finding your voice || carlotta cisternas

The longer I've been established and grown in the blogging community, the more something has become increasingly apparent. It's something that can become hidden underneath a thick layer of determination to be the perfect blogger, the perfect person. There is a pressing need to conform into somebody--something--you're not until all that's left is air swirled thickly with falsity plastered behind screens.

One of the things I'm very passionate about is finding your voice and making use of it. It can be easy to get lost in the rules and regulations that, when followed, are supposedly a recipe for success. It can be easy to become so driven to become the perfect blogger that you lose your own voice in the process. But pretending to be somebody you're not isn't what this whole journey is about. There's only one you. Why give up that precious, unique identity in favor of mimicking that one blogger everyone wants to be like?  Don't become discouraged because you have different tastes and opinions, or heck, a whole different life. Because the fact of the matter is: there is only one you, with a very unique heart, mind, and voice. It shouldn't be wasted.

This is the launch of Carlotta Cisternas. This is my voice, coming out stronger and clearer than before, breaking out of its shell. pastor's girl's ponderings has finally been laid to rest and I'm glad to be emerging fresh. Along with my dear friend Hannah--who's also just launched her new site!--I've been working and planning for this day for weeks and weeks...and I'm so excited that it's finally here.

Don't worry though; it's still the same Carlotta, with the same photographs and the same posts--just a different name and different look. Feel free to explore the new site, take a peek at the updated pages, and let me know what you think. I can't wait for the next part of this journey to begin.

refining and identifying.

Late the other night, I sat in my bed and wrote. Nighttime does that to me -- it makes everything clearer and more straight forward, and it's one of my favorite times to fill pages with words. On this particular night, the time had come to narrow down and find what exactly I want this space to be, as well as how I want to be defined as an artist. It was an accumulation of weeks of branding, from design to aesthetic to posts and everything in between. It's not that I'm unhappy with the blog -- on the contrary, I've reached a place where blogging comes easily and freely; it's my unwinding time, honestly.

But, having said that, I think at some time in every artist's life -- whether it be photographer or designer or painter -- there comes a craving to be a little more different, a little more you than everyone else. I suppose branding can also be defined as refining and identifying one's personal style. It's rather hard to stand out as an individual when one is trying to be like someone else and comparing their work to others', don't you think?

One of the main things I'm focusing on, besides aesthetic, is interacting with my readers more -- that is, all you lovely people. Blogger has recently implemented the threaded comment system and I'm going to try my hardest to be more active in the comment section of posts. And as for the posts themselves, they won't change too much for you, but they'll be more streamlined and focusing on a few select topics.

So, I've redefined and dug deeper into my personal style with a blog redesign and further branding both as a blogger and for this space, and I'm excited, loves.


much love.

ps guest posting about oklahoma over on kristen's blog -- come say hi!


It feels odd, honestly, to be typing in this space again. Though it's only been just over a week since I last blogged, it feels like an eternity ago. But I don't regret taking this time off -- on the contrary, it was just the thing I needed.

strawberries [234]
sunset walk [235]

Among other things, one of the reasons for my break was to reevaluate who I am and how I want to be defined as a blogger. I'd reached a point where I needed to step back and sort everything out, and for that I needed time. It was as though I'd rammed straight into a brick wall, not able to go forward with what I'd been doing before, but having to go left or right with something different. Over the past few weeks, my posts seemed to all be the same -- give or take a few words, they'd morphed into variations of their successors. These posts could be summed up in three words: summer, farmer's markets, and weather, also known as the standard of every blogger. But I didn't want my blog to fit a standard mold. It was time for a change.


So pastor's girl's ponderings is growing, breaking out of its chrysalis and stretching its new wings, colorful and exciting and different. More photographs, stories, and recipes, less standard "life is lovely". While I'm not denying the fact that life is lovely, because it is, there are ugly, raw sides too. Life deserves a more descriptive, meaningful adjective than lovely. I'm tired of the saccharine flowers-and-sweetness approach; I aim to portray life more realistically. I've vowed to take more photographs, to write with passion, to capture this sliver of life at the moment the best I can.

splash [233]

While blogging, it's easy to get caught up in numbers. Watching the number of comments, followers, and stats quickly becomes an obsession until posts are dictated by the uncontrollable need to see the numbers rise. But that's not what blogging is about. Part of this rediscovery period I'm going through involves having good content I'm proud of, not just blogging to see the page views increase.

It's going to be hard. It's going to feel odd at first, until I settle into my own little niche. I'm going to want to give up. But it'll be worth it. It'll be oh, so worth it.


But now, after a few days off, I'm remembering just why I fell in love with blogging. Sculpting something beautiful using sentences and text makes me smile. And because pastor's girl's ponderings is reinvented, it makes me even happier and excited.

Little sister got glasses. 
It's good to be back.

Happy Saturday, friends!


p.s. interested in sponsoring pastor's girl's ponderings? I'm now accepting for september! feel free to email me for details :)