This blogging thing is a funny thing. You start to read someone's blog and over time, you feel like you know that person. You know what his or her bedroom looks like, what her kids look like, what she did with her family on the weekend. You get to fall in love with her a little bit and start to believe that, if you ever met up for coffee, you'd chat like you've been friends forever. And you feel this way about someone who in actuality is sort of a stranger and someone you have very low probability of meeting in real life.
Those thoughts were running in my head yesterday when I went to see John and Sherry of Young House Love at their book tour stop in Toronto. If you don't know John and Sherry (where have you been??) they are probably the most popular DIY bloggers on the continent. I've known the Youngsters for years - we've been blogging about the same amount of time, have visited each other's blogs, and have corresponded over email - but really we are only virtual friends. So maybe they found it a little awkward when I gave Sherry a bear hug, and then John too...
... but they were kind enough not to flinch at the abundance of affection coming from this short Canadian :) John and Sherry were everything you'd expect them to be - affable, down to earth, and genuinely excited to be meeting all of their fans.
As a blogger who is also writing a book I thought it important to come out and support other bloggers turned authors. But I also thought it was cool to witness this important time in blogging. John and Sherry are amongst the very few bloggers who have managed to parlay their passions into full-time careers. They've managed to grow their blog and write a book, while raising a family and staying true to who they are.
I didn't expect to walk away further inspired by the intrepid twosome - but that's exactly what happened. If you've ever had a passion and wondered if you could make a modest income from something you are happily doing for free, or wondered if your hobby could lead to other opportunities you haven't even imagined - it can. The lineup of 400 people last night was full of people who are passionate about crafting, decorating, renovating, DIYing, blogging, and creating. Maybe there was the next Young House Love among them?
John and Sherry were a young couple with no DIY experience who decided to start a blog. And now they're on a North American tour with hundreds of fans waiting in long lines to get a signed copy of their book. That is awesome. I took away a copy of a book but also a new spark in my fire. Find your passion, believe in what you're doing, and do it well. Well done, John and Sherry.
I couldn't recap the event without mentioning these lovely ladies who made the time in line just fly by. Lisa, Janine, and Grace - I didn't realize waiting two hours could be so fun!
P.S. Go now and buy the Young House Love book. Its the perfect holiday gift for the DIYer in your life.