Blogging: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Happy Monday to our favorite readers! Tomorrow is DIY Playbook’s official 1st birthday, so we’re devoting this entire week of posts to chat all about the blog.  DIY Playbook is a huuuuge part of both of our lives, and many people ask us questions about what it’s really like to be a blogger or what really goes on behind-the-scenes. So today we thought it might be fun to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of our first year of blogging.

The Good

Our Fabulous Readers: If you can’t tell already, we heart our readers and are so grateful for the endless love and support. The emails, messages, comments, recreated projects, and general support continues to be the all-time best part of this blog. We love seeing people recreate our projects and send us a picture, because heck, that’s why we do this whole thing. We love to inspire others to tackle their DIY fears and create something they can be proud of within their homes. So if you stop reading this post now…. know that NONE of this would be possible without YOU! We are forever grateful to you, thank you for tuning in each and everyday and giving us a reason to keep on keepin’ on!

Taking blog photographs

Becoming a real small business: Yup, over the past year… DIY Playbook has grown into a small business making these two DIY rookies, rookie small business owners as well. If someone would have told us ten years ago that we would own a business… especially one together… we would have never believed them. Fast forward a few years, degrees, jobs, boyfriends, moves, and here we are, doing our best to grow this small business the best that we know how. But don’t be too impressed by this accomplishment, if we were living on the paychecks we get from DIY Playbook, we’d be living in our parents’ basements with a hot glue gun and a bag of chips we stole from their pantry.

Casey Bridget Photo Booth

Bonding with your BFF: If nothing else, this blog has brought us wayyy closer together than we ever could have imagined. On average, we chat, text, or email…. several times a day (our +1’s will have something to say about that this Friday when they take over the blog, I’m sure). We can probably count on one hand the amount of days we weren’t in contact with one another last year. We are so fortunate to have each other on this journey and couldn’t imagine tackling the blog alone. It’s crazy to think that not only are we best friends, but we’re small business owners… together.

We’ve been through some interesting, frustrating, mysterious, adventurous, exciting, scary, intimidating, nerve-racking, amazing, funny, and priceless situations this year and it’s sometimes hard to fully explain to other loved ones in our lives what exactly is going on with the blog. We’re so blessed to have each other because we always have someone who completely understands and has been through the same exact thing. At the end of the day, we love the blog & are so grateful for the opportunities it has offered, but it’s our friendship that is the most important part of this journey and the part we will always keep as our first priority.

DIY Playbook Bloggers


The Bad

Less Time for our +1’s: The fact of the matter is…blogging takes up a large chunk of our free time. Time that we could be spending with our oh-so-handsome significant others. Even when we’re not officially “blogging”, we’re on our Instagram account, or we’re shopping for a new project, or we’re on the phone chatting away with one another. There have been plenty of nights when we want to have a romantic night in with our guy, but we lose track of time on that dang computer. Lucky for us, our boys are incredibly supportive and understanding. Yes, they do get frustrated with us every now and again, but they’re without a doubt the DIY Playbook’s #1 fans. Blogging will always take time away from them, but we’re both actively trying to be better about unplugging for love.
gold happy mug
Hurtful Comments: We totally understand if you don’t share the same style or taste as we do. Or perhaps one day you’re not as head over heels in love with a craft we post. We completely understand that, and we don’t expect every single review or comment to be all sunshine and rainbows. But comments that are strictly personal attacks on either of us are another story.
One of the big things we’ve learned from the blog is “haters gonna hate.” We’ve been fortunate enough to slide by this year without too many rude comments or nasty emails. They’re few and far between. However, it has definitely happened. In fact, we had one person in particular who straight up harassed us for several months. She did so all believing she was anonymous, but the funny thing is you’re never anonymous on the internet. We can see what town you’re from, what your IP address is, and we figured out exactly who it was (someone we both know in real life.) Once we figured it out, we wanted to call her up and give it right back to her. Just let all of our anger fly and make her feel the way all of her comments made us feel. Silly, embarrassed, hurt, confused. Instead we took a breath, dug deep inside ourselves, and found empathy for this person.  Here she was taking the time out of her day to come up with long, hateful comments to us. She didn’t have a problem with us…she had a problem with herself. She was misplacing her anger and her hurt on the wrong source. After dozens of rude comments, they finally stopped. We hope that is a sign that she is in a better, happier place. This experience of trying to grow a thicker skin can be chalked up in the BAD column, but in the end, we learned a lot & walked away stronger and motivated to take the high road.

The Ugly

Excuse the Mess: You guys typically only see good, clean, photographs of our pristine homes. But when you’re knee-deep in a project there is a heck of a big mess surrounding us. For example, with this picture you only see the nice bright area surrounding our project. But if we back up a bit and give you a wider glimpse into what is REALLY happening…you’ll notice that everything around that “perfect photo” is a great big mess.
Many of these projects are messy, and if we’re working on something together we like to work as efficiently as possible. That means we’ll rush through all of the steps of the project, taking photos along the way, until it is finally time to stage our big after shot. Supplies are typically everywhere, extra stuff for styling is all around us, and it often looks like the Tasmanian devil just tore through the area.  We’ll typically send our guys out of the house on days like that, because they would be horrified at the big mess we make.
Bridget on her phone
Not Enough Time for “Me” Time: We always look back at our time before the blog and say “what did we do with all of that extra time?!” Because at this point, if we’re not working our day job…we’re usually working on something for the blog. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to really slooooow down. We both thrive off of the feeling you get when you cross something off of that long to-do list, and with our blog there is always, always, always something on that list.  Over the past year, working out has definitely moved down the priority list. We’ve done a lot more sitting, and a lot less moving around than we used to…oops! Not good at all. This is something we’re both going to try to improve in our second year of blogging.
White Roses in Round Vase
While there are definitely bad and ugly parts about this whole blogging gig….we truly believe that the positives outweigh the negatives every single time. We’ve had a tremendous year and wouldn’t change anything about it.  Again, a big thank you to YOU for being there every step of the way.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.