5 Questions & Answers about Blogging

5 Questions & Answers about BloggingMe in my old kitchen in Better Homes & Gardens 

Happy Friday! This summer I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a blog mentor at the Haven Conference in Atlanta. The Haven Conference is a DIY and home blogger conference, so it’s a great place for newbie bloggers and old timers like me to connect and learn together! If you happen to be going, I would love to meet you.

As a mentor I will have the opportunity to share some things I’ve learned as a home blogger. Today I’m joining in a “blog hop” with the other mentors! Even if you aren’t a blogger or a blog reader, maybe you’ll enjoy reading some of the posts. We are all answering the same questions, and today is my turn to join in the blog hop and share a little bit my life as a blogger.

5 Questions & Answers about Blogging
blogger life

1. How many years have you been blogging?

I published my first post on The Inspired Room in July of 2007. That means this summer is the 10th anniversary of The Inspired Room blog. Time flies when you are having fun, right? Interesting side note, The Inspired Room actually started out as a decorating business in January of 2007, six months before the blog was a thing. Once I started the blog, I never never looked back!

I’ve written thousands of posts since then and have six completed books to date, one of which is a New York Times Best Seller (Love the Home You Have). Who would have thought? Not me! I never dreamed I’d grow up to be a writer or an entrepreneur, but here I am!

5 Questions & Answers about Blogging

my favorite project

2. What is your favorite DIY project that you have completed?

My favorite DIY’s are the projects I get to do as a designer. I don’t like to build stuff and I don’t often whip out my hot glue gun or power tools like so many talented bloggers do, but I do like to design rooms myself. Do what you love, right? My favorite design project has to be my newly remodeled kitchen.

You can see my new kitchen remodel here.

3. What is something useful you have learned from a blog conference?

Years and years ago as a new blogger, I went to a brand new blog conference called Blissdom. I am such a homebody that the thought of going to a blog conference pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I’m also an introvert! I was also a speaker on some of the panels for several years in a row at Blissdom as well as a speaker at Haven. THAT is really out of my comfort zone!

But one of the things that was really important to me as a blogger was that I committed to and invested in personal growth (not just BLOG growth). Personal growth involved doing things that not only stretched my skills or abilities as a blogger, but got me out from behind my computer to connect with and invest in relationships with other people in our community.

I still credit those early years attending the Blissdom Conference for giving me opportunities to learn new skills, spread my wings and grow. And some of my best blogging friends and connections came from attending blogging conferences! It’s definitely a worthwhile investment in many seasons of a blogger’s experience.

5 Questions & Answers about Blogging

4. What is something you love about blogging and what is something you wish you could change?

I love that a blog can be an opportunity for anyone to create something beautiful and meaningful out of what you love. It is a way to connect to so many opportunities and people around the world. A blog can be anything you want it to be; there is not just one way to do it and no one path to “success.” As a blogger, you really get to define what “success” will look like for you in any particular season.

If being a full time blogger ever appears to be too good to be true (get “free stuff” for your house, get paid to decorate and travel and sit around talking to friends in your computer all day), let me tell you…much of what I do is a lot of fun, but it is often a lot more work than you might think.

As a mom, being able to stay home with my family while running my own home-based business truly was truly a dream come true. I never would have imagined that starting a blog would lead me to what I get to do every day. But it didn’t come from starting a blog for free stuff or discovering some magic hashtags for growing a social media following. 

5 Questions & Answers about Blogging

For anyone who wants to build a thriving blog or creative business, you’ve got to be invested in it for the long haul if you are going to succeed for the long haul. I continue to do what I do because it still has meaning and relevance. Minimal effort or signing up for “free stuff” won’t get you far or last very long. Burning out trying too hard isn’t a good strategy, either. Sharing from a place of genuine passion, building others up, and still making time to embrace what you love in your “real life” will keep you going as a blogger.

Even with the many hats I wear and the pressures of being an entrepreneur are factored in to what I do every day, I still love being a blogger because it means sharing my love of home with people who feel the same way. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.

5 Questions & Answers about Blogging

5. What is one piece of advice you would offer a blogger–new or otherwise–who is going to Haven?

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned blogger, go to a blogging event with the intention of coming home with new friends (and to reconnect with old friends!). Don’t stand back or fear that you don’t measure up. I guarantee you, no one will go to the Haven Conference feeling like they have it all together. Most bloggers feel like a hot mess most days (I know I do!), so reach out to someone new, introduce yourself even if you are nervous, ask questions so you can learn from others and most of all, just be you! You’ll put everyone else at ease by being real. You’ve got something special to offer the world and no one else can do what you do. <3

Now, enough about me and my thoughts!

Head on over to meet the rest of the bloggers in Friday’s line up, links below. Enjoy!

5 Questions & Answers about BloggingStart here for Friday’s line up:  Beauty and Bedlam | The Kim Six Fix | Shabbyfufu

 

Here are the rest of the links from this week’s Haven Mentor blog hop!

Monday: Southern Hospitality | Finding Silver Pennies | Jennifer Rizzo | Chaotically Creative 

Tuesday:  Life on Virginia Street | Just A Girl | French Country Cottage | Maison de Pax 

Wednesday:  Thistlewood Farms | The Handmade Home | Beneath My Heart That’s My Letter | Sweet Tea, LLC

Thursday:  Centsational Girl | Mom4Real | Cedar Hill Farmhouse | The Lettered Cottage | Shades of Blue Interiors

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}
 Queensland Homes  – Bayden Goddard, BGD Architects

Photos Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style

I had a crisis a few months ago. I’m over it now, but don’t worry. It’s not the sort of crisis where you are admitted to the ER or need to be talked off a precipice. But rather, the sort of crisis where you suddenly realize once again, you are feeling in over your head for whatever reason. Perhaps you are trying or starting something new and scary, or perhaps you are decorating a new-to-you house. Decorating can be scary, right? You have to find your own way and might even fear you have to make all the right decisions if you are going to succeed.

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}Studio McGee

I’m no stranger to these sorts of crisis moments. Yes, I’ve moved to quite a few styles of homes so I’ve had to find my own way in new places often. But even outside of home decor, back in the day (when I first started blogging in the darker quieter ages of blogdom) I had a blog style crisis. As far as I could tell, there were basically three kinds of bloggers in the home blog world in 2007. There seemed to be creative bloggers, homemaking bloggers and design bloggers.

Now, likely there were more types of bloggers, or maybe they weren’t quite as defined as I thought. Perhaps I was all wrong and clueless (likely), but that is just what I perceived as a newbie to this strange new world of “BLOGS.” I assumed everyone else knew what they were doing and they were all doing it the right way within the boundaries of those labels.

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}
Blackband Home & Design

Since (in my typical indecisive form) I couldn’t decide which type of blogger I was or should be, I just made up what I was going to be and do. I just did what I loved and felt like doing. I made it all up in my mind. That’s scary, but it’s reality. I didn’t have a clue what the correct way was to blog, so I just DID whatever I could. Sometimes I was a homemaking blog, some days I guess I was more of a design blog, but every now and then I was just feeling creative so I dabbled in a few rare and embarrassing crafty moments. Basically, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT. I still don’t. That may be pretty obvious by now, ha, but still, for better or worse, I kept going.

I could go on here and explain all the times and ways over the years I have had no idea what I was doing, but suffice it to say, it’s an awkward amount of times. Was I confident in everything I did in the past? No. Am I confident in everything I do now? Nope.

So why am I bringing this up now? (i.e. Do I need therapy?) 

Maybe, but not really. I’m fine! Really, I just hope it will encourage you to know a little secret I’ve learned. The truth is, I’m not the only one who wings it. Maybe I do it more than some folks, but the truth is NO ONE who is creating something totally unique or brand new to them knows what they are doing at all times. Most people are just winging it until it comes together in a satisfactory way (or it becomes obvious that it is time to try something new, ha).

They aren’t necessarily faking it, they might be, but sometimes that’s what you do when you have no clue what to do but you have to do something. It should be called experimenting with confidence. Even if people might look like they have it all together and are confident in who they are and what they do, inside they often feel like they are just making a lot of it up as they go.

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}via Historial Concepts Architecture & Southern Living

People who try new things can learn from their mistakes and what they’ve done successfully in the past. And those mistakes and successes will definitely shape what people know to do in the future. But when they were making the mistakes and heading towards those first time successes, most of the time they didn’t actually KNOW in advance what would work and what wouldn’t. They just kept trying. They might have good instincts, a good eye or good training. Those things are helpful. But perseverance is often a big part of success.

Everyone can assess what has worked for them in the past (or what they have learned or believe to be true about the current situation), but to truly feel pretty confident about what will work NOW, you either have to have done that exact thing before under the same exact circumstances, or what you do will involve floundering a bit through trial and error. New things are just that…new.

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}House Beautiful

Every time I’m faced with a new room to decorate, a new house to figure out, a new post, a new challenge, a new budget, a new book to write, a new look to create, a new opportunity, a new idea, another teen to parent :), whatever it is that I have to put my heart into on any given day, it feels like a huge RISK.

I worry that I could totally embarrass myself or fail or stress out if I don’t know everything I need to know in order to succeed. I can start to fear that maybe I’m a fraud. Ha. Not really, but more like I might be a little bit in over my head, until I talk myself down off the ledge and remind myself of the things I already know.

10 Things I Know for Sure

  1. A brave no is just as powerful for success as a timid yes.
  2. I don’t have to do something expected (which eliminates the guesswork and fear about what exactly IS expected!).
  3. I don’t have to worry, unless I am making the type of mistakes that are fatal.
  4. I can seek advice from others and learn from smarter people, I am not alone.
  5. I have already learned important lessons that I can apply to any situation.
  6. I will grow from constructive criticism, but other people’s critical spirits won’t define me or my failures.
  7. There are always people who are better at what I do, but there is only one person who can be me.
  8. What I have to do, want to do, or feel called to do, is worthy of pursuing, even if I can’t do it perfectly.
  9. I can confidently do my own thing in my own way, even if it is through trial and error.
  10. I’ll love the result, be proud of my effort, or at least learn from my mistakes so I can improve going forward.

That’s it. Those ten truths are really what we need to hold on to when we are venturing off into new territory or afraid we might fail.

If you are willing to try something new, you’ll end up a little bit wiser or a little bit braver, or both. 

:)

True Confession: This started out as a post I was going to call Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style (whatever that style is, I might have just made it up). But somewhere along the way, I got inspired in a different way and starting writing a totally different post. Was it about blogging? Decorating Style? Book writing? Trying new things? Success in business? All of the above? See? I have no idea. Awkward, right?

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}
Historical Concepts – Coastal Living Idea House

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}

Related Posts:

Secrets to Success and Longevity in Blogging

My Decorating and Homemaking Books

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}
css.php