Can you believe it? It's been exactly 1 year since I started blogging here on Starr Struck (!!). I can't believe it's been this long. I've had so much fun sharing my thoughts (and the ups-and-downs of my daily life) with you over the past year, and I can't express how thankful I am that YOU, my readers, have joined me on this journey.
When I first set out to start my blog last year, I had no idea what I was in for. I thought, "well, I'm super-passionate about yoga, painting, and creativity in general, so I'll just write about what I know and what I love, and the rest will come..." And guess what? After a while, it did! Sure, not every post has been a complete winner (especially some of those first few months--yikes!?!), but I know that I wouldn't have kept writing during this past year if you hadn't given me as much encouragement as you have. All of your comments (in-person, via facebook, on twitter, and on the blog) have reminded me why I write and why I share, and it has been so much fun to start a dialogue with you (and to know that *someone* out there is reading!).
Not only have I enjoyed sharing and connecting with you, but I've also learned a LOT about blogging over the past year. For those who might be thinking of starting up your first blog, in the process, or even toying with the idea in the back of your mind, here are a few things that I've learned about blogging during my first year as an "over-sharer" (hehe!):
- Blogging is hard. When you decide to start a blog, you don't know what you're getting yourself into. You don't realize that you are making a commitment (of sorts) to share your life with the world--you commit to sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with ANYONE AND EVERYONE. And not to quote every single person who has ever been on The Bachelor, but when you blog, you're really "putting yourself out there. And that's really scary!"
- If you blog about what's going on in your life, people will no longer be able to ask you the question, "what have you been up to lately?" because they'll already know all about what you've been doing. Some may feel kind of sheepish about that, but don't let them because it's super-sweet that they've been reading! Similarly, when you go to tell someone a story, you'll often get the response, "oh, I read about that on your blog." As a blogger, you have to learn to come up with new material for conversations, because everyone already knows everything that you're about to tell them. (Another popular phrase in conversations? People will say, "not to be a stalker, but I saw on your blog that...[fill in the blank]." So funny!
- Some things are better kept to yourself. Was my post about Ben's facial hair a little too much (airing my relationship dirty-laundry to the world?)? Maybe. But, live and learn, right? And it sure did make me (and some of my dear friends) smile at the time... :)
- There will be a number of different reactions to your blog, and some of them will be negative. As one person said to me, "I think blogging is SUCH a product of your generation. It's really self-centered to think that anyone cares about what you're doing on a daily basis. I mean, who cares??" You have to realize that blogging, or your blog, is not for everyone. And that's okay (still working on accepting this! sigh...).
- Even if you have 10,000 people reading each day (I don't, but just as an example...), some days (or many days!) no one will comment at all. People are often scared of commenting, or of admitting that they're reading, and that's okay. The truth is in the numbers, so if you see that people are visiting, just keep writing and eventually, they'll let you know that they're out there in one way or another.
- If you're new to blogging, and want people to come back, you just have to keep posting. Every day. Especially at first. I know it's hard, but if you decide you're going to start a blog,and you really want to do it, you have to go all the way or you'll stop (usually sooner rather than later). It's very hard to start a blog half-heartedly, because it's the readers who keep you going. And if you stop posting, your readers will stop checking-in, and you'll have no motivation to continue.
And now for the really fun part...
My very first SJOTW GIVEAWAY (yay!)!!!!
As a BIG thank you to all of my readers, I'm giving away a small gift basket of some of my Simple Joys of the Week from the past year. You can take a quick look at the included items below:
All you have to do to "enter" in the drawing is share at least one thing that you've learned or enjoyed on Starr Struck over the past 365 days (post to the comments section of today's post). At the end of week I'll print out all of the comments, put them in a hat, and select the winner! Also, be sure to leave an email address so that I can contact you to get your addy if you win :)
And lastly, to close today, I figured it would only be appropriate to re-post the very first picture that I ever posted to the blog...a picture of THE HAPPIEST SEAL IN THE WORLD (I am beyond obsessed with this picture).
Check it out below:
And if that doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.
Have a gorgeous day!
Namaste and LOTS of love and appreciation,