Friday, March 2, 2012

Why do I blog . . .

Purpose – it’s why we get up in the morning.  And why we stay up until 1 am, even though we have to get up again tomorrow morning.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s why I started this blog.  At the time, I thought I was expanding my “brand” to include DIY projects, tips and tricks, and the (very rare) personal post.   I have had an Etsy shop since early 2011 (and I’ve been making a little bit of everything for a lot longer), and I wanted a space to showcase the process behind some of my handmade creations.  Ergo, this blog was born.  After discovering linky parties a few months back (courtesy of Jen at Bungalov) I realized there were hundreds of bloggers with amazing talent and creativity.  Who knew?  I don’t spend hours crawling the internet, so I sure didn’t! 
And then, when both my cousin and future sister-in-law invited me to this amazing site called Follow Me on Pinterest in the same week, I suddenly had so many ideas for DIY d├ęcor, 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?

Find out more about the blogs you love and the people behind them here:

the space between

and I shared this post here:
   Sharing Saturday at Crafty Mom's Share   Link & Greet at Country Momma Cooks
Latest and Greatest Friday at Days of Chalk and Chocolate 

12 comments:

  1. Nice post! I feel the same way about blogging. When I'm doing a project, I'm thinking about sharing it with my followers and fellow bloggers. I'm undecided on monetizing and I really appreciate you writing about it. Thank you. I'm already a follower and I appreciate what you share, whether it's words or DIY. Keep it up!

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  2. You had me at ergot! I love that word.

    Such a great post...I'm going through the 'when and how to monetize' decision now, too. Who knew how much time could go into this hobby called blogging.

    And I totally hear you about your job...and understand that you really can excel at something that isn't a passion, it is a wonderful skill you have, not necessarily your hearts desire.

    So glad you're linking up and blushing a bit over my invite oversight. :)
    Happy Friday!
    Karah

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  3. I have visions of what I would like my blog to be, but... reality is something different. I like what it is right now, and am happy with that. I want it to be a reflection of me, and it is. Would I love to have a gamillion followers, sell advertizing space, and earn money with my blog... yes. But I don't want to sacrifice me in the process. What a great question to ask. Would love to have you come link-up at Finished it Friday! Have a fabulous weekend!
    ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

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  4. I love this.. very honest and open. :) You blog is a success already!

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  5. Thank you so much for joining the party and for sharing your heart! I love your authenticity and your writing has such a "voice." I agree 100%! I blog because I like to write and talk and create. And I hope someone listens :)

    Have a blessed and wonderful day.
    blessings,
    karianne

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  6. What fantastic goals and I, like you, always think my posts are much funnier in my own mind!

    So glad you joined our party -new Linky follower.
    Kelly

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  7. What an excellent post and I am right there with you on the sponsored post thing. It would have to make sense here. I've had some companies ask me if they could guest post, but I'm not turning my blog over to commercial interests.

    I try to keep it real and keep it authentic (and, yes, the blog posts I write in my head as I create are WAY funnier up there ...)

    Thank you so much for sharing your blog hopes and dreams here ... and linking up on our party!

    :)

    Linda

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  8. Ergot? I think you mean ergo (meaning consequently),lol! Ergot is a fungus.....
    http://ergot.org/

    Ergot poisoning from rye bread flour is suspected by some scientists due to the behaviors attributed to people in the early witch-hunting days of old Salem, Massachusetts. The poor women were not witches, but sickened by fungal-infected flour.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergotism

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    1. Thank you for the correction. I do know what ergot poisoning is - it was just a slip of the keyboard. I hope that this one small error wasn't the only thing you took away from the post.

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  9. this was very well written and it all comes back to purpose! great point!
    thanks for sharing and for your honesty and genuine self!

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  10. Wonderful post and says a lot about how I feel. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! Have a great week! And I look forward to seeing what you share this week!

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  11. Thank you for this post - I also struggle a bit with the monetizing aspect, it would be lucrative with a large following. But in all reality I create for myself, and if someone wants to read what I share, great. So the ads are secondary to the crafty content I enjoy to share!

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I read all your comments - and I'll respond if you aren't a no-reply blogger!