I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while before I actually got started. I would read countless blogs a day and think, “wouldn’t it be great to start my own blog?” But my vision never really progressed past that point. Part of me was nervous about not having enough interesting content to share and the other part was hesitant about sharing my entire life with strangers on the Internet. I think it was actually the latter part that held me back the most (remember, I didn’t even have a presence on Facebook when I started blogging).
Then, one Valentine’s Day evening, when everyone else in the civilized world was out to dinner or enjoying sweet treats, Living in Steil was born. My first post wasn’t anything particularly noteworthy, but I soon found myself writing a long review of Stila’s Stay All Day long-wear makeup, which was my obsession at the time.
After publishing my first post, I waited…and waited. Then, I began feverishly checking my WordPress stats like a mad woman, as though the mere act of hanging out a shingle in the saturated blogging world somehow made me unique.
Once the high of publishing my first post wore off, there was a lull. I hadn’t planned out what my style, tone, or even goals were for the blog. I knew I would eventually share my story as a cancer survivor—but wasn’t sure when or how. My diagnosis was less than a year prior to launching this site and my emotions were still raw…many, unprocessed.
So, here we are, five years later. I’m proud that I have been able to share my story and be a resource for other newly diagnosed patients. And I’m also happy that this site has brought so much joy into my life, which has made the highs and lows that come with blogging easier to endure. But, overall, I am grateful to have this space as a creative outlet and to able to connect with so many other amazing bloggers, entrepreneurs, and cancer survivors. If I had let fear dictate my decision, I likely would have never put myself out into the world in such a public way. Yet, deciding to start a blog has been one of the best decisions of my life. While I’ve had to alter my posting schedule due other commitments from time-to-time, I take solace in knowing that I always have this space to return to. It has been able to motivate me when I have felt unfulfilled and has pushed me in new directions I had never dreamed of before.
I know I have said it a million times, but everyone who reads and comments on my site has been a huge part of what has made blogging such a rewarding experience. I appreciate that you have allowed me to take you on my wellness journey and am in awe of the support you have all shown me before my tests and scans. Being able to engage with my audience through my site and social media has led to some incredible professional opportunities and friendships that I otherwise would not have had.
I hope that over this next year, I am able to bring exciting and fresh content to Living in Steil and continue to serve as a resource and inspiration by sharing my life on this site.
Susan Schwenzfeger says
You’ve come a long way. Keep going 💕🌈
Vanessa Steil says
Thanks for all of your support over the years, Sue!
Kathrine Eldridge says
Happy Blog Anniversary Vanessa! So glad you are sharing your life with the rest of us. XO
Vanessa Steil says
Thank you, Kathrine! I’m so appreciative of all of your support over the last few years.