Over the last few weeks I've been taking an online course called Blogging Your Way. I've been a student before, but was in great need of a return to the "blog classroom" as I nearly erased JARFLY off the face of the planet in frustration this last spring. I was getting bored with my blog, tired of sitting at a computer and lacked enthusiasm for creative and interesting posts.
Also, as the writer you start to wonder if anyone out there even cares... and if it would be better to just go hiking and live life. Those doubts and negative feelings were starting to deeply affect my dreams and work ethic. Not to mention FAR too many days in sweat pants.
What I've since figured out is that blogging is only as interesting as your life is. So rather than fixing my blog (though I did do some upgrades design wise) it was my LIFE that I really needed to work on.
We have many lovely teachers this year in BYW (who'll I'll mention at the end of the post) but it's creator mastermind is best selling Author and Blogger Holly Becker. Holly is massively successful in the design and interiors world, and her book, Decorate, is on my shelf and overflowing with post-it's for ideas in my future home.
I admire that Holly has made herself so available to her audience, despite her popularity and successes. I can tell that she reads the comments on her blog, she tweets back to people, she responds to emails. Maybe she can't get to every single one, but it's very apparent that she tries for the sake of her fans and collegues. Her online classroom is no different as the forums allow for communication between students and teacher...and her podcasts remain very authentic and true to heart.
This last month has been incredibly fullfilling for me as a blogger and artist/designer hopeful. As I mentioned above we have amazing teachers in this classroom...but the students are just as supportive. So many new names from all around the world have stopped by JARFLY to lend an encouraging comment here and there. It feels so lovely to feel that you're being seen, if even by a few and that people care.
I've also really enjoyed browsing the many blogs created by my fellow students. The talent is insane and the joy and love for life so apparent. As far as I can tell, it's all women in this class....but I don't mind that because women have a way of lifting each other other up that is so unique. The joke goes that we are all catty and can't be happy for each other...well I've experienced the opposite so far in life. I think girls love beautiful things and ideas in all forms, and seek to support that however it looks.
In short, I guess BYW represents a zest for life....which I'd like people to really absorb because bloggers are not just a bunch of socially awkward people siting around in their pj's copying and pasting pictures from Real Simple Magazine!
Bloggers are generally talented people who have something to offer or say about life...and in that there is some form of beauty. They invite you to join the journey with them....and in turn they'll usually join yours. Should we all get off the computer and go hiking? YES, YES, and YES.
Yet after your busy adventure for the day has been lived in the physical world....all is quiet in the house...so you share your adventure with others while pounding away at the keys...well there is worth in that. It's created an incredible community of artists, designers, writers, moms, fashionistas, photographers and general lovers of life.
I'm happy to be a part of it, and oh so very grateful.
Special Thanks to Our Lovely BYW Teachers:
Katrina Tan of Pugly Pixel
Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely
To read student testimonials regarding BYW ecourse, click here.