Seven years blogging - can you believe that? To be honest, if it wasn't for Rochelle sending me an email this year, the seven year mark would have totally passed me by.
That email started me thinking. Why didn't I remember I was coming up to seven years blogging? Was blogging still important to me? Had things changed?
My blog is first and foremost a hobby - something I do for fun. Yes, there's a few ads over there in the sidebar, the odd (paid in goods) review and a little affiliate marketing, but my focus is not monetary - far from it.
If I didn't enjoy blogging, I would give it up. I think I'm less goal oriented and more relaxed in regards to blogging now-a-days, and so the seven year anniversary came and went without me noticing.
On that note, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts on how I now approach blogging - things I've learnt over the years.
Relax and have fun...
Basically, that means I blog when I feel like it. No schedule here at Threading My Way.
I've read that successful bloggers should have a schedule that they stick to, so readers know when to expect new posts. That may be so, but it would cause me stress - it did cause me to stress out when I tried it some time ago. And for me, the standard of the content deteriorates if I'm not in the right frame of mind.
I do try to do Features and Showcasing posts on the weekends, but that's as close to a schedule as I come.
I'm the world's biggest procrastinator - sewing, housework, you name it. Some things just come to a stop, for no apparent reason. Projects then begin to pile up, making it hard to get going.
My current approach is to tackle sewing projects in small chunks. Less desirable projects become more appealing that way, and seem to take less time.
I'm in the process of sewing seven grocery bags as presents. Seven was too many to tackle at once, even though they're easy to make, and my all time go-to grocery bag. Last night I was tired, but I did one handle - not much but lots of little bits of sewing add up. One bag to go and I'm finished.
Limit repetitive sewing...
When I begin a new project, like most of you, I'm full of enthusiasm, and with that enthusiasm I start choosing and cutting out fabric. Problem is, the number of items I cut out is not in proportion to the number of items that will actually be sewn.
I've talked before about maintaining enthusiasm when tackling repetitive projects. I thought I had it nailed, so much so that I cut out 100 drawstring bags. Yes, you read that right - 100!!! That was back in January. I thought I'd have them finished long before now. Ha, ha... 30 down, 70 still to go.
I'm not going to give up, but they're packed away for now. I've learnt my lesson and realise that I can't maintain that enthusiasm.
Variety is the key for me!
|30 Drawstring Bags ~ 70 to go|
Stop expecting perfection every time...
I have a tendency to think that if it's not perfect, it's no good. There's an immense sense of satisfaction to be gained by doing things perfectly, but, for me, it's not possible to do all the time. It totally takes the enjoyment out of sewing if I have to get it 100% right every time.
Safety issues aside, near enough is good enough is becoming a little easier for me. I'll only go so far, though, and my seam ripper and I are the best of friends.
|Silk Screen Printed Silhouette Quilt|
Whether it be sewing or blogging, I benefit from having regular breaks. It's not my natural way to work, as I like to persevere till I've finished what I set out to do. I do find, however, that if the thoughts are not flowing, or I'm tired, a short break can get things moving faster.
Case in point - a fifteen minute break from this post - enough to take the compost out, make the bed and move the sprinkler - and my thoughts are clearer in writing this post. And I've done three chores that had to be done some time today anyway.
Come back to it...
When things are downright not working, walk away. The problem never seems as bad when I come back to it, sometimes days afterwards.
If I leave it too long, there's always the chance I'll never come back to it, though.
Last week I showed you a paper pieced star that hadn't gone to plan. And now it's finished - didn't take long at all to fix up and finish. At the time I thought it was going to take forever!!!
|Paper Pieced Star|
I can become overwhelmed quite easily - simply because I think TOO much. That can be both a good and a bad thing. Good because I know the direction I'm headed and have thought of all the problems / things to solve along the way, and I don't have to put out spot fires afterwards. However, the thought of everything that needs to be done can overwhelm me and prevent me from starting something new - whether it be a blog post, sewing project, or something else.
Again, safety issues aside, sometimes I need to jump in and just write, or sew, or whatever, and solve the issues as they arise.
For important things in my life I just can't think this way, but blogging has become more enjoyable since I've stopped overthinking.
|Drawstring Bag with Divider|
Don't try to do it all...
I don't show you everything I sew, and I most certainly can't sew all the items I'd like to. There's a certain amount of self imposed pressure to do both, but I know I'm not Super Woman and I've stopped trying to be.
Life is all about balance - sewing and blogging feature high on the list, but are no means the most important aspects of my life.
Do what's fun for me...
Bottom line, I don't follow trends or try to do what's popular - my blog is all about what I enjoy doing. That may sound selfish, and I suppose it is. The reality, however, is that I'm enthusiastic about the topics I post, and that means more interesting content for you.
|Things to See and Do in Sydney|
In the main I blog about sewing related things, with the odd garden post thrown in. Sometimes I'll show you photos of day trips or holidays, as well as a few kids' crafts, but sewing is the main focus. That's the way I like it. I hope you do, too.
Here's to the next seven years!!!
I'm with you, I blog about what I like. I like a lot of things and don't want to be a one subject blog - too much pressure to produce and post. I have so much to say that usually I have to plan posts a couple of weeks out. So far, I still enjoy it too. Congratulations on 7 years!ReplyDelete
I'm taking a blog/journal break while I'm in limbo in a major life event. It feels right for now. 2009 is when I started. I do miss the journaling but the limbo people know where I am over there. And it has given me room to spread my wings elsewhere. Congrats on seven years blogging.ReplyDelete
I'm not unknown. Stupid blogger.Delete
I remember when you started blogging! We started right about the same time. I've learned a lot from your blog and watched it grow at a tremendous rate. Congratulations!ReplyDelete
Glad you stopped to "smell the roses" and commemorate your seven years. It's an achievement in a world where blogs come and go within months. Quite often, the reason a blog fails is because the blogger starts off with unrealistic expectations about a regular posting schedule, so your "no schedule" rule likely keeps you plugging along. (Forgive me, but I had to laugh at your drawstring bag project progress. I still give you major props for attempting it, but goodness knows, that's a LOT, a LOT, of repetition!)ReplyDelete
Congratulations on 7 years!! Great blogging tips :) I am raising my cuppa to the next 7 years :) xxReplyDelete
I love these tips, Pam! Happy Blogiversary!ReplyDelete
Happy Blogiversary Pam, you were one of the first blogs I found when I first started out (6 years in November) - I love you generosity of spirit and your honesty:) you are real, thank you.ReplyDelete
Seven years, amazing. Thank you for the tips, some really resonate with me. Balance is the key to everything, right....I'm still seeking it ;-)ReplyDelete
Congrats on seven years of blogging! Like you, I also blog about what I like to make:)ReplyDelete
Congratulations Pam!!! I really don't realize how much or how often you blog. What I DO know, is that every time I have reached out with something, you are always there to touch back. It's been nice. I consider you a friend out there.ReplyDelete