Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Few Thoughts on Blogging | January 2016

Photo taken in my parent's backyard | January 2016

Hello friends! It's been awhile since I've posted here. Two and a half months, to be exact. There are so many reasons why a break from posting was needed, and to be honest, most of those reasons will sound like lame excuses (included the dreaded phrase "I'm busy"). Just know that I needed some time to live off the grid, so to speak. A couple of my design team positions ended (Paper Smooches Sparks ended its run and I stepped down from Gossamer Blue), and it was time to step back and analyze why I blog, if I want to continue, and what exactly I want to blog about.

All important questions. 

I spent two months thinking, writing in my journals and notebooks, and searching my mind and heart for answers. My life has changed dramatically over the past year and many of those changes have affected my creativity. Long gone are the endless free days to create in my studio. Now my crafting time is crammed between soccer practice and studying for an English exam. 

I want it to be known that I am not complaining about this new life I've created for myself.

The kids and I are in a good place right now. I am figuring out what works for us, one day at a time. So far most of my craft time comes on the weekends and a couple of evenings per week when I don't have school or sporting events to attend. As much as I crave more "down time", being busy is also good for me. 

The one thing that I keep coming back to, when I think about this blog, is what changes I want to make going forward. The past two or three years have been dedicated to design team contributions and submitting cards for challenges. Not much else. While those posts have their place, I feel like I've lost my voice along the way. I stopped sharing personal stories or those photos and events that are meaningful to me. I also stopped sharing layouts and other scrapbooking related projects. I know the reason for not sharing layouts is due to not have consistent results photographing scrapbook layouts. The lighting in this house, and my previous two houses, made photographing larger projects difficult. While I live in the sunshine state, the houses here don't have a lot of windows! I assume that is due to having to cover those windows during a hurricane (this is pure conjecture on my part), but it is awfully annoying when I want good, bright light to photograph my projects. 

What does all this mean going foward? 

Well, it means several things. First, I don't expect to post every day; at least not right away. Ultimately that is the goal, but I want to try a few things first and see how it goes. I also will be sharing a wider variety of projects and possibly a review or two of my favorite products and services. No, these won't be affiliated in any way, but as a blog reader I like reading what other bloggers and crafters are using (and loving!). I've also been thinking about adding favorite recipes, a few home decor projects, and some digital projects as well.

I want this blog to be a reflection of who I am. Not simply a place to share assignments. 

I have a few posts planned for this week, including my return to Retro Sketches tomorrow!

Thank you for coming back and reading my long winded post. I know it's frustrating when a blogger takes an unexpected and/or unexplained absence and I appreciate your willingness to return and see what I have planned. Check back tomorrow for my Retro Sketches post and have a wonderful Saturday!


Jen W. said...

Nothing wrong with taking a step back and checking in with yourself, Erin. It's so easy to get swept up in DTs and challenges and keeping up with the latest stuff and sometimes that sucks the joy out of the hobbies we love. If the gorgeous picture you shared today is a little preview of what's to come then I can't wait to see it!

Erin said...

Jen, thank you for your sweet comment! Yes, breaks can be a very good thing for creativity. Have a wonderful weekend!

Lisa's Creative Niche said...

Welcome back!

Cara Malmrose said...

Glad you are easing back in and I'm looking forward to seeing what fresh new things you bring with you. I think people, especially creative people have to take that step back now and again to re-balance themselves or they get lost. Nothing wrong with it. I love the picture you posted.

Susi Kelly said...

Erin, I'm sure how you're feeling now (and were feeling previously) has been experienced by many, many others, so you're not alone! It's lovely - and brave - that you shared this with us out here in blogland. You have been missed. The most important thing is we're glad you're back!

Megan Carroll said...

Welcome back!! Wishing you happiness!