Ten years ago, on a whim one fall night ( (September 14, 2004, to be exact), I started a silly little blog called An Amber-Colored Life.
It first began as a way to amuse myself during a hard, lonely year in a small town in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Instead of writing all my friends their very own personal email novellas filled with deep musings about whom I felt was skankier, Brit-Brit or X-tina, I thought, “Hey, why not just write out my personal musings about celebrities on a central place that all friends can check out at their leisure?”
And thus, the central theme and purpose of An Amber-Colored Life was born.
Over the years (and a lot of feedings after midnight) the blog morphed into a many-headed beast. It connected me to a hugely entertaining community of new friends and cohorts; brought me creative and professional opportunities (Online Dating Diaries, Chasing Windmills, Cyber Dating Sidekick, Groucho Sports Supply, guest panels, podcasts, and presentations); birthed books (Holiday Chick, all the things you never knew // certain things you ought to know); inspired countless creative projects (Girl from The Northwoods, The Dapper Dozen); and for ten years, it’s been the driving force when it came to figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be.
I actually still don’t have all of that figured out yet. (But then again…what would I write about if I did?)
It’s weird to look back and realize just how much – and then how little – the blog has changed over the years. It’s always been a mix of silly life stories and serious literary pieces, but I’ve also played around with it quite a bit in terms of content and focus. The advent of social media had a severe impact on what I posted, how much I posted, and where I posted, and not always for the better. My blog used to be a sort of collective for all my favorites – snarky sayings, nerdy images, hilarious clips from old TV shows, and amazing posts by other people. When Twitter and Facebook became A Thing, it didn’t make much sense to keep posting those things on the blog. I started to feel like, because of that, An Amber-Colored Life lost a certain playfulness. Every once in a while, I kept trying to bring back the old way of doing things, but it just didn’t seem to make sense to things that way, anymore.
Then, about two years ago, the desire to build a new internet home began to grow. I still loved An Amber-Colored Life, but it no longer seemed to fully fit who I was. I began to feel a pressing need to either build separate platforms for all the different things I was writing about – dating and relationships; lifestyle design, natural wellness; reality TV recaps; etc – or create a place that was big enough and held enough white space to house and showcase all the things I loved.
I decided on the latter.
And thus: Welcome to Amber L. Carter.com.
I know some of you will be super sad to say goodbye to both the name and the space of An Amber-Colored Life (a.k.a., Katy Roskam). And I don’t think I’m being pompous when I say that it feels like the end of an era. That name, that blog, that community…the meaning it all had to my life for the last ten years…it was big. When I started that thing, I had absolutely no idea how it would shape the direction of my entire future. But if I’ve learned anything from 10+ years of writing about my feelings, it’s this: It’s important to allow ourselves the permission to shed our old, worn-out identities in favor of some shiny new things. An Amber Colored Life…it just didn’t feel like me anymore. So I built a place that did.
The fresh digs feature:
My Portfolio*, a one-stop shop of my best work (writing, speaking, producing, and beyond). This is also a rad place for long-time readers to revisit some of their all-time favorite Amber-Colored posts.
Well, my all-time favorite Amber-Colored posts, at least.
A Books corner, where you can keep on top of developments and events regarding my full-length-feature writerly works (both already published books and – squee! – new ones coming soon**)** Relatively soon. My soon might mean your year, so. You know. Like I said…relative.
The hook up on my (OMG NEW!) Podcasts. I have two regularly scheduled podcasts that are debuting this month: Making Good Choices with Amber L. Carter, which comes out TODAAAY, and Pizza Rainbow!, a super fun podcast that I’m hosting with my pal Jen Paulson, which debuts every other Monday starting on 11.14.
A Bliss Bombs section for cool peeps who are into cool stuff like clean eating, essential oils, meditation, and general natural wellness.
And of course, a Blog, where you will find popular topics – like Candida Diaries and Bachelor recaps – easily accessed by these fancy new things called “Categories.” I’m also working on cementing a weekly schedule of regular features – such as Prehistoric Amber, a timely re-posting of old Amber-Colored favorites – that you’ll be able to set your blog reading clock to. (However, being that we’re in the throes of NaNoWriMo and I’ve set a goal of doing two books this year (cause I’m craaaazzzaaaay!) this might not happen until December***)*** I’ve also tried to institute this regular feature thing numerous times for myself at An Amber-Colored Life, and have only been consistent at failing at it. So. High hopes?
The purpose of the Amber L. Carter blog was something that I battled with for a while. Initially, my idea of building a new internet place included a more narrow focus for the blog…I played with the idea of using that place as way to primarily feature new writing, or to keeping it as a sacred space where I honed my budding interest in writing about lifestyle design or natural wellness. Basically, I’ve read all the articles that have ever been written about how you should use your blog to develop a niche or have its purpose be to create a platform for a bigger online presence, and/or look it at as a way to build toward a passive income, more speaking gigs, etc.
Which was confusing and frustrating to me, to feel lectured about needing to pick one thing and write only about that. I’ve never been a niche writer or a niche blogger, mostly because I’m not a niche person. I’m a dorky pop culture nerd who gets psyched about stuff like Adventure Time, YA books, and trilogy movies…but I’m also a grown-ass woman who spends WAY too much money on lingerie, cries at all the movies (not just romantic ones), and writes thick books about feelings. The Brand New is basically my Writing Inspiration Well, but I also know all the words to all the songs by Air Supply. I’m super into meditation, essential oils, feeling great inside your own body, and caring about the earth, but I also really love reality TV marathons, live tweeting The Bachelor, and ripping through a new copy of US Weekly, and I own ALL that and will proudly engage in it without a single ounce of lame shame.
See what I mean? It would be impossible to identify a single particular round peg for this square hole.
(Insert sex joke here)
So basically…FUCK ALL THAT NOISE. I don’t want to blog about just one thing because I’m not interested in just one thing. And, I’m guessing, neither are you. And fencing myself into just one thing, whether in life, writing, or even just basic conversation? Has never made me happy.
So as we start a new era of blogging here on Amber L. Carter, I want to make a promise to you, dear readers, in regards to what I’ll be writing about in the next ten years.
I promise to write about whatever the fuck I want to write about*.* Swears included.
It’ll just be a little more organized, on here.
And here’s the thing that I’m kind of really, super excited about:
Remember what I mentioned earlier, about how Amber-Colored Life used to be this collective of snarky sayings, nerdy images, hilarious clips from old TV shows, and amazing posts by other people, but that some/most of that was lost with the growing habit of posting that stuff on different social media channels? A few months ago, after I kept trying to figure out how to get that old nerdy-fun feeling back into the blog, it hit me…Use your Facebook Page for that stuff, dummy! Instead of using the Amber L. Carter Facebook Page to just talk *about* the blog, I’m now using it as a supplement *to* the blog. It’s now my throwback to the times when my posts primarily revolved around snarky titles and hilarious photos of John Mayer and dumb musings about my new favorite songs and ridiculous updates on the mundane details of my everyday life. And I’m like, stupidly excited to have stumbled upon this revelation, so if you miss that stuff as much as I do (or even 40% as much as I do?) then come and join me on there and we’ll have the internet equivalent of a Pizza Party!
Except that now I want a real pizza party. With real pizza. And an actual party…not the “party” that your 4th grade teacher talked up, which made you envision balloons falling from the ceiling and confetti bursting into the air and kids screaming with joy while they all danced on top of their desks, which made you only more disappointed when you discovered that all “party” really meant to your teacher was letting everyone take two slices of pizza, which we were all then supposed to carry back to our desks to eat, quietly, while she sat at her desk and read a magazine. Which meant that your 4th grade teacher was either the worst teacher ever, or the most brilliant adult that ever existed.
At the bottom of all of this, I want to say thank you to everyone who has read, followed, and shared An Amber-Colored Life in the last 10 years. Even though this isn’t really goodbye…there’s just no words, you guys. I can’t even put together how much it’s meant to me, to be able to share my life and stories and ideas with you. So many of you started out as readers and, somehow, through the magic of the internet + the power of IRL meet-ups, turned into favorite friends. That’s a pretty ridiculously great fringe benefit to this whole blogging shiz. Thank you for allowing me to have a space where I could entertain and be entertained. I’ve had a such a blast these past 10 years, and I hope you’ll all join me for Round Two of Totally Rad Fun Times.
And on that note: While An Amber-Colored Life will cease to host new posts by moi after the publishing of this one, it’s not going quietly into that gentle night just yet, my friends. There’s an Amber-Colored Life After-Party coming your way soon*, and you’re all invited.* Again, “soon” is a relative term, but I feel pretty strongly that it’s going to be worth the wait 😉
Thanks, friends! See you all on the Amber L. Carter side!