Full disclosure: the reason I suddenly kicked my blogging into high gear is I accidentally signed up for web hosting for three years. And, paid for it all at once. (I think I might have had a mini-heart attack when I realized my mistake.) You see, I thought I was signing up for a small, monthly payment I’d barely notice. I thought, “eh, the small monthly payment will be motivation for me to take my blogging seriously.” Instead, I purchased this panic attack in full. I hit submit, saw my summary and immediately started to spiral. I actually don’t even know how or why I made such a mistake. How does a person sign up for three years of something and think, “eh, it’s just a small payment.” Even if it had been as I thought, I would be making payments for web hosting for three years. And, I’m sure, it’s my cheapness that led to that mistake. I clicked on whichever deal will cost me the less in the long run. “Three years at only 6 dollars a month? Yeah, that’s for me! I’m saving a dollar a month!” Every day since then, I’m thinking of that money, and wondering, “what in the hell was I thinking??”
When I started blogging (ahem, eleven years ago), I did it because I was just learning how to knit, and, simultaneously, use the internet. Blogging was a relatively new thing. There weren’t many out there–especially knitting blogs–and it was easier to get noticed and get feedback. I look back at those very early posts and laugh because they are TERRIBLE. Bad photos. Bad writing. COMPLETELY boring. But…they make me happy when I reread them. I love seeing the kids when they were little, and reading the little snippets of my daily life during that time. Sometimes it feels like I’m reading another woman’s diary. I’m not that same young mom. But I love looking at her life. She looked happy.
On again, off again, I’ve gone to my blog. Sometimes I switched blogging platforms. Sometimes I change the layout and types of posts I’d write. I’ve “tried on” many different styles. And, even though I kept the blog going, my content was sparse–especially in the later years when I started to make friends IRL (or In Real Life for those of you who don’t speak in acronyms.) Suddenly, I didn’t need to reach out with my blog anymore, since I had living, breathing people to talk to directly.
But, I still kept the blog and sometimes I’d look at my non-existent site traffic and think, “I should post more.”
Meanwhile, many of the bloggers that started about the same time I did continued with and committed to their “hobby.” Enter Pinterest. Enter Foodgawker. Enter Facebook and Twitter. Suddenly EVERYONE is living on the internet. Those blogs got popular. Famous. They turned from “hobbies” into “businesses,” with actual income.
I’m the type of person that dwells on the road not travelled. I see all of this and I wonder, what if I had put more effort into my blog? What if I had treated it like a job? Then, I go to my blog. Bang out a post, or two, of absolutely nothing. Vow to be better. Vow to focus. Then, when the day is over, I go to sleep. And, that night, my ambitions and ideas are washed away, like I have some sort of strange amnesia. (Think, 50 First Dates.) I go to sleep and forget it all.
And I’m fine with that. Usually. I wipe my brow, mutter a relieved “phew!” and get back to what’s safe–being a mom. Just a mom. I pick up my broom, sweep my cares away, and am satisfied.
Until the next time I’m on Pinterest and I see something amazing someone else did. Question: if you knit an amazing tea cozy, and no one is there to see it? Does it actually exist? Apparently, my brain doesn’t think so. Pictures, or it didn’t happen. I start fretting again about that neglected blog and all the stuff I could be–should be–putting on it.
So, this was my frame of mind a week ago when I was sitting at my computer. I was wondering, “what can I do to be relevant.” Those may not have been the exact words going through my head, but pretty close. I’m sure there were other words banging around my head, like, “I could do that,” or “I have things to say and/or teach people, too!” But, the main idea was “I am relevant. I need just need someone see that I am relevant, too.”
So, here I am. A blog I’ve paid three years in advance for. A blog, and zero focus. As you can tell from my last several posts, I’m thinking my blog is a food blog. Only, is it? Is that what I want? I mean, I love to eat, but do I love it enough to want to photograph every stage of the food making process? More importantly, do I even know what I’m doing? Sure, I can follow a recipe, but creating my own? That’s hard! And, food staging? But, I only have one style of dinnerware!
So, maybe it should be a craft blog. But, which one? Knitting? Crochet? Sewing? Weaving? Painting? Should I make patterns? Just share what I’m doing? Wait, what am I doing? I have one blanket I’m knitting, and about four sewing projects I gave up on before finishing…
Momming! (Yes, mom, as a verb.) I spend my days momming. I could talk about that! But…who wants to hear about how I dragged the kitchen chair back to the table for the 50th time today, or how, when I put one coloring book back in the basket, three suddenly appear in it’s place on the floor?
Just look at my categories, and you’ll see how incredibly unfocused I am. And that’s the pared down version! There were more categories, if you can believe it!
So, I have a dilemma. I have this blog. For three long years. I need to get my money’s worth out of it. What do I do? What will make it worth my time? What will make it authentic and interesting? If it’s not authentic, I’m just a pretender. And, seriously, that’s how I feel right now. I’m pretending to be a cooker, or a baker. (Candlestick maker?) I’m pretending to know what I’m doing. I have no flipping clue what I’m doing. Imposter Syndrome? Maybe. More likely, I really and truly don’t know what I want. I never have. That’s why I’m a mom in her late-30s, trying to find purpose by…blogging. See how silly that sounds? See why I’m having a panic attack?
So, for my friends and family (pretty much the only ones who are reading this) there is your explanation for why I’ve suddenly picked this blog back up. If you’re wondering, yes, I feel foolish. No, I don’t feel like it’s “me” blogging those recipes, but a silly stranger who needs better props if she’s going to be staging food. It doesn’t feel right, and it doesn’t feel sincere. But, I’ve got three more years to work on this mediocre blog and try to figure out what it’s going to be about.