I’ve always loved a good origin story. Looking back, me creating a blog was inevitable. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning.
Hello, my name is MissSaraBee, and this is the story of how I ended up creating a blog.
EARLY LOVE OF BOOKS
I remember looking at my grandma’s book shelf when I was a kid and running my hand along the spines of the giant tomes and paperbacks that I could reach. I couldn’t read at the time, but I remember pulling out a giant picture book of exotic locations or an encyclopedia and constantly staring at the pictures.
I’m sure my fascination with my grandmother’s collection is where my obsession with books and the magic they create started.
THE DESIRE TO CREATE
I have always wanted to write a book. From what I hear, many people have this same goal. When I was a kid I already had a tendency to write. From little on, I would hoard journals. I found their potential fascinating. The idea that someone could make a few marks on a page and inspire thought amazed me. The fact that humans can look at a few scratches on a page and create entire worlds in their minds is a miracle.
The process would always be the same for me. I would get a fantastical idea and fill a few pages of a journal with ideas, storylines, maybe even a few paragraphs. One time I actually spent a weekend and wrote an entire first draft. I would become frantic. I would tote the journal around with me everywhere and write whenever an idea inspired me.
Then I would start thinking too much and the writing would slowly ebb. I would forget to take the journals accidentally-on purpose. I would get an idea and I would talk myself out of it. Things popped in my head like: “That character doesn’t make sense.” “That plot point is too weird.” “No one will like this story.” “Why are you even bothering? You would never get published.”
The journals would eventually end up abandoned in a cardboard box I keep in the basement. Some of them would only have a few pages filled. Others would be nearly complete.
TAKING A BREAK FROM CREATIVITY
I took a break from the whole dream while in college.
I didn’t have the time, and when I did I felt guilty. Instead of doing something I enjoy, I thought I should have been working. I didn’t read for pleasure anymore because I always felt like I should have been reading a textbook. I didn’t write because I should have been practicing problems for exams.
The only thing I did feel comfortable doing was watching television and YouTube videos. What were supposed to be five minute breaks turned into a screen always being on in my presence. I don’t think I need to explain that binge watching media has a profound effect on your thinking. I am still recovering.
It was only when I graduated that the need for creativity started to come back. With a full time job I was busy, but I had some free time to pursue what I wanted guilt free. I started reading again, devouring books with reckless abandon. While researching for The Great Audit, I discovered the world of blogging. The magic of the written word was starting to become familiar again.
Recently, my mom and I had to organize the basement. Being the next in line to purchase a home meant I inherited all the house goods family members wanted to get rid of. The basement had become a cluttered collection of kitchenware, old furniture, outdated electronics, and many duplicate items. The pile was getting too big and it was time to start donating and organizing a rummage. I found the cardboard box of abandoned journals during the organization.
THE NEXT INSPIRATION
While reading the archives of some of the new blogs, I saw one post repeatedly: How to Make a Blog.
I had gone through another one of my frantic phases. I thought of how brilliant it would be to make a blog. All the topics I could write about. How many people I could help, like the blogs I had found helped me.
As with all my other frantic phases, I was now in the phase where I was talking myself out of it. I had already deeply convinced myself to not start a blog by the time I saw the journals.
Over the next month, the encounter with my old stories kept running through my head.
One night, my mother mentioned passively that I should start a blog. I had never even spoken or written down my intentions. She knew what I was reading, and since she knows me so well I’m sure it was her way of trying to convince me if I was debating.
The next day I started writing ideas in a small graph paper notebook.
FINDING A NICHE
I kept going back and forth with myself.
I wanted to diversify my income, so maybe starting a blog would help with that. But blogs rarely become successful.
I have always wanted to help people with my writing, maybe I could write about something that teaches people. But that niche is saturated.
I have always wanted to be a writer, this would be an easy way to get my work out there. But look at that pile of abandoned stories I have in the basement.
THE DANGER OF OVERTHINKING
It came down to one final debate. I was watering my plants and happened to look at my computer, thinking for the millionth time that I should start a blog. After doing research, I decided a self-hosted blog would be best. I couldn’t monetize a blog on a free site if it did become popular, and I was as interested in learning about the coding and background management as much as the writing. I considered that I did have enough money to start a blog if I used one of the deals I had seen from the bloggers I followed.
Then the guilt hit.
I had been convincing myself that any extra money should be going to the loans. My mother had told me time and time again that she loved that I was still living at home, but years of media brainwashing convinced me that I was still taking advantage of her despite our deal.
I was putting practically all of my discretionary income toward the loans to get them paid off as fast as possible. Once the student loans were paid off, I could start saving for a down payment and eventually no longer be, what I perceived to be, a burden to my mother. How could I even consider putting any money to a blog?
I told myself I could start a blog when the money wasn’t so important, when I had my own house. Then I felt that familiar cloud I felt in college. That was the same reasoning I had told myself every time I picked up a book I wanted to read or explore a new idea.
DECIDING TO START NOW
College was supposed to be only four years, but it turned into five and a half because I realized halfway through that I would need a master’s degree to be successful in my career. That extra year and a half nearly killed me.
I had a plan to pay off the loans in three years total. I had planned I would theoretically need at least three more years to save for a down payment on a house, with an emergency fund and renovation money.
That was my plan, but life had already taught me that plans can only get you so far.
On top of that, getting a house wouldn’t end the financial obligations, it would simply be the start of them. There would always be something I should be paying or saving for.
If it wasn’t a loan, it would be a house. It if wasn’t a house, it would be retirement.
I must have looked like an idiot standing there with my elephant watering can just staring at a closed computer for five minutes.
On minute six, I started booting up my computer.
UP AND RUNNING
I debated with myself a lot in the process of making this blog. I considered focusing on only one topic like all my research suggests, but I’ve decided not to.
Perfection is not necessary. I won’t let yet another idea end up in a cardboard box.
Of course I will always dream of this blog turning into a success, but if it doesn’t that’s okay. At least BlondeBumbleBee is out there.