August 25, 2009

A Bee's Life: The Swan Perspective

Hey everybody!

I am really enjoying this series, A Bee's Life, so I thought I would add my perspective.

Let me say that I have always loved all things wedding. I used to occasionally buy wedding magazines and watched quite a few wedding TV shows like “Who's Wedding Is It Anyway?”. This is years before meeting Mr. Swan. I didn’t know very much about wedding blogs, but I had already started reading niche blogs because of my other interests. My first real blog obsession was reading real estate blogs of all things (There's nothing like reading about condo developments. :)). Although my profile says something else, I began my career as a real estate lawyer, and in many ways I still like reading about who's building what, where and how (especially how much).

Well, when Mr. Swan and I started to get serious, I began wondering about whether there were wedding blogs out there too. One day, during some work procrastination, I googled “Brooklyn bride” and the now ubiquitous Brooklyn Bride popped up. Boy, was I hooked. Not only does Vane have a great sense of style, but it was also the pared down, modern style that really resonated with me (Plus, she was representin' for the BK!). Brooklyn Bride had a ton of links, and I started clicking on them to get a sense of other wedding blogs out there. I actually ignored Weddingbee for a long time because I didn't really get the title :) (Sorry, Mrs. Bee). Ofcourse I finally clicked on the link and then was completely hooked. That was the Fall of 2007, and so I have been reading/a part of this community for almost two years now. The one time I have had the fortunate chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Bee, Mr. Bee promptly told me that I am like a Weddingbee Encyclopedia since I can recall random Bee posts from years past. I guess my little knack comes from all of my time here as a lurker to community member to blogger. I've been here a LOOOONG time.

I started blogging because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and to keep my options open about serving as a Weddingbee blogger. I did a lot of research into things like Afrocentric wedding traditions and clothing and resources for Black brides not only to educate myself but also to blog about the these traditions and ideas since I couldn't really find very much out there.

As I have mentioned before I was pretty hesistant to apply to be a blogger. Unlike some of the other Bee bloggers, I actually blogged for over two months before applying. Why? Well while I loved the sense of community here at Weddingbee, I was often a little disappointed at the lack of Black/African American bloggers on the site. I actually even almost didn't apply at all after some comments that I had read on a post or two addressing this topic. Everyone has the right to their opinion on this subject, but I definitely questioned if Weddingbee was a place that I wanted to consult and spend time during my wedding planning process.

At the same time, I've always been someone who believes in making a path if one is not there. Since I didn't feel like I was finding what I wanted in the blog world, I created my own. Since I didn't see what I thought should be represented here on Weddingbee, I applied even though I'd be risking rejection. At the very least I could say that I had made an effort. I wish I had thought this way about so many other things in life. I guess it's the wisdom that comes with age :)

I didn't hear about my application for a really long time, so I actually thought I didn't get picked! Out of sheer curiosity, I e-mailed Pengy and got a nice e-mail back assuring me that my application was still under review. A few days later, I was sitting down to one of those 3pm lunches that happen occasionally (and having an awful day), when I checked my e-mail and a found my welcome from Pengy. Talk about lifting my spirits!! Three weeks later I popped on the scene.

Blogging earlier this year could border on exhausting for me due to my work and travel schedule. Often I would troop back to my hotel room and decompress by blogging. That also meant some late nights since I would sometimes not get to start a blog post until after 10pm! Also thank goodness for free Wi-Fi in hotel rooms, or blogging would have also become an added expense. I don't think my co-workers ever realized that I was bringing my laptop to not only do wedding planning but also to BLOG about my wedding planning. I had to fit in blogging at odd times in odd places.

I didn't realize how much I would love blogging. It's really become an outlet and in a way that I didn't think it would. I have always enjoyed writing and crafting a good sentence, but I didn't realize that I could feel a sense of contentment from writing the way I have with other things like dance. I know that I love to do something when I don't need a deadline or a prompt to do it. Sometimes I feel like I NEED to blog. It's been nice to find a new hobby. I'm even in the process of figuring out what I'd like to blog about next.

I think many of the other Bee bloggers have suggested great ideas about what makes a good Wedding bee application/blogger. The advice to be yourself is key. I think the power of being a good blogger is letting your personality shine through a computer screen. What I have also found to be most important is to innovate and find a voice, perspective or topic that not that many people write about. It will make you stand out, and readers will come back for more.

Again, it's been great to be a part of this community and to have the privelege to write for and learn from all of you!

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