Well, hello Huffington Post readers. My name is Stacie; I am a photographer, filmmaker and writer. As I begin this blog, I am not technically a blogger. I wrote a blog for a few months and then I quit. I quit because I am weak and scared and I didn't like all of the trouble, drama and insecurities that my particular blog stirred up.
See, I didn't write about my favorite TV shows or share household tips for getting organized. I didn't post funny photos or gif's of cute kittens or share the latest viral YouTube sensation. I don't think I even once mentioned a Kardashian. I wrote about my life. And I wrote about it from a brutally honest, personal place.
I wrote about body image, and bad dates. I wrote about trying to figure out who I am now and about letting go of where I have been. I wrote about facing my demons and accepting and finding forgiveness. I wrote about loneliness and fear. I wrote a lot about mashed potatoes. God, I love mashed potatoes... I wrote about hope and inspiration and gratitude. I wrote about being an artist. I wrote the truth.
Some people connected with it, but like I said, I was honest. I was honest enough that a lot of people got pissed off, some people got hurt, a few walked away from me entirely. Eventually, I quit writing. I felt like I was in a dark place. It was as if I had shined a light so brightly on my flaws that they were all I saw anymore and in the process, I felt like I had alienated some people. So I quit blogging and I started focusing on the fact that I no longer had to live there. I started to muddle through life again and things got really good.
Fast-forward about four months. I got extra super pissed off with cheese at my cable provider one day and after three hours on the phone with no resolution, I sat down and wrote them a sarcastic letter filled with ridiculous puns, photos of cow punk rock legend Jason Ringenberg with live chickens and made references to digging my own eyes out with a spoon.
I posted it to my now very quiet blog site only to be able to add the link to it at the end of the letter for extra smart-ass impact. It wasn't actually a blog and it was never intended to be taken seriously as one. I admit it was funny, but I never expected what happened next.
Apparently, I hit a collective nerve and it went full tilt viral. My phone, iPad and computer blew up with notifications. It sounded like Las Vegas in here at one point with all the pings, dings, bonks, bloops, and whistles. They were coming in so fast and so frequently that I couldn't send text messages or answer the phone for all of the notifications jamming it up. At one point, it got so bad that my whole phone just crashed. Eventually, I had to take all of the social networking apps off of everything for a few weeks just to be able to get any work done.
When the dust settled, the post got over half a million hits and almost 700 comments. In the real thick of it, I was getting almost 500 emails per day and I fielded offers for all kinds of things I never imagined. TV shows were being bandied about, the invitation to join the Huffington Post's blogger community came in, news shows wanted to talk to me and people were asking me about lawyers and publicists and stylists. It was crazy. It was like I woke up one morning and was living in the middle of someone else's life. "Good morning Mrs. Paltrow, would you like your coffee black or with cream?"
Of all the offers, this HuffPost invitation was the most appealing, but I also really struggled with it. I was scared that I might fall back into depression, I was afraid that I would stir up another social hornets nest and if I'm honest, I was a little embarrassed and frustrated that the post that garnered all of the attention was never really a blog to begin with.
But then a few things happened that changed my mind. I started getting feedback on the older blogs. People started contacting me and telling me that they had been going through similar things, they shared their stories with me and they thanked me for writing. That wasn't always a good thing. There was one blog on body image where I posted some photos of myself in negligee. Nothing will give a 45-year-old lady the dry heaves quite like the idea of 7,000 people seeing you in your underwear.
Some people found my photography and contacted me about that. I had young photographers and filmmakers' reach out to me for advice. I had well established ones write and call me to tell me they loved my work.
The final decision came one night when I had a friend over who told me that he had once wanted to be a writer and that my whole experience had inspired him to take it up again. It wasn't something I knew about him and I was thrilled to hear it. The thing that made me happiest is that this particular friend is going through some major life changes himself. He recently told me that he wished he were less damaged. I loved his honesty, but I told him that he's not damaged; he's healing. There is a difference. I know, I've been there. That was what the whole damn blog was about in the first place.
And guess what? He inspired me too. Curve balls are part of the deal. Life changes in an instant. I never expected to go viral. I never expected that getting pissed off at my slow ass Internet would have me so tied up with blings, bloops, bonks and whistles that I would have to shut down my whole life for two weeks, but it happened and here I am.
So I'm going to start this blog back up. I won't lie; I'm scared to death. I'm scared of facing new demons, I'm scared of how many people I'm going to piss off and I'm scared I will fail and fall flat on my face. But I'm going to do this for my friend and for the others that wrote to me and called me and reached out to me. And last, but not least, I'm going to do this for myself.
You don't get the opportunity to look in the face of someone your actions impacted everyday. You don't get the chance to have hundreds of strangers be able to relate to you very often. When you get that chance, you don't just walk away because you are scared. Nope, you pull up your big girl panties and you get to writing.
Welcome to the blog.
Epiblog: A place for paying it forward and supporting artists, entrepreneurs and people who inspire me. I hope you find some inspiration here too.
This weeks epiblog is dedicated to Jen Edds. She was inspired by my Comcast blog to start a Suck-Free On-Hold Revolution! Go check her out here!
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