A NEW YEAR, A FRESH START

2012 was a really hectic year for me. I had my gallbladder removed in January, was diagnosed with FMS in March and gastroparesis in May and I spent the majority of the year learning how to cope and getting used to a new lifestyle that included changes in my daily and physical routines as well as my diet. My anxiety and stress were both at an all time high and I found myself having full blown panic attacks several times a week. It's been a long and difficult road but I'm thankful to have found some wonderful doctors who do all they can to listen and help as well as ways to cope and have less pain and decreased flare ups and symptoms. It's still a struggle at times but I'm learning to take it day by day.

I can't blame my hiatus entirely on my health though. A large part of it was that I was no longer enjoying updating, photographing and crafting. It got to feel more like an obligation and it became way less fun. It is so easy to get caught up in the whole blogging formula: giveaways, sponsors, and promotion. You can start to feel like you have to keep up, sometimes you feel like you have to change to fit the mold you think your readers expect.

When I started blogging almost three years ago I wasn't really sure of what exactly I wanted my postings to consist of but I slowly started to find my niche. The problem was that I was reading all these super successful blogs and started thinking that that was what my blog was supposed to be too. I began incorporating schedules, giveaways and features that I had to keep up with. It was a lot of work to stay on top of everything and my blog became less and less about me and my craftiness and more about all this other stuff that I really didn't care about.

 I also found that I didn't even enjoy reading blogs all that much anymore. They were all starting to look and sound the same. Even blogs that I loved because they were unique, had great writing and a very personal style changed and I could tell that the author was struggling to keep their voice above all the blog noise. I stopped reading some of my favorite blogs when they would introduce sponsors, promotions and features when they previously didn't have any. It all started to feel so forced and this is definitely not what I wanted my blog to be and I certainly didn't want to read a blog where the author was trying so hard to fit a mold. The reason I started reading was because I liked it just the way it was! I realized that I was doing the same thing too and that's when I decided to take a break. I didn't know when or even if I'd start blogging again.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss blogging. I have missed it so much. I miss having a place to chronicle all my crafty adventures. I miss sharing ideas, crafts, and inspiration with others. I miss interacting, meeting and chatting with new people. Now, after having nearly a year off I finally have a clear vision of what it is that I want and what I don't want. I don't want a blog with hundreds of readers or to make money off of sponsorships. I don't want to keep track of giveaways or score free stuff from big name companies. I don't want to spend hours promoting or stress about finding content to share.

What I want for this blog is very simple. I just want a place to house my ideas, my crafty adventures, to chronicle what I make and to try new things. So I've decided to get back to basics. There will be no giveaways, no sponsors, no product or shop reviews, no scheduled weekly or daily features. I will post when I have something to share, I won't force myself to come up with content. The focus of this blog will be what I had originally intended: crafty adventures and handmade cuteness. Of course I'll throw in some posts about life in general and a little bit of personal stuff here and there but the main thing will be me just posting for me. I won't worry about what I think others want to read or see, just what I feel like sharing. At the end of the day this blog is mine. I'm keeping it for me. If others enjoy it and want to follow along, they are more than welcome! But I am done trying to fit a mold, all I can be is me. So here goes, a new year and a fresh start. It feels so good to be back!

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