I have been blogging in this space for almost 8 years. Eight years. That is actually the longest I've ever stuck with any type of journal-keeping of any type. Now, of course, it has all changed quite a bit since I started. Back then it seemed like there was only a handful of us. I knew nothing about google reader. I checked blogs the prehistoric way, by clicking on a saved bookmark. I didn't have a smartphone, there were no Ipads, If a blog wasn't updated, I'd just check back later. On my computer.
Reading blogs and making friends with bloggers was an social outlet for me. I was at home with small kids all day, some days feeling lonely and other days a little nuts. It was sanity-saving. I was thrilled to be a part of it.
But over time I realized my own blogging changed. As an example, for a while I experiemented with advertising on the blog. While overall it was a good experience, ultimately it wasn't for me.Once (or maybe more than once) I nearly stopped blogging altogether. Had I said all I wanted to say? Had it all run it's course? Are blogs relevant. For some reason I didn't stop, but I never really answered my own questions.
I've felt disheartened towards blogging in 2012. Maybe you've noticed it? Things online seem to swirl at a speed that no one person can possibly keep up with. If this is what a blog needed to do, did I want to do it? My love hate relationship with Pinterest is the perfect example. It's my "5 minutes to kill" eye candy, purely because it all comes at me so quickly. I love getting inspired by Pinterest, but funny thing is, there is a tiny percentage of pins I have ever actually looked at. Many blogs I click on to sparkle with rotating content, clickable this, downloadable that. It was an inevitability that blogs would make this jump and I don't pass judgement on anyone who runs a blog like this (I read some of them). In this day and age, blogging is done with a lot of gusto and energy.
Over the holiday break I thought about all this, and what I want from this space. I asked myself some hard questions. Some I still haven't answered. Here's what I know:
What do I want my blog to be? I want my blog to be an expression of me and what I do. Blogging in my own way is important to me.
What is my blog about? With the support out there from you, blogging has made me realize I am an artist. I want my blog to be about what I make and my creative life.
And all this thinking brought me around to the book I'm working on. Based on the lightening speed of the internet content, sometimes I've wondered, why bother? I get discouraged some days (which is all a part of the creative process, but it still sucks). Do people read craft books anymore? Thinking thoughts like this have brought me to tears more than once. Work on a book, as many of you know, is a long and sometimes grueling process. By the time my book is done, it will most certainly feel like some sort of birth.
Where am I going with all this?
Today, I felt overwhelmed by the many things I needed to get done, I am worried about money (being two self-employed people, let's face it, when are we NOT worried about money), health insurance costs rising, you name it. I needed an escape. Not just for a minute or two, but a real escape. And I realized that two specific things felt really right at that moment.
1- Curling up with a stack of books. With beautiful pictures to give me ideas about how to freshen up our very beige hallway. With beautiful, inspiring text to read. To flip through and read at my own leisure. I get what I missed about printed pages more than ever.
2- Writing this post to you. Just sitting down and writing a blog post about my true feelings around this whole crazy online world and my feelings towards it. It feels incredibly good to write all of this out to you this way.
There has been talk online from others about savoring time, Erin wrote brilliantly about the idea of slow blogging, and consciously relaxing in the new year. Apparently alot of us are thinking about it in some way. I, myself don't quite know where this talk is leading in my mind. Except to say that I am excited and giddy about the book I'm writing all over again. And that feels really good!
And I realized that I have new energy for the blog. In some form.
If you've read this far, you deserve a gold star sent to you.
Snail mail, of course.
Thank you for being out there,