This week was the week three years ago that I first hit the button –
-that button on the back end of a blog that says – “Publish”
I nervously clicked it not knowing where it would take me. The thoughts –
Would anyone read this? Did I do it the right way? Would it even show up on the Internet? Would I write another?
– all raced through my mind. It was thrilling and scary at the same time. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to share what I knew with others and this blogging thing just might allow me to do it – my way.
Up until this point, I had been lucky to have had a decorating book published, be featured on TV many times, and had the opportunity to write a few articles for magazines, but as thrilling as it all was – someone else was calling the shots. They wanted things done in a certain way, color, and style. I wanted to do it my way – I wanted to be the Editor-In-Chief making the decisions on the who, what, where, and how things should look and be presented.
In August of 2009 I went to see the movie – Julie & Julia. It was about how a food loving girl made a recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook every day and blogged about it.
As I left the movie theater, I thought– I could write a blog. OMG! I could write a blog and do what I love to do – my way. I decided to give it a shot and my life has not been the same since.
I started to do research on how to start a blog. The learning curve was steep for me on the back end of things, but I had time to learn as my life was at a turning point since my youngest had left home for college. I was an empty-nester. I had just taken a display job at a local store, and when I was not at work, I was working on the blog – 2 months later – I pressed the “publish post” button for the first time. I have since pressed it 393 times, plus I have been fortunate to write for other sites sharing what I know. I am now a full-time blogger and loving every minute.
I named my blog, In My Own Style for two reasons. 1. I wanted to do things my way. 2. I wanted to inspire others to live life authentically – with oodles of personal style – listening to their own unique voice and calling – to do things their way and not second guess themselves.
I joke that I can’t add 2 + 2 to save my life – as life to me is all visual. Someone can put 2 toothpicks down on a table in front of me and then place two more down and I can visually see 4 toothpicks – I get it, but not when I see numbers – my brain doesn’t comprehend them. I may lack that mental comprehension, but God had another plan for me – he gave me another skill – to see things perfectly in my mind in a transformed or different way. I was given the knack for taking the mundane and elevating it to a more elegant level – affordably. I enjoy giving things new life no matter what they are – a tin can or a table I find curbside. This is my style and I would not be happy doing things any other way. I see potential and style in everything and want to help others find it in their stuff, homes, and themselves. For the past 3 years I have been able to do just that.
I have made plenty of mistakes on the journey so far – I am not afraid to experiment – I consider my house my lab were I try things out to answer –What if? I have had major fails – like the 12 x 12 rug I painted that would have turned out OK, but would have cost way too much as it was sucking up way too much paint. My style is very affordable. My background in display has taught me to be resourceful and that there is always a way to get something done and it may not be the conventional way, but it works just the same. My husband doesn’t even blink when I bring junk home and always asks – Do you want this? before he throws what most would consider trash -out.
On the technical side of things -I have brought my blog down, thinking I knew what I was doing with .php – I don’t. It cost me to get it fixed. My server crashed for a day when Apartment Therapy featured my work. It went back up again and crashed again the next day when another big site featured another project I did. You learn about things like bandwidth and file size as you go. I have my blog host help desk phone number memorized and know a few of the help desk guys by name. I had no idea what a server was, let alone -URL, html, .php, CSS, or meta files. It was all a foreign language that I had to learn when I started and am still learning as life on the Internet is constantly changing.
I have so much I still want to do – there are not enough hours in the day, but I will keep striving towards the goals I have and bringing more creative and affordable ideas to you. My husband has been unemployed since before I started blogging. Even when he does land a new position – I will still do things the same way – just be able to do more of them in a bigger way. :)
I have reached this 3 year mark with lots of hard work, but more importantly because of – YOU – my readers. I can not thank you enough for reading and connecting with me. I wanted to host a big giveaway, but when my basement flooded when the power went out due to Hurricane Sandy, I had to quick switch gears to take care of it. Now things are pretty much back to normal and I hope to have something special to mark the occasion for you soon.
I have a few other pieces of news. They are not related to my blog anniversary, but are very exciting for me that I wanted to share them with you.
– This Old House Magazine featured my bathroom in the Nov/Dec issue. I picked it up while waiting in line at the grocery store. It was fun to see something I did in a national magazine. Thanks Megan Baker for writing such a nice feature. It is even mentioned on the cover – at the bottom – Clever $265 Bathroom Redo.
The article is also online. You can find it here – A Bathroom Refresher for $265.
– Last week a reporter and photographer from a local newspaper came to my house to do a story about me. If you noticed I didn’t post any big projects last week as I was too busy cleaning my house to get ready. I found out that the article ran today after receiving a few emails from friends this morning telling me they just read about me in the paper. I have not been out to get a copy, but I did see the online version.
-In the past three years I have also been given the opportunity to write for other sites. None of them would have happened if I didn’t start this blog.
This month over on My Colortopia -dining rooms are being featured. Very timely with the holidays fast approaching. I know you have seen photos of my dining room, but do you know why I painted it the color I did? I chose the color for a specific reason. You can find out why on my latest post – My Dining Room, Finally Done Right. You will also get to see a few of what seem like ancient before photos of the many decorating schemes the room has worn over the years, too.
When I look back to those first months of blogging, I had no idea how much I was about to learn not only about the world of blogging, html, social media, and the world of the Internet, but how many wonderful people I was about to meet online and even in person on this blogging adventure. I feel blessed to be doing what I always have wanted to do – be the “Editor-in-Chief” of my own publication while getting to work from home in yoga pants and a snugly sweater.
I am living my dream and it all has happened because I took a leap of faith and pressed – Publish!
Thank you each and every one of you for reading and making this blogging thing a success for me! It would not be a success without YOU! XO