Cityline Featured Blogger: Bee Quammie from ’83 To Infinity

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bee-to-infinity

There are so many fabulous bloggers out there, and we want to highlight them on Cityline.ca. We’ll be profiling different lifestyle bloggers from month to month — they might write about food, fashion, beauty, décor, parenting, entertaining, gardening, you get the idea! For January 2013, we’re putting the spotlight on the fantastic ’83 To Infinity. Run by Bee Quammie, the blog covers everything from health and wellness, to relationships, to art and culture, as well as a special focus on natural hair care for Afro-Canadian women. Here’s our Q&A with Bee:

When did you start ’83 To Infinity and what was the inspiration behind starting the blog? How did you come up with your blog’s name?

I started ’83 To Infinity back in August of 2011. I’ve actually been blogging since 2006, but I was always to afraid to share my blogs with others. I didn’t think anyone would really get me, so I used my blogs as my personal, somewhat private digital outlets.

In 2011, I decided to start a new blog – however, this time I was going to face my fears and *gasp* make it public! I needed a new outlet: a place where I could escape the stressors and the demands of life, and just indulge in my passion of writing. I was motivated to start ’83 To Infinity in order to talk about the things I enjoyed, and to hopefully help/inspire/relate to others who read it.

The name came about through my idea of creating a legacy. Whether it’s through motivating someone to make a positive change, or if it’s through someone seeing me as a reliable source when they have a question, I want the things that I write to carry on long after I’ve hit ‘publish’.

On your blog, you post about a variety of different topics, from health to arts & culture, and with a unique Afro-Canadian focus. What are your favourite types of posts to write?

When I initially started my blog, I wanted to write heavily about my natural hair care/styling journey. I quickly realized, however, that I was going to get really bored, really fast focusing on one topic. I didn’t want ’83 To Infinity to be too random, but I wanted a nice blend of the things I loved: hair & beauty, health & wellness, art & culture, and life & love. It keeps me interested in my own writing, and gives my readers what I think is a more well-rounded view of who I am.
My favourite types of posts to write are not limited to any specific topic. They’re the ones that hit me so strongly that writing them is an almost out-of-body experience. Sometimes I’m so inspired by a topic that I sit down at my laptop, zone out, and my fingers just go. It’s not until I reach the end that I re-read and realize, “this one is going to be a winner.”

What do you hope readers get from visiting your blog?

I hope that readers will be able to laugh, learn, and relate to ’83 To Infinity in one way or another. I hope that I can introduce a new idea or let someone realize they aren’t alone in their experiences. One of ’83 To Infinity’s key tenets is to remind readers that “it’s never too late to learn something new, do something new, or be someone new”, and I hope that readers understand through my posts that these things can be done in many different ways.

Tell us about a post (or two!) that you’re particularly proud of and want to share with Cityline.ca readers.

Whenever I’m asked this question, my immediate response is a post I wrote called Smooth Pebbles In Still Rivers: Dedicated To Michael. This post talks about my cousin Mike, who passed after a valiant fight with leukemia. He taught me a lot about strength, so I personally revisit this post when I feel like I need a jolt of determination.

Another post that I loved was one called The New Relationship Expert: When YOU Teach Your PARENTS About Love & Dating. This one came from a very personal space, as I’m a newlywed with divorced parents who are dating. Writing this post was one of those “zone outs”, and I ended up having a great laugh after I finished!

What are some other blogs you love reading?

I have WAY too many to name, but here are a few:

Crunk & Disorderly – it’s a ridiculously hilarious site that always keeps me rolling. When I need to escape life and just laugh, I go here. It’s my type of humour, which is pretty different from most people I know.

Hey Fran Hey – not only is Fran gorgeous, but she’s one of my favourite resources for health & wellness tips, with a natural/bohemian twist.

Then, I’ve got to share some Canadian faves: Two awesome relationship bloggers This Is Your Conscience, Goddess Intellect, and an awesome natural hair care site called Three Naturals.

What’s your top advice for other bloggers?

Be true to yourself. Blog about what moves you – if you don’t, you’ll zap the fun out of it and you definitely won’t stick with it. Don’t jump on the hottest blogging trend because you saw it was successful for someone else. Carve your own niche and create your own success. Content is king AND queen! Definitely do NOT plagiarize. Re-read your posts before you publish, and do your best to check for any grammatical/spelling errors. Find a way to portray your thoughts in a manner that makes people want to pay attention. Focus more on your content and less on how many hits you’re getting per month. If you build it (and build it well), they will come. Remember that you can’t be all things to everyone – you won’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea, and that’s ok! Just because people don’t comment doesn’t mean that they aren’t reading. Appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read/comment/share your blog. There are a zillion out there! Cheers to the fact that someone took the time and expressed the interest to read yours. Remember – there’s only one you. Be confident that no one else can talk about the things you can, the way you can.

We want to hear from you! Do you know a blogger we should feature on Cityline.ca? Maybe it’s you! Email us at submissions@cityline.ca and include “Cityline Featured Blogger” in the subject line. And don’t forget to include a link to the blog! Look forward to hearing from you!