It’s my THIRD blogiversary!

So, remember a gazillion years ago when I hinted that I had some grand plan that I wasn’t ready to reveal yet?

Guess what. It’s time.

Nope, still not pregnant. I am, however, still a proud mother because it’s this little blog’s THIRD birthday!!

cupcake with three candles

Crazy, huh? I vividly remember writing my first post (about hating winter). I was bored and had been thinking about a recent magazine class I had taken the semester before where the professor basically told us that if we don’t have a blog, we’ll never get hired.

A bit of an exaggeration (on his part), but even so, it seemed to me that having unedited writing samples on hand (as well as keeping my wordsmithing skills sharp) wasn’t a terrible idea.

So with minor trepidation, I created an account on WordPress.

I can’t tell you why I picked WordPress. I had heard it was super simple. I think I googled “blogs” and it came up. Scientific, I know.

Back then, my header looked like this:

Get it? Because I planned to move to New York some day. (Ohhh 21-year-old self…)

I CAN tell you that I was TERRIFIED to push the “publish” button? Terrified.

I mean, in my rational mind, I knew probably no one would see it. I had no intention of telling anyone about the blog, and it wasn’t like with a single post I would become a must-read. But still. I was putting my writing out there. And that used to terrify me.

Side note: I actually JUST realized that this DOESN’T terrify me anymore. I mean, when it’s for more professional settings, I still get a little jumpy, but I used to belabor turning in manuscripts like I was actually opening a vein. Now, I’m a bit more whatev about the whole thing. (That’s a joke some of you will get. Sorry…no more weird inside jokes.)

Anyway, the point is, I was skerred. I finally just did it though, telling myself it didn’t matter anyway because no one would ever have to know the blog even existed!!!

After I got a few posts under my belt, I became a bit addicted to it. Seriously. I started thinking about things that happened to me in terms of how it would be written in a blog post. I’m really glad no one can read my thoughts (that I know of…?), because I would have sounded really self-possessed. I swear I’m not. I’m just a blogger.

Things changed a bit the day I added the link to my blog to my Facebook page. That was even more difficult that simply starting the blog. I was petrified. What if everyone hated it? What if they thought I was stupid? What if I not only never got a job, I never got a boyfriend, never had friends, and my family disowned me for being a sub-par writer?

Around that time, my header looked like this:

New York is still there, but now I’m a bit more diversified.

In the end, I finally just put the darn link on my profile, telling myself, “You WANT people to read your stuff, right? Then they have to know where to find it!”

The fact that my readership lept about, oh, 20 people should have calmed my fears, but the fact that people were reading at all was still kind of thrilling. (Total disclosure: It still is.)

My next big header change? This:

Clearly I’d begun being drawn by mint-y blue/green hues. How do I know? Because this was the next header:

Anyway, the point of that minor history lesson is that for my third blogiversary, I decided to do something kind of crazy: I’m going to pursue turning this little blog into a business.

Eek. Kind of weird to put it out there like that. I mean, I know I could fail miserably at this. But I still think it will be kind of fun to try.

How am I going about this? First, I’m adding sponsors! They are all super cool people with businesses that I really admire, so definitely check them out in the right-hand column or on the new Sponsors page. If you’re reading this on your phone or Google Reader and can’t see what I’m talking about, fear not. Once a month I’ll be posting a little shout-out to those cool people, and occasionally they’ll be sponsoring giveaways on the blog, too.

I know! Giveaways! Just like a real, grown-up blog.

So anyway. I don’t really know what I expect to happen from this. We all know that I’m only doing this to pursue my dream of working at home so I can finally get a puppy. Y’all should know by now that “so I can have a puppy” is my main motivation for most things in life. This is not something I have kept from you. I guess we’ll see how it all works out.

To my lovely sponsors, thank you. You’re awesome. (And if YOU want to be one of those lovely people, email me at justine[dot]lorelle[at]gmail[dot]com!)

And thank you to you. Yes, YOU. No, not him. YOU. You are my lovely reader, and I am beyond grateful to those of you who tell your friends about my blog, subscribe, or even just check in now and then. You rock AND roll, and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.

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