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…writers block…

Over the weekend, I started to write a blog post. By “started”, I mean I uploaded a photo and then stared at the white text box, not sure where to start. After a while, I figured it was a lost cause, and went in search of an old blog post that I knew I wanted to link into the one I was attempting to write. None of my search terms revealed what I was after, and so I found myself scrolling the archives. 2018 was kind of flat, with a flurry of activity in the middle of the year. 2017 was pretty decently populated in the last 1/3rd of the year, after a crazy start to the year between travel and getting set up for homeschooling. 2016 was a write off, with a total of 5 posts all year – I was out of the habit, I was working a lot, and that was the point it felt like blogging really started to change from what it was. 2015, 2014, 2013, all well-filled years, averaging a post every two or three days. 2012…that was the golden age. Of blogging, in general, I think, but also for me personally. At the end of 2011, I had attended my first quilt camp, and it was there that I was castigated by the-enabler-who-shall-remain-nameless about my lack of blogging in the preceding couple of months – after a reasonably productive 2008-mid 2011, I had dropped off and fallen into a few months of radio silence (blog silence? Can we refer to a quiet blog in radio terms?). We still joke about it now – “hey remember that time you whinged about lack of blog content, and so I started blogging daily in response?”. 2012 was a plethora of content, with, yes, most weekdays, and often weekends, having a blog post. Sometimes it was a project. Sometimes it was just a little life update. Sometimes it was the Bloggers Boogie (remember that? Fun times, fun times…), or Sunday Snippets (another blast from the past).

Scrolling through those posts, I felt more and more like I have lost my blogging voice. I got to thinking, what was it that made blogging then so fun and easy, and what had caused me to lose my way? I do know I find it hard to get started on a post these days, with the advent of the facebook auto-feed sharing the first few lines, I feel the pressure of getting that opening hook “just right” for the preview. Pinterest has changed things, of course, with the “need” to have a catchy title, and good content and freebies that are quick and easy to attract eyeballs and get the click throughs…but then clicks don’t equal comments, and there is much more these days a feeling of yelling into the void. The lifestyle snippets and stories don’t generate the audience that a printable does. But does that mean they aren’t worth blogging about? Instagram has been a big influence as the rise of microblogging takes away the blog as the be all and end all of content sourcing. Increasingly, thought, I am seeing previously dormant blogs coming back to life, not just on my feedly, but on instagram too, as the algorithms take over and the value of having more control over your content becomes more powerful. Last week’s facebook outage certainly made that point very clear, to those of us running an online business, and on my list this week is to create a community on my website for my Essentially Barefoot customers so that we aren’t as reliant on Facebook for connection and education. I have become a master overthinker, working too hard to decide on content, instead of sharing what comes naturally, because I don’t want to bore people with too much of this or that or the other. It feels, for instance, that all I’ve posted about lately is sewing. And that’s beacuse that’s mainly what I’ve been doing. It’s been too hot for crochet. I don’t want to get my art supplies out as they take too long to pack up. My beads are packed up and in storage. Sewing small projects, on the other hand, takes only a couple of days at most, and can be tucked away easily. So that’s what I’ve blogged. But, thinks I, people will think this is a sewing blog, and get confised when I post something else. Or those who are here for the other crafting will get sick of all the sewing.

But then, I realised last night as I chopped potatoes for dinner, it was easy for me to have a comfortable blogging voice and a consistent blogging schedule in 2012 all the way through to 2015. Of course it was. It was easy because I was doing it. Daily. I was honing that voice and the habit of posting was so ingrained that even now, today, as I grabbed a coffee and headed for the office to write this post, kissing the messy-haired heads of my children as they watch a movie (huzzah for school break!), I could feel an incredibly strong sense of deja vu, that this was my familar place. I could feel the feels and think the thoughts of 2012, so well worn was that groove that I am trying to allow myself to drop back into. Like any muscle, our blogging voices strengthen with repetition, and weaken with disuse. And so, this week, I am going to do a mini blogging marathon. I will blog every day this week. Sometimes it will be a finish. Sometimes it will be a progress post. Sometimes it will be just life as it happens. It could be fun. It could be a flop. But it will help me fight the writers block I struggle with right now, so it should be a win, regardless…

  • Catherine

    OMGosh… I just had my 16-year-old child edit an article I was writing, and they pointed out my lack of a hook for a title!

    March 18, 2019 at 1:50 pm Reply
  • Makepeacemade

    Love this. I’m sure we all feel like this some days and you’ve certainly captured my feelings about staring at a white screen, putting it much more eloquently than I could. I’ve literally just written an idea for a blog post down in my journal for the upcoming week and I have to admit I’m concerned some may not be interested. It’s soul destroying when you think you have something only to find that you have a limited number clicking through. Homework for me this week – work harder on the title and hook…

    March 24, 2019 at 7:37 pm Reply

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