1 Anniversary, 2 Announcements, & 3 Things I've Learned
One year ago today, with much fear and trembling, I clicked "publish" on my very first blog post! The post was an introduction that basically amounted to: February 1, 2019. Hi, I'm Caroline. I'm the writer behind the blog.
And I have no clue what I'm doing.
I'll confess, in true Caroline fashion, I had the idea that February 1 was on Monday, not today. The leisurely writing I planned for this weekend and tidy, early-morning post on Monday shot out the window in the name of posting on the Actual Anniversary -- TODAY.
So let it be known: whatever you read here is last-minute and improvised on the spot, in the midst of a crazy busy day. Note: right now it is 8 pm, and I know the chances of it being read today are getting slimmer by the second. But that's life. At least I'll know I wrote it on the Actual Anniversary. :)
I'm smiling right now, remembering those late nights when we stayed up until 1 AM to get this corner of the internet up and running. My baby steps to start finding my voice. That part of me screaming that no one would find my writing worth reading.
I remember telling Daniel, "I know I like reading. So even if I don't have much to say, I can at least read books and tell friends about them."
And by golly, that's what I've tried to do. I've read some truly great books, a few mediocre stories, and learned to stop reviewing run-of-the-mill romantic suspense. (Kidding not kidding.)
I had a specific purpose for this blog when I started -- a stepping stone toward a goal. One year later, I am thrilled to say that it has accomplished exactly what I hoped for my first year! Not only did it help me get my toe in the door of internet writing, it has been the tool God has used to open other surprising doors.
But open doors always bring change. Announcement number 1: one of these doors has come in the form of a new job. As I move forward with pursuing my writing career goals, it has started requiring a bigger chunk of my time each week.
There are only so many hours in a day, and I am and always will be a wife and mommy before I'm a writer.
So here's where the change enters in. Announcement number 2: for the next while, I'm going to aim for writing a post every other week, instead of weekly. But don't worry - Cosmos and a Cuppa isn't going anywhere. In fact, I'm really excited about the direction I want to take in my second year of blogging!
So listen up -- here's where I need your help!
I've created a quick feedback form for you to fill out -- so please, do it!! It's quick and fun (takes less than 5 minutes) and will help me out more than you know as I plan new content.
And here's the really fun part: if you fill it out and add your email address, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a $10 gift card to Amazon! So help a girl out! I need your feedback, and who doesn't need an Amazon gift card?? We can both be winners here!
Click the link below to fill it out now!
I promised that I'd share about the ways God has used this blog to teach me lessons, directly and indirectly. I can *kind of sort of* boil them down to three.
1. I've learned the value of sticking with a project even when it seems incredibly insignificant and pointless. Just plugging away here, week after week, has shown me that sometimes tiny, consistent efforts can reward you with big surprises!
2. I've learned a little of what it means to write for an individual, not a vague group of people. And yes, I learned it partly from doing it the wrong way. Lysa Terkeurst said it best at the Art of Writing conference when she encouraged us to "find that place where your life, your lessons, and yes, your pain, intersects your reader's life."
3. I am learning what it means to speak/write as myself, from an understanding that my Father made me the person I am for a reason. ( I know, duh, Caroline. But bear with me.) It's so hard to apply something I know in my head to the aforementioned screaming inner self. That inner self longs to hide behind formal wording and cliches to avoid being vulnerable. I've wasted quite a few vanilla-flavored blog posts learning that. (Honestly, quite a few years of life! This applies to more than writing, you know.) When I wrote this article for the Joyful Life Magazine, it was the first time my raw, honest feelings were out in the world, and I was surprised at the overwhelmingly positive way people responded to the real me.
February 1, 2020. Hi, I'm Caroline. I still don't really have a clue what I'm doing. But I'm so incredibly thankful for the grace of my Savior. I'm Daniel's wife, Sean and Barrett's mom, and the writer behind this blog. I'm a little weird. I'm a lot shy. I'm awkward sometimes. I get way too excited about looking for the beauty in little things. I'm still an imaginative, idealistic little girl on the inside. I mess up a lot. I say and do stupid things. But I'm me, and if this imperfect sinner, saved by grace, can encourage your heart in any small way, then please, join me for a cup of coffee here. Let's be friends.
P.S. Don't forget that feedback form. ;)