Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Bee's Life - Magic Style

How did I find Weddingbee?

I don't remember. I'm telling you, my memory is total crap. I know I found it after I was already engaged. I'm not sure how I didn't find it sooner because I sure as heck was Googling wedding related things for years before that.

I think what had happened was, I was searching for something wedding related online, and the majority of searches came up with Wedddingbee results, because let's face it, us bees are some creative and awesome brides. At first I was like, "What the heck is a Miss Cheeseburger?" In fact, I think I decided this site was for wackos (sorry!) and vowed to stay away. But Google kept punting me back here and I was quickly hooked.

I loved both the blogs and the boards and read and posted a lot on both. And I knew right away I wanted to be a Bee, so freaking bad....

My Application Story

What's a Blog?
Once I realized that people actually blogged about their weddings, and then figured out what a blog was (I'm technologically impaired), I got myself one faster than you can say "Accio Blog." I had always enjoyed writing fictional stories as well as personal pieces, and had started writing before about my life in general, but it always petered out because I didn't have a focus.

This wedding blog served a couple of purposes for me. One, it gave me an outlet for talking about my wedding plans, fears, and freakouts without subjecting actual living humans to listen to me. Did you know that not everyone likes to listen to me talk about wedding stuff? I know...crazy, but true. So this was good for me, and for them. Two, it got me writing again, which has been really fun and rewarding for me. I needed a hobby other than reading the Harry Potter series on a loop, over and over again.

Blogging with Intent
So, I started my blog for the purposes listed above but I always had the intent on planning to be a Bee. I'm somewhat competitive, I guess, and I just wanted to be a Bee so FREAKING BAD. We got engaged in December 2009 and I started my blog in March 2010. I looked at the Weddingbee applications and got a sense from the other blogging bees what a "good blogger" was.

I realized that it's important to post regularly (about three times a week). It's important to engage the reader, by asking a question or otherwise soliciting comments at the end of a blog post. Use photos and source them properly. And it's important to have a "voice," whatever that is. So I tried to do all those things.

I read some of the A Bee's Life series and freaked out about the application process. Someone said they had a nine page application, and that some applicants made powerpoints and slide shows! I was like "Whoa, these girls are crazy...ok, what can I do?" Again, I'm technologically impaired, so I just made my application as humorous as possible, and when asked why I wanted to be a Bee, I wrote a song to the tune of "I Wanna Be a Billionaire (So Freaking Bad)." Here's a snippet:

I wanna be a bee-ee-eeeee
so freakin’ bad
Blog about the wedding plans I have
I wanna be on the cover of
Brides magazine
Smilin’ next to Pengy and Mrs. Bee

Oh every time I close my eyes
I see my name on weddingbee’s site, yeahhhhhh
My cute lil avatar tears up my eyes
I swear, the blog world best prepare
When I’m a bee up there

I have no idea if this made me lame or awesome in Pengy's eyes, but she put my app through to be voted on. ( it probably wasn't this song that was the deciding factor....)

And then I got the email that I was going to be a Carnival Bee and I FREAKED OUT and lost a bunch of sleep over whether I should be Miss Magic or Miss Sparkler. #firstworldproblems

What It's Like Being a Bee

The Pressure
OK, so I used to think it was ridiculous when bees would talk about how blogging is such a responsibility. "You already had a blog before you became a bee," I thought. "Now, you're just supposed to keep blogging like you've been doing. What's your damage?" Now that I'm on the other side, and especially now that I am much closer to our wedding (77 days!), I get it.

I immediately felt a lot of self-doubt and pressure when I first got accepted. Of course, this was all self-imposed. No one said "Magic, you suck, you're the worst bee ever," but I'm not gonna lie, I was a tiny bit scared it would happen! I felt pressure to write often, to be a DIY goddess, and to churn out a beautiful wedding...which I wanted to do anyway, but before I didn't have all you people reading about it!

Yeah, obviously, I wanted to be a bee to have more readers and comments and stuff, but I didn't anticipate the (totally self-imposed and possibly paranoid) pressure. If you just have your own blog and sink into a funk and don't feel like writing for a few weeks, or just aren't feeling inspired to write, it's no biggie. But being a WB blogger made me feel like I should write more, and write awesomely, even when I wasn't feeling inspired or was too busy with work / life / laundry.

I put a lot more energy into my posts now than when I did before. As a result, I am on the Boards way, way less...I was a pretty active Boards user before I became a WB blogger. Honestly, I can't even keep up with my fellow bloggers' posts lately...that stupid laundry gets in the way of everything!

The Perks

But...being a bee is awesome. I love having more than five people read my blog and comment on it. I love sharing my story, and hope that it's helpful, or at least entertaining. I enjoy reading comments and getting feedback, which I definitely take to heart. And I love, most of all, the sense of camaraderie between everyone here on Weddingbee. This is such a wonderfully positive online community, and it really makes me feel happy and special and all warm and fuzzy to be a part of it.

Advice for Potential Applicants

First and foremost, write well. If you're not a natural writer, be willing to write, edit, and rewrite.

Be yourself. If you aren't DIY girl, no biggie. If you're getting married in an ice castle, swell. Be yourself fully, and if yourself happens to be a little unique, that'd be cool, too. I totally was hoping being in my 30s would get me bonus points for uniqueness, but then Sloth and Lox came along before me. I don't think uniqueness boosts you up to the top (especially if you're writing is not good), but it definitely doesn't hurt!

Blog for as long as possible before you apply. That way, Pengy and everyone else gets a good snapshot of how you write, and you get a lot of practice in fine tuning your style. Blog three times a week, ask questions to your readers, include photos (your own and others) and source photos properly.

Apply as early as possible, so if you get rejected you can work on your writing and reapply.

Have fun with it! Good luck!

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