Blogging MAIN

Why Do You Blog?

 Why yes I am overqualified

Here’s something you may not know about me. I swear like a sailor in real life. It’s probably not one of my best character traits. I reel it in a lot on this blog because I feel like that’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I respect that. It’s also nice to maintain some level of professionalism when you’re sharing a nice shiny craft post slapped on with some ribbon and washi tape (which for the record ribbon is so underused since the advent of washi tape – why people why?!)

So I thought I’d give you a disclaimer in advance that this post is not going to be one of those reeled in posts.

And it’s also going to be long. And it doesn’t contain pictures. So have a seat. Get a drink. Pour some Bailey’s in your coffee. I promise my next entry will be a short one to make up for this novel.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a very long time but I’ve held back for various reasons. What would people think, what would they say? Would people be offended? Is this the type of post you’d expect from a person who shows you how to make pretty shit and kid crafts? Oh wait crafty bloggers don’t swear. They use terms like “Easy Peasy!” all the time.

Right. And writers don’t drink alcohol and you’ve never been in my kitchen when my craft project goes wrong at the same time as I forgot I was boiling a pot of water. Come hang out with a set decorator on a movie or a TV show the morning of a big production and see if they don’t kill you if you try and touch their props (and I’ve worked with some seriously talented ones). Artists when they’re in a zone creating, are not saying words like easy peasy.

I want to tell you the story – the real story – of why I started my blog and how and why I blog has changed since I started. Which stems from me going from a busy career as a TV producer to a busy job as a stay at home mom in the suburbs. But let me back up a bit first.

For everyone that blogs, we all have a different starting point of why we decide to share our lives with millions of people in the world. The most common answer I’ve read for DIY/Craft/Decor/Home/Lifestyle/Mommy blogs is “I wanted a creative outlet because I was reading blogs and I did crafts too and wanted to share and inspire other people” or “I stay at home and wanted to connect with other moms because it’s lonely staying at home with your kids and I’ve met tons of new friends because of it.”

Fantastic. We’re all blogging to connect with other bloggers and inspire other people with our crafts. Let’s all join hands and sing a song.

So I ask again, why do you REALLY blog?

Because every blogger will reach a point in their blog – be it around the 6 month mark maybe even sooner – where they will realize the rainbows and sunshine facade of promises of blog fame, mega contracts with home renovation companies, being featured in major magazines, online publications where everyone is knocking at their door to shower them with gifts, money and exclusive contracts to represent their brand, is a shit load of grunt work for not enough return on their initial investment time.

It’s like running a business. The first year of setting up, you’re lucky if you break even in your sales. Blogging is no different. The amount of time you have to put into your blog content to be able to see a return on people “discovering” your blog is staggering. Especially if you are in one of the niches I mentioned above.

Link parties? Check. Pinning stuff? Check. Tweeting it out? Check. Using your the best Instagram filter to showcase a blog preview of your upcoming posts? Check. Facebook networking with other bloggers and companies? Check. Commenting on other blogs? Check. Oh there’s also Tumblr, Craftgawker & Co., Looksi Square, Klout, Hometalk and seriously I need Google + account to increase my page rank? I just took off my icon in my sidebar because I didn’t have the time to participate in it and now I learn I may need to invest time in that too? Oh and you still have to write your own blog with epic original content.

And you wonder why most bloggers who start out don’t make it past their first year.

Writing a blog is a lot of work. It’s not hard compared to surgery but it insanely time consuming with very little reward initially. I’m not even talking about monetary rewards – but if you want an example my first blog paycheque was $14.57 for a months work. Take that in people. Even if I mark it down to working a P/T 20 hour a week job that is still the equivalent of .73 cents an hour. Trust me when I say that’s about $35 an hour cheaper than the equivalent I made when I was working an office job at a company vs my “creative outlet”.

So why do people, let’s face it especially women, continue to do this. Is it the promise of being the next YHL? Is it the idea that one day your blog will go viral and you will finally make it and get all the readers of your dreams? It better than paying for therapy and cathartic for you to share your experiences and find other like minded friends in the same situation? Is it because you’re a true artist and you need to create, write and pour out your soul so you can share your talents and money be damned, all you bloggers who make money aren’t doing it for the right old school reasons! Shame on you for selling out.

None of these reasons are right or wrong.

Hell you may have read all of the above and disagreed with everything and think well I don’t care if people read my content I do it for myself. And I respect that. But I’ll be honest when it comes to my blog, I do care. Because if I wanted to write for the sole sake of being creative, I’d do a scrapbook at home, show some projects to friends and call it day. The moment you post your work on the internet, you probably have another reason whether or not you want to admit it.  It doesn’t matter if that reason is money, inspiration, readers, friendship, a coping mechanism or something to keep you sane when you’re at home with your kids, if you’re putting it online, you want people to see it. You want people to connect with you or your work somehow. You want to impact other people with your words or your talents.

You want to share your story.

We all have a real reason why we blog. And a lot of us tip toe around what that is for fear of what others may think of us or how they will judge us.

So I wanted to write this post to tell you what mine is.

Last year I went for a job interview. I had been a stay at home mom since leaving the TV Industry back in 2009 for a whole variety of personal reasons. One being that my husband switched careers to a very demanding profession and at the same the TV industry took a huge hit economically and jobs became scarce in my field. Top that off that with the cost of daycare for 2 kids being equal to my take home monthly pay and the decision was pretty obvious. I was supposed to stay home for a year just to see if it would work for our family. In May of this year it has been 4 years.

I fully plan on going back to work, down the line – whatever work that may be – so when friend presented a P/T job opportunity to get my feet wet again, I thought that is perfect. P/T jobs in my industry do not exist. TV is full of long hours, on location shoots and it’s rare that anything like that comes up. Of course I thought for sure let me get my resume sent in and several weeks later I was sitting in a suit in a boardroom getting interviewed. I got asked all the usual industry questions, qualifications, etc.

Then I got asked this.

“So. Have you done any work the past 3 years?”

Hey stay at home mom’s of the world, let that sink in for a minute. Go pour some more Bailey’s in your coffee and then come back. Actually go make a martini. You are a housewife after all and that means you drink lots of booze so you should know how to make a good one.

I want to tell you that I responded to that with a kick ass Good Will Hunting job interview scene type of answer and even with the “Fuck you, you’d never ask that of your wife or daycare provider” that flew through my head as I sat there and stared the Bill Lumbergh clone in front of me.

Instead I said the following.

Me – “No. I just stay at home with my kids. Do you mean aside from staying at home with my kids?”

Interviewer – “Yes”.

Me – “Then no.”

I know what he meant. It was a poorly phrased question – really fucking poorly phrased question – for a manager to ask at a job interview. He meant had I done any ‘media/TV’ work since I stayed home. At least I hope he meant that. I had not because well I was oh, really damn busy with everything else I did on a daily basis. You know aside from just pushing a stroller around the suburbs and watching daytime television. Have I covered almost all of the stay at home mom stereotypes yet? What am I missing? Oh yes, excessive shopping with all the extra money I have.

I had been working in the TV industry for more than half my life. I started when I was 18 as an intern, then did several more internships and started freelancing at our local cable station in Toronto while I was still in University (for which I paid my way through with my Part-Time retail job that I had held since I was 15 and until the day I graduated University). Upon graduation I started as a Production Assistant, moved up to Production Coordinator, Production Manager and then switched to Producing. I did it the old school way. I paid my dues without knowing a soul. I had no connections, no mom and dad making a phone call to get my foot in the door anywhere. Throughout my career I had the privilege of interviewing and organizing productions for likes Jodi Picoult, Martin Brodeur, Mike Holmes, Karim Rashid, Michael Ondaatje, Stephen Brunt, Anne Rice and John Irving. I had once sat about 2 meters away across from Sting and his band doing an acoustic dress rehearsal of Fields of Gold. I have told countless stories of everyday people who had deeply personal, moving experiences to share about their lives, their families, their art and their views on the world who trusted me enough to translate their words to the screen. I organized productions and editing schedules for a national TV channel. I worked my ass off to get where I was and I was so proud to have done that from scratch.

And yet none of that mattered.

None of it.

By the time I got home that day, that moment made me realize that from now on, all any potential employer would see on my resume was the giant gap of space that I had between the last media job I had done and me being at home with my kids. They were then left to fill in the blank notions of what they knew or thought they knew I did as a stay at home mom.

I am not going to get into any major debate on what a stay at home mom does. There are tons of blogs you can go visit for that. My theory on it all is simple: Do what is right for your family and stop judging other women for their decisions. I was an office working commuting mom. I have friends that are office working commuting moms. I know how tough it is to do it on that side of coin. In fact so much so that now that I can compare the two sides, I find them to be completely incomparable because they each come with a completely different pro and con list with barely any overlap except for the following – both sides work their asses off. But I will admit it kills me that in 2013, while you would never think to ask your daycare provider, an ECE worker or even a pre-school teacher if they work during the day, criticizing the work or assumed lack there of work of a stay at home mom is still a topic of discussion. If after all, what we do isn’t work, then by all means go tell your daycare provider that you don’t think they need to get paid to watch your kids. I work. I don’t get paid to do it, but I work.

Now you have two choices in life when it comes to being put in a position like that.

Choice # 1 – You can go home, pour a stiff drink (see martini reference above) and cry your eyes to your husband, send emails to all your girlfriends telling them what a horrible interview you had, have them tell you what an asshole he was and you’re better than that. Then wallow in self pity and become depressed and feel that you are never ever going to work or be taken seriously again and repeatedly say, “But I have a degree, I have experience, why can’t anyone see that?”

What’s that? No one can see what I do? Why is that? Hmm…

There’s an expression in the media industry that says “You’re only as good as your last story”. And yet I had stories – lots of them. But no one saw them because I didn’t have a demo reel anymore. A demo reel in the TV field is basically a showcase of all of your work on a DVD of your last produced stories and content. All they saw was “Homemaker. 2009 – present. Sometime volunteer at her kids school. Terrible cook.”

Which leads me Choice # 2. After you’re done wallowing and drinking your way through Choice #1, you get a grip,  put on your big girl pants and realize the answer to your problems was right in front of you the entire fucking time.

I had previously started a nice casual blog under my old blog name – northofseven. It was a total hobby blog because I had read a lot of blogs so I thought “Oh hey I can do that too!” and tried it out. My early posts are so half-assed and embarrassing because I wasn’t treating it like work. My pictures. Please. They need to be deleted. You’d think I had never heard of lighting. So when it hit me that my blog that was my demo reel that I had been missing, I realized I had been squandering a platform in which to showcase what I needed to. In which case last September, I registered a domain, switched names to northstory, got a blog redesign by the absolutely amazing Stacey, went self hosted and started taking my little hobby blog a LOT more seriously. Better photos, better writing, better content. And a lot more effort.

My blog is my resume.

It is my demo reel.

It shows how I write, decorate a room, do DIY project, event plan, organize, cook, clean, bake, garden, run a website, travel and the products I endorse. It shows how I am a teacher and what I really do with my kids instead of watching daytime TV. It shows the things in life I am passionate about. And yes you know what, it shows what I like to drink – maybe not a martini – and how I can style food photography and challenge myself to learn to be a better baker. The beverage styling I’m working on. Ice melts fast in the hot lighting of a photo shoot. And beer doesn’t last long enough to actual take a picture of around here. What?

My blog isn’t here to make moms feel bad for not throwing a Pinterest style birthday party for their kids – I am very honest in telling you how many hours go into all the prep work. It’s not there to make you feel like your kids room isn’t a magazine style room – I’ll show you the real life photos along with the after. It’s not there to make you go “Wow she has a lot of extra time on her hands”. No, no I don’t. I fill it with things to do because it keeps me creative, always thinking and learning, not becoming complacent especially with the ever changing world of web design and social media and keeps my head in the game. Because that’s the type of person I am and I want my kids to realize that I don’t just make their food everyday and be a good role model for them.

I do this for the opportunities it can present me such as freelance writing from home. Guest posting just happened to be one of the great side effect of this blog. Making money on this actual blog is also another. For the record, I’d love to make even more money than the .73 cents an hour so if you like what you read or see, spread the love. Tell all your friends. I’ll bake you cookies. Ok maybe I’ll make you a Thank You card instead.

I do this so that the next time I go on a job interview if someone asks if I have done any work while being at home for the past 4 years now, I can say the following:

“I am the proprietor of a lifestyle website called northstory, where I write, edit and showcase projects on home decor, crafts, kids activities and product reviews. I maintain the site and all of its content on a daily basis. It has been featured in online publications such as Apartment Therapy, IKEA Family Live and Craftgawker. I encourage you to see for yourselves to learn more about myself and what I can offer your company. If you’d like me to elaborate or show you some of the projects I have worked on that we can translate into stories for your show or content for your production house, I’d be happy to do so.”

Or maybe in a year I’ll say to hell with this and go back to school and become a Pharmacy Assistant. Or open up my own business. We’ll see what happens.

The point is, I now have options where before I didn’t have any. Don’t ever sit down and wait for someone to create the opportunity for you, that you can create for yourself. You don’t even have have to work in the field I did to use this as a platform for a different path in your life. Instead of telling someone you are talented and how you could do this and that, show them your talents. There’s a reason why I called my blog northstory. I live in the great white north a.k.a. Canada and this is my story. So that no one can fill in the blanks in that story but me. Especially during job interviews.

If by any chance you’re wondering if I am still mad at my own version of  Bill Lumbergh for asking me that question during the interview, it’s quite the opposite. I want to thank him. Because if he hadn’t said that or if I had gotten the job or even if just chalked it up to job interview that just wasn’t meant to be, I probably never would have gotten to this point. I don’t want to give him all the credit though. A lot of this was due in part of a lot of soul searching and a very encouraging husband.

A fellow blogger who I adore and who I now am friends with said to me wisely and I quote “you are hiding your writing chops under your craft bucket”. And I thank her for that. Humbly. Because sometimes I feel like I’m not supposed to “write like this” and show crafts at the same time because well, they’re possibly two different audiences. Then I remember Hey, this is my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want! And right now, I don’t want to pidgeonhole myself into a category.

That blogger, Victoria, is one of my favourite bloggers and without her and the friendship and support of another one of my favourite bloggers, Danielle, I don’t think I wouldn’t have gotten this far with my site. It’s one of the reasons I am contemplating doing a new segment on here that I’ll hopefully announce soon. Something to let you tell your stories and bring my back to my journalism roots.

In the meantime, the comments section is all yours.

Why do you blog?

What’s your story?

Because we should never assume we know why someone really blogs.

PS – The first photo with the “Why yes, I am overqualified” is actually a business card holder that one of my dear friends Erika gave me many, many years ago during a different time in my life. I used it as a tongue in cheek photo for this post and not to say that I think I am better than a given job, because I don’t believe hard work is beneath anyone.

It’s also well, another long story…

25 Comments

  • Reply
    Victoria • Restoring our Victorian
    July 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

    A- I LOVE THIS POST. YOU ARE AWESOME.

    B- I blog for world domination… let’s evaluate how that’s going: endless time, energy, CARING, hoping, worrying, writing, being frustrated… VS: No sponsors. No money. No throne of internet-domination.

    Now I’m off to join hands, sing a song, make a drink, and eat some bonbons.

    Oh, and share this with every blogger I know.

  • Reply
    April
    July 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I love this post – you are frickin’ awesome!!! very inspiring!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    July 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I’m going to be honest with myself and say that I blog because I have some stupid insecure desire to have people like me and to reaffirm the decisions I make in life…even in regards to something as superficial as my home.

    I also blog because I like to talk about what I’m interested in, and not everyone in my “real” life cares to listen. By me throwing it out there on the internet, only those who are interested have to read. If they don’t give a rat’s ass? Clickity clickity on the little red x.

    So basically….narcissism. I blog because I’m a narcissist.

  • Reply
    Danica
    July 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    First things first…just going to out on a limb here and assume it’s totally fine that I swear in this response right! Oh how I wait for these kind of posts!

    Second……I just recently came across Victoria’s blog…holy fucking hilarious! I love all types of blogs but I especially love the more animated ones where you can totally tell what kind of person you are following along with on there journey.

    Third…my blog and its spelling mistakes, bad pictures, and sometimes probably not making sense wording started off as something that I wanted to do for ME because I knew the next 1.5 years was going to be nutzo. Like that kind of nuts where I wouldn’t remember shit I did on what day so I needed to write about it. Then I started finding other fun blogs and thought this is fantastic I love reading about other people! Then I thought wait maybe I could make this a little more public because there might be people out there that would want to read about how crazy we were….who knows I cold be completely wrong and people might not believe anything we do but at the end of day at least I could make some new friends out of it!

    Fourth – friends part – not that I have a shortage of friends but I don’t think many of them could relate to the path we have chosen…so the online friends become real friends who encourage you and support you along the way. Remind you that you can do whatever you strive for…Lynne, Casey, Alex, Janet…you….and the rest of you ladies thanks!

    Thanks for this post – I enjoyed it very much and my fucking “u” on my computer is going on the fritze which is making this comment writing very difficult.

  • Reply
    debirussell
    July 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I blog because I want to get all the words out of my head. I want to see if I can actually be a writer, which may or may not be in God’s plan. I do wonder often if it’s a waste of time and energy, but sometimes I write something I feel really passionate about or proud of and I get a few hundred reads from others who thought it was worth their time and that is exhilarating. So that’s why I keep going.

  • Reply
    Time With Thea
    July 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for sharing your ‘why’ behind the blog. I think I have been following you since the beginning and it has been great to see it grow and evolve. Another blogger wisely told me the LSD approach works and I also have heard that you have to have the authentic passion first and the rest will come. Not only do I hope but I am quite sure it will work for you! ~Thea

  • Reply
    Debbie
    July 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Alex, you couldn’t have said it any better. I decided to stay at home with my little ones so I could develop a closer relationship with my daughters, working in Toronto I felt I wasn’t getting enough time to spend with them. This is the first time I read your blog and I will continue to do so! April told me you wrote but I haven’t come across the blog yet, I will look out for it and see you around ‘town!’

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    What a fantastic story – I love the reason why you blog. I’ve lost my blog voice and am working to find it again. Look forward to reading more!

  • Reply
    Stacey
    July 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    This was so fucking awesome! Sorry, but I cuss like a sailor too and we know that about each other but we’re always so damn polite. HA! I’m happy you sat down to write this, Alex. I would hate to think that you EVER got down on yourself for being at home with your kids. ( I know you actually don’t but people are STUPID! )
    Stay at home moms are AMAZING people in my book. I taught pre-kindgarden for almost ten years… with 14 three and four year olds in my care for hours as I came up with ideas and activities centered around learning EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY! YOU are worth more money than anyone could ever pay. What you’re doing with those little lives is the most important job anyone can have.
    I don’t say that because I have a vagina, girl-power and all that. Hell, I don’t even have kids of my own but I’m smart enough to know just what it takes day to day.
    Any potential employer should sit across from you and see someone that can think quick, multi-task, problem solve, work well with others, create, follow through, improvise, manipulate, motivate, and the list goes on… because that’s what moms like you do every single day! (okay, okay, I’m getting a little too worked up, here!)

    It sounds like what may have seemed negative turned into something positive for you because the next time you’re faced with an opportunity you will know exactly what to say and how to handle it. The crazy thing is that we sometimes have to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to think it through and realize how awesome we really are. That “HEY, I’m working my ass off here, damnit”! I’m glad you had your moment to realize it.

    As for blogging. You know how I feel about that. World dominance, fame, money, acceptance and validation are not me in general …. so they most definitely do not come into play when I blog. It has and continues to be a way of record keeping for me. I cannot deny that it’s fun when people visit or comment or I get some sort of write up about our efforts. It’s fucking amazing. No lie. But if it all ended tomorrow I would still blog. I would still feel the same about it. Whether it’s 20,000 followers or just my mom checking us out. Blogging has helped ME get through what has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

    I hope it continues to be fun and positive for you, Alex. I also know you’re good at it so it should definitely be something you add to your resume and talk about with great pride when sitting across from a potential employer. You rock!
    (sorry for writing a book here. You moved me.)

  • Reply
    EricS
    July 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Awesome!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    July 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for writing this and bearing your soul.

    One of the deep seeded reasons I write is because I wanted something for myself. Purely and selfishly… something that I could share on my own. As a wife and mom, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in supporting and encouraging everyone else. That’s awesome, but you wake up one day and wonder what happened to the things you had hoped and dreamed of. The irony of blogging is that sometimes you can get distracted by fitting in and doing what you think others expect of you. It can become something that is not your own if you let it.

    My sweet friend, thank you for reminding me why I blog. I adore you!

  • Reply
    ScrapAndSalvage
    July 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    i’m glad you were able to process this and turn a deflating situation into, well, THIS! i love your blog, your creativity and your sense of humor. i, for one, am not very crafty, i also swear like a sailer (with no intention of curbing that) and completely enjoy seeing the craftiness you come up with. keep it up and own it, lady! you have a great calling card.

    i blog to keep track of jordan’s fun finds and fixes. he spends so much time doing it, it seemed like the perfect way to get involved so we could spend more time together. plus it’s fun to look back and “remember when…”. i totally enjoy it when perfect strangers become virtual friends, some even “real” friends. and comments and “likes” are always fun, but even better is hanging out with jordan. so i think i’d keep blogging even if likes and comments were disabled (not that this is the only way we hang out, ha). 😀

    and i always enjoy seeing what new way you end up using more of that rainbow ribbon. HA.

  • Reply
    Roar Sweetly
    July 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    What a refreshingly honest post. I love this about your blog. I am quite computer illiterate and first discovered a ‘blog’ in late 2009 when I was on maternity leave with my first child. I was blown away by it and started to discover other blogs. I would leave comments in my name but always wanted to have my own little calling-card. When I was on maternity leave with my second child I finally had the motivation to start my own blog. I work part-time and I often ask myself why I continue to blog. I think it’s a way to connect with other like-minded people. My ‘real-life’ family and friends are not quite as interested in craft and cooking and design. I also think it’s a pretty cool legacy for my kids and I hope they appreciate looking through all the content when they’re older. I blog quite sporadically and try not to think of having an obligation to an audience…as this does my head in.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Brave New Home
    July 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Great post! I think the-thing-you’ll-say-if-you-ever-get-asked-again response should be included somewhere permanently in your blog : ]

    Haha, I always feel like a hack saying “easy peasy” in my blog—it’s not something I’d ever say in real life but I feel like it’s DIY blogger vocab 😛 I wonder if we might collectively start a new genre of DIY bloggers who like to hold a hammer in one hand and a glass of adult beverage in the other 😛

    I blog for a bunch of reasons—all real reasons that sustain my blogging—but at the core I’m kinda competitive so when I initially read other people’s blogs I thought, Hey, I can do that, too!

    Thanks for recommending Victoria’s blog—she’s a hoot!

  • Reply
    Neaten Your Nest
    July 22, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Thank you, thank you for sharing your story. And I read the whole thing! Maybe it’s because you warned me it would be long, I hunkered down and felt that reading it would be important. And it was! I blog for a lot of reasons….I wanted something that was mine. I’m a work from home mom and everything is about to do lists and ‘so and so’ needs a snack or the dog needs to go out or a bill needs to be paid. Blah, blah, blah. I wanted to find my soul a little bit, what drives me as an individual. I also want to be good, I mean REALLY good at something. I want to look back and say ‘look what I did, that’s awesome.’ And I kinda still want HGTV to contact me to be on a show. Ha! 🙂 Thank you again.
    ~Erin

  • Reply
    Tara @ Suburble
    July 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Well said, lady. This whole post is just fantastic.

    I, too, have reigned in a lot of my “personality” when it comes to blogging. My first post had a smattering of swear words and a lot harsher tongue in it. My mother called me and said, “It’s classless… why are you writing that?”

    And so I edited it. And I’ve edited myself a lot while blogging.

    I don’t have quite the resume that you do, but prior to becoming a SAHM, I was a high school teacher. I started teaching when I was 22 and I will say it: I got a lot of respect from people for teaching teenagers when I was barely out of my teenage years.

    Now? I get comments like, “You’re not working? You’re kidding, right?” or “You let your contract expire? Do you know how tough the job market is?”

    Trouble is: I want to be at home. I want to be the primary influence in my kids’ lives right now. And daycare costs a frigging arm-and-a-half.

    I blog because I need a place to put my thoughts. I need to flex my writing muscle. I need to jot down stories that happen. I need to carve out a little space that’s mine.

    And having read your post, I think that I need to slip a bit more “me” into my posts. Maybe be less worried about the opinions of others and be more concerned with what I think – what I’d REALLY say.

    It ain’t going to be “easy-peasy”. I’ll tell you that.

  • Reply
    Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project
    July 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I love, Love, LOVE this post. Thank you. On sooo many levels thank you for writing this!

  • Reply
    fynesdesigns
    July 23, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Whew! Great post, you must be glad to get that out!! Great thoughts, I’m glad you’re in this for you. I think we all need to take a step back and ask ourselves this very question.

  • Reply
    Kara
    July 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    This post is awesome! You definitely nailed one of the top reasons I blog. Thanks for the great post 🙂

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    July 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Alex, I know, I’ve told you this before but I will tell you again; you are amazing! and thank you so much for writing this, for reminding me why I blog and also as a stay-at-home mom for exactly a year this month, I appreciate you writing what that ‘man’ said, when I read this it made me mad and then sad, then I read the entire post 3 times (not kidding) I read it as soon as you post it but was not able to leave you a comment
    anyhow, I started writing my blog because I thought I could show my DIY’s too, like other bloggers do, then realized how difficult it could be having a blog with a little one! 🙂 again Alex, thank you for this post and for opening up to us like this! 🙂 so honest and sincere as always! 🙂
    & oh! I forgot, I started my blog so I could have been be contacted by the W Network or something but I guess it won’t be happening anytime soon ha!ha! now I write my blog for different reasons 😉

  • Reply
    Wendy & Alex (@OldTownHome)
    July 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Enjoyed reading your post and wanted to chime in with a “why we blog.”

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that any blogger that’s been doing it for more than a year and isn’t “doing it full time” will actually have various reasons why they keep blogging, and at any given time one reason may be more important than another.

    For us, we started blogging because we felt like we’re “different” and hope to find other “different” people that we can interact with and hopefully help with our experiences.

    How are we “different?” We’re a couple in our 30s that started dating in high school and married when we were in our early 20s, yet we have no children, we moved well away from the safety of our family, and we chose a setting (urban DC metro area) that is foreign to many (including us when we moved here in 2000). To top it off, we bought a very old house in an historic district and decided, with very little prior experience, we were going to renovate the entire thing nearly completely on our own, all while both working full time and very demanding jobs. Oh, and we love going on vacations, having amazing experiences, drinking a lot of wine, and being honest that being married while renovating a house isn’t a glamorous undertaking and causes a whole hell of a lot of fights and hope all of our experiences, again, can help other people along the way.

    Now, we continue to blog because of the friends we’ve made along the way, experiences we’ve had, the hope that we are helping people figure out things we’ve already tackled, the thought we might somehow convert or inspire someone to try a major or minor project on their own, and the amazing feeling we get when someone compliments us and something we’ve done.

    We have no delusions of grander, and we know that our niche appeal most likely means we’ll never be one of those “big time” bloggers, and that’s okay with us.

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 24, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Alex, I echo everyone’s comments on what an awesome post this was (I’ve been on holiday and wanted to wait until I could comment ‘properly’ when back… Thanks for going out on a limb and such a thoughtful & personal insight. I only discovered you a year ago so missed your early ventures – I’m in that phase now where I’m concluding that I need to shift to self-hosted (oh god) to get more control and a more functional site, so it’s good to know you made the transition and survived… I’ve heard lots of horror stories so any tips welcome..!
    Oh, and I love it that you swear like a trooper – another way in which we are kindred souls 😉 I think people find it all the more shocking when there are no other obvious giveaways (full body tattoos, multiple piercings, threatening behaviour), and such verbal atrocities come from smiling, mom-like mouths – but what the hell…. x

  • Reply
    saigewisdom
    July 28, 2013 at 12:34 am

    I’m so glad I stumbled across this post – as a first time reader it was a fabulously long introduction to your blog, your story, your style, your voice. I’m pretty confident the universe didn’t lead me here by accident. I think I blog for my ego, benefit from the connection to likeminded ladies and hope to make money at it someday even $15 would be nice. I’ve been treating it as a hobby, but as I contemplate taking an ‘exit stage right’ from social work (my path/career for the past 11 years) I think I need to follow your lead and treat it like a business. I too swear like a trucker and say “I was a sailer in my past life” but more because I’m infatuated with horizontal striped shirts.
    I’m hoping to get myself to BlogPodium this year (come on AYA Kitchens pull through for me) and if I do, I’m looking you up. xo

  • Reply
    Laura at Mommy Miracles
    August 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Darn! A whole long comment just got lost! I’ll rewrite the general gist:

    I love that your blog has turned into a demo reel. I have begun to realize the exact same thing over the last year. I am not particularly passionate about my day job, but my blog is the culmination of my passions. I have turned it into my (mostly unpaid) job because this is the job I want. And I am often shocked that I am spending my life writing – a dream that I thought would always go unfulfilled.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    August 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. I would encourage any stay-at-home mom who plans on re-entering the workforce at any point and in any capacity to have some sort of side project she can use to develop, maintain and showcase her skills.

    My blog is probably never going to be a full-time income but it has been instrumental in landing me other paid work and keeping me in the loop.

    Also, in an internet drowning in crafting blogs, I do think it’s the writing and the voice that sets the best apart from the rest. So go for it.

  • I love your comments!