Member Spotlight: Meet Andrea

Each month we'll introduce a new blogger in our Member Spotlight we're currently reading, loving, and following.

Shine Blogger AndreaShine Blogger AndreaMeet Andrea.

With titles like "Can you move forward with one foot still in the past", Andrea's relationship accounts are so smart and relate able you'll want to join in.

Andrea first came to Shine in October of 2011 from an article on the front page of Yahoo!. She immediately went on to read everything in Editor's Picks and the raw feed. As she puts it "I was hooked!".

Now a mainstay in Love + Sex, Andrea enjoys "reading other people's comments" and the fact that "people can write whatever they want". One look at the comments under Andrea's posts and you'll see why this is true. So if you need advice or a good Love + Sex read, go see Andrea. I can vouch she's every bit as giving, and genuine on Shine as she is in real life.

Shine: Where do you find inspiration to write about?
Andrea: I blog honestly about my life. No topic is off limits for me. I believe that if you expect change to happen then you can't lie to yourself or others.

Shine: What tips can you share with other bloggers?
Andrea: Just be yourself. Write in your own style, but make sure to spell check and not blog like you're sending a text message. Sometimes it's hard for the reader to really follow you when they're trying to decipher your "shorthand" way of writing.

Shine: How do you deal with negativity and backlash?
Andrea: I love all the feedback I receive on my comments as well as my blogs. What I dislike is being verbally attacked by someone. I try to keep my cool and respond with a smarty pants line like "Thank you for your astute observations!". I read enough comments to know who the trolls are and who the "hurting" ones are. The hurting ones I try to win over, because I do not know their personal experience and if my positive comments can make them look at a situation differently then that makes me happy.

Shine: What are your favorite blogs, and why?
Andrea: I love the blogs written by everyday people who are having an issue in their life and just want some advice. However, I think it is very important, in my opinion, if you write a blog asking for help that you respond to each and every person who offered advice. It helps you get to know some of the Shine community on more of a personal level.
Note: With further prodding, Andrea's revealed that her current favorite Shine bloggers are 365 days, SoCalResident, and michael gardner for his poems.

Shine: What relationship advice have you given, that you wish you would have followed yourself?
Andrea: Every time I find myself falling for a new boyfriend I say to myself over and over again, but I never ever follow this sage quote: "Never make someone a priority in your life when you're only an option in theirs."

Shine: Tell me three things you currently can't live without.
Andrea: Wow that one is tough. Water in all its forms (ocean, pool, lake, etc.); My middle sister Debra (she's my hero); and my writing.

Shine: Parting words to your fellow Shine users?
Andrea: Until next time, be kind to each other and leave your bitter baggage at the door.