Good morning blogisphere, and an enthusiastic high-five to you all. Today is my two year blogiversary, and that, friends, feels awesome.
I’m celebrating with an iced coffee and a photo shoot. A real-life photo shoot of my house. Yes, I’m serious. When I published my first blog post on merrypad.com, did I ever expect to be standing nervously next to a box of donuts, rearranging books on my dining room floating shelves and wondering if this photo crew is like “Eff mate, why’d we drive up here from Pennsylvania to see this place? What’s this, no Boston Creme?” The answer is no, f-ing never, not even for a minute.
Deep breaths, stop blushing, this is happening. They probably don’t hate you or the donuts.
This day came fast. Somehow, the last year went even faster than my first year of blogging, the year I celebrated with cake. Where’s my 2-year cake, Pete? I know you spent your entire Thursday masterfully repairing the backsplash in the kitchen in preparation for this big day, but donuts don’t count.
It’s been a really fun year, I’m still completely giddy about this fun life I live, even on stressful days. It’s been a year of major milestones, and I’m so proud of myself for keeping on, and so grateful to everyone who’s supported me and helped me keep my spirit high. Being self-employed for 18-months is no small matter, and at this point I can almost never see myself going back to a traditional office job. I love working, but I love working for myself. I love freelancing. I love blogging. In a bigger, non-blog-specific way, I’m evolving professionally my own way, at my own pace. Also, I’ve gotten engaged, paid off my student loans (early, hurrah), traveled around the United States and even to Africa, and can see myself doing even crazier things over the course of the next 12 months with my almost-husband as my biggest supporter. Guys, life is good. If you’ve ever thought about creating your own path, it’s never too late to start.
In this second year of blogging, I found it a lot harder to find my rhythm on a day-to-day basis. Some days it comes easily and I can prepare rough drafts of 2, 3, 4 posts in one sitting. Other days are a struggle, and I find myself waking early to take photos or finish editing before my typical 8:30am go-live time. Some days are totally consumed by organizing hundreds of photos and working through logical event sequencing to make sense of projects that took days or weeks to complete, but need to be presented in one little post. There seem to be more social distractions, more emails from readers (which I LOVE MORE THAN ANYTHING and strive to personally respond to daily), more opportunities and partnerships emerging, and the biggest obstacle, an always threateningly-full DVR. (Side note: My new favorite show from the fall lineup? Elementary. What’s yours?) In a home that’s been evolving for 3.5 years, it’s harder to find things that I need to do; in a way, it’s in maintenance mode, requiring modest customization as our lives change (like, making a permanent bedroom for Pete’s 6-year old daughter, and finding better ways to organize and store our growing number of belongings).
I put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to blogging, and if there’s anything else I want to set out to do in my third year, it’s meeting more bloggers, editors, online contributors in person, at events, at conferences, everywhere, and that brings me to my next point, I want to know more about you guys too, you guys, meaning, you readers.
I expect (based on observations in basic analytics) that most of the people that traffic this little blog aren’t friends of mine, aren’t bloggers themselves, and are likely silently watching in the sidelines. I know what I like to read when it comes to blogs, and generally speaking, I know how I want to continue to write because this is my voice and essentially, my diary, but I don’t know what you like or don’t like and I do want to make it a fun experience for you too. Please help me out and take this as an opportunity to tell me a little bit about yourself. This survey is totally anonymous, so you really have no excuse. Be harsh, I’m workin’ on my thick skin. Or don’t be, you wouldn’t want to make me cry when there isn’t cake in the house.
Thanks a bunch for your help and insight if you filled that out. I’m a data junkie, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun watching your responses trickle in over the next few days.
I have a lot of thanks to distribute this month. The biggest of which goes out to you readers, everyone that has encouraged and supported me over the last few years. I hope you stick around because stuff is going to continue to rock. We have a fast-approaching wedding, a long list of projects to get to during the winter months, and a top-secret merrypad 2.0 coming your way very soon.
Have a great weekend, celebrate with a slice of cake in honor of me ;)