thanks for the comment! I love your blog.. most definitely a follower now!

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  32. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog!

    I've been struggling with a lot of things lately too so I empathize with you. Hopefully things will get better for both of us very soon.

    I checked out your other blog and your photography is wonderful, you have nothing to inadequate about!

    As for changing your blog name, you can always keep the same blog and keep the same link but just change the name. Just a thought. Or if you want a whole new start, you can always just direct people to the new blog too. I ended up deleting a bunch of my early posts which no one read and I actually kind of regret that now.

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  33. Several years ago I took a watercolor class with a dear friend...I never knew what color cerulean even WAS ~~~ I have loved it ever since I 'discovered' it!

    Your blog is perfect. It is so thoughtful and insightful. As for your photography, I LOVE it! You often catch the 'essence' of the moment, more than just a snapshot of a moment in time. That is a characteristic of a great artist in my mind. Letting those of us with no talent ~ share yours! Whatever you decide for the name...you will STILL BE YOU !!! An AMAZING young woman! Keep us posted! :)

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  34. I love you and your blog just the way it is. If you feel like the name doesn't fit anymore, change it. Since you will redirect, we will all follow you when you do. About the lost follower thing, don't be discouraged. People stop following for a variety of reasons and you just never know. Try to not take it personal. Lately, I have only been averaging about 3 comments on my posts, and just a week ago, I was getting like 10 (I know not a large number). But we can't get caught up in the numbers game. Be encouraged. And you take spectacular photos girl. You should be proud!

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  35. I feel that way too.. I guess everyone does once in a while. What's really important is that you're happy with the things you do which is blogging and photography, right? So put a smile on that face and stop counting the numbers 'cause there are still a lot of people who support your blog and I'm definitely one of them, Carlotta!! :)

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  36. Baby girl you can't worry about what people do or say about you, your talents, or even this blog. As long as you are in the right place with God and are seeking Him, then you don't have anything to worry about when it comes to their choices.

    Chase the King. Let everything else come after that. :)

    <3

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  37. I understand how you feel, Carlotta - about your blog and photography. I started my blog back in 2007 and am now thinking of changing the name as well...but I'm also wondering if I'd loose readers. I think it would be fine if you changed your name - I love how it fits into your blog!

    I think that what I need to realize with photography is that it's a journey - and I need to enjoy every moment of it. I've gotten discouraged too, so you're not alone. But being the lover of photography that I am, I just keep taking pictures and watching them improve. I've been following your photography blog for a while and I really have seen an improvement - you've got a great eye, sweet gal! Your photography is amazing, and it's only going to get better, right?

    Goodness, this was a long comment...I certainly hope that some small part of it may have had the encouragement that you needed.

    Love and Blessings,
    Hannah
    hannahshangout2.blogspot.com
    photosbyhannahm.blogspot.com

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  38. thanks for droppin by my blog ;o)

    a photog's journey is just that. a journey. i look back on my work several years ago and i'm sickneded, 'i did that?' but if we were all perfect there would never be a journey to something greater, and therefore, no story. and no character building. how boring. ;o)

    blessings

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  39. Wow. You commented on my blog a week or two ago. I don't usually go around reading people's blogs that I don't know, but I find myself coming back to your blog time and time again. Your writing isn't silly and shallow like most young ladies today.

    Also, I love your photography. One of my few desires and goals is to save enough money to get a Nikon SLR camera, and to see pictures from another girl who loves photography - no matter what the quality is, is very inspiring. Your pictures are so much clearer, brighter, and just plain better than mine!

    I too look at other peoples' photographs and think about how gorgeous they are. But instead of being discontent and wishing mine looked the same, I think about how I can make mine look better, and I try to learn from photographers better than me. You DO have a really nice camera - better than a lot of people! And I believe that you can take gorgeous photos. They may not always be crystal clear, but you're capturing moments. A lot of the time, that's what matters most.

    So, don't be discouraged. Blogging is fun, and it makes us feel special when more people read our blogs. But in the long run, it's a very small part of life. When we get to heaven, Jesus isn't going to be asking us about how many people read our blogs.

    May the Lord BLESS you!

    {Camille}

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  40. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog...and after reading this I fully understand you! It's hard not to get caught up in wondering if you're good enough, why does "x" have so many followers, blah. I just try to keep my work real and make it stir something in me...the ones who are drawn to it, are the ones I want in my life anyway. Right? There's always someone with a better camera, more training, better scenery...but there is no one, or will there ever be anyone like you, again. So stay positive, girl! :)) Oh PS I am now following you. :)

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  41. I love your blog so much! I think your name is awsome and Ella was tryig to make her blog name somthing like yours! As far as photography...you are awsome at it! way better than me and way better than a lot of peoples. If you want to maybe learn a little more about photography maybe you could take a camera class. Usually you can take them at Craft stores such as Ben Fraklin of Joann's fabrics. But for right now, I would stay positive and just stickwith it!

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  42. I am sorry that you think your pictures are not good. Personally I think they are beautiful! And as to changing your name I like both, so it doesn't really matter if you change it or not.
    Blessings,
    Anna

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  43. I love your blog. I love seeing how you use the talent God gave you on here. And you know what? Questioning yourself and your abilities is a sign that you're maturing. It's good to do that from time-to-time. I still do and am working on my blog, redesigning it so it reflects me better. I had to do some soul searching to do that, though. It wasn't fun at all but I learned a lot about me. I wish I had blog when I was a teen. You have the world at your feet. Jump in and enjoy it!!!!

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  44. Emmylou8/06/2010

    Hey Carlotta,
    I struggle with the same things you do. Narcissism, feeling inadequate. Those things are actually tied together, surprisingly. I don't struggle with feeling inadequate in the area of photography as much, but sometimes I feel that way when it comes to kung fu. I can get really down on myself sometimes, like you do about photography, but then I remember a few things that help me out:

    1) I'm a work in progress. I'm still learning and growing and getting better. It's okay to make mistakes.
    2) Okay, maybe I messed THAT up, but look at how well I did THIS.
    3) Talent doesn't matter as much as HARD WORK does. I would rather someone comment on how hard I worked for something than on how talented I am.

    Which is not to say that you aren't talented. *You are* AND you're still a work in progress. How long have you had your Nikon? A few months? And you're taking beautiful, amazing pictures. Just think how good you'll be next year. Or in five years. Just keep clicking away.

    Every talent takes effort to cultivate and perfect. Somebody may be a talented dancer, but they can't automatically do every single dance move perfectly. They have to learn the moves one by one. It takes time, but the end result is a thing of beauty. So is the process.

    Sorry for this long-winded comment. But I am totally with you, sister!

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  45. Heya Carlotta, I just wanted to say that I read all your blog posts, even though I'm not a "follower". I use google reader to "follow", but it doesn't come up on your blog as that.
    Mahalia

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  46. Carlotta,
    One thing I've learned in my 29 years, is that in life, the BIGGEST obstacle you'll ever face is in-between your ears...and that one obstacle is often the only thing that holds us back.
    Confidence is the most beautiful thing a woman can wear, and I've seen many with far less talent than you, succeed and go far because of it. Believe in yourself Hun, because it doesn't matter if everyone who reads leaves you a comment telling you how beautiful your photos are, if you don't believe in them yourself.
    That being said, I think your photos are lovely, and that God has blessed you with a talent you continue to feed and grow. :)

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  47. Oh Carlotta! Don't give up! Your photo's are beautiful!! I have all these thoughts I want to share with you but I can't seem to find the right words.
    Know that your photo's are beautiful!! Get out there and shoot; even when you don't want to, do it. My kung fu teacher tells us that we will have bad days, or weeks, or months, but don't give up and keep on working through them. They will make us stronger, better at what we do.

    On changing the name of your blog, go for it! I "outgrew" my first blog, and when I started a new one, I made sure the name was something that would still work for me in years to come.

    Keep Calm and Blog On!!! ;)

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  48. Carlotta --

    I know I'm not a frequent commenter on your blog, which I would like to be but somehow I just can't get around to it. Anyhow, I wanted to let you know that you DO have a frequent reader on your hands even if I don't comment a lot. I absolutely love reading your blog! It's quirky and funny and miscellaneous and I adore it.

    Emma

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  49. Emmylou8/09/2010

    @ Ashley: My kung fu teacher says that too! Oh, wait, your kung fu teacher is my kung fu teacher.
    @ Carlotta, What Ashley said about bad days, etc. that was the other thing I wanted to say, but either I forgot or I thought my comment was getting too long already...I don't remember. :-)

    I'm glad to see that you are feeling better about it now! Believe me, I know EXACTLY HOW YOU WERE FEELING. :-)

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  50. You have amazing photography. Way better then me and you are very creative. I am not creative at all. btw I love the color Cerulean. I used it on everything. I am just finding you and wouldn't mind the name change. I am following your blog now. :)

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