It’s the new year (haven’t you heard?) and bloggers everywhere are talking about new year’s resolutions, plans, and goals for 2014. There’s just something about the after-Christmas hush that provokes Deep Thoughts and Reflection.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this blog of mine – what I want for it, what I want from it, and what you – my readers – want from it. I started this blog with no vision or ambitions. My main goal was to share my Craigslist adventures, vintage finds, and furniture restoration escapades. When we had to leave our apartment and move in with in-laws, the blog went on hiatus. When we purchased our home this past February, I opened up this blog again to write about Craigslist finds, selling, and renovation DIY projects around our house.
This time, my ambitions were a little larger but still modest – I simply wanted to become a world-famous DIY home décor blogger with a possible book deal in the future. Nothing too grandiose 😉
I set out to learn basic coding and web design, social media marketing, search engine optimization and hone my photography and Photoshop skills. I made wonderful blogging friends who encourage, teach, and inspire me constantly. I dove head-first into DIY projects and discovered the wonderful world of scraping popcorn ceilings, spackling and sanding drywall, and electrical wiring. I set a self-imposed blogging schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, firmly convinced that consistent posting was the key to breaking into the marvelous world of DIY blogging-fame.
I worked as hard as I’ve ever worked in my life, but no matter how much time I devoted to this “hobby”, there was always more to do. I opened up my laptop first thing in the morning and then again once I got home from work until bedtime each evening. Personal time? What’s that? All time is work time! On the clock, 24/7.
Ironically enough, “project time” was getting eaten up by “managing” time – all the time it took to manage blog maintenance, social media scheduling, self-promotion (ugh! my least favorite part!) and link-ups… Craigslist searching completely fell by the wayside, because there were literally not enough hours in the day for me to sit in front of my computer. Or on my smartphone.
Inspiration waned. Inertia set in.
By December, I was scraping to create content. (This is not to say that I wasn’t pleased with my Christmas posts – it was a fun theme, but perhaps a little overkill to post about nothing but Christmas for an entire month, without a single DIY project.) My whole “three times weekly” posting schedule was just getting harder and harder to maintain with quality and integrity.
Then Christmas break happened.
I spent two weeks on the couch. Two weeks off the computer, largely disconnected from the internet except for some zealous tweets about my newly discovered Buffy love.
I spent two weeks thinking about blogging. About how my favorite hobby had turned into a full-time job with a horribly demanding, perfectionistic, never-satisfied boss… Me.
About how I had lost my vision and enjoyment. I had stopped dreaming big, and put my nose so far to the grindstone I couldn’t see the big picture.
About how I didn’t want to just “add to the noise” – create mediocre content just for the sake of consistent posting. I would rather have one truly creative and well-written project to share with you on occasion than a week’s worth of quickly-cranked-out and uninspired posts.
About how I may not bring the most DIY-experience (hint: I have very little!) or interior design skills (untrained novice here!) to the table, but that I am a writer at heart. Hopefully you won’t scoff at that idea, but ever since I first learned to read and write, I have best expressed myself through the written word. I may blog about DIY, home décor, and vintage furniture finds, but the most important aspect of blogging to me has always been the actual blogging.
About how it’s fine and dandy to be a badass at social media and photography and branding and strategy, but sometimes it’s equally important to be a badass at sitting on the couch and rocking the Netflix queue. I am the queen of overachieving, but oh, do I need to learn the art of relaxation!
About how I was failing at spending quality time with Bryan. “The boy behind the blog” was literally coming in behind the blog in terms of priority and precedence. Major, major, major! This needed to change. We spent hours talking over beers at The Meddlesome Moth on his birthday, and that needs to *not* be a rare occurrence!
My Word for 2014
If you’ve been reading blogs much at all since the start of the year, you’ve surely noticed bloggers posting about their “word of the year”. It’s supposed to be one inspirational word that sums up your goals and resolutions and vision for the upcoming year.
My word of the year is Relax.
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Zoolander tie-in. Plus, every blog post needs a strong visual, right?)
My New Year’s resolutions include sitting on my butt more, watching more Netflix, reading more books, hanging out more with Bryan, and spending time online that perhaps doesn’t directly pertain to blogging.
2014 will also include plenty of DIY projects as well! I’m a dyed-in-the-wool do-it-myself-er, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 2014 will include more Craigslist posts and vintage finds, because I’ve been so sad to see those fall by the wayside when I was too busy with other things.
2014 will see me posting less frequently here on my blog. And perhaps on other social media outlets as well. But 2014 will see better blog posts. Better pictures, better stories, better projects. Little posts, on occasion, as well. Silly ones too. Personal gut-spilling, over-wordy ones like this? You bet!
But I will not be adding to the noise.
I will not be posting a Valentine’s or Saint Patrick’s Day themed craft/décor/recipe project unless I want to. Unless it is something I can be authentic about, excited about, and good at. I will not be hammering out a post the midnight before my self-imposed schedule…(Okay, okay, I probably will wait until midnight to write, but only because I think best in a still, dark house.) I will not be hammering out a post the midnight before just to have something to post the next morning. There’s a lot to be said for structure and self-discipline, but I put myself through blogging boot camp for the last four months, and I am ready for some hard-earned R&R.
And I can’t end this post without a heart-felt message to you, wonderful reader.
Yes, you, sitting there, spending your valuable, precious, hard-earned free time reading this post.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for commenting.
Thank you for befriending me.
Thank you for chatting with me on Facebook and Twitter and for your emails.
Thank you for putting up with the ugly baby phase of this blog and its gangly teenage period of self-discovery. (Let’s hope this ugly duckling turns into a swan!)
Thank you for letting me share with you.
Thank you for sharing with me.
Thank you for making this the most rewarding hobby and passion and community.
Thank you for 2013.