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When It Comes To Beauty Blogging (and life), Keep On Keeping On

By Sheila Arkee

Being a blogger can be somewhat of a lonely proposition. You do your work behind a computer and engage in a reality devoid from physical contact with the people you interact with on a regular basis.


If there’s one thing I recommend to anyone engaged in a virtual venture,  it’s to seek out and join online groups with people who are in your same boat. Knowing you’re not alone and there are others who understand you makes all the difference, because some times our “real life” friends and family have no idea what we’re talking about! I am a member of the Beauty Blog Coalition, a group of lovely bloggers who are my support system and have gotten me through many a crashed website and other back office blogging woes.

Lately we’ve been talking about Pinterest, and how this fairly new technology has made it easier than ever to make some of our early blog posts visible to the world. In many cases, these aren’t photos we’re particularly proud of and of course there are inevitable rude comments that follow. Many of my fellow beauty bloggers (self included) wish we could erase certain parts of the blog that reflect our inexperience, but keeping the not so shiny parts of our work is important in many ways.

For instance, what the WHAT was I thinking using a bamboo place mat or my kitchen table as a backdrop? My often dirty kitchen table, mind you?

Year 1:


And now:

Blogging has been keeping me sane for several years. In the beginning of Painted Ladies, I was sad. Very sad. And stressed. besides general life stress, at the time I was having hard times with my son Andre who had yet to be diagnosed with Autism. Frankly, it was so bad that nothing else I’ll ever deal with could possibly be that bad. And it showed in so many photos from year 1 and 2.
Then …
… and now.

Faith, trust, and time heal all wounds and today I am truly restored, renewed and appreciate the journey it took to get to this state. If you’re trying to start a project that seems like it will never get started? Keep on keeping on. If you’re overwhelmed, unsure, uncertain and plagued with doubt? Don’t listen to your fears and keep on keeping on.

In the coming years I would love to see Painted Ladies grow. It’s something I feel very strongly about, but at the same time it feels impossible. My doubts that I’m constantly shutting up? I’m all alone doing this. All those other successful bloggers have husbands/boyfriends/extended family  members and I just can’t do this alone.

You know what my answer is? Keep on keeping on! If you feel in your heart that what you’re doing is what you’re meant to be doing … Keep on keeping on!

And I promise you…. you’ll come out on the other side more than just fine. :)

  • Amber

    Sheila, this is a lovely post! You have such a big heart and that always comes thru in your posts. Thank you for the encouraging words! I’m sure it will be appreciated by many! <3 xoxo

  • Ginn Marie

    I know the feeling. I’ve been blogging for two years now, and have a small following (very small). Sometimes I feel like giving up. But it’s a hobby and I love it.

  • wendy larson

    I always liked the bamboo placemat 😉

  • marciaf

    Beautiful and heart warming post. Keep on keeping on – you’ve come a long way and I know you’ll continue to do so.

  • cindyprimebeauty

    Be proud of yourself–you’ve come a long way! I too am alone and am grateful I can fill me time with my “baby” my blog. Very inspiring post and I have no doubt Painted Ladies will continue to grow and be successful! Hugs!!

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com/ Sheila Arkee

    Thank you, Amber xoxoxxo

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com/ Sheila Arkee

    Keep on Ginn – and share the link to your blog, I’d love to read it!

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com/ Sheila Arkee

    😉 Thank you, Wendy – I remember it was the first thing I ditched when I moved a few years ago.

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com/ Sheila Arkee

    Thank you, Marcia, and thank you so much for being such a supportive blogging friend.

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com/ Sheila Arkee

    Thank you, Cindy! We are so lucky to have our babies and I truly enjoy reading yours. :)

  • http://www.stephanielouiseatb.blogspot.com Stephanie Louise Telford

    Fabulous! I love seeing your transitions & your new posts nearly every day! Thanks so much for sharing! Xo

  • Elizabeth

    I love this post, Sheila! I have always found your blog to be innovative, creative, beautiful, and inspiring. It is wonderful to see how, when we deal with difficult circumstances in life and feel like we have nothing more to give to the world, pushing ourselves through to accomplish a venture such as this provides us with strength and healing. I have had a very hard school year this year and have had some challenges with keeping my blog consistent. But, when I do write and publish posts (even when I have stacks of essays to grade!), it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. BRAVO to you and to Painted Ladies! You are an inspiration to so many of us. :)

  • kissmysparkle

    This is a wonderful blog post. I cringe when I look at my posts from 1-2 years ago. And I’m sure in a year, I’ll cringe when I see my current posts, but there’s always improvement, and it’s encouraging to see how much better I’ve gotten over time at photos, makeup, everything.

    Thank you for your honesty and encouraging reminders. XO

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    Go girl! And maybe it’s just my inexperience, and also the fact that I’ve spent many years working for big ad agencies, but I like the homegrown aspect and the supposed honesty of blogging. When it becomes too much like advertising, then I think the integrity is gone. Thanks for the encouragement and great ideas! (But how come BBC or was it another group for beginning bloggers to learn from established bloggers that I’ve applied to twice over the past year hasn’t even sent me an acknowledgement of my application?)

  • http://beautyinfinitum.blogspot.com eight

    Thanks for this. <3

  • Ginn Marie

    Aww thanks! Its called Siren Makeup (and heres the link- http://mommakeupmin.blogspot.com/). P.s I’m a loyal follower of you blog and your eye looks often are the inspiration for my own makeup!

  • amber raaf

    Sheila,you are one of the most dedicated bloggers out there! A face of the day, (or eye of the day in your earlier posts) almost every single day for over 3 years?? That is what I call keep on keeping on! I have been a long time follower of your blog,and it is a part of my daily reads.Your blog brings me so much inspiration and happiness :) Thank you for all you do.

    P.S Your posts about Andre are so inspiring and heartwarming.Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us.My brother is on the very severe end of the spectrum of autism and has never spoken a word, so seeing those little accomplishments that you share with us really touches my heart :)

  • ShannoninBC

    From a selfish point of view, I’m grateful that you’ve kept on keeping on because that means I’ve had this wonderful resource and a peek into another beauty fanatics life to make me feel a bit more “normal”. :) I appreciate the struggles, dedication, time and effort you’ve put in and I know I really should comment more to express that. I’ve always been more hesitant to comment on posts (everywhere, youtube, facebook, blogs, etc) as I’ve felt I didn’t have much to really add…but sometimes you bloggers need to see that someone is appreciating nonetheless. I especially like the effort you put into replying back and connecting with your readers…so thank you for the 3+ yrs that I’ve quietly lurked here with few comments.