This week I read a thoughtful and heartfelt post from John and Sherry on Young House Love that they were going to take a break from blogging for awhile. YHL has probably 20 times the readership as my blog and has become an empire based around their DIY personalities. I can only imagine the stress that comes with an audience that large and stakes that high. I both admire and feel overwhelmed on their behalf over what they've created and I wish them so much success with whatever they decide to do.
I read through some of the comments on the post and one that really stood out to me said something along the lines of (and this is deliberately paraphrased)...
"Whatever you do, don't try to go back to your old style of blogging. You have changed and it only makes sense that your writing reflects that."
This random comment on a blog that is not my own really resonated with me. Occasionally, I think about what blogging was like for me when I started. It was spontaneous. My writing was naïve and fresh and personal. I was also 20 years old. In real life I was naïve and fresh and totally caught up in my own personal life.
Sometimes I think, "Ahh, those were the days. I wish I could still write so off the cuff like that."
But I never could. Even with a strong cocktail in hand and endless hours I couldn't deliberately write like the archives. It would be forced and awkward and uncomfortable for me as a writer and probably for you as a reader. I'm almost 30. I'm still naïve in a few areas but I have much more knowledge in others. I would like to think that I still bring a fresh perspective but I also know I have nine years of experience. I've been around the block in Blogland, both as a content consumer and a content creator. My writing grove has come and gone (and left and come back and will leave and return again). I know what fills me up. I know what I like to read. I know what I like to write. I know how I like to write and, let's be honest, that's not spontaneously.
And when I read the comment the other day it clicked. That's all okay.
My blog is an old friend that I've known since college who I decided to go into business with. We've both grown a lot over the past nine years. Our relationship isn't new. It's lost it's spontaneity (for sure), but (at least for me) it has not lost it's spark. It's more polished (duh) but also feels comfortable. I like who I am with this blog. I like who this blog is with me.
What makes this space a blog first and a website second is that I'm telling my story. And my story has changed and will continue to change. I can't make up a story because my audience wants to hear it. I can't hire a staff member to keep the content "consistent" because the only "consistency" over the past nine years is that I'm still writing.
I am absurdly thankful that I have grown over the course of a decade. (Can you imagine if I was still writing about going to the 9-0 for double jack and diets every Tuesday? Or if I was still so emotionally raw with motherhood? Or, perhaps worst of all, if my teeth had never gotten fixed?!)
I know this post seems like it's leading somewhere. Like now would be a good time to share that I'm moving on (I'm not) or that I'm hiring help (I'm not) or that I'm considering tattooing "enJOY it" on my forehead (probably the most likely of the three). But really I have nothing BIG to say. I'm just sharing a somewhat cathartic experience that came from another blogger sharing their honest experience which is why I think blogging is so great to begin with.
I do, however, have something different planned for my posts in October. As mentioned, I have some fun DIYs on the pipeline for the fall. I have the coolest wedding photos ever to share with you Monday. I have a completely new business venture that I will launch late next spring. (That seems like forever away, I know, but after I secure a few things - trademarks! domain names! - I plan on sharing that new journey here with you one step at a time.)
So, to sum : this is a different space then it was in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. It's freeing to accept and even be able to celebrate that.
Thanks for reading and to my fellow blogger friends, "Do you. And keep on, keeping on. Or stop if you want to. Or start and stop and return again. That's all okay. [insert your fave motivational hashtag here]"
photos in this post are self-portraits taken with timercam and are peeks at the September edition of MAKE29. More info coming to the blog next week.