Let's get real
by Cassie Gray
I spend an inordinate amount of time every day reading blogs. I mean, it’s slightly ridiculous, considering all the things I could be doing—including working on my own blog. And when you get into reading other people’s blogs daily, there’s an insidious little bit of self-criticism that can start to creep in if you let it—a voice that says “your interests aren’t cool enough, your life isn’t important enough, your business isn’t big enough.” It’s a little voice that’s plagued me for months, and I was so relieved when other bloggers started addressing it. Did you see Jena at Modish BizTips’s post titled “When you feel like you just don’t measure up”? And artist Jess Gonacha's post titled “this is me in the morning”? And Nicole from Astulabee’s post about revealing her true inspirations?
A blog should be about you, your life, your interests and daily pursuits, but it’s also a business card of sorts, right? Trying to balance the two is often so frustrating to crafter-artist/bloggers that they just end up abandoning the blog. And spending so much time reading other people’s blogs can leave you wanting—wanting so much more for yourself, for your work, for your family, for your business. This is a conundrum I’ve really been struggling with lately: how do I, as a designer/maker, craft a blog? And how do I sustain it, keep it relevant, and make it something others want to visit, while at the same time not driving myself crazy with insecurities about what I put out there and whether it measures up? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: going forward, I’ll post nothing on my blog that doesn’t truly speak to (or for) me; I won’t post if the spirit doesn’t move me (and when the spirit does move me, I’ll try to schedule more than one post at time), and I’ll step away from the computer when I start feeling overwhelmed (and uninspired and inadequate, etc). Of course, this will mean I’m violating common blogging rules: post daily, have weekly themes, create an aesthetic that will carry through the posts. But really, these are the things that intimidate me most about blogging with a capital B.
I’ve also tried to get real with myself about my blog’s content—and what it will and won’t be. You will not see gorgeous food shots of the bread I made this morning because I don’t make bread and I completely lack the willpower to photograph my meals before I eat them (plus, my meals tend to be pretty lame). Marichelle takes mouth-watering pix before she eats stuff, and I don’t know how she restrains herself! But I just need to acknowledge that it’s okay that mouth-watering food shots are never going to be a part of my blog. Nor images of my inspiring workspace—because my workspace is about as average as it gets. Nor gorgeous, shapely arms :). Because those things don’t live in me, and I don’t have to try to fake them for the world or beat myself up about not possessing them. Trust me, for someone who spends as much time as I do living vicariously through other people’s blogs, this is a big revelation for me—and a sigh of relief. I don’t want to give up on my blog, but I’ve come to the realization that I’m not going to be the next Marichelle or Ez or Jena or Holly or Grace, and I don’t have to treat my blog as if I were.
*Visit Cassie: shopclementine.blogspot.com
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Monday, May 4, 2009
Let's get real