[Photo by Mary Costa]
Cheers friends! Last month marked 10 years since I started blogging!
It’s really still surreal how far this journey has taken me. I started writing once a week as a hobby to cope with the stress of my full time job. Without knowing how to use a camera, photoshop, or hell even craft, I committed myself to posting one new project a week. And truthfully, it did help me destress. I had alone time for myself, without my phone or work emails, and was able to just tune out and make. The readership that came along with it was just a life changing bonus.
After countless bad projects and a lot of learning, I’m still here, writing and making away! Not only am I just blogging, but I’ve written a book, been on tv and on the news, in commercials, and have even been able make this my full time job for the past 7 years. If you would’ve told me all of this when I started, I wouldn’t have believed you. And probably for good reason– here’s a look at my earlier work:
A Look Back
I think beyond the bad lighting and styling of these photos, what I see most is that I had no idea what I was doing when I started. And I don’t just mean skill wise. None of these projects look or feel like me. I was so determined to get a project up every week that I didn’t take the time to ask myself why I was making the project. There was no intention or thought beyond the making besides “I have to post something”.
At the time, everything was an experiment and nothing was off limits. Although a lot of the pieces were ugly and didn’t last, there was something so freeing about having the space to make for makings sake. Even though I wasn’t good at something immediately, I learned the skill over time and was able to get better and better.
Where I Am Now
Looking at my work now, it’s hard to tell that these images were created by the same person. And in a lot of ways, I’m not the same person I was when I first started blogging a decade ago. I’ve been able to find my voice, what I like, and who I am. Blogging allowed me to explore techniques and styles, made me set goals, and ultimately I became better at my craft, writing, and photography. What a gift time is.
To wrap this look back up, I thought I’d put together a few things that I’ve learned in the past 10 years and I hope that they will help you on your journey.
5 Tips for Anyone Looking to Start Blogging Now
1. Don’t you dare get a credit card to finance your business. Trust me, you will regret it and it will actually hold you back. Keep your job and work on the side as long as possible if you want to do this full time. I cannot stress this enough.
2. Speaking of which, sometimes it’s fine to keep things as a hobby. Not everything needs to be turned into a full time job. You can just do this for fun!
3. Don’t be afraid to put shitty work on the internet. Nobody starts off an expert at anything. N-O-B-O-D-Y. Experiment and have fun with it. Plus if the photos suck, in 10 years you’ll be able to round them all up and show how much you’ve grown.
4. Find your why. Find the thing that gets you excited about writing and remind yourself of it every time you’re in a slump.
5. If you have a good idea, get it out there! I know it probably feels like you have to wait for your style and the project to be perfect before you hit publish, but it doesn’t have to be. You can always go back and revisit/redo work later on as you’ve grown. The main thing is that you start.
PS if you’re here from the 52 Weeks Project days, please let me know in the comments!