…blogtober day 31 :: the wrap up…
And so, we come to the end of Blogtober. THANK YOU so much, for being here this month. For everyone who has read, commented, followed, subscribed, clicked links, listened to the podcast, THANK YOU. It has been a crazy ride of month, and I must confess, I am not sad to be at the end of it. I’m always glad to do Blogtober, and always glad to be done with Blogtober. Coming to the end of the month has me looking back over a whole lot of posts, and working out what I liked and what I didn’t.
First – the stats, because I am a numbers nerd. Over the last 31 days I have published 32 blog posts on this blog, three “more thoughts” posts on the podcast blog, three weekend wraps for the podcast, four show notes posts for the podcast, for a grand total of 42 posts in October. In addition to that, I’ve sent four newsletters, edited four podcast episodes, and recorded four. I’ve posted 24 instagram grid posts, two reels and 152 stories on my personal insta, plus 8 grid posts and 14 stories for the podcast.
That is a lot of content! When I look at it all put together like that, it’s no wonder I’ve gotten to the end of the month, and feel very ready for a break. Like always, I am very glad I did it. I’ve met some lovely people, and my Feedly once more is chock full of new posts and inspiring blogs. My stats have gone crazy both here and for the podcast – we have even been charting mid week, without a new episode driving the growth. For someone as numbers driven as myself, that’s been such an encouragement!
At times, it has felt like one of the hardest runs through Blogtober, of all my attempts. Definitely one of my least productive, project wise. I was away for the first week, without my craft supplies or my photography set up. I responded by sharing more of my thoughts and musing on creativity and connection, inspired, in part, by the introspection required by our podcast. I got home, and felt the pressure (in myself) to shift away from think pieces, trying to maintain a balance of thoughts to projects. That second week was a mix of freebie downloads (and failed tutorials), new projects, more involved thought posts, lighthearted round ups, and behind the scenes. Looking back on it, it is a week of blogging that really feels like “the good old days”, where blogging didn’t need to be anything more than what was on your mind at that moment.
Around the middle of the month, I felt like I hit a wall. The majority of my crafting was either a surprise I couldn’t share, or projects I’d shared multiple times. And yet, with the benefit of distance, it was another good week – my plans for crafting, a little dabble back into the creative writing waters, new projects and thoughts inspired by them, and allll the camp posts.
This week I’ve definitely done it tough, but managed to get a post up every day, even without having anything major to share in the way of project progress. And yet, for exactly that reason, it’s felt freeing, in a way. “Here’s a stitchery I mucked up and what we’ve been up to today” “here’s a cake my daughter made and what Sunday looked like for us” “I tried something and it sucks but I had fun even if I can’t art”. Even on the days I felt like I didn’t have words, I still managed to get a post up, including failing at keeping wordless Wednesday wordless.
It has brought me back to the reason I blog – to record. To record the projects, and to record the life happening around me, the moments those projects will take me back to. And I blog to connect – to offer up a little part of my process that might resonate with you, that we can share those little moments of crafter commonality.
It had also brought me back to why I fell in love with blogging. How through the magic of a photo and some storytelling, the ordinary everyday becomes something worth immortalising. It’s reminded me that not everything has to be finished and polished to be shared. Social media has instilled in us a habit of filters and framing and shiny when it comes to posting. Sharing a half finished project last week, it felt scary, in a way that it wouldn’t have once. To post a flash fiction was downright terrifying. Once, I posted them weekly without a second thought.
This blogtober, more than any other, has left me reflecting on how I use social media, and the boundaries I’ve managed to put up around my sharing, without even realising. Some are good boundaries, for sure, designed to safeguard the privacy of my family and those around me. Some are less healthy, and exist only because somewhere along the line I’ve internalised the message that social media should be neat and pretty. As I wind down from a month of writing and sharing and thinking about what blogging looks like for me after so long, it’s something I’m trying to be conscious of. Is sharing my cross stitch fail overly exciting as a post on its own? Probably not. Does it add depth to the story of my creativity I’m sharing in this space? Sure does. Does it break down the idea that only perfect finished projects are worth sharing? Definitely! As a reader, I love posts like that, where the crafter shares not only their wins, but their fails as well. It speaks to the reality of life as a crafter. Not everything goes right every time, most projects have a hiccup or two.
The beauty of a blog is we can make it whatever we want. I don’t have to keep an algorithm happy, or tuck my photos into neat little hash tagged boxes. As I regroup and move forward, I want to share more of those behind the scenes moments that make up a project, unpicking and frogging and all. I want to chat about what’s on my mind. I want to share the little snippets of life that make sense to share in this space – the boxes loaned by my nan, the trips away with the children, the changing landscape that inspires me. I want to feel less afraid to share the less than perfect.
Thank you, friends, for following along this past month. It’s been wonderful having you here.
One thing I started in Blogtober and will continue going forward, is a newsletter. I’m planning on sharing recent favourite blog posts and podcast episodes, things I’ve found that are inspiring me, a peek at what I’m reading/watching/listening to, and a little almost-blog-post, sharing some thoughts that don’t make it to the blog. If that sounds like an easier way to follow the blog without checking a feed reader, pop your details in the box below! You’ll receive a welcome email (check your junk folder!), and then after that, it will be coming your way once a month (in the last week of the month). I promise to never share your details or spam your inbox!