The Liebster Award!

I am SO INCREDIBLY grateful and excited to announce that Winifred Reilly has nominated me for The Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is an award that moves through bloggers to other bloggers: if you’re nominated, you must then nominate 5 other blogs that you feel deserve to be recognized and shown a little bit of love. Essentially the award says “yo dawg, I like what you’re doing and I think other people should see it”. I feel incredibly honored that someone thinks I deserve to be noticed by more people. THANK YOU WINIFRED!

I’m finding the process of picking 5 blogs to nominate a little bit difficult, because most of the blogs that I read are better read than my own and have been helping to give me a leg up. So with that in mind, here are a few of the people that I read who are less well known and also fabulous:

Andrew: Considered Exclamations
The Merely Real
We Are Like Your Child
Time to Listen
I’m going to cheat a wee bit on this last one because I’m also a contributor to this blog, but I’m nominating it for my fellow bloggers over there because they’re great. CFI On Campus

The final piece of the award is questions: I have to answer some, and then I pose some to the blogs that I nominated. So here are Winifred’s questions to me:

1. When did you start blogging?

Well I started writing for Teen Skepchick about three ago I believe. Since then I’ve written in a variety of places, but I only started my own blog about nine months ago.

2. What one thing have you learned or experienced as a blogger that surprised you?

I’m surprised at how much I find I have to say, how much support I get from people, and how interactive the blogging community is. When I first started blogging, I sometimes found it hard to contribute content even once every week or two, but now I’m writing nearly every day and I still find that there are things on my mind. I also find that others are always talking back, and letting me know what they think.

3. What advice do you have to bloggers who are just starting out?

Get involved in a network! This can be a little bit hard, but look around for blogs that have a variety of contributors that talk about the things you want to talk about and see if you can get featured or added as a writer. This helps you become more consistent in your posts, have a group of people to help you out as you start, enters you into a pre-formed community, and helps you gain an audience without having to do all the work yourself. It’s pretty nifty.

4. How often do you post and why?

I probably post a little bit too much: I generally post 4-5ish times a week. I do this because I like consistency and daily schedules. I like practicing my writing, and writing as a daily practice that is more than simply expressing myself but more about staying connected to my thoughts, learning how to express myself, and learning how to produce content quickly and efficiently. I also simply like schedules and I like to push myself really hard, so I expect it of myself. Finally, I like reading other blogs that I know I can come to every day and have something new. That said, I know I could probably improve my writing if I were to take more time with each post. I’m working on that right now.

5. Many writers began writing when they were very young. Others came to it later, because they had a story to tell. When did you start writing?

I can’t really remember a time that I didn’t write. I remember as early as about 10 years old, I was writing stories and loving it. We had an assignment to create a little book in my third grade class, and other people hemmed and hawed, and I wrote about five in the time allotted because all I wanted to do was write. In fifth grade I wrote a “novel” that was hundreds of pages long. I wanted to be a fantasy  author. However I only really started writing nonfiction in college. Before that I always thought creative writing was where it’s at, and now I’m loving talking about things in my life and the world.

6. When is your favorite writing time?

I have a few. I like blogging between about 10 am and 2 pm because that’s when my brain is the most awake, but I like creative writing late at night.

7. What sorts of blogs do you read?

ALL OF THEM. Not really, but I am interested in as many human experiences as possible. I read a lot of atheist, feminist, mental health and social justice blogs, as well as some on autism, race, LGBT stuff, polyamory, homeschooling, science, skepticism…If anybody has suggestions of other blogs I LOVE hearing them.

8. What one key message do you want your readers to take away from your blog?

Wow, these are some tough questions. I think I would say compassion. I want people to come away with the knowledge that everyone is fighting an incredibly hard battle each and every day and that if we want life to be tolerable we must be as kind as possible to each other. We cannot rely on the old rules or scripts, but we must instead listen carefully and exercise our compassion to connect on a human level. Or something like that.

9. What was the last book you read?

Right now I’m reading two books: Listening to Prozac, which is a little outdated but incredibly interesting, and City of Bohane, which is FANTASTIC. It’s a futuristic gang-opera set in Ireland. I actually can’t remember which book I finished last, but I believe it was From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls: A History of Self-Starvation, which had a lot of incredibly interesting information but had some extremely problematic conclusions. I may write about it at some point because I think it illustrates a lot of the outdated attitudes towards eating disorders that many people still hold.

10. Do you think you’ve learned more from your successes or from your failures?

Hey I just wrote about this! Check out my last post 🙂

11. Share one thing that’s at the top of your bucket list.

I don’t really have a bucket list. That’s one of the things that I’ve really struggled with during my mental illness: thinking of and hoping for the future. More often than not I don’t imagine I’ll live for another five years and I can’t even think of what it would be like if I did. So I suppose that right now getting a cat is #1.

So for those people who I nominated, here are your questions:

1.What is your favorite charity?

2.What do you like about blogging vs. other writing?

3.What’s your favorite dance?

4.How long have you been blogging for?

5.Coffee or tea?

6.Do you like to set yourself deadlines for blogging?

7.What’s the best Halloween costume you ever had?

8.Who’s your favorite author and why?

9.If you had to sum yourself up in five words, what would they be?

10.What was your favorite post that you’ve written?

Why I Advocate Blogging in the First Person

In case you couldn’t tell from the title of this piece (and the use of I in it), I write a lot about my own experiences and about my own opinions. I use “I” a lot. I include some of my own suspicions and conclusions about things. I write about things that I care about, things that are in my life, and things that affect my life. Now in most traditional forms of writing (or at least what I was taught in school) this was bad practice. In most academic writing you’re told to keep yourself out of it: stick to the facts. Don’t weaken your point by making it your opinion. Don’t make it about you. I’ve also seen this attitude around a lot recently: stop making your posts about yourself.

Well I’m here to say that I believe it’s ok for us to include ourselves in our writing (yes ME). I’m bringing myself into my writing and making my writing about me and I think that’s AWESOME. While there are reasons for keeping things as objective as possible in academic writing, there are also many problems with the idea of “objectivity” in our writing. Obviously all of us are coming from our own perspectives with our own experiences and writing about the things we care about for our own reasons. I see no reason to obfuscate those things. In addition, there should be no shame in owning something as your own feeling, your own writing. And particularly when you are blogging and are writing about personal things, when you are writing in an arena that is entirely your own, when you are writing for yourself, you should be allowed to make it clear that you can only speak from your own experience.

It is not being self-absorbed or making things about yourself to attempt to only speak about what you know. And it is good practice to make it known that what you’re talking about IS your own understanding and experience. Particularly in the arenas that I write in (mental health, feminism, atheism), experience is a massive part of my data set. I try to write about things that I’ve heard from others as well as just experienced on my own, but in order to be responsible about how I know what I’m writing about, I have to be open and upfront about the fact that this is what I experience, but may not be others’ experiences.

I myself have been told I’m making it about me, and watched other people be told the same thing. How can we speak if not from our own experiences and our own perspectives? Of course there is a time and a place to insert yourself into a conversation, but when you are offering your own opinion it is the best possible time to make it clear that you are inserting yourself.

Because I want to be clear about where I am getting my information and my experiences from, and because I advocate being clear in the way we communicate, I like the word I in my writing. It allows me to tell you all what I’m thinking and where I’m going with a topic. It allows me to be as bluntly straightforward as possible without sounding awkward. And it forces me not to pretend that what I’m saying is fact, but rather that I’m making an argument or putting forth an opinion. Where there are facts, the facts speak for themselves. Where there is conclusion, I am always there. So yeah. This post is about me. It’s written in the first person. It’s my opinions. I’m here and I am absolutely shameless about declaring that this is what I think.

Why do I write?

So now that I’ve established myself as an awesomesauce blogger after 2 whole weeks (or less? I don’t remember) of writing on this blog, I feel that I’m fully qualified to tackle a metapost about writing. Because I’m a Serious Writer who knows all about Writing. (sarcasm. all the sarcasm). But I do like to write about things that I care about, and oddly enough writing is something I care about. So I’m going to give you all a bit of a run down on ME (because I like to talk about me and I’m a little loopy right now so you get a slightly loopy blog post). (I’m doing a lot of passive aggressive apologizing for my topic. Sorry about that guys. This is what I want to write about! It’s my blog! I’m owning that now!)

Ok. So now that I’ve got all of that out of the way and have properly decided to tackle this topic, I think it’s important for writers to be open about their motivations, especially when they’re writing regularly and not for money and for a cause. I write for LOTS of reasons. I write because my brain is an insane blabbermouth that shuts up about as often as Rush Limbaugh. I can’t keep it all in, and I can’t organize it as easily inside the head as outside the head. That’s why I started writing. I’ve always loved it, I’ve always loved the creativity of it, I’ve always loved letting my brain run wild and letting words come out. I started writing for this reason more and more as I started struggling with mental health, and that’s when I started doing poetry and journals and personal blogs.

I’ve also started to write because I have things to say. There are a lot of things I care about. I mean a LOT. I have opinions and passionate feelings about almost EVERYTHING. I think my opinions are important (because hey, they’re my opinions, so of course I think I”m right). I also think that I bring a somewhat unique perspective to a lot of these issues in that I’m an atheist who is very pro-science but doesn’t DO science, has a religion degree, went to a Catholic school, and far prefers philosophy and the humanities as well as social justice causes. I think that I’m more temperate on a lot of things than most atheists and a lot more firebrandy on a lot of things than everyone else. I think the things I care about affect others and so I think they should be discussed. I think the more people read and write and explore the healthier a society will be, and I want to contribute to that healthiness. This type of writing primarily started for me in college with teenskepchick and some for College Feminists Connect. It has fueled a LOT of my blogging and been my main focus in blogging for the last few years. It’s been a big part of how I’ve developed my voice: I like to have a point or an argument to what I’m writing.

At skeptech this last weekend, JT Eberhard said that you shouldn’t be writing to get pageviews, and that if you are, you should just stop now. Well I have a horrible confession to make: I write for pageviews. I check my stats almost every day. I eagerly await the statistics from teenskepchick. And you know why? Because I HAVE places where I write for myself. I have MANY places where I write for myself. I have other blogs that I don’t share nearly as often. I have my journal. I have the beginnings of a book that I’m working on. I check these blogs because these blogs are not just about me, they are about a movement and a message. I CARE about how many people read what I’m saying because a.I want to know if I can get any feedback and if I’m talking about important things in a good way and b.because I think what I have to say is important. PLUS I want some recognition for all the hard work I put in here. Wanting some attention and recognition is a completely human and normal and good thing. I don’t often get to display the way my mind works for others, and I want some recognition that it’s ok and good.

I also write in a similar way to how I use crafts (which I talked about in a post yesterday). It is to create a self-identity and to assert myself into the world. Writing in my mind is one of the freest activities we can undertake. It allows us to express ourselves, to put ourselves forward, to ask for attention and to give ourselves attention. It allows us to shape and create ideas, one of the most powerful things we can do in this world. And it allows us to potentially influence others with our ideas and thoughts. It allows us to have some control over our world because we get to figure out how to understand it, how to shape it, how to work to influence it.  Words are one of the few things we can create entirely through our own power. That’s so cool to me.

So in many ways, I write to check my sanity, to see if what I’m thinking and feeling seems reasonable to others. I write to start those kinds of discussions. I write to explore elements of what I’m passionate about to see what others are thinking or feeling about those same things.

And finally, and most vainly, I write because I actually think I’m fairly good at it. This is big for me. I don’t have a whole helluva lot of self-confidence. In fact I think I suck at most things. But I’m finally beginning to become convinced that I might have some talent at writing. It might be where I’m at home, where I can be myself and still contribute something. It might be a place where I’d feel I have some authority and knowledge, where I don’t feel I have to bow to other’s opinions and feelings. This might be where I can stand up and assert myself, where I LET myself have opinions and express those opinions (something I often don’t do in my personal life). I write sometimes so that people will tell me I’m good at writing. And ya know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Because I need some positive reinforcement in my life right now. Doing something I’m good at and being recognized for it is taking care of my mental health. So fuck the haters who say you can’t write to get appreciation. Of COURSE I write for myself, but part of that is writing for others.

So this blog is an amalgamation of all of those bits. It’s a little bit of passion, a little bit of hobby, a little bit of social justice, a little bit of my brain sorting itself out, and a little bit of vanity. What about you all? Why are you here? Why do you read my blog? What do you want to see more of? Would you be interested in reading my creative writing (oof it’s been a while since I’ve done that, I could use some practice)? Do you buy the idea that writing has power even when no one else necessarily read its?

PS-the featured picture is not me, in case you were curious. It is however approximately how I look while I’m writing.


Hello one and hello all. My name is Olivia, and I will be your host here. Welcome to Boredom Breeds Contempt, a site that was born out of the excess of blog posts I’ve been writing recently. I’m a regular contributor at, and have had quite a bit of time on my hands lately, so I’ve just been putting out too much content to limit it to a blog where I am one of ten contributors. And so I came here, which is to be the home of all the posts that don’t quite fit into the teenskepchick world, or are a bit too personal, or simply just don’t fit into our schedule. I’ll try to post on a fairly regular basis, but at the moment I’m contributing to 3 other blogs as well as working full time, so posting might be a bit sparse as I begin.

As for me, I’m a 20 something young woman, interested in feminism, skepticism, mental health, atheism, philosophy, dancing, reading, writing, editing, intersectionality, and a variety of other things. I hope to touch on all those subjects at some point, and if you have any thought provoking questions or ideas you want to throw out, feel free to comment or email me at I like to rant, I am highly passionate, and I can get emotional, but I do try to keep myself in the realm of sanity and use critical thinking to evaluate my posts and opinions. There will be some moderation of comments: no slurs or the like, and please stay on topic. Otherwise, welcome and I appreciate feedback and discussion. I’d love to get to know my readers!