I started following blogs--specifically French themed blogs-- as an escape. I discovered that evocative images and beautifully written posts could take me back to a favorite moment in time, such as my first trip to Paris. I found those moments of escape to be a much needed balance to my work life as a school psychologist for student with emotional issues.
I started blogging back in 2012. At the time I felt I needed a creative outlet, a change of pace in life and a personal challenge for myself, so the balance of 'Style' and 'Mind' was born in this blog. The truth is, blogging is all that and more.
Blogging is a creative endeavor. If you publish a blog you wear many hats. Editor, photographer, writer, graphic designer, researcher, proofreader, publisher, marketer and chief inspiration officer (CIO), at the very least. Blogging will stretch your imagination and expand your skill level in a hot second.
The best surprises about blogging are the wonderful connections I've made with others--bloggers and readers--from around the world. Blogging shrinks our world and creates relationships I would have never thought possible. It is such a gift. I found great encouragement in comments from readers on my 3rd blog birthday last January here. Hearing that my blog is appreciated for authenticity, a genuine voice, a sunny escape, providing a sense of hope and bringing people together made me feel so good. Those are exactly my goals for Stylemindchic Life.
Another unanticipated elements of blogging are the brand collaborations. Every time I open my email inbox I have offers for collaborations. It's an interesting process. To most I respond, "Thanks but no thanks". My time is so limited, and I always want to remain true to the vibe of Stylemindchic Life and my readers. There are a few that stand out, like being invited to attend The Knot's Dream Wedding 2015 in Wine Country last spring. Another high was an invitation to Greece for a week for Stylemindchic Life. That collaboration fell through, but other travel related collaborations are in the works. Free stays in Riviera Maya, Los Angeles, Healdsburg, Napa and San Francisco are all blog related. I was recently invited to write a post for a luxury Swiss watch brand. The CEO's favorite of the posts will win a $22,000 Louis Moinet watch. The winner has yet to be chosen, so I'm still crossing my fingers. It's all an interesting process and very unpredictable.
Confidence is another aspect of blogging that can be a mix. To be willing to put yourself "out there" with a blog, you have to feel a certain level of confidence. Maybe that is part of the challenge; I know it has been for me. I feel my level of confidence in my abilities-photography, writing, technology, brand collaborations- have definitely increased through blogging. I also feel that I have a clearer sense of my own personal style by being able to create and see it on the screen.
I've written about this before; truth is, you also need to have a thick skin to be a blogger. You may think you created a meaningful post, yet you get minimal comments, while a simple post resonates with many. Those in your life that you expect will follow your blog often do not. Other readers surprise you--when you least expect it-- when they announce that they do follow your blog. If feels good and builds confidence. While 99% of my interactions with bloggers have been positive, I've also had a negative experience or two. Just as with everything in life, those experiences are a good reminder to focus on my personal values, as a person and a friend, and not let the behavior of someone else change who I am in the world.
Finally, one of my favorite elements of blogging is the continuity. The ongoing journal of life, of travels, of emotions and impressions at that moment in time. Blogging captures those snapshots of life for me like nothing else. I have times where I consider shelving the blog for awhile. Sometimes I crave more privacy and personal time, especially when my career life feels overwhelming, but I would miss the continuity, the connections and the creativity of blogging. For more on blogging: here
The world of blogging and digital publishing for influencers is an ever expanding world. I'm excited to be a part of the movement.
Today I'm joining the 'By Invitation Only' blogger link up: the brainchild of Marsha Cannon from Splendorosa. This is the final installment of this long time series. Please check out other fine posts on blogging over at Marsha's blog. Congratulations to Marsha for a fantastic run with the linkup each month. I've been honored to participate with such a fine group of international bloggers.
Blogging is an interesting topic to me.
Why do you blog...
or follow blogs?
I would love to hear your story.
Wishing you a merry holiday weekend--
we'll be hosting party #2 here tonight.
Flowers created by Jeri.
A new look for my Stylemindchic Boutique!