2018 was a doozy for me, and I'm not sad to see it go. There were a lot of ups, but a select few, very significant downs, and I can honestly say that I couldn't have imagined in January of 2018 that I'd be going into January of 2019 breathing a sigh of relief to have a fresh, 365 days of clean slate ahead. A chance to try again.
Don't get me wrong, 2018 had some amazing moments. I got to travel to so many amazing places with my very best friend (Sweden, Texas, Vermont), but these past 12 months were just a rough mental health ride. I muddled through, though, and I think I'm going into the new year with fresh perspective, and a lot of goals — both personal, and professional. One being this blog.
I decided I really wanted to start a blog because I'm a workaholic, and my work just happens to be my passion (writing). My dilemma, however, and I'm sure this is the case for a lot of writers and artists, is that when your passion becomes your work, and as a result, fits into a mold that work requires it to, it becomes less of a passion, and more of a formatted chore. See, I started writing when I was 10 years old with dreams of becoming a novelist, a creative writer. Well, the last book I wrote, I wrote when I was 15. The last novella I'd written was a project for my senior capstone. I left college, got a job writing articles for websites, and now I'm a digital journalist. I'm published, but not a published book author.
I really miss the art of creative writing. I miss the freedom to write whatever I want, without needing approval from an editor each day. So, In the late summer of 2018, I had a thought, and that thought became a blog. Mark volunteered to make my website from scratch (he's a doll). While he constructed the site, I worked on content. I had planned to set it all live in October.
As you can see, October came and went, and Always, Julia Rose wasn't released to the public. It's not that I'd given up, per say. The dream of being a blogger was very much still alive, but I didn't have a clear direction. I realized this one day when I sat down to create a content calendar, or a game plan of the types of articles I'd be writing in the upcoming months. Planning is good, and planning is something I know how to do well, but as I was brainstorming my content, I realized that I was doing so the same way I would map out pitches for Elite Daily. I wasn't thinking of my blog in terms of a blog. I was viewing it as a business, as a job.
My original dream and hope for this platform was to have a place I could go to be creative and have fun, and if at some point in the future it were to become a profitable, cool. But I don't want to be researching SEO phrases, or obsessiong over how I rank on Google, or whether I have a million readers, or just a solid five.
Ergo, going into 2019, how I spend my time outside digital media, and how I hone in on my passions, has to be made a priority. I absolutely have goals and hopes for Always, Julia Rose, but my vision for this site has changed dramatically over the past few months. I've had time to think, to re-evaluate, and the conclusion is this: I'm going to write this blog for me, and I hope you'll read along.