First, let me say thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on Monday’s post. You guys are the best.
Some people have asked me to share how I got started in blogging. When I got to thinking about it, I’ve mentioned how I got into blogging in other posts, but I’ve never done a post telling the entire, detailed story.
Now, some bloggers write 5 to 10 part series about their blogging journey. Don’t worry, this is a one and done post because my blogging story isn’t filled with intense excitement and cliff hangers.
To be honest, I didn’t really know a whole lot about blogs until 2010 when I started planning our wedding. This was the pre-Pinterest era so finding blogs wasn’t as easy as it is today. Plus, there weren’t nearly as many blogs out there in 2010. Anyway, I came across various tutorials on blogs while I was looking for DIY inspiration for our wedding.
Since I was creating a lot of things for our wedding, I thought others might enjoy following my planning process, how I was saving money on the wedding, and my tutorials, so I started Chelsea Gets Married on September 17, 2010 (here’s my very first post). If you want to see how far I’ve come, especially with my photography, take a little time to mull around Chelsea Gets Married.
Seeing the bloggers I followed make careers out of blogging was very inspiring to me. You see, when I was in college I couldn’t decide on a major. I had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I felt like I’d never find the perfect job for me. I don’t know how to describe it but nothing really appealed to me. And I felt like the clock was ticking for me to decide because my parents were paying for my college.
My parents wanted me to major journalism because I was very active in my high school and local newspapers. But I knew there wasn’t good job security or decent income in journalism. Plus, I didn’t realize at the time that I could use a journalism degree for other things, like writing for magazines. So I settled on elementary education. I figured I liked kids, sharing knowledge, there’s job security, and I always wanted children of my own and teaching would allow me to be able to spend holidays and the summers with them. And teaching was familiar to me. I mean, I had spent the last 12 years in school so I felt like I had an idea of what teaching would entail. In the end, I liked the major but I didn’t love it. I was able to keep journalism in my life by declaring it one of my areas of concentrations along with gender studies. My sophomore year, the professor of my computer class tried talking me into getting a technology certificate because she said she saw a lot of potential in me, but it was an additional 15 credit hours, and I was already having to do summer school so I could graduate in four years. In that computer class, I learned Photoshop and had to create blog.
When I graduated and got my first teaching job, I really liked it but I wouldn’t say that I loved it. I couldn’t see myself teaching for 30+ years. Now don’t assume that I was a horrible teacher who didn’t teach her students because I wasn’t in love with my chosen career path. I enjoyed coming up with creative lesson plans and teaching my students. I loved seeing their excitement and when they would have lightbulb moments. It was all the other stuff that comes along with teaching that I didn’t like. Seriously, teachers need their pay doubled. If you disagree with me, shadow a good teacher for a week and see if you still think teachers should make $30,000 a year. FYI, I made less than that two out of the three years I taught, and I went in almost every Sunday to lesson plan and prep for the week. Teaching is HARD and, very often, under appreciated work.
After the 2009 school year, I retired from teaching and began working as a developmental therapist. I went into DT because I could be my own boss (back then I was an independent contractor with the state), make my own hours, work with kids, and in the future, I’d be able to work a few days a week and be home with our kids the other days. My DT job gave me plenty of time to work on our wedding because I made my own work schedule, and I worked a fraction of the time than when I was teaching. My stress level also went from a 10 while teaching to a 1 on a 1-10 scale. I was so much happier. There were days where I missed creating fun lesson plans and activities, but being able to be creative with our wedding and with activities for my DT kids helped fill that void.
While I was planning our wedding, Brad was working full-time and going to grad school part-time and full-time, depending on the semester. He would work during the day and attend school at night and nights when he didn’t have school he was doing homework, so I spent my lonely evenings planning our wedding, reading blogs, working on wedding projects, and blogging. The wedding planning basically became my second job and saved me from becoming a full fledged reality TV junkie.
As our wedding day approached, I was really enjoying this blogging thing, and I knew I couldn’t keep blogging about the wedding when it was over. That’s when I decided to start Two Twenty One on February 22, 2011. My thrifty hurricane tutorial was my very first post. When I made the hurricanes I didn’t intend to use them for our wedding, but I ended up using them as centerpieces on half of the tables for our reception.
A couple weeks after publishing the hurricane tutorial, they were featured on Apartment Therapy Re-Nest. I was so excited to have my very first post recognized by a well established site. This made me think that I could actually make it as a blogger.
Leading up the wedding I didn’t post a ton on Two Twenty One because I was so busy with wedding planning. But I picked up steam in August, 2011 after the wedding was over, and because I was severely bored after being consumed with wedding planning for over a year and I no longer had a wedding to plan.
I’ve been at it ever since. Today’s post is number 582.
Blogging has turned into my dream job. I feel like I found what I had been searching for when I was a 18 year old college freshman. There are days when I think, “Man, if only I thought of being a blogger when I was 22.” But then I stop and remind myself that I would never be where I am now without going down the path I’ve traveled.
Why is blogging perfect for me? I’m my own boss. I make my own hours. I earn a decent salary. I’m able to be creative. I get to write, take photos, and edit photos. I’m able to help and inspire people. I get travel once in a while. I get to play on the Internet and social media. I’m able to be myself. And I’m able to stay home and care for my son while feeling fulfilled professionally.
So there you have it– how I got started in blogging.