If you're a local gal following my blog, this week's guest will be someone you've never met before.. the sweet Madison Lander! I was so lucky to meet Madison through an online workshop we both took this summer. After a couple of messages back and forth, we quickly realized that we are basically the same person.. even down to pretty much having the same name!
I could tell y'all more about her, or you could just hear from her yourself :)
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name’s Madison! I’m from just south of Chicago and am going to be a junior at the University of Tennessee this fall. I’m a full-time college student studying Public Relations and Business. Recently, I’ve used my free time to do something I’ve always wanted to do--start a blog! It’s a great creative outlet for me, and I love being able to help others through sharing my words and own personal experiences. My blog is focused mainly on wellness and giving advice to young girls who are navigating tough times because those are the things that I’m really passionate about!
2. What is at the top of your bucket list?
Traveling to Europe! My best friend and I were supposed to study abroad in Italy this summer but had to cancel due to the pandemic. So, my dream is to someday make it over there for a trip.
3. What are some of your hobbies that aren’t related to school?
Yoga, cooking and baking healthy foods, drawing, painting, and writing (for fun).
4. Explain your journey of stepping out of your comfort zone and starting your own blog.
Throughout high school, I always had so much to write about, but nobody to share it with. I felt like I had so much advice to give through the experiences I had, and wanted to have a reason to share those experiences (other than in my journal lol). I had attempted to start a blog several times but did not have the time and patience to actually sit down and educate myself on the best way to go about it. I was also notorious for caring too much about what others would think of me, so that left me with a lot of self-doubt and deprecation.
Fast forward a few years when the pandemic first hit and everything was shut down. I was sent home from college early and had nowhere to go, which meant the perfect time to tackle the daunting task of actually starting the blog I’ve always wanted to have. As a PR major, it’s also important for me to have a strong writing portfolio, so this was also a big motivator when I made the decision to finally go for it.
I was really nervous to make my blog public. I cared too much what people would think or say. I was afraid people would think I was trying to be an influencer or something when in reality, I just wanted a safe space to share my writing and inspire others who cared to read. Going out of my comfort zone to actually create my own website and put my content out into the world was so rewarding, and so many people have told me that they enjoy reading what I have to say. I wasn’t looking to monetize my blog or gain thousands of viewers, I simply wanted to fulfill a need I had been feeling for years, and it was like a weight off of my shoulders when I finally did it!
5. Blogging can seem a little strange and out of the “norm” for people our age. What would you tell someone who wants to chase after a dream that is also a little out of the “norm” for someone their age?
To be honest, I hate the “norm”. My best advice is that if it’s out of the norm, then you should 100% dive face-first into the deep end of whatever it is. I’ve come to regret not doing things sooner out of the fear of what others might think. I have shied away from great opportunities in the past due to fear and worry, and I always regret not taking the risk when it’s all said and done. If you feel called to do something, do it! Whether it’s considered normal or not. Normal is boring.
6. What has been the hardest part of getting started and staying consistent with your blog, and how have you overcome it?
The hardest part about getting started and staying consistent for me is planning ahead. I’ve recently started batch working which basically means I will write 4-5 blog posts in one day and schedule them all for the coming weeks so they automatically upload. It saves me time and keeps me held accountable.
I took a break from posting for a few weeks because I had a lot going on and a little writer’s block, but I have some great posts coming up soon that I’ve written up and I’m so excited to share them. That’s the other thing that helped me overcome staying consistent: taking breaks when I needed to. When life got busy, I just put my blog on hold and didn’t stress. My blog is a hobby for me, and as soon as I let it start to stress me out, it won’t be a hobby anymore, it’ll be work!
7. If you could give one piece of advice to girls in their twenties, what would it be?
My advice would be to trust your gut, work hard, and be kind. Intuition never lies and if you feel like you’re in the wrong place, with the wrong person, or doing the wrong thing, you probably are. Never be afraid to take a leap of faith in school, relationships, your career, or anything in general. And by working hard and being kind, you can achieve anything you dream of!
8. Where can people find you and your blog?
My personal Instagram is: https://www.instagram.com/madison.lander/
My website where my lil blog lives is: https://madisonlander.com (enter your email to subscribe!)
And then I have another Instagram where I post healthy recipes and wellness tips, similar to my blog but on a different platform and that is: https://www.instagram.com/wellbeingwithmad/
It was sooo refreshing finding someone who I can relate to in so many different ways.
If you find yourself feeling "stuck" and not finding much encouragement from the people around you, I encourage you to branch out.
Join a club, invest in a workshop, reach out to people like you on social media. It may seem awkward at first, but Madison and I have been able to bounce so many thoughts + ideas back and forth even though we have only (virtually) known each other for about 2 months!
So go make a new friend, follow her and her blog, and dive face-first into the deep end of whatever you've been wanting to do :)