…blgotober day 4 :: finding inspiration in connection…
When I first starting blogging back in 2008, it was more an offshoot of my main hobbies. It wasn’t necessarily a place to write and share as a stand alone channel, more where I could post photos and a little round up of the details, and share in the daily chat in an accessible way. In 2008, that’s how we used our blogs.
Before long though, the blog as a means of connecting with the wider crafting community began to appeal to me. I started to take it more serious, and play around with blogging as a medium in and of itself. In November 2011, I went to our very first quilt camp, and as we were winding down, the chief enabler herself asked when I was planning on blogging again? I’d taken an accidental hiatus since July, and Car very kindly hinted* that she enjoyed reading my blog posts and would enjoy seeing me pop up in her reader once more. (*where “very kindly hinted” is more accurately quoted as “you need to start blogging again please and thank you I’ll be waiting”).
One should be careful what they wish for, because I then started blogging again, and before long, I was blogging almost every day. By the time October 2012 came around, I’d absorbed “blogger” into the numerous creative identities that swirled around my little craft room. I signed up to Blogtoberfest2012, using the month to embrace the idea of being a blogger who crafts, rather than a crafter with a blog. That year, 334 bloggers signed up for the posting bonanza.
In the decade since, blogging has been shaped quite dramatically by the rise of Pinterest, and then Instagram. When I was adding people to my Feedly this week, there were suggested blogs, and each and every “top blog” I got suggested, was filled with clickbait titles, and Pinterest perfect graphics. Where had, I wondered, all the everyday, this is my life this is my project type blogs, gone. Instagram, is what I decided. The bloggers who stayed catered to pinterest, the everyday bloggers in search of engagement shifted to insta.
In the meantime, I’ve kept poking along, sharing here, trying to keep a bit of a rhythm of new content. For myself as much as anything – if I’m in the habit of blogging twice a week I’ll keep blogging twice a week. If I take a break, I might never start again. In September 2016, I stopped posting. There wasn’t a particular reason. Just as guilty as everyone else, I was hanging out more on instagram. I had the Saturday Night Craft Along going gangbusters, and was sharing a lot of my projects over there as that community grew. In the process, the blog fell by the wayside. It was a full year, in September 2017, that I came back to this space, and started blogging again. I missed it.
Blogging allows for a continuity and a conclusion that is harder to get on instagram. A project can pop up two or three times over a month’s worth of posts, and then the finished piece can be showcased with all the details and the story behind it. All of which can be done on instagram, of course, but where the blog really shines, is archiving. It’s much easier to search a blog for a post from 2017, than it is to scroll down my instagram. Blogging also allows for more depth, letting us “see” more of the person on the other side of the screen.
The last two years have all of us, I think, yearning for connection. I posted earlier this week about blogtober, and the comments section on instagram exploded with “I still blog!” and “I want to get back into blogging! I’ll join you”. It seemed to resonate in a way I didn’t expect, and in a way that makes my heart so so happy. Clearly, I’m not the only one missing the days of reading the minutiae of every step of a project, or the little life updates that appear in between. Even outside of that, I have seen more and more people resurrecting their blogs, or starting a sub stack, or a newsletter. Looking for that connection and engagement without the temptation to scroll endlessly.
It’s super inspiring as well, knowing there’s suddenly all these people out there, following along, joining in. Yesterday was hard, I was exhausted, I could barely think about what to make for dinner, let alone what to write for a whole blog post. But I also felt the strength of a crafty blogging community behind me, and next minute I had a post.
I was completely blown away. I think I’ve managed to add everyone who shared their link with me to my feed reader, and I intend to use this month to reset my blog reading habit. I’m excited to discover new bloggers and connect in their comment sections. Knowing the stories and details of a project also inspires me more to attempt my own version of whatever it is that has caught my eye. The 2022 resurgence has a whole new wave of crafty mojo coming in it’s wake.
It’s inspired me to rethink how I connect in this space, especially in a month of daily posts. Not everyone wants to download a feed reader app, or get an email every day. Or every twice a week. In a content driven world, it’s a balance of consuming the content that is enjoyable, without being overwhelmed by it. I decided to revisit the idea of a newsletter. Is it 2014 or something? I don’t know? What I do know it that the idea of it appeals to me, so I’m going to give it a try. Over Blogtober, it will come out each week. After that, it will be each month. 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 too, and a little almost-blog-post, sharing some thoughts that don’t make it to the blog. If you’d like to get a weekly/monthly round up, you can sign up here
Thank you, friends. For the inspiration, for the encouragement, for the community. Blogging is only enjoyable because I get to share the journey with you. Whether you’ve been here since 2008, or you just arrived today. Whether you comment on every post, or message me every typo, or just read along quietly. You are awesome. Thank you for being here.