It's a beautiful Thursday, and we're here at the close (for now) of one of my favorite series yet. Sniff.
I find the art of blogging such an interesting and diverse experience. I have encountered some of the most creative individuals through my work on this blog, and I have been captivated by their stories - not only through the posts that they share but through their journey to writing, designing, photographing, and curating their interests, products, and passions.
I hope you've enjoyed meeting the artist, the budding photographer, the stylist, and the writer in this series because I have definitely loved sharing them with you.
And since the whole series launched to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Pars Caeli, I would be remiss to not give you a window into my story...
I've been a blog reader for about eight years, and I think I needed this extended time to digest the "what" of blogs and the variety of ways posts add to the creative content, easily accessible to all. Community building is a big part of who I am, and I fell in love quickly with the authors and artists who freely shared their amazing experiences and gave away their recipes, their project instructions, and their advice.
I have followed the development of the Alt Summit brand from the beginning, and when they announced that online classes would be available, I signed up for the first one! I took it as a sign that I needed to do some research on blogging, if nothing else.
Of course, in that class was a spirited chatter named Paige who had recently started her blog. She contacted me after the class to see if I'd like to do a guest post on her site. I was happily terrified and decided if I was to be a guest, I needed to have a home from which to come.
And the webhome, Pars Caeli was born.
Well, it's fair to say that in the early days of blogging, I didn't really have a goal for this space other than to have fun with it and connect with other creatives. I remember spending hours and hours on a post I created about our favorite read aloud stories. I was so proud of myself for getting it all together that I made a bold move and sent an email to Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom.com, a blog hero of mine, writing that I thought she may be interested in our books (what was I thinking?). My small Blogger site was just a month old at the time, and, shockingly, Gabby came over to visit! She even commented.
At one month in, I'd already had one of my design/mom/writing idols visit. I was star struck!! I seriously didn't know if I needed to do any more on the blog. Do I just close up shop?
That made me realize that I probably needed to have some kinda plan for Pars Caeli, more than getting really cool people to visit.
But you better believe that's still part of the thrill. Heck, I got you here, didn't I?!
I'm happier when I do so. I'm more creative and responsive in my professional life as a graphic designer and social media specialist when I blog.
I also love that Pars Caeli keeps me accountable to finish only dreamed-of projects and find the time for the adventures with my kids that were concepts before the blog.
It's the challenge. It's the community of readers who spend their precious time reading and commenting on my musings. It's the oddity, too. I've always thrived on having something a little quirky about me, and I think a blog fits into the vibe quite well.
I may lose readers for the utter mundane nature of this response but - washing dishes. The window above our kitchen sink overlooks our backyard and taking in the natural environment while I complete a routine task gets my gears pumping.
I find conversations inspire my posts. Sometimes these are tweets back and forth, but more likely it's a chat with a neighbor or a friend that will prompt me to respond.
Also, I stink at working from a desk, always have (even the really pretty ones). So most of my blogging happens laying down on my family room floor and pecking away at my laptop. There's something about the blood flow and the remembrance of playing on the floor as a child that brings it all full circle for me.
Unexpected content. I love surprises. A fresh perspective. Large gorgeous photos (I'm a sucker for eye candy). Clean and coherent web design. Great storytelling that makes me want to connect further.
Yes, I would sleep more. I'd have to develop another hobby. Hmmm, cup stacking and learning to play the guitar are still on my list.
At this point if I walked away, I'd feel disconnected. When I took a month off of blogging over Christmas, I began to feel like a piece of me wasn't getting exercise. I can definitely fill my time with other activities, but blogging stretches me, pushes me to learn. Don't we all need a little of that in our life?
I've got great big dreams for Pars Caeli. This space has become one of humor, laughter, design, reflection, and friendship, and I'm in the works of amping that up even more. I have projects and artwork I want you to discover. I have stories that need to be told, and I want to hear yours.
I have some great collaborations coming up in the next months that I'm excited to share, and my first trip to NYC for AltNYC that I'm going to blog all about.
I'm also completely committed to keeping that initial embrace of the unexpected for Pars Caeli. You just never know when the Holy Spirit is going to present something amazing in your path. Count me in as ready to welcome new growth, new life.