I’ve had several people ask me why I decided to start a blog. Why now? I think it’s a fair question because I’m 53 years old, and my background doesn’t exactly lead anyone to believe that I would be writing a blog, trying to get Instagram followers, starting a YouTube channel and trying to make new pins every day for Pinterest.
I worked in the legal department of a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley and then I worked in the Clinical & Regulatory Affairs Department of one of the first companies to make the lasers for lasik eye surgery in the Boston Area. After that I managed my husband’s medical practice, mostly working from home while I raised my three boys for 20 years. I enjoyed my jobs, learned a lot from my jobs, but the only thing I ever really had a passion for during all those years was raising three well-rounded human beings. For me, the rest was just work.
Throughout the years, I’ve loved hosting parties, family gatherings, small events and big events. The idea of being a party planner always crossed my mind, but honestly, I didn’t want a job where I couldn’t be with my own family on weekends, and most parties take place on the weekends. And my parties and celebrations are always a labor of love, so I didn’t want to work that hard for people I didn’t love. Wow, that sounds pretty cold when I actually type that out on this page! You know what I meant.
My one big dream I’ve always had was to be a published author. I’ve started writing a book numerous times. Fiction, non-fiction, essays – I just love to write, and I feel like I can express myself so much better with writing than I can with speaking. I mean, it definitely doesn’t stop me from speaking (a lot), but it’s a fact that I’m better at communicating on paper. I started books, but I’d get only a few chapters into anything, and then I would completely lose my confidence in it and completely stop.
So, here’s the funny way I came to start a blog. I got a craft machine for Mother’s Day this year. Most of you crafters have heard of the Cricut, a multi-purpose, amazing craft machine that makes a million different things. I didn’t even open the box for about a month, though, because we were in the midst of planning our son’s wedding, and I knew I couldn’t start learning this complicated new machine until the wedding was over. I did, however, start watching YouTube videos on how to use the Cricut machine, and I noticed that one “Cricut Guru” who I’d been watching over and over also had a video out that was called “How I Started a Blog”. So I watched that and then I watched a whole host of videos by lots of different people who gave advice on starting a blog, and I realized that I could combine my love for planning celebrations and being creative with my love for writing… and Celebration Elevation was born.
It took me weeks before I told my husband or kids that I was going to start a blog because I kind of felt embarrassed and I didn’t know how they would react. I didn’t tell other family or friends about it until the planning was well underway. Again, I didn’t know what kind of reaction I would get, and I didn’t want to be judged, or worse, I didn’t want the people whose opinions mattered most to me to think it was a dumb idea.
Something I learned early on with blogging is that it has so much in common with planning an event. You first have to decide what kind of blog you’re going to have, just as you have to decide on the kind of party. You have to figure out who your audience is going to be, just as you have to decide on your guest list. If you’re having a tea party, you probably won’t invite your husband’s buddies from work. And if you’re having a blog called Celebration Elevation, your target audience is definitely not men under 30, men over 40 and probably not many men at all. All the more reason I’m so grateful that my husband and sons actually read what I write and watch the videos I put out.
Another thing about blogging that I didn’t know was how much work it involves. I’m working more hours and much harder at this job than any other job I’ve had before this (except the parenting thing – obviously!). I’m constantly trying to come up with new things to teach my readers and ways to make my YouTube videos worth watching. I’m taking most of the photos myself, so I’m always trying to learn more about photography. I’m shooting the videos and my son is teaching me how to edit them. I research what makes pins on Pinterest “pinnable”, what makes people attracted to a thumbnail for a YouTube video, what “key words” I should used so that people will find me in the search engines. There is not a day that has gone by since I started preparing for this, in July, that I haven’t worked at least 3 hours or that I haven’t learned at least 5 new things.
I’m still just a baby in the world of blogging and YouTubing, and my numbers of followers, subscribers, etc are almost laughable, but I love what I’m doing, so I’m trying very hard not to let myself get discouraged. It’s funny because I’m putting in more effort than I ever have at any other job, I haven’t made a dime and don’t know if or when I ever will, but I finally feel like I found something I’m passionate about learning and improving on. I also feel like I’m really putting myself out there, and it’s scary to face rejection. I’ve never stepped so far out of my comfort zone before, so I’m grateful I at least decided to try.
Anyway, if you are still reading this, I appreciate that more than you know. You didn’t learn very much in this blog post, except why I decided to start this, and now you know that I’m working hard to keep my commitment of writing two blog posts and put out one video a week, for better or worse. I really hope you are enjoying the content that I’m putting out, and I will continue to do my best to give good information and hopefully some entertainment in the process. I would love to hear comments as to what you do or don’t like about my blog, website and videos.
HALLOWEEN PARTY PLANNING – PART 3
If you are following along and planning a Halloween party of your own, remember to send your invitations out at least 3 weeks before your party. On my YouTube video tomorrow, I’m showing a tutorial on a Halloween decoration/prop, a “Potion Book”. It’s essentially taking a hardback book and making it look like an old, spooky book of poisonous potions. It’s actually a lot better than that description sounds and it’s really fun to make, so I hope you’ll take a look.
Have you chosen your costume yet? I’m planning to have a costume contest with award trophies to give out. I’ll be showing you how to make those soon. Start looking around thrift stores and flea markets or garage sales for things that could be spray painted to look old (think candlestick holders, vases, things that can be made to look like specimen jars, old picture frames). Hang on to a couple of old wine bottles because I’ll be doing a tutorial on how to make them into candle holders. Also, keep a couple of glass jars/mason jars and a few empty bottles of alcohol. Keep your eyes out around your house for things that can be made into Halloween decorations.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you will come back and see new posts on Mondays and Thursdays. Have a great weekend and I hope you find something to celebrate. xoxo