When I started out blogging a year ago, I wasn't really sure of my purpose. Why blog? I already had a crafty facebook page to show off my creations, but I also wanted to teach and inspire. I wanted to share and connect with other artsy-fartsy folks like myself. Was that all I wanted? I'm sure deep down I wanted to be recognized as a crafter/artist. I'm sure I fantasized about how Martha Stewart was going to knock on my door offering to co-author a craft book with me. But after having one year of blogging under my belt, I've learned some hard truths and faced some tough realities. Well, maybe not so hard and tough, but truths and realities all the same. :)
I grew up in tiny town where I always stood out as artistic. I was asked to paint signs for local businesses, I won ribbons for my artwork, and it was no surprise when I said I was going to art school. I stood out a bit as an artist in college, which only spurred me to believe that I was pretty hot shit in the art department. While I never was able to make a career out of making fine art, I contented myself with creative jobs in catering and youth art programs. I got married, had my kids, bought my house, and then what? I started sewing/selling purses via a facebook page which eventually took me to blogging.
What are the hard truths I was writing about earlier? The truth is I'm not really THAT cool. The truth is there are TONS of cooler folks out there than me. I'm not going to rock the craft world and be the next Martha. I'm not going to get tons of money and renown for writing about zippered pouches and hosting online sewing challenges. I could try, but effort I'd have to put forth to market myself and my creations would have to be monumental. An effort of that magnitude would make me and my family miserable.
Because at the end of the day, I'm not an artist.
I'm a wife.
I'm a mom.
Unless you're married to a famous actor, political figure or a felon, or given birth to one, you'll never get famous for being a great wife and mom. I'm OK with that.
For me, blogging has presented some unexpected obstacles as well as rewards.
The obstacles being:
- HTML. Thank goodness it's mostly cut and paste.
- Fragile ego. I geek out on my stats daily. My head inflates when the traffic increases. But not all my posts become as popular as I thought they would. I really worked hard on all my Tudor rose posts, but they never really caught on. On the other hand, my No Dye Tie Dye post, took off like wild fire. Go figure.
- Time. Here I am sitting at the computer for 1.5 hours. I originally just wanted to share what Plaid sent me in the mail and now I've completely changed directions and am off on a totally new tangent. I've rewritten the first three paragraphs several times and feel like I'm wasting my afternoon sitting at the computer when I could be sewing. Time. There is never enough to say all I want to say.
- Ideas. Every time I come up with what I feel is a radical and useful and wonderful new idea, I google it. Chances are someone else has already blogged about it. It's very difficult to come up with something original and new.
The rewards being:
- Meeting people like me. Not everyone is into making yarn out of t-shirts or Mod Podging old purses. I treasure my blogging friends. You rock! You make me feel like I'm not alone, and you've taught me so much!!!
- Having an outlet. My husband and friends, bless their hearts, do not always want to hear about the inner workings of my sewing machine nor can they relate to the supreme frustration felt when I cut my fabric wrong.
- To inspire others and be inspired in return. Sometimes you just need a jump-start to get your creative juices flowing. Crafty blogs are great for finding inspiration.
- A tiny trickle of money. For my entire first year of blogging I made just under $200 for my ads and some paid posts. That's after 140ish posts and a bazillion hours on the 'puter. Nothing to write home about, but better than a stick in the eye.
- Free stuff!!! As you can see from the photo in this post, Plaid sends me free stuff from time to time. I've amassed quite a collection of Mod Podge and such. I've been approached by numerous companies and corporations to get free swag or articles in magazines, but Plaid is the only one who has really pulled through for me. I love the products and the people are great.
What do you identify yourself as? Has it changed over the years?
What are your biggest rewards and obstacles when it comes to blogging?
Thanks so much for your comments.
Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
a.k.a. My Love or Mama