• Carmen

we made it

Well, guys, we made it. One year later, forty-five blog posts later, thousands of blog views and hundreds of podcast downloads later, a few late nights and early mornings later, here we are.

Viva La Joy has a fresh new look, and I'm still going strong.

Before I launched Viva La Joy, I mostly blogged about setting goals and finding inspiration. I wrote about those things because I'm passionate about them, but also because I was scared to write about deeper things and venture into more controversial territories like my faith, or my thoughts on social issues, or my transition from approval-seeking academic to full-blown unapologetic Carmen who writes what's on her mind.

I've lost a surprising number of friends and acquaintances along the way, but it has been so worth it. Posts like this one and this one and this one reached more people than I ever imagined, and I received so many messages from people who feel the same way. As a writer, that feels pretty good, but what feels even better is truly being free.

Free from voices telling me what I can and cannot write.

Free from seeking approval from people I barely know or minimally respect.

Free to think for myself and write what I please.

Free to be an unconventional character in this strange, beautiful story that's being written.

(I’ve been called mean, funny, brilliant, evil, and a hero, all in the last six months!)

That’s what Viva La Joy is ultimately about, though -- the freedom to think truthfully and write truthfully and speak truthfully, no matter what other people have to say about it.

Viva La Joy is for anyone who wants to be free of writer's block, free of toxic friends or mindsets, free of pretending, free of worrying about the world will think, free to be bold, free to try new things, and free to grow into the person that you really want to be. That's the reason why, for the first time in years, I have so much joy when I write.

Thank you to everyone who stuck around and cheered me on this past year. It really means a lot. I hope you enjoy the new site.

Together, let's keep the joy alive.

Photo by Jamie Delaney

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