Two years ago, I pressed publish on my very first blog post. I had been living in San Francisco for a year, just been promoted at a job I loved, and was living an adventure away from everything and everyone I knew. Now, two years later, I am living in Chicago, starting a new business venture, and have no idea what kind of adventure God has planned for any of this. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?
When I realized it was going to be my blogiversary, I planned to write a post like this. As in, I wrote on my editorial calendar “2 year post.” Then I talked to a blogging friend and said this: “This is what I have to offer people after two years. Just get better.” She laughed because it is kind of true. It is also the reason I am not linking to my very first blog post.
So here is what I’ve learned after two years of blogging with a laugh or two thrown in:
Be organized but organic
Yeah, editorial calendars are great and I do keep one. I think I would go insane without it. I also keep a bullet journal which includes blog, business, and personal life. But guess what? Yesterday, I was supposed to post about a recipe (an updated healthy version of Nonna’s Icebox Cake). Guess what I wrote about instead? My Favorite Fall Nail Polishes. The point is, the longer I blog, the more organized I become, the more planners and spreadsheets I have. But I have to keep it loose. I have to do me. Because that’s why I started blogging in the first place. I want to love this place. I want to love coming here and writing here. And you guys want me to be authentic and real. Believe me, you can tell when I am not being that way (which hopefully never happens here). So, yeah, find that sweet spot between loosey goosey and right and tight.
The People are Great
It’s a documented fact that 98.8% of the people I have met through blogging (whether in real life or just online) are amazing. Let’s face it: blogging attracts open, authentic, creative, funny people. And those are the types of people I like to be friends with. I never expected this to be such a perk but man, it is. I have friends from blogging. Like friends I facetime and text and even visit. I’m going to Influence next week (a blogging conference) and I am going to meet more of you and I am going to like you. And yeah, some people are difficult. But I feel like the blogging ratio of cool people is slightly (slightly) higher than if you just walked down the street. But what do you think?
Look How Far You’ve Come (and don’t wince too hard)
You get better. It just happens. You learn new skills (photography). You buy fonts and make friends who teach you things. Your graphics have watermarks on them. So when you look back, be proud of how far you’ve come and don’t wince too hard because the fact is, you probably are going to go a lot further and in another year, this very post may make you want to throw up.
The More You Learn…
Those watermarks? They add time to my blogging life. Getting the better picture? Same thing. I like getting better and improving both myself and this space but also I cannot go crazy. Because if you leave me alone with these Faux Kate Spade DIY Storage Boxes I will obsess over straight lines. I mean, focus on it with an intensity that is probably not good. Once, I was with a blogging friend and she told me: you do not need need a second graphic for this series. And I spent an hour making the second graphic. Even though I didn’t listen to her (I still don’t know if I regret that or not), it has made me question where and what I put my time in here on the blog. So yeah, I deal with the watermark time but there are things I let go of too (or am trying to let go of).
I’m So Glad I Never Posted About That
Yes, that’s right. If you happen to know me on a deeper level, you may know I am the type to put it all on the table. The fact is, it is a bit hard for me to hold back. I would love to share all the details of my life with you. But it would’t be wise. Or fair to the other people in my life. And it wouldn’t be good in the long run. Not really. I learned this from a small blog I had in college. All that to say, here is the rule I run with: if there is any part of me that questions whether I should share something, I don’t. At least not yet. Now, there could be stupid reasons like: I don’t want to share this because people may not agree with me. Then I text one of my blogging peeps and they say: you’re posting it. But when it comes to my health? I still question it because of future employers. Or stories about my family (like where is Bravo because we have a show people would watch…let alone the entertaining and sometimes difficult stories that could seriously run this blog like you would not even believe). That doesn’t mean I won’t ever share about my health. But there is still a question in my mind so not now.
Sometimes You Have to Remember Why You Started
How many blogs have I stopped reading because they jumped the shark? A lot. When you lose your voice, when you stop sounding like you, when it’s only about blogging income reports and how to make money and promoting your own stuff, I tune out. I need you to be you, whoever that is, because that’s why I started reading. I try to remember that here so I very much try to balance (hence the organizing) beauty and books, blogging tips with Italian cooking, writing about my faith and making you laugh (but don’t forget that whole organic thing).
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