After I posted last, sharing my thoughts on instagram and how posting photos there had further slowed me down over here, I got to thinking more about this blog and its place in my career journey.
This blog was almost, but not quite, an accident.
For a couple of years, when my girls were babies, I wrote a mom blog. Not like a capital letter Mom Blog, more a place for me to record the early days of motherhood and to share my beautiful kids with friends and family who were, at the time, afar. When we moved to Minnesota in 2010, I insisted that we buy a long term house--not another "Starter home." The market was depressed, and we had done well selling high in Brooklyn. The house we bought was a total blank slate, and I set to work with a modest budget, making it a home. My mom blog slowly became cluttered with design posts, and at the same time, I discovered the world of design blogs. Five years ago, on January 14, 2011, I posted this to my old blog about the decision to start this new one.
The gist of the post was that I have always loved to decorate and I have always loved to write, and that a design blog would allow me to combine these loves. It was also about the fact that I have not always been great about making choices to forge my own path. I have had many careers, but most of them by happenstance. In hindsight, this blog also gave me a testing ground to explore what a career might look like focused on design, or writing, or both.
At the time I started this blog, I was teaching fundraising in the arts online for the University of Denver, and looking for an arts administration job here in the Twin Cities. Next I edited a book, Meet Miss Subways. (It was my third book project, all in the arts). Somewhere in between those gigs, an old colleague emailed me asking for help decorating her new home. She was a blog reader and liked my style.
In the early days of this blog, I thought it was going to "blow up," even though I knew (and know!) nothing about SEO. Etc. (I don't even know what I should put on that list.) I thought perhaps I would become a design writer. I labored for hours over guest posts for fellow bloggers. I wrote a series of pieces for Trulia, the real estate website, though I'm not sure they were ever published. While the blog grew very slowly, the design work picked up a bit faster, and I found that I wanted to climb the learning curve. I was constantly educating myself about products and process. Yet I think I was still, for years, trying to decide where I would land.
About a year ago, I was in an interview process for a job that would have taken me back to arts administration. (I had not been looking for a job--I was recruited). At the same time, I got a call from Mpls St Paul Home and Design magazine, asking to publish my home. It was a wonderful affirmation that I was on a good path. (The story comes out in the June issue and I CAN NOT WAIT to share it with you!) After years of testing various waters, I made a very clear decision that my primary desire was to be a designer. That I did not want to produce content, I wanted to create homes.
A month later, an old friend called and gave me the biggest opportunity of my career: to design her new (gut renovated) 4500 sf home in San Francisco, working with an architect. She knew about the other job prospect, and she put it this way: If you decide you want to go big on the design thing, let me know.
It was with such resolve and anticipation that I told her a few days later, via gchat:
I'm going big.
Frankly, it's the best career decision I've ever made.
In the past year, I have relied on the blog less for learning and processing. I have sought refuge here less. My focus has been on the design work in the field, and continued practice and research to build my knowledge, my team, my instincts. When I read this post by celebrity blogger Emily Henderson this week, I felt so glad of my choice. Remember I said that blogging is a lot of work? Managing a "big" blog is A LOT of work. I know now for sure: that's not the work for me.
Okay, so now I am a full fledged designer. What of the blog? I know a lot of bloggers have gone on a similar path. I think Erin's post sums up some of the challenges of going from newby blogger to fledgling designer to somewhat established--the way you talk about your work can't be quite the same.
All the same, I miss it. I miss you. And I know there is a way for this space to be a low-pressure creative outlet, a marketing tool, and, clearly, a place to spill my guts once in a while.
So that's a lot of words to share this evolution with you.
My hope, as other side projects settle (like new website: coming soon!) Is to get back here regularly if not frequently. (weekly?)
Thank you for still coming here, and letting me know you still want to follow along on this journey.