When I was in third grade, I started a club called Magazine Makers.
My friends and I used to gather in the back of the classroom during movies, hold meetings, and make tiny magazines for our stuff animals.
Looking back, it’s easy to see why I grew up to be a professional blogger, website developer, and community builder. Even at ten, I was obsessed with creating content, organizing ideas, and connecting people (or stuffed animals).
Yes, I know it is hard to believe the girl in that photo could have been into nerdy things like paper and leading club meetings while enchanting Disney movies were playing in the background.
But my passion for creating was as strong then as it is today.
In 2010, I started my first significant blog (there were many other “blogs” before this that flopped and failed after I wrote a few posts) when I launched Dive In Tampa Bay.
I started Dive In out of a bit of desperation.
After graduating with a B.A. in Writing from the University of Tampa in 2007, I entered the job market just as print publications around the country began to fold and the economy took a turn for the worst.
I couldn’t find a writing job or gig anywhere, even after literally banging on the doors of every print publication in Tampa.
Then I found a job!
…. as a legal secretary.
I wasn’t creating. I wasn’t writing. And I certainly wasn’t serving that aching passion to build.
So, I decided to do something about it.
Not know much about blogging or online writing, I set up a Godaddy account and attempted to build my first blog. I figured if no one would hire me to write for them, I’d write for myself.
And it was pretty much a disaster.
I had no idea how to set up a website. I didn’t even know about WordPress. And Godaddy eventually called me to basically say, “Ma’am, what are you doing?”
But I researched. I practiced. I learned a ton.
And eventually Dive In became a blog getting a little bit of notoriety around the Tampa area.
Dive In definitely didn’t bring in much money for me (I had no idea what the word “monetize” even meant back then).
But it did provide me with an outlet for creation and more importantly, helped me land my first real job in marketing and writing.
In 2011, I joined an online content development company called CopyPress as their Community Trainer and Manager, responsible for hiring, training, and managing their large group of freelance writers.
The job was made for me. It allowed me to build a community, create a ton of content, and work with other creatives. It was everything I wanted since back when I was pushing my friends to keep Magazine Makers alive.
My experience at CopyPress taught me so much about blogging, online marketing, freelancing, and business.
In fact, it made me fall in love with all of those things.
So after three years, I decided to set out and build a space where I could explore all of those things on my own, and I launched Simply Stated Media.
Simply Stated helps small businesses and individuals build and grow their online platforms. Through content creation, website development, online business management, social media, and local SEO services, we help people launch and manage their new businesses, blogs, and projects.
But even though I love it, providing those services just didn’t feel like it was enough.
So not long after, I created a supplement to Simply Stated — the Simply Stated Workshop, a resource that helps budding builders learn how to create websites and businesses on their own.
Now, I work for myself, help others do the same, and love every minute of it.
And all of that lead to me here, to restarting this blog.
I am obviously a little obsessed with building things and creating freedom in my life. And the only thing I enjoy just as much is helping others do the same.
So now in addition to my service work at Simply Stated, I have this new outlet — The Independent Project.
Even through all of my years building, I had never built something that was really from my voice, my heart, and my perspective, until now. This blog is finally my place to share my authentic voice on something I care a lot about — finding independence in life and work.
On this blog, I’ll be sharing resources, advice, stories, and ideas that promote living a life where you can be more free, unique, and self-sufficient. I’ll explore topics that promote independence in life and work through:
- Acceptance (Of Yourself and Others)
- Hard Work
- Sharing (Both Your Talents and Your Compassion with the World)
I finally found what I believe to be my place in the blogging world, and I hope you will enjoy me for the ride by following along. I’ll be posting on here regularly so sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of my new posts.
And if there is ever any way that I can help you find more independence in work and life — by helping you build a website, start a freelance business, build a community, or just keep going in the right direction — let me know!
Where You May Have Seen My Writing
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