Did you know that I have 1010 posts published on Betsy Transatlantically right now? I started blogging in April 2010, so that's an average of 25 posts a month! The real number of posts I've written is actually closer to 1100, but I've spent the past year slowly editing my archives and have placed some old posts back in drafts to be updated. (Beyond just wanting my posts to look consistent throughout the years and therefore needing to fix formatting issues, it's astonishing how many have broken links and dead images! This is very much still a work on progress, so please do bear with me as I continue.) I've also deleted a number of old posts. Some were just totally irrelevant to what this blog has become and others, I came to realize, were inappropriate to publish in a public forum.
It's lovely to go through my archives and revisit my memories, but one of the most fascinating things about cleaning up the old posts is seeing the progression of how I've blogged through the years. My understanding of blogging has evolved since spring 2010, both in terms of how my voice has changed as I immersed myself deeper and deeper into the blogging world and in terms of how I've come to take design and coding more and more seriously as I've accepted that blogging isn't just about writing. There would be a lot less to clean up if I'd had the foresight to appreciate what blogging might become for me when I started!
But, to be totally honest, I'm sort of turned off by baby blogs that look completely professional. If a blogger has only a handful of posts but a custom design and a sponsorship program, it makes me uncomfortable. My blogfriend Lisa reminds us that you never know how much experience might be hiding behind a brand new blog and I do understand that it's now common for bloggers to start blogs with the immediate intention of turning them into businesses, but I really like watching a blogger learn and grow with her blog. As arrogant as this might be, I like being part of that process, especially if the blogger places - or says she places - a premium on the relationships she builds through her blog.
At the same time, going through my archives has made me wish that I had known more about blogging, social media, design, and coding when I started. Sometimes I think it would have been so much easier if I'd had a brand concept in mind back in April 2010. I wouldn't have to clean up old posts; all my fonts would be consistent, the width of my images would be uniform, and my links would be functional. The whole thing would look polished start to finish.
But then, in a way, I would have begun near the end. Blogging is supposed to be a journey, as I wrote in an open letter to 20-something lifestyle bloggers back in June 2012, so I don't think it would be as fulfilling if I weren't growing as I do it. The kind of blogger I want to be - focusing on writing above all else, ignoring design and content trends, and walking away from the computer the moment I find myself tempted to draft a negative post about blogging - requires constant evolution. The learning curve is part of why I blog. It can be frustrating to go through my archive and think about all the things I could have done differently if only I'd known better, but it reminds me of how far I've come and how much farther I can go if I continue on this path. And, actually, that's quite exciting.
header executed by Joelle Duff, February 2012
header executed by Joelle Duff, May 2012
header executed by Ready to Blog Designs, December 2012
header executed by Ready to Blog Designs, June 2013
header created by me, October 2013