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Kelsey McQuade/Medill News Service

Carly Taylor makes avocado-peach bruschetta for a future blog post. She often tests recipes and then goes back to tweak them before posting them.

Chicago’s popular lifestyle blogger turns procrastination into creative living

by KelseyMcQuade
Oct 17, 2012

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Carly Taylor, a 23-year-old Chicago advertising consultant, created her blog “Createlive” in 2011 to pursue her passion - life. Yes, she is a Big Picture person. The social media-promoted popular Chicago blogger shares her ordeals with procrastination and the salvation of blogging.

Everything from cooking to sewing and singing to running served as an excuse to put off a pressing deadline but the fun stuff part of her life's work and she shares it all in the public eye.

Q. What inspired you to start a blog?

A. In my last year of college, I procrastinated way too much on a project. I had 60+ pages to write, yet I'd be standing in the kitchen making muffins for my roommates or dreaming up a healthier way to cook a pie. During this rampant procrastination, I read a quote on Pinterest, yet another procrastination tool, that said-I'm paraphrasing here: "Whatever you do to procrastinate is what you should do for the rest of your life!" And with that, a blog was born. My procrastination had consisted of healthier recipes, DIYs, and fitness advice - basically a lifestyle of health and creativity. So, when Createlive was born -that's what I made it.

Q. How has blogging helped you reach your lifestyle goals or otherwise?
A. My blog keeps me creative. It gives me an excuse to try crazy things, like substituting seltzer water for oil and eggs in a cake. If I were simply baking for specific events, I wouldn't have the margin for error-because half of what I do are baking experiments, really. But, with my blog as an excuse, I am sure as hell going to experiment. I can even chalk it up to "work."

Q. What connections have you made with followers, readers and other bloggers?
A. For the most part, bloggers are surprisingly friendly. Most of the Chicago bloggers I know I met through a dinner organized by [yogurt-maker] Chobani. 

Q. What are some statistics on your blog? 
A. I have 1,000-3,000 views per day, on average and approximately 4,000 Facebook fans.

Q. What goals do you have for your blog? Have you already met any of them?

A. First, all I wanted was to get on FoodGawker. Check that one off the list - done. 
Now, perhaps more seriously, I'm hoping my blog and its offshoots can become a full-time job. So far, I've added social media consulting as an offshoot. So I'm making progress, and the goal is in sight.

Q. Should people start food blogs?

A. I have mixed feelings on this. There are already so many that it's hard to feel unique in the food blog space, but I certainly wouldn't want to deny the experience to anyone who would be inspired by it. It's definitely a great outlet for your creative food juices, if you will. And if you're really passionate about cooking, baking, or healthy eating, and are also passionate about writing, photography, or design, I'd say go for it.

Q. Do you belong to any other lifestyle communities whether in person or online?
A. Not really. I occasionally contribute to websites like FitSugar by posting healthy recipes, though, if that counts.

Q. How do you balance blogging with every day life? 

A. I bake, cook and create on the weekends or weekdays right after work, while it's still light out, and take as many pictures as I can in natural light. Then, throughout the week, I edit the images and write the post. Sometimes, it's hard to find genuinely good content to post if I haven't spent the time to create new things throughout the week, so I try to always have a backlog of content to pull from. It doesn't always work, but it usually does.

Q. What do you enjoy outside of blogging?
A. I'm writing a Young Adult novel that's a bit like Hunger Games crossed with James Bond, without as much of the naughty James Bond stuff. it's Young Adult, after all. That's been a big creative outlet of mine recently, as I gear up to query book agents with the story. Other than that, I just enjoy being active-going on bike rides, taking fitness classes, etc-and being creative in any way-writing, designing, making art, making music, etc. I just want to make things. 

Q. Who is your primary audience?
A. Women, ages 24-55 seem to be my biggest age group, which is funny because, at least until April of 2013, I'm still not part of that group.