Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Bees Life: Barn Edition

Hive before I get started with my wedding recaps I wanted to tackle a post that was so incredibly helpful to me when I wanted to become a Bee. 
On Blogging
I have never blogged before I started here at Weddingbee, imagine that?! I think we can all agree that's pretty clear. I am sure that I have made a few professional writers cringe. I know I am not the strongest writer nor the best blogger and I am A-OK with that. It's who I am. Despite not being the best I really enjoy doing it and have considered keeping up a family blog afterwards to keep my family in the loop with things going on just the next state over. 

How I Found Weddingbee
Wasting time over my lunch hour.

Photo via Imgarcade

I found Weddingbee via the classified section first. I was checking something out and then eventually moved over to the boards and fell head first into the craziness. Here were all these people experiencing the same feelings as me. I wasn't alone and spent a lot of time reading what other people had to say and any and all advice they could give. I finally found the blog after a few weeks and at first I just didn't get it. A bunch of people calling themselves funny names. That is until I read a few posts. After that I was instantly hooked and devoured any and all posts that I could. I went back and read some of the archives and it only solidified my guilty pleasure. I immediately became enamored with how real these women were and I knew I just HAD to be one of them. 

The Application Process

I saw A Bees Life from Mrs. Panda and immediately went to writing my application and blog. I wrote the recommended posts, submitted my application and hoped for the best. I continued writing though because I decided that no matter what, I was going to document this amazing experience (wishful thinking). Sadly a week later I received a message that I had been rejected. Go figure! Afterwards I became immediately discouraged, stopped writing completely and forgot all about Weddingbee. Well I tried to....

I told Mr. Farmer what I had been doing and he was the one who encouraged me to try it again. I reached out to a select few bloggers who gave some of the most incredible advice and encouragement. I revamped my blog and sent my application again. I waited and waited half expecting another rejection email. Thankfully the Bees are so amazing and a special little bee let me know that she had taken a look at my blog and that I shouldn't be so worried - things were looking good. A day later I received my email that I was accepted! 
Why Mrs. Barn?

Pretty simple really, because Milk Cow was already taken. As soon as the Farm generation was announced I was even more excited to be a part of the community, I mean it's perfect. We live on a farm and Mr. Farmer is a farmer. I knew that Milk Cow was the one I had my heart set on (Wisconsin pride) but sadly after I was rejected I had to wait the 4 weeks in order to reapply and the moniker was selected before I got a chance to resubmit. I saw the Barn and since my name starts with a "B" my new last name begins with a "B" and Mr. Farmer and I constantly say Team B, I knew it was perfect. The barn reminds me of us and our home.  

Photo personal - One of the many Barns the Barns own
Being a Bee Blogger

Being a Bee is absolutely incredible! I have formed friendships that have extended beyond a website about Weddings. The entire community is full of wonderful people all who just want to help. It hasn't always been the easiest for me because well, I am NOT the greatest writer. My wedding wasn't the prettiest, it wasn't the most original, it wasn't very inspired and therefore kind of hard to write about. I've actually been putting it off. So why even bother becoming a blogger for a blog about weddings? 

Because my wedding and my journey was real. I am a real person with real faults and real feelings and that's why I wanted to blog for Weddingbee. My wedding was real, not some staged photo shoot. Every success and every failure. It was real. Not every wedding needs to be the O-M-G most perfect day ever. Granted I gave it my best shot, which I failed at quite frequently, but I became a Bee because I wanted to show people that it's OK to have what you want and that it's OK to not be the most original. Your wedding is yours, and therefore should be what YOU want it to be. If you want every trendy thing out there, go for it. My wedding was more than just one day full of pretty things or my attempt at original ideas. It really was about joining together as a family and the love for each other. You will see that as I begin my recaps I assure you. 

There were times that being a Bee was really difficult. It's hard to put yourself out there and keep writing. People can be so insanely cruel and love to poke fun at those who actually put themselves out there. I can't tell you how many times people have written/said awful things to/about me. Most of the time I had to hear about it from other people, which only made it worse, but those few messages sent directly to me? Mortifying. I knew that I was taking a risk by putting my story out there for all to see but if it helped even just one person, then it was a success and to those who mocked, oh well. Say what you will. It's not like I don't already know. 

The Bee community is one that I will forever be indebted too. It goes far deeper than I ever imagined and I am so thankful that I was selected to be one of the Bees whose journey gets featured. The bond I have formed with this group of people is pretty incredible and that right there negates any of the brief negativity that I experienced. 
Advice for Applicants

1. Be you. I know it's a lot easier said than done. I am not naturally a writer, as you can clearly tell. I was told "find your voice". Oh okay because I know what my voice sounds like. Riiiiiiiggghhhhttt. It took a while but once I started writing it clicked. It just made sense to me and I totally understood what all the Bees were talking about. I try to write like I am having a conversation with someone or like I am writing an email (to a friend of course).

2. Have a point. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I received was to have a reason for your post. Why is far more interesting than what you did. The what is better left to the recap posts after you have already shared the why. I try to have a point for every post that goes up. Why did I want to write that post? Why did I make that decision? If the answer was simply because "that's what I did" then that particular post wouldn't go live and I would go through and re-edit it until I had a point.

3. Pictures, pictures, pictures. It's hard to look at a blog post if it's all just text. I like the visual effect pictures have and I try to use them to help breakup all the paragraphs. I never allow a post to go up without a picture, even if it's a silly photo of myself! Or a Princess Jasmine cat riding a magic carpet.....

Image via Buzzfeed - YouTube

4. Just write.  Sometimes it is as simple as writing a few thoughts and then letting it sit for a day or two and coming back to it. Once I did that, I could adjust, reword and rework the whole post. It was a lot easier to edit something knowing that I already started a post, and honestly it was a lot easier to do #1 once I already had some content.

5. Have fun. This is an incredible experience in your life. I have really enjoyed every high and low that I have felt along the way. I tried to put as much emotion into my posts as I could but for the most part I was just having fun. Enjoy it all.

If you are thinking about becoming a Bee I would highly encourage you to just do it. If I can do it, you sure can! For anyone who is considering it, I would more than happily take a peek at your blog.

Good luck! I promise recaps next!

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