Ladies (and gentlemen?), June is going to be an exciting time, both for me, and for this here little blog. Has anyone noticed that I'm back up to five posts? Yay! And I've gotten into a good rhythm, too, so it's been a lot easier. It also forced me to focus on what this blog is, what it can be, and what I do here. Around April/May, I feel like I snapped it into focus. Now, I'm excited about what the year will bring.
I have some things to announce, and I've been reluctant to do that type of post, so I've decided that I will give you a sort of two-in-one post today! First, I'll wax poetic, and then make my announcements. Don't worry, I'll segue nicely.
So, let's start with the waxing. I want to say that I loved this post from one of my favorite blogs, Avoision. Felix wrote about the process of writing, and how it's important to find the time to write. Not just find it, but make it. This is something that has taken me years to learn. In fact, it wasn't until I made the goal to write five times a week that I really understood this idea. I wrote a really long comment on Felix's post, but it's not showing up, and I can't remember if I submitted it or accidentally lost it before hitting submit. Anyway, I'd like to talk about what I wrote there because his post hit me pretty hard.
Ever since I can remember, I've been good at writing. Grammar, style, organization...it has always come easilyy to me. In high school, I could get away without reading a book, and write an A paper on it. And I went to one of the best high schools in the country. In college, I cranked out my honor's thesis in 1 night (30-some pages total) and got an A minus. When I had to take the GRE, I'm ashamed to tell you I completely bombed the math, but did well on reading, and got a perfect score on the writing. Writing is, I believe, my strength and my talent. And sometimes it really bums me out that I didn't pursue it. I tried. God knows I tried. But I don't feel like I ever tried hard enough and then, for various reasons, it became harder and harder for me to try at all.
Now it's 2011 and I haven't written a piece of fiction since 2009. In fact, around the time I started this blog, I stopped writing fiction. (That's a coincidence, but an odd one I only just realized.) I got busy, and I never set aside time. I kept waiting for that "magical, big block of time" as Felix put it. It's funny how I used to think I was busy. There's a reason young 20-somethings can go out all the time. It's because they're not busy. I used to go out on Wednesdays people. For fun. And I used to stay out late. I can't even imagine doing that now. I also used to dick around all day Sunday. Now, I dread working half of the day and then work the other half. So lame. The point is, these past couple of years, writing seemed like a luxury and one I could not afford. And the rejection of past attempts made me reluctant to try again.
Years ago, I set up an email address for a pseudonym I came up with. I think I'd submitted under this name, but had mostly forgotten about the email account. Until this blog. I set up Not The Marrying Kind under a pseudonym because of the nature of my profession. I try very hard to keep a low internet profile and I don't share this blog with anyone in my real life. There are a handful of people who know my real first name, even fewer who know my whole name, and two that know who I am and my personal email address, and of course A.P. I set up this little blog as a way for me to vent about weddings and sort of store ideas for my own wedding. I never intended for it to be anything more. Though, once I sort of realized the thing a blog could become, it crossed my mind. Still, it wasn't something I entertained seriously. A little over two years later, this blog has become something else entirely. It's not some huge powerhouse in the wedding industry, and I certainly don't consider myself a "big" blogger. However, I have some regular readers, and I get some decent traffic for someone who didn't really take blogging that seriously until a few months ago (despite two years of doing it!) and the numbers climb a little, tiny, wee bit more every week.
I'd like to think it's because of what Bill Roorbach, the writer Felix was writing about in his post, is advising. I started treating this like work. I even told someone I couldn't talk to them on the phone once because I was "writing." I started calling it work, too. As Roorback says, first, to myself. Then, to A.P. Then, to one family member. Then, to two coworkers. And slowly to some other people. It's sort of like I've been outing myself as a blogger. I still have to blog under a pseudonym, and I've only shared the site address with a couple of people, but I'm more comfortable with telling people that I have a blog, something I was too scared to do two years ago.
I put a lot more effort into it, too. I started to take it seriously, and it started to take shape. At a time when I felt really shitty and contemplated stopping blogging altogether, some good things happened. I submitted to A Practical Wedding (and appeared on the site as a Wedding Graduate) and I was picked as a featured post on BlogHer. See? Exciting things!
The thing is, I really believe none of this would have happened if I had continued to treat writing as something I did as a hobby. Yet, even if all this blog ever amounts to is a fun, little hobby where every once in a while something cool happens, I think I'd be okay with that. What was important was for me to take it seriously as a form of writing (something about which Felix and I don't agree), making sure to get posts up no matter what (even now it's past midnight and I'm exhausted), and meeting that goal of five times a week. It's turned into an important lesson for me.
That being said, it's also opened up new possibilities for me, and for this here little blog. And so, a few things have shifted and changed and a few things are on the horizon. First up, the changes...
1. I have some new features that I've been trying out the last few weeks, that seem to be getting good responses, and I like 'em, so...they stay! First is Marriage Mondays, where I muse on marriage-related topics. The other is Wedding Wednesdays, where I offer some pretty inspiration/suggestion for various aspects of a wedding (e.g. dresses, centerpieces, invitations, etc.). And then of course, there's always the dance.
2. I'm not just on blogger anymore. I still refuse to join Facebook (or even link that shit. Take that, Facebook.), but I am on Twitter, Pinterest, and Polyvore. You should follow me on all of those. If you're on twitter, I say random funny stuff sometimes, show pictures of the ugly shirt that I can't bear to throw out that I wore when I first asked out a boy who I REALLY liked, and I also constantly remind you that there are new posts up. I'm awesome like that. If you're on Pinterest, I've said it before, I'll say it again. I give good pins. And if you like the fashion boards that I've been posting here, you should check me out on Polyvore. You can get the preview before I publish!
Now the horizon...
1. Sometime in June/July, I'll be hosting a giveaway. It's going to be a test of many things, namely a business idea that A.P. and I have been batting around. And so in order for me to work on the business idea this summer in my downtime, I must do a little shopping. And what I don't end up using will be a (hopefully) cool giveaway. I'm psyched. You should be, too.
2. Since I occasionally blog about television, I was invited to preview of a couple of new TV shows that will be airing on ABC this fall. I love fall premieres. It's almost like that new year of school when you were a kid. It's a bunch of potentially awesome new friends and you get to see your old friends and have new adventures with them, too. I know it's not related to weddings or marriage, but because I love all things television and movies, I'm going to give you guys a preview of one of the new shows (a new friend, I hope) I got to sneak a peek at. Keep your eyes peeled for that in June.
3. Finally, I've been asked to introduce you to an awesome new bridal website and offer a pretty sweet discount to my readers. I'm excited about this and you should be, too. Especially since I would have loooved a site like this when I was getting married. That will be coming this month, as well.
That's pretty much it. I hope you guys are enjoying warm, summerish weather. It's finally warmed up in Chicago and I can't tell you how happy I am, even though the building I work in isn't completely air conditioned. See you tomorrow for the dance! I'll be showing a sweet engagement shoot that might just serve as inspiration for our own "engagement" shoot.