A Note, Six Months In
A couple years ago, when I was a junior at DePauw, one of my friends was visiting campus. She was also a creative writing major, and after living with her parents and blogging for a year after graduation, she had been hired as a writer for BarkBox. Being a junior who was starting to wonder what I would do after graduation, I asked her how I would make myself a good candidate for a similar position.
"Well, you have to have a blog."
"I do." I had a Tumblr titled My Hipster Sisters that documented the fashion trends of my sorority sisters when the hipster movement was becoming a thing. It wasn't much, but I had a hundred followers and I was pretty proud of the photography I was creating for it.
"No, I mean a real blog. That people actually follow."
That was all the advice she had to offer to her friend. As I'm sure you can guess, that friendship ended a couple years later in 2015, but I let My Hipster Sisters die almost immediately after that conversation.
People talk a lot about bad relationships between men and women, but I've had worse experiences with women being cruel than men. To this day, I don't understand why she couldn't have been more helpful or encouraging. Writing, especially writing for a blog is not a competition that can be won by one person.
Photos from the My Hipster Sisters graveyard.
I was afraid of starting a blog or putting my thoughts and my knowledge online for four years, because I thought no one cared. A hundred people had cared enough to follow my Tumblr, and that hadn't been enough in 2012. I have a hard time telling a story at a dinner party with six people. I thought there was no way anyone would want to read what I had to say.
But in 2016, Ries said we should start a blog, and I'm known to be a sucker for the guy, so I said yes. It would be a way to document what we were doing, because at that point we were moving every nine months, we were exhausted, and it was difficult to keep our family in the loop in regards to questions like "Wait, you moved again?" and "What are you doing now?" We posted irregularly, with long sprawling posts packed with our thoughts or pictures from Disney trips, but Intercoastals never quite got the attention we wanted to give it.
When I quit my job to pursue my web development certification, one of my six month goals (October to March) was to relaunch the website and to post three times a week.
Since October, we have published 78 articles in 26 weeks, averaging at 2.9 articles a week. We have 654 unique visitors come to our site from 33 states and twenty countries.
That traffic isn't a big deal for most sites, but I'm writing this article because if you're reading, I want to thank you and let you know: it's a big deal to us.
I don't know why writing these posts feels important, but it does. It always has. I'm writing this post in bed on my phone while Gus sleeps on my chest (he's really getting too heavy for this) and I can't tell you how many times I have done the same before. Because I felt like I had something in my head that needed to be communicated to someone. Having this space and readers like you has given me permission to share my thoughts and experiences, after years of feeling small and stupid after my experience being humiliated and criticized by someone I admired.
If you're reading, thank you for supporting us, and reading what we scrap together on our phones or computers between classes or programming or things we get away with doing while Gus watches Big Hero 6 on the iPad. It means a lot to be able to share our lives with you.
-A & R
All images in this article were photographed by Amanda using a Sony Alpha 850.