By Caroline Bujold
L’air de rien (quite unexpectedly), I’ve been blogging for 3 years now. I think that deserves a bit of a celebration!
…because starting something from scratch, which you know practically nothing about, and sending it into the universe is kind of a little insane. I’ve learned a lot in these three years and hopefully you’ve noticed some of the improvements.
My goal has always been to turn this blog into a full time business, or at least a side hustle, and although I’m not there yet, I’m really proud of what I’ve done up to now.
What I’ve learned so far
Consistency is a bitch, but I’m tenacious
I have so much admiration for journalists, editorialists and bloggers that can pump out interesting and meaningful articles day after day.
I love when I write a post and ideas just come effortlessly. But that doesn’t happen very often. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
To help myself, I mark out time in my planner to write at regular intervals. At first, it’s painful. Inspiration is not always there, ideas collide in my head and sentences don’t come out perfectly formed. But I keep at it for a while and can usually come up with something that will eventually turn into a post.
I’ve learned to embrace that uncomfortable feeling.
There is a lot of advice out there, but my gut is more important
Since I started blogging, I decided, against all blogging wisdom, which suggest I should post as often as possible and at least once a week, that I was going to write ONLY twice monthly and only once if life got in the way.
I didn’t want to make it another HAVE TO in my life. I wanted to enjoy this endeavour as much as possible and have time to learn on my own at the same time. So far, it’s going well and I’m on schedule to produce around 24 posts this year alone.
As for the “experts out there“, I’ve learned that everyone has an opinion, even people that don’t own a business or have a blog. So I take what fits right now for me and let the rest go. Otherwise, I could make myself crazy trying to listen to everyone.
Everything has been done before, but not in my voice
If you are reading this, you are part of a very select group of people and I THANK YOU for taking the time. Growing an audience online is way more complex and hard work than I ever imagined. Sometimes I feel like no one reads my posts and that tiny voice in my head that says “well what do you expect, you’re not writing anything earth shattering“ is pretty loud and discouraging.
But then, some of you have said that what you like most is the fact that you can hear my voice in my posts. I’m not sure you guys realize how much that means to me. Being authentic is something I highly value and I’m so happy you can feel this through my writing.
I’ve come to realize that there is a place for every single one of us, if only we are willing to create what’s in our hearts and put it out there.
I’m sure I still have lots to learn and I’m looking forward to getting this little blog of mine to new levels.
Summer Project Roundup
We had decided that our summer would be relaxing and close to home. I also wanted my summer blog posts to be inspiring, but not time consuming. I really needed to relax my brain and wanted to tackle and present bite size projects.
So this is how the summer went.
A long time ago I bought a small show rack so Dave could organize his shoes in the front entrance. Why I also didn’t buy one for myself is still a mystery. We tried to find the same at IKEA, but it didn’t exist anymore.
No matter, I was determined to find something that would fit the bill so we would stop stumbling on my shoes in the entrance.
What I bought is not even a shoe rack; it’s a little kid stepladder, proving once again that cheap, easy solutions always win in my book.
Building on my shoe rack success, I moved on to the one kitchen cupboard that was bothering me. It’s up high (for me) and I can only access the first two shelves, but they are super deep ones.
So what to do? Buy Dollarama plastic bins and group things together. The content is now much easier to access by pulling one container at a time.
This is still a work in progress, but I’ve finally started sorting through my music CDs. Music tastes change though and I sill have music I’m not as keen on anymore.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy music online now, however there are still CDs I want to keep.
All our CDs were in the basement just waiting to get sorted. We brought them all upstairs and did a quick run through for music we know we don’t like anymore and deposited those in our donation bin.
Then I gathered the rest by my desk and plug a CD once in a while in my laptop while I work and see if I still like it. If so, I burn it on my computer and keep the entire CD or only keep the one song I like and donate the CD.
Some people are able to go digital solely, but I haven’t been able to get there yet.
I knew I wanted to write a blog post about camping, but first I needed to organize my camping gear.
Planned camping trips made it super easy to see what was working and what wasn’t. For example, our cooking utensils kept falling to the bottom of our bin and it drove me crazy. To solve that challenge, I bought a toolbox and put everything inside. It’s another thing to bring, but it makes cooking much easier.
We also were able to get rid of some older gear and add a few handy gadgets that make life easier.
Nails and Screws
Part of our shed organization made me realize how many screws and nail boxes we had. After we were done the shed, and since I was “stuck“ in front of the TV, binge watching the Olympics, I decided to sort through the whole thing.
Again, nothing fancy and probably a temporary solution, but at least all of that stuff is now organized and where we might actually use them; clearing out another shelf in the basement.
Storage Space in a Small Apartment – Organization Refresh
Two years ago, I helped a friend declutter and organized his condo, so he could sell it and move into a smaller space. Feeling like he was reverting to his old habits, he asked for some help sorting through a few specific spaces, specifically storage spaces.
What did we get rid of? Mainly empty boxes! We kept a few related to electronics but I estimate we emptied 1/3 of his storage space, making it way more usable. I guess he only needed permission to part with the original boxes. So here is yours.
“If you’ve bought an item, used it, like it and are not planning to move in the next 6 months … you have my blessing to recycle the original box.“
One afternoon of working together and we rearranged his storage closet, cleaned up is (super limited) counter space and organized his photography gear so he can pour himself completely into this creative outlet.
Projects don’t have to be grandiose to have a positive effect on your life. I would actually say that the small projects usually have the biggest impact for me anyway. Plus, multiple small projects lead to bigger changes.
So go ahead and pick one small thing you will improve on, simplify, declutter or organize this week and tell me about it in the comments below.
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