And then, when both my cousin and future sister-in-law invited me to this amazing site called in the same week, I suddenly had so many ideas for DIY décor, cleaning products, upcycling, kids crafts. . . well, the list goes on and on, but you can check out my boards for the rest. The ideas for tutorials just kept coming, and I loved it! Finally, I had an audience (other than my 4-year-old) to appreciate the wondrous success of my first attempt at beauteous bread. There were dozens of people who loved the cheap and easy Christmas ornaments I made for my husband. I didn’t realize what was missing before I took the time to catalog each step of my creative process (OK, maybe when it comes to making my own orange-scented cleaner, “creative process” might be stretching it, just a bit). What was missing was you – that’s right – my readers! I love the fact that as I’m making a wreath, or trying out a new technique for crackle finish, I’m writing my blog post in my head (somehow, it always seems funnier up there…). Now when I made something I didn’t have to have a person in mind to give it to, or a place to put it – the reason I’d made miniature wreaths was to show you how you could make them, too! It was a very freeing feeling for me. I need to know the “why” of what I’m doing – or I feel like I’m wasting time. And time is one thing I can’t stand to waste above all else, because who knows how much of it we’ve got? I’d make a terrible professional artist, because I can’t just listen to my inner muse and paint what’s in my head – I have to know that I’m making this painting as a birthday gift for my sister, or that I’ll be hanging it right . .. there, no … a little to the left, wait – lower – THERE! I don’t enjoy creating just to create – what the heck am I going to do with piles of handmade goods? Friends and family can only use so many hand-crocheted hats and scarves, especially if this global warming thing is here to stay. Having my blog has given me the unstressed-out ability to make that fun string-art I just saw at a linky party, or the awesome quilt I pinned last month knowing that even if I don’t know where it will be going once it’s done, all of you will have enjoyed reading about how I got it there! But, I have to be honest, I almost ruined all this wonderfulness.
At the start of 2012 I looked into monetizing my blog. I’d gained a smallish following, and shouldn’t I be doing something with those numbers? It seemed like everyone was doing it, and therefore it must be the natural next step in this blog’s growth. I’ll admit it was very seductive – making money doing something I was already doing anyway, and at that, something that I actually really enjoyed? Really? That sounds too good to be true! I checked out all the sites: Blogsvertise, Social Spark, Bloggerdise, Clever Girls, SITS. I even signed up for several of them. My initial gut reaction proved true when I realized I’d be writing posts about insurance and other equally un-creative products. I know, I know, I could probably hang in there and get a chance to have Silhouette sponsor a give-away on my site or get monthly packages from Martha Stewart’s craft division for my personal and expert review. I just need a bit larger of a following, and about 10,000 more page views a day. But lately, I’ve been thinking…I already have one job. (Actually, I already have LOTS of jobs, but I have a job as a nurse that I actually get paid to do.) And while I don’t hate my job, I certainly don’t derive an amazing amount joy out of it. I’m not passionate about nursing – it truly is a job to me. (Please don’t misunderstand – I am a good nurse. I take excellent care of my patients. I just don’t dream about nursing, nor do I have any intention of going any further in my career than the staff nurse I am right now.) Creating is what gives me purpose. And posting the process to my blog, to share with whomever might wander this way, that’s my goal. I don’t need another “job.” And I definitely don’t need more posts that aren’t artistically-driven – I have about 7 projects completed, photographed, and ready to be written about.
So as this little blog grows up, you won’t be seeing many more “sponsored” posts other than those that I write out of the goodness of my heart (usually about my favorite places to shop). There won’t be lots of ads running across the top of the page. If I do get more sponsors, they will be relevant to my life and what I enjoy. Hopefully, that means you’ll enjoy them, too. I mean, we have to have something in common – you come and read what I write. I feel like yet another weight has been lifted off my bloggy shoulders with this realization. I can create whatever I want and show you how I did it, and I don’t have to worry about getting paid to do just that. And I’m lucky to have the freedom to do all of this. I’m lucky to have a helpful design assistant and her hilarious sidekick. I’m lucky to have friends and family who love me and readers like you who love the blog version of me (and if you met me, you might like the real me, too).
Purpose is a powerful force – have you found yours?
Purpose is a powerful force – have you found yours?
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