This post is sponsored by Squarespace.
A little over a month ago I officially marked six years of blogging, which seems absolutely crazy to me. Awesome, and crazy.
I’ve talked about Modern Mrs Darcy’s origin story on other people’s podcasts before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever talked about it here on the blog.
Here’s the story of how reading became my job. Will and I were at our dining room table late one night, right around New Year’s Eve. The kids were in bed; we were drinking wine and eating take-out sushi. (Six year ago this is how we had so many great conversations! It’s funny how six years later, we can barely stay awake longer than our kids.)
We were having the kind of talk we love to have at year end: we were looking back at the year behind us, and thinking out loud about what we hoped for in the year to come.
Will had done some blogging in 2010; I was encouraging him to keep it up in 2011. Halfway through that conversation, he stopped me, and said, “Do you know who I think should start a blog?”
“No,” I said, genuinely curious. “Who?”
He said you, and I said you’re crazy. I mean, I barely even read any blogs back then.
But ten minutes later he’d convinced me it would be a fun little project. We immediately started making lists of topics, categories, potential posts. A few days later, I came up with the name. And not quite two months later, I published the first post.
I never would have believed you if you’d told me, that night around the dining room table, that starting a blog would be one of the most fun and rewarding things I would ever do.
The writing itself has been so valuable, for me personally. Having a blog kept me accountable to keep writing in a way my written journals never did. I’ve met tons of amazing people and formed incredible friendships, some of them right here in my town.
And the blog has opened the door to all kinds of interesting opportunities and projects that don’t necessarily have anything to do with blogging, but wouldn’t have happened without the blog: the podcast! The Book Club! Actually writing books!
All that has been tons of fun (and, don’t get me wrong, a ton of work) but my favorite part is what they all have in common: books, reading, and an air of possibility. It’s a cool job, and I’m grateful for it. (I mean, any job that counts “walking to the library with your dog” as a legitimate workday task is by definition cool, right?)
Reading for a living is pretty great. It’s not without it’s downsides, but if you ever you catch me complaining, give me a good shake, okay?
I’m also grateful for the tools that make all this possible.
So much has changed since I started six years ago. Back when I started in 2011, blogging was the thing I did. It was the thing a lot of people did—the starting point for all their online creative endeavors.
That’s not true anymore. Blogging is just one of many things I do these days, and that’s true for a lot of people. You don’t need a blog for people to find you anymore, but you do need a way for people to find you. That’s why when Squarespace asked if I would like to build a new site on one of their beautiful, easy-to-use templates, I knew exactly what I wanted to make: a landing page that could serve as my personal hub online, that would simply and easily direct readers to all my projects.
Squarespace is a creative tools company that helps you build website, blogs, and stores, making great design accessible to everyone. They do it all—from domains to websites to online stores—offering a full range of products to meet the needs of their increasingly diverse users. Squarespace helps anyone build a beautiful home online, even if you—like me—don’t have design skills.
When I first started blogging, I had to learn so many different tools and platforms. With Squarespace, you don’t have to. It’s an all-in-one platform that removes all of the headaches of installing software, applying security patches, and worrying about bandwidth or storage limitations. All you have to do is upload your content, customize your design, and you’re ready to go.
I’ve gotta warn you: scrolling through Squarespace’s beautiful ready-to-go templates made me want to start twenty new sites, not just one. They’re so well done, and I love the striking way their designs really “pop.” By blending elegant design and sophisticated engineering, Squarespace empowers millions of people — from individuals and local artists to entrepreneurs shaping the world’s most iconic businesses — to share their stories with the world, without having to deal with technology hassles.
And unlike many of their competitors, Squarespace has an award-winning customer care team that serves customers 24/7 via email and live chat, so if you get stuck, you’re not left alone to figure it out, nor do you have to pay a professional big bucks. That support comes with your Squarespace plan.
Over the past six years, it’s been an adjustment for me to start thinking about what I do as a business, but now I absolutely do. And with Squarespace, I’m not alone in that: aboaut 70% of Squarespace’s customers are small businesses like mine with an eye for design. Squarespace offers the things that small businesses need, like eCommerce, SEO, social media integrations, analytics, domains, Google Apps, and a form builder to collect customer data—all the things that make it easy to grow your business.
My own presence on the web has changed so much in the past six years, even though the big ideas have remained remarkable stable. I’m grateful for tools that give me the flexibility to change, and a new landing page that lets anyone who wants to know find everything I’m up to.
Ready to start your own blog? I recommend Squarespace. The first 50 readers who use offer code MRSDARCY will receive 10% off their first website or domains purchase.