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!!!