April 28th, 2017
I’m sitting here feeling like I’ve got writer’s block and then realizing I’ve felt like I’ve had writer’s block for several years. Where did I come from, I wonder? Probably a lack of practice, really.
I’ve gotten excited about creating this blog, to document the journey to our wedding day combined with the slow switch to a more product-based online website design business (it’ll be a thing) and somehow, on some days, I’ve wondered what I’ve gotten myself into. Another commitment?!
But somehow, this time it feels different.
It’s two things that are basically encompassing my life right now. One – I’m giving probably way too much attention and one I’m just expecting things to be figured out on its own as time goes on. I’ll let you figure out which is which on your own. Bonus points if you know me – you’ll be able to guess no problem.
The thing about blogs these days – is everyone has one. Well it feels like everyone has one. The Being Erica in me wonders what my life would be like if I never stopped blogging back from when I started in 2001. 2001 guys. Jadingheart.com would be 16 years old, but I should hope I would have rebranded somewhere along that timeline. I would have been blogging for exactly half my lifetime.
Instead, I stopped. I stopped because I was afraid (and I still am).
I stopped because I made some mistakes, went a little too diary on a few things that maybe should have stayed between my brain and me. I stopped because I received my first hater during the first semester of University, roughly about two days after I installed this neat little plugin called “comments” and pretty much immediately regretted it.
I stopped and I changed the name of my blog to Simply Elaborate and started becoming “more serious” and started writing about things I thought people would want to know about. I started writing about politics, the environment and “essay type” topics because one day after asking my dad what he thought about my hobby he said he wished I would talk about things that mattered a little bit more in this world instead of my love life and so I did.
And then people stopped reading.
And because I wasn’t really interested in writing about politics, or the environment or other worldly things – I stopped writing. I focused on Simply Elaborate (which has now become my full-time career) and focused on building my team, my skills, and my experience.
But I’ve missed it. I’ve missed writing. I’ve been writing sporadically on my business blog for a few years, but without focus or direction so it’s not really been fun for readers or for me – but I got this idea – to go back to writing about my love life, because as I grew older, it’s what people wanted to know about more and more.
But instead of something as drab as a jading heart – it’s something else entirely.
For this relationship I’m in, I’ve never questioned about love – I’ve never had to, my heart has never been jaded. With all our trials, it’s also been easy. To be with someone who doesn’t give up, is willing to understand, to work and to be there – it is something I’ve never experienced in my entire jading heart history. So, what’s there to write about? Nobody cares about the good, you know, nobody wants to hear the happiness.
They want the juice.
Blogs used to be for internet nerds (like me) who used it to vent their frustrations to the anonymous world because no one in real life understood us. People you didn’t know would read them nod their heads in solidarity and people who did know you would read them and get angry if they recognized tidbits about themselves (even with using pseudonyms that literally no one else would decipher). Maybe not everyone had this experience, but I sure did.
Then, lifestyle blogging became a thing.
Not only has it become a thing, it’s literally taken over Instagram and Snapchat.
Now, it’s about creating an almost too-good-to-be-true online life that creates envy and sponsored posts and partnerships. What’s real? What’s authentic? What’s engagement? It’s a business.
It’s an interesting business that changes every day (ask those Instagram algorithms) and one that I’m interested to explore alongside the big (and I mean big) business of weddings.
I’ve catered my business to other people who are interested in starting their own blogs, businesses, and although one-on-one business help is still something I enjoy, I feel the time is now to begin the switch to one-to-group help. I see it every day. Every single day I am asked how to start a blog. What do I need? What do I do?
So, I’m going to show them. I’ll show them exactly what I did when I was 18 and started my first blog with WordPress. How I used three weeks of my weekly allowance (yup, I was a privileged white girl who got a weekly allowance while in University with no job) and purchased $120USD hosting and a domain with Dreamhost, figured out how to design a blog myself because I hated the free options available and never looked back.
Now, as I enter this world of weddings, which is so unfamiliar and uncomfortable – I want to tackle it together. This realm of business I’ve never experienced or even thought about before February 14, 2017 and for once, I’m on the side of vendor-purchasing. I’m being sold to, instead of the other way around and it’s teaching me a lot. It’s teaching me about who I want to work with, and what type of customer I need to be.
How personal something is, or needs to be, or wants to be to make it a success and who you’re working with a success.
It’s been interesting to say the least.
I’m entering a business world (the wedding industry) that is completely comfortable with charging an upwards of $40,000 – 60,000 for one day of celebration, where it’s expected, and with that expectation there are a billion and one vendors all charging roughly the same thing but for a vast variety of quality of service/results that you won’t be able to judge, or have “fixed” if things aren’t right on this one wedding day.
So, I’m entering this industry coming from one where there are a billion and one vendors who do roughly the same thing we do, who oversee the way people do business with you online, your business baby, your online presence for at least three to five years before you’d need a brand refresh.
I’m coming from a business of troubleshooting, making things better, improving, collaboration – over time so this alternative is foreign. It carries more risk for me, uncertainty with the reassurance from everyone you know “the day will be perfect no matter what” and they’re right. Perfect. It doesn’t matter because you’ll be marrying the one you love so when things go wrong – meh. It’s not the end of the world.
There are no refunds, though, it’s in the contract.
I wonder what it would be like if I implored the same kind of rules to my industry? If something goes wrong on launch day, it’ll all be all right – just go with the flow. The important thing is you’ve launched your business baby. See ya later!
But what if? Maybe this year I’ll find out. I invite you to stick around and see what happens.