I just finished my first year of blogging!
This is a great milestone for me because it is not the first time I tried. I registered this blog in 2009, but in two years I wrote 2 post, with probably as many views. I had recently quit my job to stay at home full-time with my kids. I thought I would have so much time but discovered I had less time for myself than ever. I think there was just so much going on I failed as I struggled coming up with something creative on a regular basis. Truthfully it was just the lowest thing on my priority list. Did the world really need one more mommy and craft blog??? One year ago on November 28, I felt compelled to revisit the idea of blogging, which terrified me. I had in my mind this was a writing and journaling thing. What would make this time around different? I followed through with that burden laid on me and I found a whole new relationship with blogging. I feared the day I posted my link on my Facebook page, and my world knew I was writing. Here are some of the things that encouraged me and defined the time;1. Write about what you’re PASSIONATE about and add ORIGINAL photos!
When my girls were little I had very little time to make artwork, I turned to photography as a quick way to capture all that was going on around me at its fast pace. When I returned to blogging I began to see how important this hobby was in telling the story. I love using my own photography on my blog, it often speaks just as loudly as the words. Not to mention it adds consistency and I don’t have to worry about infringing on someone else’s copyright. I found that there was more than one theme I was drawn to writing about – I let my heart guide me towards what to write. I love looking back now and seeing the growth in my interests and artwork. My passions lead me to my “voice.”2. Give yourself a creative project
I think I stumbled upon the post-a-week project around new-years. I just didn’t have the time or ambition for a daily routine so once a week sounded more my style. I often give myself goals every year but always add a few fun goals along with the serious ones. So after receiving an ice cream maker for Christmas, the idea of a flavor a week in 2011 began. The two ideas really rolled together and gave me a sure post every week. Amazingly, I averaged about three posts a week when I added something about my family, a reflection or an art project I was working on. I am thankful for these different areas as they narrow down the blogosphere of readers but didn’t limit me to just one topic. I read up on tagging, and try to be consistent when labeling my posts. I think I surprised myself this year writing over 185 posts and almost 15,000 views!3. Be flexible
It was daunting at first to commit to posting every week but after a while it became a habit . As ideas came to me I started keeping a note in my email so when I had a chance to sit down I didn’t just stare at the screen. I also learned that you can write posts and schedule them ahead of time. That way if I was having a good week I could write-up my post and schedule a date in the future for it to automatically publish. Sometimes it just doesn’t work that smoothly (sorry to any of you who got used to 8AM posts…) I found that it was important to let this be a natural thing – so If I didn’t post much during a week it meant there was a lot going on or I just didn’t have much to say… Beyond scheduling I have found that some of my random posts at odd hours are the ordained ones. How encouraging it is to post something in the middle of the night and get an immediate response from someone trolling around commenting “I really needed to read that just now.” I would have missed that if I kept to a rigid schedule.
All in all, I am thankful for this experience to write and share in this space. I have grown in confidence in all areas and it has challenged me creatively, spiritually and professionally. I have even written a few guest posts and diy’s art projects shared on other blogs. I thought blogging would connect me to the world outside this small town, but found in addition to that it has connected me to my family and friends even more. Thank you for reading and commenting, sometimes that is just the encouragement I need to continue writing. I have loved having a chance to be transparent and grow as a follower, wife, mother, friend and artist, and share that journey with my readers. For now the plan is to keep writing and making more artwork to share in this space.
Thanks for joining me on the ride.