December 30th. One year ago today I clicked ‘publish’ for the very first time. I was scared to put myself out there, but I had wanted to start my own blog for a while. I started to read more blogs each day and to leave comments on posts when I found something I really liked. There were patches of time this year where I doubted if I should continue blogging, and times when I wondered if there was some ‘commenting ettiquette’ that I needed to be aware of. There were months where I posted and interacted often and then months where I lacked consistency with it.
In November, in a hotel room in North Carolina, a switch flipped and I was spurred on toward making something of this blog, even if only for myself. Since then I have been posting more frequently and I just bought the domain and began hosting my site independently over the weekend. I am now working on updating the design and working with a web developer to create a space that suits me. It’s exciting and a huge learning experience for me and I’m enjoying it quite a bit!
If I have learned anything from my year of being interactive on the web, it has been that it doesn’t have to be distant and impersonal. Community can be found there. It is really fun for me to find content that encourages me and then to learn more about the heart behind it. People get vulnerable on the internet, sharing their stories, advice, struggles, and hopes. There is an endless supply of free inspiration and guidance online. It is really important to me to thank people for the work they do and the pieces of themselves that they are sharing. This year I took some time to reach out to bloggers and professionals whom I genuinely respect and admire. At first I felt hesitant, wondering if I would seem strange or it was appropriate to contact people directly. Then I put myself in their shoes and I decided that it meant a lot to me to let them know how they are making a positive impact in my life. Over the past year, God has introduced me to the hearts of these women and used them to help teach me, shape me, inspire me, and grow me. Through emails, love notes, and a few delightful in-person conversations, I feel like I have been able to treat some of my favorite bloggers and professionals the way I treat my in-person friends. It has been rewarding and a real blessing to me this year. As 2015 rapidly approaches, I want to share some of my favorites with you, too. If I could hug them all in person, I would. They have wonderful hearts, missions, words, and inspiration that have helped me immensely. Enjoy!