Cityline Featured Blogger: Lynne from Design the Life You Want to Live

This creative blogger shares everything from decor and DIY projects, to blogging tips, to stories from her own life.

There are so many fabulous bloggers out there, and we want to highlight them on Cityline.ca. We’ll be profiling different lifestyle bloggers from month to month — they might write about food, fashion, beauty, décor, parenting, entertaining, gardening, you get the idea! For October 2013, we’re putting the spotlight on the fabulous lifestyle blogger Design the Life You Want to Live. Run by Lynne Knowlton, this creative blogger shares everything from decor and DIY projects, to blogging tips, to stories from her own life. Here’s our Q&A with Lynne:

moiWhen did you start Design the Life You Want to Live and what was your inspiration behind starting the blog? How did you come up with your blog’s name?

I started Design The Life You Want to Live a couple of years ago by happenstance.  Somehow, the blog unintentionally led me somewhere that I was intentionally meant to go. Like serendipity. I love it when that happens. Well, I love that word too.

Words are a blogger’s best friend.

When I first started the blog, I assumed that everyone would be interested in me and my thoughts and opinions. I was clearly hit with the stupid stick. If tumbleweeds could have blown across my blog, they would have. What is worse than terrible? My blog was that.

The early days of starting a blog can be lonely.

I suppose I was hoping that ninjas would drop from the ceiling and airlift me to blogging stardom. Fat chance. It didn’t happen.

Then… it all changed. I learned something key about writing a blog. It isn’t about me. It is about the reader. As soon as I started changing my ‘I’s to ‘YOU’s … the blogging world opened up to me… starry eyed and sparkling.

NOT. But things did change.

To be an online entrepreneur/blogger is a combination of an outward focus, creativity, hard freaking work and having FUN, fun fun. Did I mention fun?

That is how Design The Life You Want to Live was born. That, and a combination of spit and throw up. I also write about cancer. Where there is cancer, there is swearing, spit and throw up. That is reality. I like to write real.

There are not enough hours in a day to cover every topic that wildly lands in my head. I can’t get it down on paper quick enough. There are so many awesome things to write about.

Plus I’m lazy. Amen.

On your blog, you post about a variety of different topics, from décor and DIY projects, to blogging tips, to sharing stories from your own life. What are
your favourite types of posts to write?

My fave posts to write are the ones that scare the bejesus outta me to hit the publish button. If I shake in my booties and wonder if it is a good idea to hit the PUBLISH button, then it usually is.

WRITE EPIC is my motto.

I write about designing a work life, blog life, family life, some insanely practical tips… I sometimes drop the f-bomb when I talk about cancer. And (yes, Mom) I behave myself (occasionally).

I also like to write about the treehouse. Somewhere along the line we learned how to build a treehouse that even adults love. It is built from reclaimed materials. The eco-friendly treehouse became my blogging nest and studio and is a huge source of inspiration for me.

I strongly believe that our work environment speaks a lot about who we are. Where we are, and how we feel as we work is important. A feel good environment is über important to creativity.

I also like to write in silence. It keeps me in the land of make believe. Too much noise makes me want to throat punch people. The treehouse is perfect for quiet writing. It is my place of creativity. It is where I write best. I think everyone needs a place where they can retreat to. Everyone.

treehouse

Tell us about a few posts that you’re particularly proud of and want to share with Cityline.ca readers.

The posts that I am the most proud of are the ones where others jump right in and become a part of the conversation. The comment section of my blog is way more interesting than I am. Blog readers who leave comments rock out loud.

Here the posts that get the mojo running:

Dear Cancer, I hate you and I thank you

DIY Barn Door Hardware – it’s d’bomb dot com

How to make grapevine lighting balls. It’s a bright idea.

When the squirrels made whoopsie in our treehouse

Twiggy LOVE : How to decorate with twigs.

My ABOUT ME video. Oy. Hotflash.

What do you hope readers get from visiting your blog?

My life is based on a true story. It is real. If blog readers leave my blog with a good laugh, some goofball entertainment, a bit of storytelling, some cool DIY ideas and maybe pee their pants a little…well then…my job is done. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Every day that my feet are above the daisies…qualifies as a good day. We have a long time to be dead.

The blog is a place where readers can dream a little dream.

It’s a place where they can even freak out a little. They can go on a roller coaster ride of emotions and adventure. With weapons. Weapons = fermented liquid grape filled glasses.

lynne-homeWhat are some other blogs you love reading?

Oh dang. That’s a tough one. I love my blogging peeps. I wrote about them here and here. My blogroll should be called the bloggers guide to blogging survival. Other bloggers are d’bomb dot com. Damn straight. They rock the cyberspace. I luuurve to read other blogs. They keep me from doing a Thelma and Louise cliff dive when I have tough blogging days. They keep me inspired.

What’s your top advice for other bloggers?

Keep it real. Keep it epic. Be unforgettable or you will be lost in the sea of the bazillion blogs out there. You don’t want your blog to be a snoozefest. Boring ugly blogs are a dime a dozen. We just can’t unsee some things. You have about 5 seconds to WOW your reader. If your site is ugly, your reader will run for the hills. Yikes. Don’t be one of those. Don’t be that girl. Be bombalicious with your words. Be a WordPress wrangler. Be vivacious. Stand out above the sea of grey matter and raise a ruckus.

The blog posts that scare you the most to publish will likely be your best works of art! Don’t let the fear of getting it wrong make you feel blogstipated. Just go for it.

Keep a journal of your favourite notes, sayings, quotes, funny moments. When you hit a dry spell in your writing, you can always look back on your notes for a little pick me up of vivacious words. Write how you talk, then you will never get talkers block. The words will come.

Have some FUN. Otherwise, you will get to a point where you will want to poke your eye out with your blog. You don’t want to go there.

Have a blogging mentor whether they know it or not. You can learn a lot by just reading other blogs. Keep notes of your fave things about those blogs. Once you develop a growing list of a little of this, a little of that… suddenly you have a gorgeous blog design.

I became a voracious reader of blogs. Now, I am starting to teach others how to blog and I started a series on my own blog called HOW TO BLOG. Check it out. People say it’s a pretty cool place to hang out.

Toot your own horn. It’s the only way to be. Otherwise, you will die a blogging death…lonely and funny looking with disheveled hair and bad shoes.

My blog readers are my friends. Legit pals. And I like it that way. Write like you are talking to your friend and everything will be okay.

If not, drink wine.

After you are finished writing your post, celebrate.

Go inspire others with who you are and what you know.

grapevine-lights

We want to hear from you! Do you know a blogger we should feature on Cityline.ca? Maybe it’s you! Email us at submissions@cityline.ca and include “Cityline Featured Blogger” in the subject line. And don’t forget to include a link to the blog! Look forward to hearing from you!

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14 comments

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Kim Beaulieu

I love Lynne. She’s real and raw, that’s what keeps me coming back for more. She’s also really thoughtful and kind. One of my favourite people in the whole world. One day I plan to visit her so we hang out in her treehouse and drop F bombs about cancer and life. Then laugh and drink till we pass out cold. It’s a good goal.

October 03, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Oh yeah Kim !

    Now we have THAT to add to our bucket list. Love it !!

    Come on over. The wine is chilling. xx

    PS. thanks for your über awesome kind words.

    {insert huge hug}

    Lynne xx

    October 04, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Another rollicking great interview, Lynne. You are super generous and though I know your story well, I never tire of reading your posts. Blog on!

October 03, 2013 at 6:20 pm
    Lynne Knowlton

    Speaking of blogging mentors !! …. there’s one right there ! Denise is my online visibility expert and I luvs her. She has taught me a ton. Now… if I can just get out of the treehouse and get to work.

    You can find her here :

    http://www.denisewakeman.com

    Big hugs of thanks !!!
    Lynne

    October 04, 2013 at 1:43 pm

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