unfinished business

If you’re a regular you’ll know that I’ve been blogging for a year now. I’m impressed with my commitment. I started blogging with a 3 month free trial and figured that if I lasted the three months then I’d make the commitment to a year’s subscription with Typepad. I get bored easily and this has managed to hold my attention, but maybe because I get to show off regularly! That’s what blogging gives us, an audience to say, "hey look at this" to likeminded people. Our friends and family are interested but not obsessed as we are, hence the blog. (Non-blogging friends no offence, some of you, unnamed, are as obsessed as me!)

So what’s the year been like in blogland? Overall it’s been great. But you’d expect to hear that wouldn’t you. It has been complex. It’s bought up a lot of issues within myself. I’ve made great friends, learnt a bunch of stuff, gotten frustrated with myself, become jealous, envious even. Why? Lots of reasons. I think (this is a gross generalisation), women can be very competitive (or maybe it’s just me). Given that my blog is about craft and most craft bloggers out there reading each others blogs are women I think there’s often this feeling of frenzied should-be activity or the "I should" feeling. The feeling of the need to keep up, to be popular, to be the first to create something, the anxiety of making something someone else has made before, the frustration of the "instant" popularity of very new bloggers. You get the drift. The frustration of knowing that there are people out there reading but not commenting, the inner dialogue "why aren’t they commenting", maybe I need to be leaving more comments out there. Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t a cry for affirmation from others (though please, don’t hold back if you feel the urge to comment :p ), it’s a sharing of my often conflicted inner dialogue…"Are my pictures good enough", "I can’t write for crap", "Am I jumping on the bandwagon to gain blogularity?", you know that sort of stuff, which often when written down like this looks and sounds pathetic and is unpopular in itself and slightly embarrassing to admit.

Then when it all becomes too much I need to remind myself, why did I start a blog? I started it because I love crafting, I’m new to crafting (the past 3 years or so of my adult life) I wanted a mirror, a reflection from other likeminded beings, I wanted to be part of something that looked so wonderful and interesting and yes I get a buzz when I’m asked about the blog by non-bloggers or when someone leaves a comment. Do I still get pleasure from the blog, yes most days and there is an amazing community of people out there, generous people. Proof of that is that I just flew over 4000km to stay with a woman and her family whom I’ve never met, and I made another new bloggie friend in Perth (known as the most geographically isolated city in the world though it doesn’t feel like it in blogland).

Now there’s the moment of…hmm publish this? Will it be unpopular? But then stuff it. Maybe that’s my frustration the pressure I put on myself to be popular and post popular material. Thank goodness this hasn’t settled in over here at Craftapalooza.

Finally a thank you. Thank you to the lurkers and readers, the commenters and the friends who show an interest, I wouldn’t change anything about this past blogging year, it’s given me so much.

19 thoughts on “unfinished business

  1. kely says:

    Yes! Thank you and well said! I haven’t even been blogging for a year yet, and I’ve already have all of those issues come up for me… when I first started I had so much to post. Then, when I caught up with myself and started to find the well a bit dry, I worried that everyone would stop reading because I wasn’t updating every day or creating something new with each and every post. Now I’m finding that it’s the personal and revealing posts that people seem to be most drawn too, even if they first came for craftiness. I find this desire to *understand* one another incredibly fascinating – perhaps we’re all housing inner anthropologists…
    Anyway, thanks for the post – definitely hit a nerve with me!

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  2. kathreen says:

    oh wow – very honest and real. good on you. i read the nonist article – interesting blogger depression. A year is nearly up for me too and I still have blogger addiction. I love getting comments from people and finding out what they are thinking, and ‘meeting’ like minded people has been so rewarding, esp. fellow aussie chicks like yourself. Thank you for being an inspiration and for being a starter and for being a good and honest fellow aussie blogger.

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  3. Fiona says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your feelings Nicole – you’ve totally hit a nerve with me, too. I haven’t been blogging for a year yet either, but so much of what you’ve said rings so true. For me, reading great, honest and thought provoking posts like this is what keeps me going, and what makes me so happy to have discovered blogging and all these fantastic like-minded women… If we all self-censored more it wouldn’t be nearly so fun and interesting. Cheers on making it to a year, I really look forward to reading the next ones!

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  4. Jane says:

    I think you’ve done a great job here, articulating so many of the doubts and inner conflicts we have. But I think you’ve been doing the best thing on your blog, which is to be true to yourself, rather than attempt to create some kind of sham personality who never has doubts/bad hair days/failures. My husband reckons women are more collaborative bloggers (all that sharing and praise and admiration) than competitive – and that’s the bit I love. So this is a well done comment – and congratulations on reaching the end of the first year still smiling.

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  5. santos. says:

    i’m just echoing what everyone else has said, bravo to you. you’ve just proven you can write for crap, and better than that to boot 😀
    i think the most difficult thing to accept in bloggyland is your own abilities, but once you do, it becomes easier to deal with all the blog envy and anxiety. but that’s life in general, innit. if it helps you any, the reason i started my crafting blog was in part due to how amazing craftapalooza is, from the photos to the writing to the actual crafts themselves. i know i’m crap at sewing, knitting, and even gluing things together, but eh. i reckon by looking towards you and other great crafting blogs (and a lot of practice) i will eventually get better, and if i don’t, **** it, at least i can’t fault the inspiration.

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  6. Nichola says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head there, i’m sure we all feel that way from time to time, i know i do. Thanks for being so honest. The best thing about blogging is the support and encouragement we receive from each other to carry on with the fantasic things we are creating. Congratulations on your 1 year of blogging, here’s to many more to come!

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  7. Mary says:

    I absolutely concur with all that you’ve said… I think blogging can be very humbling. I absolute treasure blogland for that sense of community I feel out there between crafters who may not have had it in their daily lives…. however I don’t necessarily feel part of it most of the time. In any case I am gladd you are out here as one of my favorite reads of the day! Keep up the good work.

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  8. Missa says:

    Hi! Im sorry to say that Im a looker and never leave a comment untill now. I have just realised how much joy one little comment can bring. I havent been reading your blog for very long cuz I just found it and It is now in my bloglines list cuz I love your stuff and you were the 1st Auzzie blog I found (im auzzie as well). You are so not drying up and you are still getting new readers to your blog so smile 😀

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  9. Rachael says:

    Hi Nicole, I’m afraid I’m a lurker too, because I’m generally in awe of you “veteran” bloggers, and feel as though I am the kid on the edge trying to be one of the cool kids but not succeeding, and that how could I possibly add anything constructive to the mix? Silly I know. You have made me re-evaluate why I blog, why I choose the projects I do, and why I am so addicted to this community. Who says you can’t write? Your blog is on my list of daily reads, and I look forward to reading what you’re up to and what’s been keeping you occupied. I’m also glad that my inner dialogue isn’t alone…..

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  10. Alison says:

    hey chicky babe – I love this post. I love that you put yourself out there and articulated what is on my mind a lot, and perhaps many other people’s minds too. At the end of the day you’re a wonderful person who does some great things, and it’s been a pleasure to get to know you and your work this last year.

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  11. anthony says:

    Ha! You got a friend who smashes eggs with a sledgehammer and alludes to eating exchange students. Other than that you should be very happy with it all. Cheers for vocalising for what most of us often think. Happy anniversary Crafty, the pleasuer is all ours.

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  12. joy madison says:

    It’s funny how much this issue makes us say. All of your comments to this are several sentences long. I think it IS that we are women….there is this innate feeling between women of both strong companionship and strong competition! Thanks for this lovely blog and sharing your feelings, creativity and crafts:)

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  13. africankelli says:

    Dear Craftapalooza,
    Your blogging has done a world of good for me. In the last five months, my beau and I suddenly split. I was left reeling. I didn’t know what to do with myself and getting out of bed was a huge accomplishment. I continued dragging myself to work, unable to accomplish much. My mom put knitting needles in my hands and told me I needed to be productive. In the quest for finding more knitting information online, I found backtack. I dusted off my sewing machine and essentially crafted myself out of the darkest period of my life. It is amazing how a group of web sites and the creative women behind them saved me. I am forever appreciative. (And have since reunited with the beau, set up a permanent craft place in my home and am making more time for myself and my passions than ever before.)
    Thank you and happy 1 year blogging birthday.
    Cheers,
    K

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  14. Suse says:

    Great, honest post. I am not nearly as productive as you craftyblog gals who produce something for show almost every day, and while I envy you your productivity and talent, your blog (and other crafty ones) are inspiration for me. Not competition.
    I love the community that has grown up around these blogs. For me, blogging is a creative outlet in other ways, such as photography and writing. It’s funny though, as much as I love the feedback and comments, part of me cringes to think that people read my blog! Such conflicting emotions …
    Anyway, happy blog birthday 🙂

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  15. anthony says:

    “we are women”
    Just in case there’s any confusion, I’m not a woman. Nothing wrong with it mind, it’s just I’ve put considerable work into my manliness. : ), I mean : {

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  16. Nicole says:

    Hey everyone thanks so much for your great comments! I really appreciate it. Also thanks for sharing personal stuff with the bloggie world.
    Spicey – it’s ok, I’ve met you in the flesh and you are all MAN. 😉

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  17. Joelene says:

    What a great post, I could have written it myself. Part of what I find so hard about blogging is putting myself out there. But when I do I realize why I enjoy blogging so much.

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  18. Leslie says:

    My goodness, Nicole! I feel like printing out this post and giving it to my husband. You hit the nail on the head with it — there are so many feelings that I’ve had…that you managed to verbalize so perfectly. I had those same exact feelings, but never knew how to explain ’em. So THANK YOU! And thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone in feeling this way!:)

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