I am a blogger.
It’s been part of my life as a past-time, hobby, journal, portfolio, and creative outlet since 2007 (when Dave created a blogspot.com for me to record our adventure living in Puerto Rico as newlyweds). For years I blogged about my growing family, my personal projects, and shared thoughts and ideas with a growing group of online friends. The landscape in blogging changed over that time and two years ago I stopped blogging regularly because I was feeling a little burned out with the constant content creation, and the time involved with making beautiful and meaningful posts. I had begun to raise the bar on my own posts, creating huge projects like Stretch Yourself, as well as smaller but still involved ones like Reindeer Week and Birthday Week. I attended Alt Summit, where I learned so much about the business of blogging, and I came away from it feeling like my life was a little out of balance, and that I needed to give blogging a backseat as I focused on my family (had my third baby, moved across the country, built a house, settled into a whole new life.)These last couple years I’ve enjoyed the break from regular blogging (although I was excited with the invitations to participate in some really fun projects during that time, as well as speak at Alt Summit, keeping my toes in the door.) I was able to pursue other interests, survive pregnancy, the first year of adjusting to having a baby, and settle into our new life a bit. That said, I hadn’t been taking a break from working. From my first job in my early teens until this time last year, I have always had a job of some sort. Even when I was blogging five days a week (what?! I know that’s crazy!) I was also working part-time as a Registered Nurse, or taking custom sewing orders. I’ve worked both out of financial necessity and personal, emotional necessity. I feel good when I am working! It can be a nice break from full-time motherhood, and I love the feeling of contributing financially to my family, even if it’s a small amount of money. Every little bit helps, especially in these years when we’ve been getting through graduate school and now face years of paying off our student loans while trying to also maintain a balanced and comfortable lifestyle.
The last two years that I wasn’t blogging, I was working a PRN nursing job that I loved, but that took me away from my home and didn’t fulfill me creatively. Several months ago I quit that job, and thought I’d just relish all of the freedom of not having to work for the first time in my life. I was going to be able to care for my family, home, and self without the extra burden of deadlines or appointments.
And then a funny thing happened. I missed working! I missed having a project to work on that would bring home a paycheck. I missed contributing to our budget, however small that contribution may be. I missed developing and maintaining relationships with people and companies. So I was brought to a crossroads: should I look for another job as a nurse (which be away from home, and structured as far as hours), should I try to take on more sewing orders (which keeps me home and creative but from past experience I know it gets tiresome quickly) or should I take on blogging as a business (which allows me to work from home and be creative, and can also be somewhat more diverse and self-driven).
When I weighed all of the options, along with the pull I had been feeling to blog a little more again, I came to the decision that blogging more regularly and pursuing sponsored content would enable me to satisfy several of my personal needs. It would fulfill my need to create and share, sponsored content would bring in a small paycheck, and I would be able to continue developing new relationships with readers and brands. In my experiences with working with brands, I have absolutely loved the creative challenge of creating content that is worthwhile to the readers as well as relevant to the brand. Posts like this and this have been so fulfilling as I’ve had a focused job to do and can do it with personal creative freedom and authenticity. Of course I’ll never tell you I love something I hate, and I will chose to work on campaigns that genuinely interest me, because, I mean, I’ll be the one doing the work! The landscape for blogging as business is much different than it was a few years ago even, and all of the support for blogger-entrepreneurs these days actually makes me feel really comfortable trying this out. I found a lot of great resources here in Jansen’s post about where to start with actually making money with blogging, and I don’t feel the least bit like I’m selling out or being insincere, because this, too is my life. There is no question that my family and home are my number on priority, and my reality is that I am better at loving my family and home when I give myself time to sleep, time to create, and yes, time to work.
Is it scary to make another shift in my lifestyle and take on something new again? Absolutely. But I believe in my ability to make choices that are best for myself and my family. I believe in trusting my experience and learning from the past to create a better future. There is so much that I want to share.
So, I guess this post is a little bit of a disclaimer, public service announcement, or simply an explanation as to the sponsored posts that (have been and) will be coming your way on One Little Minute. I will also be sharing other posts about projects, food, family, and hopefully some about our new house and new city as well. I feel engaged in this endeavor, giddy about new possibilities, and a little bit curious about how this change will affect my life. It feels like a good time, so I’m going to go ahead with it, and I hope you’ll continue to support me and the sponsored posts that will give blogging more regularly a place in my life.