Before I started blogging I believed that the average blogger could produce reasonable posts for a year or two, two and a half years, tops, and after that it would be repetitious and boring to read. Most of us don’t have that much to say! Or sufficient stamina!
And when that happens I have a deep admiration those who decide they have said enough, shut up shop deliberately, rather than try to keep it going when they have lost interest, or no longer have the time. And I really like the people who rely on Instagram instead of launching another blog (there is a blog post published every six seconds). This newer medium is perfect for those who want quick advice on thread choices, or help on how to do a hem on chiffon etc. Me too. In fact it is only because I actually enjoy writing that I am a blogger at all. For most purposes I think Instagram with its square, often arty pictures, short posts and instant connection is ideal.
So back to the blog. I have already exceeded the 30 month limit I initially thought advisable, and I have been here for three years. In that time I have (unbelievably) published more than 800 posts. Had I been posting one a week, that would be 16 years worth! At, on average 750 words a post, that is 600,000 words – around six books, if I were writing a book. That’s alot to read! I do worry that I have outstayed my welcome.
So how has it been for me?
Looking back, as a novice blogger, I had five key questions.
Will I cope with the technology?
The first six months were hard as I struggled to manage the technology. At first I couldn’t do a link, or crop a photograph. I didn’t know how to schedule a post, automatically post to Facebook/Twitter, or create a gallery. But trial and error taught me most things. A few issues eluded me for ages but I managed a widget this month, which pleased me immensely, but I still can’t embed a video or piece of music. My one attempt at “vlogging” was not worth the candle.
Can I produce a reasonable number of words, in roughly the right order, once or more a week?
Then there is the writing. Could I produce daily posts? For the first year or so I was so excited about communicating that I wrote daily. In fact I found I could. I could make the time and deliver to a deadline, and I still have so many ideas and topics that I wanted to learn about or write about.
And, the really hard one, will anyone read what I write?
Will anyone read what I write? Will anyone comment on what I write about?
And after a few months I started to get readers and commentators, and the numbers reacting has amazed me. I am staggered by the generosity of people who read and comment.
Bless you! Thank you! Love you!
I know my blog is not very professional. I take pictures, rather casually, with my work phone, and I often have typos in the text which I may, or may not, correct during the day (sorry!). But you know that I am open, and relatively honest, and I try to communicate as if I was talking to a good friend. And while it is an effort and a commitment, I enjoy writing, and I love the feedback, even the critical stuff (actually especially the critical, challenging and probing observations). Frankly it would be hard to give up what feels like a friendship.
I have been very lucky to meet several other bloggers, followers and commentators. Several times I have bumped into people on the bus, in shops or in the street who I have met through the world of blogging. They recognise me from the blog, or I them. Isn’t that incredible? I think I would miss all these friendships and relationships it if I gave up now.
What about content?
The best blogs come from a passion. They give useful information that help others who in search of answers. They inspire. They allow you to feel less alone, more part of a joint endeavour. They are inherently interesting – for example seeing how someone else struggles to make a pair of well fitting trousers is very interesting to me (but undoubtedly in the watching paint dry category for most of my family and friends).
How much should I share?
There are bloggers who never show their face or give their name. Entirely their right to share their craft but nothing personal. For myself I want to hear the human story – this is what makes a blog interesting and compelling to read. There are only so many posts about putting in a zip or making a patchwork quilt that I can stomach. On the other hand I can (and do) read human interest blogs about adoption, cancer, running up mountains, setting up an enterprise in Malawi etc as they come from the heart and often involve human suffering and human achievement. I have been very open, and there are a few negatives associated with this, but on the whole I am very glad I have had faith in the vast majority of people who respond in kind. By themselves being open, friendly, trusting and honest about their weaknesses and failures. For me the internet of bragging is unsavoury and boring. Let’s hear it for the tryers, the failures, the learners and those that persevere against the odds. You are my kind of people!
So, at the end of three years, what next?
My future plans
I set out to write a blog about “fashion and fit. style and stitching”. I think it still serves a purpose. I have written alot about all four subjects
- Stitching (I used this word to encompass knitting, embroidery and other crafts)
Since creating a new home we have been spending more time in the country and this has meant less sewing (although more knitting). I don’t see this changing much.
And at work I have an exceptionally busy year ahead with a couple of big projects to complete. I have started a new blog – this time with a work focus! Leading Culture is really addressed to Chief Executives and other leaders, so I am not expecting many of my Fabrickated readers to sign up. But I have committed to one post a week.
Following careful reflection I am not going to close the blog because I would miss you. I will continue to write about the subjects that interest me, which of course will include clothes making and other crafts. I really appreciate hearing from readers and followers and I would love to meet you all in real life. But from now on Fabrickated is only going to have two (rather than three) posts a week – on a Tuesday and a Saturday. Whether I get to my fourth birthday or not – we shall see.
Thank you for coming with me. I appreciate and value every single reader and commentator. You inspire and support me, for which I am deeply grateful.