Today is kind of a big day for my little blog – Rustic & Woven is one year old today! Considering that when I started this whole thing I didn’t know if I would make it a month, today feels like a pretty big accomplishment.
Fair warning: I’m going to pour my heart out a little bit today, so you may want to make sure that coffee cup is nice and full before you read further. 😉
Starting this blog was definitely out of my comfort zone. I’m usually slow to open up to people, I hate drawing attention to myself, and until the start of this blog, I shied away from most social media in general. Add in poor photography skills, grammar in serious need of a refresher, and so-so tech knowledge – I’m amazed this thing is still running. Confession: most of the time I’m just wingin’ it. 😉
So what made me start a blog?
I asked myself a really simple question one day. “Self, if you could do anything in the world you wanted – what would it be?”
The answer was surprisingly easy: I would own a shop. And every day, Alice and I would go to work in our lovely little shop (wouldn’t you take your dog to work if you could?) and we would sell a mixture of old stuff, and new stuff, and handmade stuff (not handmade by me obviously but by people who can actually make things by hand 🙂 )…and I would offer design and staging services on the side.
Does that not sound like a super fun way to make a living?
And then reality set it in, and I had to acknowledge the fact that I don’t really possess any of the skills necessary to make an endeavor like that work. Not at the present time, anyway. Not to mention, starting over when you have a mortgage and other fun grown up responsibilities is just not an easy thing to do.
But I had a passion for design and I wanted to share it somehow. I had been reading a handful of blogs for a while and finally felt like I had found “my people”. Those that have a passion for the home, are self taught, and delight in the simple little things like favorite paint colors or their latest flea market score. The more I read, the more I wanted to join them.
Having little to no DIY skills, and lacking a bit in the creativity department, I worried that I didn’t really match up to the immense talent that already exists out there. And then I thought that just maybe there might be others like me. Those that are hopeless with a hammer or hot glue gun, but still like to create a pretty home without breaking the bank. Was I destined to be a blogging rockstar? Not likely, but maybe there was room for my voice too.
You never know unless you try.
And so I tried. 🙂
First, let me say that I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been without challenges, because it’s tough at times. It’s pretty quiet on this end of the computer most days, so I sometimes feel like I’m failing my readers. You never really know if you’re connecting with people, or if you’re not. If they like what they’re reading, or if they hate it. It’s all one big guessing game.
I try not to over think it. Of course, I want to write things that people are interested in, but I try to remember that this is an outlet for me too, so for the most part I write whatever I feel like writing at the moment, and cross my fingers that my readers will enjoy it. Am I going to make every single person happy 100% of the time? No, I’m not – I’m trying to learn to be okay with that. 🙂
I’m often frustrated because I know this blog is not the best it can be. I work full time and struggle to find the balance between my job, the demands of the blog, the cleaning and the cooking and errands around the house…finding time to work out on a regular basis and planning meals so we aren’t eating takeout all the time…allowing time to do the lazy stuff – reading a book, flipping through a magazine, or watching a movie without one eye on the computer screen. I know many of you probably struggle with similar demands as well. I can’t be the only one who sets unrealistic standards for day to day life. We only get so many hours in a day, right? I’m trying to learn to be okay with that too.
But for all of the struggle and the unknown, there has been so much good from this blog in its first year. It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me – one that I didn’t quite realize I was needing as much as I was. It’s been a fun way to journal and document the journey of fixing up our home. The pictures throughout this post show some of the changes that have taken place within the last year – I didn’t really think much had changed until I started looking back.
And then there’s the community. A supportive and encouraging community full of women – that I will unfortunately probably never meet in person – that I can call friends. Getting to know my fellow bloggers and my awesome readers has been one of the biggest rewards of this whole thing. It’s probably what keeps me going when I start to think I should just shut it all down. You’re all amazing and I appreciate each and every one of you.
In an email from one of my readers, she referred to me as “brave” for starting a blog. And all I could think was if she only knew how my stomach flip-flops every time I hit publish on a post. It’s so nerve-wrecking! Is this post stupid? Are they going to love it? Are they going to hate it? Should I write more? Should I write less? Should I never write again?
Yes, those thoughts really do run through my crazy little brain…I’ll likely want to throw up after publishing this one because it’s a bit more personal. I would hardly consider that brave… 🙂
But all it takes is for one person to say that they liked it, or say that it encouraged them, or that it inspired them – and all those fears and insecurities subside and I’m ready to do it all over again. I write this blog for me, but I write it for you too, so I guess to make a long story short – as long as you want to continue to hear from me, you’ll be hearing from me. Sound okay with you, friends?
I’m super excited for year two and hope to have lots more tips, ideas, and inspiration to share with you. Thanks for joining me week after week – I really do appreciate it more than you know! I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!! 🙂