This was a guest post I did for Southern Lovely's series "What I Know" a few weeks ago. I shared what I know about blogging :)
When I started my blog, I had 5 main goals in mind.
1. I would create and blog about things that I would actually use, make, or enjoy in real life, even if I didn't have a blog. The motivation behind my blog was to give myself a kick in the pants, a reason to use up my piles of fabric, or make projects that have been sitting on my to-do list for ages, or just to find motivation to do something new. Most of what I blog about is life, and I then conveniently take a picture and write it up into a post. Usually its not the other way around... making or doing something just so I can blog about it.
2. I would keep my posts relevant to me- I was not going to clutter my blog with lots of roundups, sponsored posts, and features of other people's projects. I want to keep my blog as a journal of things I work on and create. I want to let readers get to know the author behind the blog. I want to have meaning behind each post. (I know this sounds a little narcissistic, and with that said, please know that I love some of the blogs whose main focus is featuring other bloggers and awesome roundups of projects found on the web, and I don't mind the occasional sponsored post. Those things may even trickle on to my blog from time to time, but aren't the main focus).
3. I would learn to balance my time. My blog is my hobby. I don't watch TV, I wish I read more books, but right now, my main free time is blogging and working on projects. I love being productive. I love scheming ideas in my head, writing, looking through pictures, heck I even dream about it sometimes. When I first began my blog, and worked on the design and figuring out what direction I wanted it to go, it took more time than I thought it would. The initial time investment was worth it. I feel like my blog is where I'd like it to be, and that it pretty much sustains itself. I know "when" its okay for me to blog, and when to put it on the backburner and focus on other things. I recently realized that if I wanted to keep blogging, it would require a little bit of sacrifice on my part. If my husband is ready to go to sleep at 9:30pm, I go. Anything blog-related can wait. About 2-3 times a week, I wake up 2 hours before my kids, to get my blogging "to-do" list out of the way before our real day begins. I recently set a goal that I would not even think about my blog in the morning until I had had some time pondering and reading scriptures and praying in the morning. This has really been amazing.
4. I would keep blogging as long as I felt good about it. I honestly don't know how long this blog will be around, but I don't forsee quitting any time soon. I have really enjoyed the journey. It's kind of become a big part of who I am! I have a little calendar (nothing fancy) where I sketch my ideas for posts. I figure I'll keep going with it as long as its a positive thing.
5. I would involve my family as much as possible. This is the goal I am most passionate about. I won't lie- blogging definitely takes time. When you're a mom of 3 little kids, with a husband who works 100+ hours a week, your time is precious and must be used wisely. That's why I let my children help in the kitchen, or be involved in projects as much as I possibly can. True, it means that sometimes things can get pretty crazy, or take twice as long, but I just know that it's worth it if it means that my kids are learning and making memories as we go. I'm so thankful that my husband supports my blog. He reads every single post and most of the comments (except maybe the link parties). He helped me brainstorm a ton for Sew-vivor, which I loved because it felt like "our blog," and not just "my blog." (And, he really loved it when my sidebar sponsors started coming in)! It thrills me to no end when my sisters comment on my blog, or when a relative stops by to read something. I've learned that I would be unhappy if I were a closet blogger. It's healthy to talk with your family about your ideas, your inspirations, and opportunities that come. I take a million pictures every month, and as much as I would LOVE to post more pictures of my kids and our adventures, I save it for our private blog or facebook. I feel much safer that way. I figure that most people who stop by my blog are mainly looking for ideas, and not a life history about my family.
I try to let my children help with the actual projects I'm making. Even if it means sitting on my lap for 5 minutes and sewing a straight line. I want them to look at things we make and take pride in it. I love it when they say, "I helped make that!" There are times that I can't have them help me, because its too complicated, or I'm in a hurry, etc. During those time, I try to "situate" the kids with something to keep them busy alongside me. Favorite projects in our house are paint, playdough, and drawing. The girls each got a toy sewing machine for Christmas, and my 6 year old has started making hats on a loom! I love watching their creative abilities develop!
The kitchen help.
And that's a wrap. Thanks for reading!! I don't know a lot, but I like to think that I know a little about a lot. Lindsay, thanks again for having me here to share What I Know.
And they live...Famiy Ever After.
See you there!