…blogtober day 13 :: content from crafting or crafting for content…
Last night, I was running behind schedule, and ended up blogging on the couch after I got home from soup kitchen. “That’s a lot of words,” says my husband, “how do you even do that?”. 15 years of blogging, I tell him, it’s just practice. “But don’t you run out of things to say?”. How does one answer that with “frequently”, at the same time as he is literally watching me pour the words out through my fingertips?
Blogtober in particular, can be tricky. Even just yesterday morning, before I settled in to write in the evening, I was all up in the chat moaning “I can’t word. What do I even want to blog about? I have nothing to say.” Normally, if I felt that way, I would just put my next post off until the following day. Or week. But it’s blogtober, and I made a public declaration that I would share a post each day. Would anyone really care (or notice) if I skipped a day? Nope. Would I notice or care? ABSOLUTELY. Most of the time, I find for me, speaking a goal out loud works because it makes me accountable TO ME.
And so, me being accountable to me, meant I wanted to post. I’d spent most of my time in Sydney sharing more wordy, thought-type posts, chatting about what internet friends mean to me, and how inspired I’ve been by the take up of Blogtober amongst my awesome insta community. I wasn’t crafting a lot down there, nor did I have nice photo opportunities, so that made the most sense. But I was also aware that, for the most part, people come to a craft blog to see craft projects. The thoughts tie in, for sure, but I need to be bringing the pretties. That in itself has been tricky – we came home and straight into birthday prep, and from birthday prep to admin for my three committees (yes, I know I need to learn how to say no). From admin to sports and drama rehearsals for the children. There hasn’t been a whole lot of crafting to be able to share.
As a craft blogger, this is where I find Blogtober an interesting exercise. Not only does it inspire me to try new things, and experiment with my voice in this space, but there are times the need of a blog post is enough to motivate me out of my procrastination rut. The fabric for yesterday’s sewing has been sitting on my ottoman since before I went away, waiting for me to actually do something with it. Each step of the project was under twenty minutes, the project as a whole took probably less than an hour and a half. And yet I procrastinated and avoided and moped and moaned about how I haven’t “had time” to be crafting (aka, I’ve been using my snippets of downtime to putz around doing nothing of any value). Then I had a blog post due, and really felt like that slot needed to be for an actual project. Suddenly, I had all the mojo in the world and got the iPad cover sewn in a flash.
That sounds a bit like I’m creating simply for the sake of content. Which I guess it is in a way, but only as a result of the way my ridiculous brain works. Thinking of doing something fun? Yeah no no mojo for you. Speaking a goal out loud? Deadlines? Here you are madam, we found a full vat of mojo and have more in the store room if you would like. It’s a project I wanted to do anyway, a project I intended to do anyway. The content was a bonus, and a motivator, but not the core reason for the creating. Coming into every Blogtober, I look over previous years and am astounded at how much I get made, while blogging each day, and parenting & housewifing & annoying the living daylights out of the poor sucker who got lumped with being my creative partner. Then Blogtober hits, and all those lovely, terrifying, motivating deadlines hit, and I’m like, yep. Tickles my brain in all the right ways. Of course I’m super productive during a month of daily posting.
I think for me, the difference lies in my attitude to the project. Is it bringing me joy in the moment, or am I just working towards a photo I can already see coming together in my mind? There’s definitely joy in the making, even if I’m running down to a (self imposed) deadline. The projects I’m working on are projects I would want to do whether I had a blog and an insta or not. The content might generate the motivation, but even in this busy content-producing month of daily blog posts and a new season of the podcast, it is still the creating that drives the content, and not the other way around.
You would think by now that “making begets making” is a lesson so obvious I don’t need to remind myself of it. But life gets in the way of the making and habits get broken and hobbies shift down the priority scale. Then along comes something like Blogtober, with built in motivation to keep me making and planning and playing, and I am reminded all over again of the power of habit in building creative momentum. Two finishes under my belt this week alone, day thirteen of daily blogging, and my crafty to-do list is bubbling with so many options I barely know where to start. It’s an excellent problem to have.