I had no idea then what I'd put into motion. Slowly, through the months that followed, my life started to change. I began to feel more confident. I became more courageous with every outfit I posted. I found myself questioning why I dressed the way I did, why I shopped where I had, and what I really thought about personal style and body image. I started to allow myself to write, really write, more than a few sentences about where my jeans were from.
Eventually, I starting submitting my posts to IFB, and they were accepted into Links a la Mode. I joined a local blogger's meetup and connected with women who share similar interests as I do. I started commenting on blogs I read regularly, and became friends with those bloggers I admired. I learned from them. In March 2011 I attended my first blogging conference, the Texas Style Council Conference, and met bloggers I only dreamed of socializing with. I began to get invited to fashion events around Dallas and made connections with brands. I continued to submit articles to IFB and attended their conference in September, where I learned more about the importance of social media and blogging and began to consider monetization. Oh - and I also wrote a book, which is in the final editing phase and should be published by the end of January.
|Julie, Erin, me and Tina at the Texas Style Council Conference|
The truth is that putting yourself out there comes with both blessings and pitfalls. When my blog really began taking off this summer, it attracted attention - most good but some negative. No matter what I do, say or wear, there will still be some people who won't like it. There will be people who hate what I wear, or think I talk about my eating disorder recovery too much, or write posts that are too long, or don't share enough outfit of the day pics. This criticism is part of living my life in the public eye. Criticism never feels great, but I accept it and am sometimes able to view it as a learning opportunity.
There's a lot to be said about following your dreams and watching them come true. The work put towards making those dreams a reality isn't easy, but it is so worth it. Don't get me wrong - I still have days when I struggle to find inspiration. I don't always feel great about how I look. But I have a much more positive outlook than I've ever had.
In the next year I hope to continue feeling as inspired to post as I am now. I want to learn more about blog design, stay educated on social media, and become more involved in the Dallas-Fort Worth fashion scene. I want to reach out more to bloggers I admire. I'm going to publish my book and want to host a fantastic launch party (stay tuned for details on that!) I was just hired as the community outreach and social media coordinator for the Texas Style Council Conference, scheduled for March 9, 10 and 11th, and I'll be extra busy with planning. I want to offer more guest posts from bloggers who inspire me, and continue sharing my passion for thrifting.
To celebrate my one-year blog anniversary, I'm offering a very special giveaway containing some of my favorite swag from the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference.
The winner will receive:
- An Urban Decay Foxy palette, complete with four neutral shadows, a cream eyeliner, and a mini lip gloss;
- An Urban Decay Stardust lip gloss in Space Cowboy, a sparkly neutral color;
- A travel size Amika straightening iron with carrying case.
The winner will also receive:
- A $25 gift card to TJ Maxx or Marshalls!
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect.
- For extra entries, follow me on Twitter (@dresscourage) and add my blog to your reader.