Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hi. Help. Thanks.

join us on instagram @thewildercoast
I have been writing the wilder coast for nearly seven years. Now that school is out forever, I can finally turn my focus back towards this space. That means not only writing, but actually going out, taking pictures, and doing things that are worth writing about.

I've been thinking a lot about what to do on this blog. I think about it nearly all the time, to be honest. When I'm in the shower, when I'm standing in the grocery line, when I'm biking. Most of all, when I'm trying to fall asleep. 

Naturally, things are very different than they were when I was 23 years old. Some readers have moved on. Their interest has wained now that I'm no longer single, recording my treacherous dates and going on different climbing adventures every weekend. Some have stopped reading because I moved away from Washington State. I don't blame them- there are moments throughout each day when I miss that girl, too, and everything she had to say. 

On the other hand I've gained a new audience, one that is interested in matters that are more close to home. I have heard from many people who appreciate reading about the honest struggles that come with transitioning to a slightly more domestic lifestyle, and also with finances, job searching, and all the expectations and frustrations that come along with that. Some have reached out and asked for tips on photography, adventures, and even frugality. Upon hearing this, my sister laughed and laughed. (Anna- I've improved in that area. You won't believe me but I have.)

I've also received letters from people thanking me for writing a blog that does not include recipes and tips and such, because there is plenty of that out there. (By people who actually know what they're talking about.) 

All of this was swirling around in my brain until the answer hit me one morning. Such a simple and obvious answer: why don't I just ask you? What sort of content would you be the most excited to read? Do you have any ideas for me? What are your favorite things to read about or see on this site? I've gotten to know quite a few of you, and I'd love to hear your input. I should mention that we are also in the process of redesigning the whole layout of this blog. 

I am happy to carefully read all of your thoughts. And because we love to Make More Mail, a random comment will be chosen for a limited-edition-not-monday Mystery Prize and a handwritten photo card. 

Thank you so much for reading. I like you guys a whole lot.  

-Melina

56 comments:

Jill said...

Melina, I love your blog, probably even more now than I did when you were in Seattle. I think I connect with your current life situation more... married (or about to be!), figuring out the twenty-something job-house-settling down-terrifying-exciting adventure thing, but without kids (I can only read so many mom blogs). Your posts are like poetic stories- I'm not interested in lists or recipes, which is why I come here- and I love the photos that accompany them. Your stories are not only beautifully written but they're real and relevant and honest, not pithy with a nice moral at the end. I see myself in your writing, even though we have different lives. I especially love the little community of commenters and the group posts too- it makes us all feel connected. I would say, just keep doing what you're doing. I look forward to coming here and I look forward to hearing your voice. <3

megscornershelf said...

I just love your honesty...I feel like in so many blogs the writers are trying to window dress their lives, or sugar coat their struggles...you have such an authentic style and voice and I appreciate it! I do love seeing your adventures but more than that your run of the mill, this is real life posts are my favorite.

Olive Juice said...

I love what you have here - like the other commenter I'm sort of tired of the typical blog format where everyone's lives are perfectly worked out etc. At this point in my life I'm looking to you for adventures as I start to get back into adventuring myself - differently now that We have a little girl :) I love your honesty and your style!

Unknown said...

I like reading whatever you have to say and the way that you say it. Don't try too hard to appeal to your audience because you can't make everyone happy. I subscribe to well-written blogs through feedly and I would rather read good posts every few weeks than hear from people who push too hard to publish content every day. Just keep telling your story.

Erin Macauley said...

I remember when I first found your blog. I was sitting in rural Eastern North Carolina working a 7-5 job at an HVAC company, desperately needing to escape the white walls and 9-line telephone line. I remember going back and reading the archives, at turning laughing and nodding my head in agreement.

Those archives showed how you've grown and changed...and you've done more of it since I started following along daily. Your voice is growing rounder, fuller, but keeping the sparkling bite.

I love that you've started writing for Roots Rated and I hope you'll keep linking back to those articles as you see fit. I'd love to see this space continue to be a place you explore life and whatever it throws at you.

And I love the tribe of woman who have rallied around you.

We'll be here raising our glass and snorting into our beverage of choice. We're along for the ride!

Jessica said...

Like most of the commenters have already expressed, you do you very well and I am always excited to see that there is a new post. I appreciate your honesty and I think that is the leading reason that most of us enjoy reading along. I would love to see lifestyle tips, however, because I think you have a rather unique lifestyle. (In a good way!) I hope you don't replace any of your content right now, but I would be happy to see an addition of tips: photography, staying in great shape, writing!!!

ashevillemom said...

You remind me to be brave. Embrace what life gives you. I love hearing about your adventures especially since now they're close to my home. I'm so excited for your wedding and look forward to reading about it. Keep being real and you're great with me!

marinj said...

Keep being you, sharing your adventures, your life and your thoughts. I love your blog the way it is and am always so happy to see what your free-spirited self is up to. :)

Marie said...

Like everyone else, I come to your site every day, because I like what you do. You keep it real and I love reading about your every day life, struggles, like we all have, and your adventures, like I'd like to be having! Keep doing what you are doing and I will keep reading.

Suzie said...

Again, just like the other commenters, it's your style, honesty and stories of adventures I love to read. Again to repeat, but I'd rather read every few days/weeks and it be fresh and real than churned out daily.

Your adventures inspire me, even though I live in a northern British city but the photos of your part of the world make me wish i could see it. Tips would be good, especially on staying fit but really, just keep doin what you're doing. Xx

Aimee LH said...

I love your blog! Reading about your adventures and of course your pictures. It's poetry in a completely modernized, accessible way. I also love reading about your observations and comments on random human nature. Your wit and humor unparalleled. Please keep involving your readers! I love that! It is nice to feel connected to bloggers/writers. Especially those of us that are trying like hell to be something of that kind. Technology is a wonderful thing!

Kelsey Imondi said...

I've been reading for a couple years now and I love your blog, I look forward to your posts probably the most out of the 8 blogs I follow daily. And not to upset you but I get sad when I have to go weeks without hearing from you. I love reading about your adventures, your struggles with anxiety/depression/etc. (all things I can relate to!), and just your general thoughts about life and people and such.
I've definitely enjoyed your make more mail initiative and keep meaning to send you something random from one of my adventures :)

Anonymous said...

I love your voice, and I really appreciate when you link to outside articles that you write. I enjoy reading your different styles, and I thoroughly read the photo tutorial! Of course I love how you draw in and include all us readers, that's very unique. But mostly, I read along because after all these years, I'm hooked! Like a good novel, I can't wait to see what happens next!

carolyn said...

I love the real ness of your blog. It's not always the same, it's evolving because you are, that's why it's interesting. It's the only blog that when I see there is a new post I stop everything and give it my full attention and read it. I love seeing you and your friends and ESP home team in a different landscape than the northwest (I have been surrounded by that my whole life). Currently I am so excited for this upcoming wedding and I've not ever met you. Keep it coming!

Monique said...

I love your honesty. When I first found your blog, I loved reading about your adventures which are so different from my own. I was slightly envious and now love hearing about your life changes. You have made me smile, laugh, and even feel sad during your stories. Real life..you live it.!! Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog, no matter what you write about. You have a unique way with words and I appreciate that. I am an amateur photographer and also love seeing your photos. I think having a series of photo challenges would be awesome. I am always coming up short on new ideas and inspiration!

reneechristine said...

I like your blog a lot because it's such a nice mix of adventure/travel (that doesn't feel ridiculously unattainable like some travel/adventure blogs), and real life shit. I'm in my early 20's and trying to navigate job/education/career moves/moving/where to live/serious relationships/social obligations/acting like a grown up/not growing up to fast so I totally relate to a lot of what you're going through. Please no recipes/domestic tips. There are too many of those blogs out there and, quite frankly, I don't care who can clean what with a lemon peel and some sea salt.

SJJ said...

I mostly read your blog to keep up with you, even though I still read it when you wrote it from my dining table. I love your story-telling the most. It doesn't matter if you're talking about terrible dates, domestic love or big or mis-adventures, I just like the storytelling, and the brief escape from my own reality.

Katie said...

Today I was out on a run, and as I was going along, I noticed what appeared to be shattered blue glass on the pavement. I ran past it, then stopped short and doubled back. Blue glass - it could make you lucky in love, right? I think I've read that somewhere ;) So I picked up a little shard and held it in my hand the duration of my run, turning it over and over. When I got home, I put it on my nightstand - I need all the luck I can get, in love and otherwise, and I can't afford to let something as small as that blue glass slip by.

That's why I read your blog: because your words stick in my mind. I started reading a couple of years ago, and I've been hooked ever since. I love your stories of being a confused 20-something (because that's where I am right now), your adventurous stories, and your stories about love. And I'll continue to read whatever you write, no matter how the subject matter changes - because you've got a gift with words, and I appreciate that.

Thanks for writing - truly, I've been inspired by many of your posts. I look forward to what's ahead for you!

Rhett said...

I love to hear your voice through your writing, Melina, and will continue to eagerly follow along, whatever you decide to write about. I think it's yoyr honesty people are drawn to.

Aimee said...

I like your blog pretty much as it is - its different to what it was but then thats normal, you have changed too. Adventures and excitement are always good. But its more your writing style and take on life and situations that keeps me reading. I would second the 'no cleaning tips or recipes' as there is a lot out there - but that said - if you do find the worlds best choc chip cookie recipe .....
Just keep writing about what you like and enjoy, its your enthusiasm and way with words that makes the blog fun to follow.

PV said...

Storytelling, adventure, life and just making me think from a different perspective. You do all this so well and I wouldn't change a thing. I love that there is so many different things to find here, but all weaved together by great writing. I like to read blogs because they give me time to slow down for a few minutes and reflect on things/ideas I might not make time for otherwise. As others have said, your blog is the one I am happiest to see with a new post! You're special -- just keep being you!

Chelsea Kastelnik said...

I really love your storytelling ways. I am also captivated by how you express the daily grind of life. (The fabulous and the not so great.) It's so honest and I can often relate. I loved reading about your PNW adventures because I live in Oregon and Washington is my home state, but now I love hearing about all these new places you talk about. I also follow you on instagram and love your photos. Thanks for taking the time to share with the world, it has been very fun to read along! :)

Casey Toby said...

I love your voice. I love the way you describe things and situations. You and I have been on a similar life path the last few years and it kinda cracks me up at the similarities and wondering who's going to be next for __x__. I love hearing about your travels, and every day stories. ANY thing about Hometeam is good too! Your honesty is refreshing.

Jen from MN said...

Any topic. As long as you stay true to your style, honest and self deprecating and bare. You write about things I'll never have in common but your STYLE makes me know you. Cheesy? But true.

Anonymous said...

I love reading about you and your daily life. No matter how mundane you think they may be.

Sarah said...

Melina - I love the way you write, and the way you look at life! I'm a decade "ahead" of you in the wedding/married/kids/life scenario, so reading about how you are going through it all reminds me of my husband and I back in the day. Life has changed a lot for us in the last 10 years - married, baby #1, bought a house, baby #2, sold house #1 and bought house #2, worked opposite shifts to save daycare $, kids in school, back to days, changed jobs - sometimes, it felt like a blur! I am loving getting to look back on our life while reading how yours is unfolding! I can't wait to hear how your story unfolds, and feel thankful that you've opened yourself up to sharing your life with us! The personal connection you have with your readers is also unique and keeps bringing me back for more!

So - carry on woman! You're doing great just as you are!!

Sarah said...

I'm also a big fan of the way that you connect all of us - the posts where you stitch our comments together make me feel like this big wide internet world is smaller and more connected than I think! Reading the comments here make your blog more of a community!

Shellie said...

I love the randomness of your writing. Good days, bad days, happiness, struggles, we all have them and reading someone else's helps to put them into perspective. You are young and starting out, I am older than you and recently widowed. You have not had children, my young adults are living with me and finding their way. The only true thing we have in common is that we both live in NC after living elsewhere, (you WA and us CT).

All being said, I enjoy what you write, your sense of adventure and how your writing has changed since you have fallen in love and domesticity. Keep writing whatever comes to you, it seems to be working well so far. :)
Shelley



Becs said...

I just love your writing and the way you write about your life no matter what stage you are in. You have such a gift at relating those moments that everyone has but you just bring them to life on paper...or screen in such a great way. I love the way you make me laugh. Also life changes...that is what it does and it's nice to read along through changes. We all keep changing and growing and reading about your changes helps us makes sense a bit of our own...even if they are different. And I have been reading for years but I'm a shy commenter! Keep it real and about you! You are awesome! X all the best

Karen said...

Yep, me too. I just love your writing, so write whatever moves you, whatever is going on, and I will read it. Thanks for thinking about us :)

SmithShack71 said...

pfftt... you write it. i read it.

-Angie

Mandy Weston said...

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said in other comments. You write about the ups AND the downs. Vulnerability is universal but seldom discussed, and the way that you relate your personal story allows us to connect with you in a way that we can't connect with other blogs. I've been reading for a few years now, and I think you're doing a great job.

Elizabeth Springer said...

I love the voice of your blog. You write about living--the beauty and the struggle of our everyday existence. I'm happy you'll have more time to post now that school is done. My day is always better when I open up your page and there is something new to read.

Also, you take beautiful pictures.

Mom Starting From Scratch said...

Melina - if you've got it burning inside you, just get it out there....it's likely that someone was thinking/feeling/experiencing something similar and will feel less alone because you did. And even if you're not feeling particularly passionate about writing for a while, sometimes just the discipline of writing about the "mundane" helps bring the passion back!

In the end, it's YOUR blog, and YOUR life....write what you'd like to remember!

I guess we're not really being all that helpful with the question, are we? ;-)

meg bird said...

I'll just agree with most of the comments I see. It's your words and voice I come here for. It wouldn't matter if you lost all of your limbs and could never climb another mountain again (which I SINCERELY hope never happens, I would like to add), I would still read your stuff because it's written so well. I just love the way you see things, your perspective on mundane daily occurrences. You don't throw out smoke and mirrors, cupcakes and quinoa and floppy hats, like so many other bloggers do. I can't get into those sort of sites because it's just not real life! Or at least will never be real life for me. You are nothing but real and honest and I follow your blog because of that. Because when I read here, I don't feel down on myself for not owning clothes from Free People or...not going thrifting enough. I feel connected to you and your other readers - like we're all in this together. I like that.

Jes said...

I actually love the way your blog has morphed with your life and the style that you have now. This will be super unhelpful, but keep doing what you're doing and write about what jazzes you. Your photos, your stories, and your voice are why I come here every time you post, so have fun with what you write and love and we'll love it too!

beersincannes said...

Really I just like the sort of stream-of-consciousness way that you write. Just kind of a miss mash of what you have been doing lately, then you get a little deep, sharing a little bit of your apprehension about things, but then bringing it around again, being positive, and exploring and enjoying life. I like the way you are headed. Just a "life" blog. I would like, however, to hear more about your past experiences, like when you were traveling with your adventure school and those days. I've tried reading back through your blog, but have only had little bits here and there of those days. Maybe its too personal? Anyway, just a suggestion.

Amy said...

I love your blog and your writing and photos, I love your adventures on the east coast, your thoughts and how you share your world with all of us around the globe. I cannot remember how long I have been reading, I started back in the Seattle days. I feel like you are super fun and if you were ever in Anchorage I would love to invite you to a bbq or a bike ride. You definitely inspire me to check out North Carolina and I love reading about your love of the wild. Keep writing whatever makes you happy.

Amber Jackson said...

The obvious answer is that you should move back to WA with your boy so you can return to writing about epic climbing adventures...

Anonymous said...

I'm going to buck with tradition here and just throw in my two cents....I'd really love some tutorials, but not about cleaning or cooking. I'd like to know about your philosophy about meeting friends and having warm, loving and fun friendships in your life. You obviously take great joy in your friends which is very warming to read about. I am a very shy person and I have a hard time meeting new people, or engaging with others the way you do!!! I'd love to hear an essay about that, or just some tips. Thank you. Either way, whatever you write, I will be here to read. Even though I don't comment often, I'm here!

Ici said...

You are honest, self-deprecating, funny and true to yourself. What more could your readers want? Keep on writing, we'll read it.

Jessica Smith said...

I read for your honesty, for the truth telling about the grit of growing into grown up life, with the good parts and the anxiety. I cherish the fact that there is none of the pinterest polish or 'how to get your shit together' type content. And I read to be inspired to get off my bottom and go have adventures. I don't comment often but I love make more mail and the community that builds around honest questions. Keep being true, keep asking questions, please :)

Kate said...

The group comment posts are my fave.... Such a lovely idea.

Rachel said...

You write it, I'll read it.

I remember so distinctly when I found your writing; you made me laugh out loud while I was sitting beside my brother's hospital bed a couple of years ago. That was quite the feat. Pretty sure we share the same spirit -- I love that you're funny, even when -- especially when? -- you want to cry, and I love that you own the awesomeness in life side-by-side with the not so great shit that leaves you uncertain and afraid. I'm also (insanely selfishly) glad you're not going to be a nurse. If you come back to that at some point, that's great too, but you're a writer and that's a gift. Brutal and hard, of course, but your voice is unique and I'm glad you keep writing.

adventurekate said...

I read because you write about REAL life, about the difficulties of making decisions in a stage of life that is fun and scary and eye-opening and frustrating and exhilarating. I appreciate your honesty and your story-telling style that weaves humor into nearly every life experience.

Anonymous said...

In the first 20 years of MY life I moved around a great deal and, as a result, I have no real sense of attachment to any of the things, people or places around me. In the second 20 years of my life I have battled a number of physical & emotional difficulties that have left me feeling as though I generally sit somewhere just outside myself.

What I like about your blog is the overriding theme of connection. You connect to people. You connect to the natural world. You connect to your own inner world. You connect to your body. And in sharing your story you connect to all of us.

As someone who doesn't belong to much of anything, anywhere, or anyone, I admire the story of a woman who so fearlessly connects with all aspects of life and is brave enough to share it. Whatever else you decide to do with this blog, please don't lose that.

Elena McVicar said...

My mom and I are roadtripping this summer and are spending two days in Asheville in two weeks. I would love your thoughts places to see, hike, eat and drink because I really value your opinions. Other than that, I adore seeing pictures of your corgi and hearing your struggles and how you deal with them because they're basically mirroring mine.

Lori Delgado said...

I have nothing else much to add that others haven't already addressed. I love your blog, and that you so honestly share so much of your life with us. It's inspired me to get out there and really pursue some of the stuff I put aside for "someday," because, when there is a will there is a way. I'll keep reading- just keep being you!

Oh, and I'm a sucker for weddings, and am excited to see pictures and hear about it, even though it is none of my business since I am a stranger.

:-)

Shelley Lee said...

I just love the way you write. I always look forward to a new post. It's easy to tell from your writing that everything is true and honest. And, I LOVE the pictures :)

Liz Stout said...

I love the way you write. It's unlike anyone else I've ever encountered. It's why I read and will continue to read forever. I ended up here after Kelle Hampton shared something from you years ago and I've been hooked ever since. It was sweet to see that you were involved in outdoors adventures similar to my own and that you brought your dog along for the journey, but mostly - the way you wove the words together is what hooked me. I'll be here reading along for as long as you're happy to write it all out. I'll also be following along on your instagram as long as you're sharing photos because your eye for them is equally unique and I love it.

N said...

In my opinion you should write what you are compelled to write about. The changing nature of your blog is indicative of the changing nature of life. I love the pictures that help tell your stories.

Lauren F. said...

I think you and Dave should have a baby, and then you can write about being a young mom of limited and can tell me what to do :p Really though, I've been reading for like 5 years now and I love hearing about your life. The funny posts are my favorites. And this one line from your dream about Ben plays in my mind all the time, almost every time I think about/worry about what might come after this life:
"Let's just say I'm not alone up there."

Linzy said...

Honestly, I just enjoy the way you write. I would probably still be reading your blog if you wrote descriptions of the cereal you ate for breakfast that morning. I also like your style of photography. I'm a little nervous about the blog re-design, I'm not a fan of Kelle's new blog layout. It's beautiful but I hate that it feels likes there's more clicking unless you just want to read the most recent post. Also? I like that you're honest. Your blog posts are real, and aren't constantly filled with sunshine and roses. You're human and imperfect, and that's what I love about you.

DeeDeeK said...

Since you and your life are evolving and changing, it only makes sense that your blog would, too. Keep doing whatever you're doing. We'll still follow you! :)

Kristin said...

I love your writing- period. It always makes me feel like I'm coming along on your adventures! I will continue to follow those adventures, whatever they may be!