Thursday, 14 August 2008

Thinking out loud

Thinking out loud...yes, there has been a lot of this of late...what am I doing, what direction do I want to go in, what do I want to achieve??? I have spent my whole life trying to live out someones else's dream, to be the person they want me to be, well I am a big girl now and its time to take responsibility...MY WAY!!!The holidays are going so well, I am seeing very little of anyone its just the children and I, we are having a fab time, lots of lazy morning and walks along wild windy beaches with a fabulous day in the sunshine thrown in every so often...once the babes are in bed, a glass of wine waiting and the needles clicking nicely in my hands...well I have been thinking. With no Internet and no phone line for most of the time whilst I am away at the beach I have really been thinking about the direction I am going, especially when it comes to my blog, sewing and knitting.

May be its just me but, blogging seems to be more of a marketing tool now, a platform to self promote, to sell your creative work or if your really lucky may be even write a book.  This is an amazing community we are all involved in and I think we are all different and that is the very thing that makes it work so well.  So why do I feel intimidated?  I do not promote my stuff, sure I get a few great orders from my blog, which helps support the fibre and fabric addiction, but I blog to simply keep a record, a place to store my pictures in a more creative way than just in a computer file, a place I connect to other people and stop feeling so isolated because I have this NEED to make things.  There is no chance of a book deal coming my way...some of my own close friends will not read my blog due to my dyslexic meanderings.  I read (or listened to) an interview a while ago with a rather well known blogger who said if she thought other Moms felt they did not live up to the expectation of motherhood and all the crafting it would be upsetting and not what she intended.  So what direction am I going in? Do I let all this stuff fuddle up my brain? Do I stop blogging all together? Do I make a creative endeavours do seem to have a market so do I open a shop?   May be this is all part of the journey, may be you have been through this thought process...I am working on a few 'NEW' ideas including some drawing and I have even been approached about an  exhibition of my photo's and some crafting for an arts festival...but my mothering is the most important thing to me at the moment and with the children at home it seems wrong to go take my attentions away from them...after all they will not be little poppets for ever, being with my children is what sets me free from todays world to be creative, its not for everyone BUT it is for me! SO the thinking cap remains ON and as it seems to be summer vacation time in blogland I intend to use this time to find my direction which still might remain to just carry on as I am doing...who knows?
Still reading, you deserve a medal and my personal thanks for your loyalty...
So on to something a little less serious...The crafting is taking the form of mostly knitting, its the most portable, lots of small things, a shrug, socks (half way through my next pair...funky colours), a scarf that sort of thing, not to mention more of those cup cakes, I am struggling to keep up with demand for these...I can take it no longer...I have to on my next little break with my kids the sewing machine is coming with me and I might just work on a few patterns I have in mind...

Edited to add...
Please note that in no way is this post about upsetting anyone, we are all different doing our own thing... 

So I feel the need for a summer giveaway...this will be  on my next post...  


Cathy said...

It can be intimidating reading other people's blogs and so many people portray their lives as perfect. I know from my own blog I tend to put the good things in and leave the bad, but no one is perfect, and I am sure that in order to take gorgeous photos they have swept the crap out of the way. The ones with successful businesses are few and far between and probably have husbands with well paid jobs to support them anyway. There is always a compromise or a down side with all these things, and I think that devoting your time to your children instead of spending it ignoring them but having a great business is a much better plan. Your blog is lovely and it's yours - it can be whatever you like.
I love the scarf by the way - it's really pretty.
Cathy XX

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I've commented on your blog before, but I've been lurking around for a few months, and today I just felt the need to comment on your thoughts.

As a new blogger myself, I have to completely agree with your assessment, it has been rather intimidating to break into the scene and I often wonder why I'm doing it at all. And I think I many have come to the same conclusion, I started it to keep a record of my progress, and a few of my thought A few times I've found myself obsessing over my blog stats, wondering how I can get a few more readers, but I guess that would happen naturally if I managed to post on a more regular basis, or came up with ore amazing projects. But I guess that's not why I began this whole exercise, and after all, I have many other aspects of my life that keep me busy and happy and at the moment that is where the majority of my focus is.

So thank you for sharing... it's good to know there are others out there who are processing the same thoughts!

Sarah and Jack said...

Well, here is my dirty little secret.

I don't read those big blogs. I don't buy their books. I don't buy their products. I don't buy their fabrics.

I don't care if my blog is ever a big blog or not.

I will never have advertisements on my blog.

I will always blog about my child, even if people only come there looking for craft.

I found this blog the other day of a very young woman who had just passed away. And yet, there was her blog, on the internet from 2005, with her life before cancer, and her discovery of cancer, and her life with cancer, and in the end, her death. But it was just like any other blog. And it gave me this wierd sort of feeling about how at some point in time my child will sit down with my blog, and there I will be, in it's pages, making cookies or playing in the snow or sewing or ranting or raving.

And I want it to stay that way.

No pandering to an audience. Just me. In the flesh, but in words.

You shouldn't feel pressured to do anything other than what YOU want to do. If you want to make it "big", go for it. If you want to be small, go for that too. :-)

Tracy said...

HI, Suzie! What a tremendous, thoughtful post...I think these are questions we all ask ourselves from time to time. So we're all in the same boat that way. Blogging first and foremost should be about having fun, expressing yourself how you want to, creatively, a way to reach out to other souls. I think of mine rather loosely as a sort of commonplace book, only its online. A scrapwork, patchwor of this & that...a lot of my heart and soul goes into it. And I feel blessed to have made a lot of gret friends in the two years I've been blogging. I have an Etsy shop, and I do promote my shop at my blog, but I try not to let shop talk and promotion take over my blog. I don't want my blog to be solely as a marketing tool. There are other ways to do that. I'm just an average person, living a full life I love, and being creative in my way and sharing about it. It's not a perfect life, it never will be. And that's ok. I don't have a "popular" blog. Like Sarah, I don't really keep up with the "big people" or knock my socks off to buy their products or jump on any band wagons. I love keeping my blog, and am thrilled that there are some who enjoy it too and stick around to share. But we all must do what our hearts are calling us to do. My own Etsy shop helps keep me in fabric and yarn, I take it seriously, but it is not my sole-purpose for crafting. If you are feeling drawn to bigger outlets for your creativity, you should feel free to explore them. But not necessarily because seemingly everyone in blogland is too. Cathy's right, those with the big book deals are few when you think about ALL the many bloggers out there, and craft bloggers alone. A big part of all this blogging and creating is finding a balance...balancing real life, family life, creative life and online life. We all must find it, find our that's comfortable, and feels right. Blogging and creativity should be fun...Have fun!! :o) Love that ruffly scarf, it's beautiful! Can't wait to see what new things you're up to. Thanks for sharing so much today. ((HUGS))

LOUISE said...

I so agree with what you and the other comments have said so far. I only tend to blog about the positives in my life, I am sure no-one would be at all interested in the negatives! I think we are all guilty of showing our best bits, but isn't that what everyone wants to see. I sometimes panic because I can't sew or knit, I haven't done crafting, I can't sketch or paint, my home doesn't look as immaculate and pretty as some, I don't have kids (the list is endless) but then I think again, I am a keen gardener, I can cook and bake, a great other half, and I have a home I can call my own. Only a small minority can be good at everything and have everything! Carry on blogging the way you are, on topics that interest you and not necessarily everyone else, and always be yourself. I would be very reluctant to give up blogging now as I have grown to love the connection I have with the outside world, with people whose paths I would never have crossed, by any other means, and I would miss the little voice that pops up every now and again, saying - you've got mail! x

April said...

What a lovely post. Blogging should be whatever you want it to be - God knows I do enough pointless wittering on my blog, I'm not trying to sell anything or make a fortune I just wanted a forum to show the daft things I get up on a daily basis and I love it when people read my ramblings and take the time to comment on them!

I started my blog in Feb this year and have found it a very useful outlet when I've had problems or triumphs to share. I've found some lovely people in the Blogland community and an totally in awe of anyone who can mkae money from their own artistic skills, I started blogging as a way to connect with people as I became a housewife again for the frist time in 4 years - I love it, but it's nice to have virtual people to talk to!

I really like your blog, and don't worry about being intimidated - I think honesty goes a long way.


April xx

modelwidow said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, probably as much because is isn't all those things you mention as because I love to hear about the simple pleasures, the things you do with your children. With my DD growing up too fast I can relive her childhood and remember all the fun we had just as you are now. It's great to see what you are making and I enjoy your 'meanderings', if friends won't read it because of that, it is they who are missing out. Please don't feel that you have to conform to some ideal, your blog is for you and if some of us also get pleasure from reading it than that is our bonus.

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Keep doing what makes you happy and blogging about what you want. Never feel pressured to be something other than who and what you are at heart! I find blogland amazing because it has connected me to the most incredible people with similar tastes and interests - some of them are way out of my league in terms of skill and creativity but they are still my lovely friends who inspire me and make me laugh - that's how I want to keep it!

Lucy x

French Knots said...

Some blogs seem too perfect and to have too many acolytes, post a picture of a cushion and they get 174 comments of praise. I prefer the blogs that make me think and those that show a life like mine - a normal domestic, creative life, a special life that I hope my children enjoy and will look back on with fond memories. My blog is my diary, thoughts, pictures and adventures recorded so the small moments are not forgotten.

Sal said...

I love your blog! It's the first one that I ever read!
And it is thanks to you that I ever started my own!
So it is thanks to you that blogging is now a small part of my life.
When I did start my blog,I made it a rule that I would try not to grumble,complain on it etc etc..noone wants to read such stuff! Sometimes I lapse but, on the whole, I try to stick to my rule!
That's probably why so many people give the impresssion that they have perfect lives,as they have the same approach!

Anyway,you are absolutely right..children come first and those childhood years fly be so quickly!

If I were you I would just 'go with the flow' as they say and just carry on as per usual.
I think you are doing a fine job!!

Great post Susie,as always! ;-)

Pearlyqueen said...

Hi Susie

I haven't been reading your blog for very long, but I feel I know you a bit, and for me, that is what blogging is about.

I write my blog for me - just like a diary - and sometimes other people see it and that's OK - none of it is secret.

I think of it as a chat with friends. No promoting myself, no crowing about my talents or successes or, come to that my failures or distresses. If anyone reads it, OK, if they don't, OK.

...but it's nice to know there are others out there with the same interests, sorrows and joys as me...

Thimbleanna said...

Hmmm. "blogging seems to be more of a marketing tool now". I definitely don't think of it that way. I don't sell anything. It's just my little record of what's going on in my life. DON'T stop blogging. Just have some fun! Love the scarf!

Lesley said...

Well I think everyone else has already said what I want to say! I agree with you so much Suzie. I love blogging because I enjoy blogging for blogging's sake and it has enabled me to feel less isolated as a crafty person.
I too feel very intimidated by those biggy bloggers and love the blogs that are by real people living real lives, who may never write a book or sell their wares.

Keep doing what you do so well and what makes you happy :)


Caroline said...

Please don't stop blogging!!!! I would miss your frequent ramblings soo much! I don't read any other blogs and I love reading yours - I think it's fabulous. As for the kiddies - I say spend as much time as you can with them, because as you say, they won't be small for long in the whole big scheme of things, and there will be plenty of time to do more economically productive stuff later in life.

Kathi D said...

I can identify with your wonderings. I actually started my blog because I decided to sell my handmade handbags and everybody said you needed a blog as a marketing tool. Then I decided I didn't like making things to sell because it turned my hobby into a chore, and I really enjoyed writing in the blog. So I thought, "Oh boy, maybe I'll get a book deal like all these other bloggers!"

Now I am over the book deal, the having a business, and all. I am coming to the realization that I don't always have to be about The Next Thing. I can enjoy things just as they are. Trust me, this is a big one for me. I have this inner voice telling me I'm supposed to be doing something bigger and better every day. But guess what? I like my life just as it is. Even in the highly unlikely event of a book deal, I don't know that I would like THAT life. Too much work, too many expectations.

I don't have children, but my mom had five, and she once said taking care of children was the one thing she was best at. She didn't say this, but it was her gift, her talent. She did it so well. And what's more important than sending good new people out into the world?

Anonymous said...

Lots of deep contemplation!!! Sounds like my brain!! hee-hee. Yes, you are right, there are some that use blogging as a journal and there are others (like us) who also use it to share what is happening in their business. When we started to blog it was just about our journey but as time goes by it becomes more and more about business as that is what we mostly spend our crafting time doing - designing for our business. It becomes supply and demand too. I made that laptop case for myself to fill a need, I had NO intention of it becoming a pattern but made it purely because I needed one. Then the comments and emails come that people want a pattern so it is immediately business again. That said, I see it as my hobby more than my business. I am just exceedingly lucky that I get to do what I love and am passionate about as a business. I get to stay at home with my kids and do what I love rather than childcare and an office. I am blessed and want to share my journey on a blog. Yes, it crosses personal and business but that is who I am - a large part of me is my business, I am passionate about my business and my life so my blog crosses over personal and business. Don't know if these thoughts help but just saying what I feel about what you have said. I hope you continue to contemplate and find answers and find new directions!! I am also thinking a lot about these things right now!

Jacoline (Lien) said...

What a true story, all the mums will know did. Thanks for your great blog and kids come first but you are also there. You are important as well. Love to read more from you.

Lin said...

I have just seen this post Susie and what great replies everyone has given. Your blog should be yours, just how you want it. I have trouble keeping mine how I would like it to be as I worry about what people think too much! After reading this I think that I will make it much more personal. x

quiltdude said...

Suzie I love your blog. I love the way your mothering skills come over loud and clear and that your not afraid to show who you are and what you think about life. Blogging should be whatever you want it to be.
For me it's about sharing the things I have made as I have no one to share them with. Sometimes I get comments, sometimes I don't, I don't care. I have very few "real life friends" mainly out of choice but also because I don't feel very worthy of peoples friendship. For me blogging has been a way of having friends without them really knowing me so they don't get bogged down with my insecurities. This means the crappy parts of my life are left out of my blog, it's a safe haven away from all the other stuff that is going on. I mean who wants to hear about marital breakdowns and kids that fight all the time?
Please just stay the way you are, be true to yourself, hard though that is at times, write about what makes you happy and the smiles your blog creates will be infectious.
X Clare
ps email me if you feel like a good rant, I don't have the answers but I can listen.

lucykate crafts... said...

the best way to blog is in a way that makes you happy, once it becomes a chore and no fun anymore, then it's time for a re-think. i tend to avoid big, glossy blogs, where the photography and everything else for that matter seem just too perfect. it's not what i aspire to as it's almost not real, honesty is more appealing to me. but then i also like the huge variety of styles in craft blogs, such a diverse range of people, lifestyle, ability and humour, it's so rich in many, many ways.

the homely year said...

Hi, I'm sure you are right that the children are most important. Spending time with our children is so undervalued in society, more's the pity. You have a real talent for being creative and for producing beautiful things...the day will come when you have so much more time to spend on your own projects.
My children are now grown up and married with children of their own. I don't regret for one second the time I spent with them and the little money we had as a result. Now I can work and spend time on my own projects...I've taken over two of their bedrooms, one for an office and one as a sewing room...bliss. Do enjoy what you're doing...the time of child rearing goes much too fast!
Margaret (and Noreen)

the flour loft said...

Hi suzie,
your blog is so lovely and it shows that your children are the most important thing in your life. they do grow up so quickly and you are right to not want to miss it. just keep on doing what makes you happy. your creative work is beautiful and you have such talent. I also think you have beautiful hair!
warm wishes
ginny x

Alchamillamolly said...

Hi I have read your blog and allthe supportive comments and I feel so much better for doing so. I am not alone in my thoughts. I havent posted for a few weeks because I felt that my blog was endig up being a moan about all the things that had been going wrong and since I last posted more things have gone wrong so I decided not to post. I was only getting a few readers and thought I would just read others now and not bother. I don't like awards and passing things on but I think I will now post again after reading all these messages. So thanks for that. I stayed at home with my kids until my third was going to secondary school - I did make curtains etc for a few years to keep the wolf from the door after hubby's redundancy and unemloyment and I could work around the kids but be there for them all the time and it was the best time of my life. PS love you socks

dottycookie said...

Oh Susie, hugs. Your devotion to your children shines through your blog, and you are an inspiration to me! It's really easy to let the computer stuff take over and block out what it was that we started blogging for in the first place. I've enjoyed my summer break and seriously contemplated not starting up the addiction again, so I do sympathise. My plan is to try to be a bit more disciplined - how long do you think that will last?! At the end of the day it matters far more to me what my family think anyway :-)