Bits of Bee Turns 5

I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. My little blog has been buzzing along for 5 years now, and boy what a ride it has been.

This past week, my family and I enjoyed a peaceful, fun-filled, (mostly) unplugged week by our favourite lake, and on my official blogiversary (July 30), I took a few moments for myself, to reflect on the past 5 years.

blogiversary

Each year, on the anniversary of the day that I started this blog, I’ve reflected on my favourite moments and posts of the past year. What I’ve realized this year, is that many of those highlights have been about accomplishments, partnerships, and career changes – all such wonderful (and unexpected perks) that have come from this space. But what I’d like to remind myself with this post, is why I started this blog in the first place. My number one reason for blogging: my love for writing.

First and foremost, this blog came to be because I wanted a creative outlet – a place where I could revisit my love for writing. And it has done that for me, a million times over.

But with my passion for the written word, comes pools of self-doubt. I am often my own worst critic. I struggle with submitting my weekly stories and hitting publish on posts because I’m never fully confident in my final piece. Coming up with story ideas and blog post topics is also an ongoing challenge. And sometimes, thoughts of abandoning my blog cross my mind. I wonder to myself: Why am I still blogging? Is anyone even reading this? 

I know I’m not alone in these thoughts, and thought I’d use this post to share 5 tips that help me to push through these moments of uncertainty.

5 tips to keep you blogging during moments of self-doubt:

1) Don’t sell yourself short. You are always your own worst critic. Someone is reading, and someone is loving the words that you’re sharing.

2) If you’re not feeling it, put your computer/pen away and try again later. If you skip a day, it won’t be the end of the world. And really, quality is so much better than quantity.

3) Be authentic. Don’t try to mimic someone else’s writing style or write something only because you think it’s what others want to read, just be yourself.

4) Take a time out to remember why you’re blogging in the first place. If you’re doing it to write, clear your mind and stop thinking about who’s reading, and just write for you. If you’re blogging for business, get out of your head and keep a professional mindset.

5) Someone once said to me in a heated moment in my career: “Remember: you’re not saving lives”  – and it stuck. Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re not saving lives. It’s not life or death.

I’ve kept it going for 5 years, and I hope to keep writing in this little space for 5 years more. Diving in with a fresh start and an open mind.

blogiversary

For more of my writing, you can find me here:

24 Hours Vancouver

BC Living

Tourism Vancouver

Huffington Post Canada

 

{FAMILY} This Is My Success Story

Some may think that leaving a “dream job” with the Vancouver Canucks to pursue a part-time writing career is more of a cautionary tale that a true success story, but I’m proud of the path that I’ve chosen.

Yes, the money pales in comparison to that of a full-time corporate job. And yes, freelance work can be fleeting, but I love what I do.

For many, the recipe for success includes a showy salary, a nimble nine-to-five, and a sumptuous collection of stylish suits, but thats’ just not me – that’s not my definition of success.  At least not anymore.

I’ve walked in those shoes, and I envy the women who continue to walk down the path towards career success. For many years I was driven by an impalpable desire to advance my career – to move up, earn more, lead more and thrive more in the workplace.

I can’t put my finger on exactly what changed – what shifted my drive. Was it the kids? Was it my rediscovered love for writing? All I know is that I woke up one day, and suddenly, I didn’t want that kind of success anymore. I just wanted to write. To mom. To help small businesses to succeed, and to take life day to day.

It sounds simple. And to some – it sounds totally lame. But that’s me – at least for right now.

This is my success story.

For more on how blogging was the first step towards my redefined success story, listen to my interview with Martin Strong on Roundhouse Radio: LISTEN NOW (Note: I start at the 14:25 mark)

Blogger

Interview on Roundhouse Radio at the 2016 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Blogger event

{FAMILY} Mommy’s Grounded

When I was 7 years old I wrote my first book. I remember carefully cutting out a piece of cardboard from an old cereal box, and folding it in half to create the book cover. I then wrapped it with an old piece of burgundy velvet because I loved the rich colour and the way it tickled my fingers when I touched its soft surface. The book was called “The Adventures of Garbanzo” and I’m sure I still have it somewhere tucked away in a box.

Throughout my life I kept handwritten journals, filling their pages with daily thoughts, dreams and poetry. After a brief writing hiatus, I started this blog in July of 2011 to revive my love for writing and provide myself with a creative outlet. This blog has led to so many amazing, life-changing opportunities and I’m grateful every day for the supportive online community that I have become a part of over the years. I have become an influential mom blogger, a published writer, and a self-employed business owner all thanks to my leap into the blogosphere.

Writing has always been a passion of mine, and next week, one of my writing dreams will become a reality. I’m so excited to share with you all that I will be writing my own weekly parenting column for one of Vancouver’s largest newspapers – 24 Hours Vancouver.

Each Parenting 24 Hours VancouverFriday, I will be sharing opinions, confessions and anecdotes related to parenting hot topics. You can expect an against-the-grain, honest (with a touch of sarcastic humour) take on some of the things that are frequently talked about in the world of parenting. I can’t wait to start this journey with a fresh voice and and a  new platform to share my stories.

I’ve decided to call my column Mommy’s Grounded – the meaning can be read as grounded as in ‘in trouble’ or ‘punished’, or ‘well-balanced’ and ‘sensible’, depending on the reader’s interpretation.

Parenting 24 Hours VancouverOn occasion I’ll be reaching out to my parenting network for opinions on story ideas and hot topics (because it’s not all about me!). If you’re interested in joining in on the conversation, follow my Facebook Page.

Thank you to all of my readers who have followed my journey so far, and stay tuned for many more adventures as I embark on this new endeavour.