As I return to the blog after yet another hiatus, I’ve been thinking more generally about blogging, for instance:
Why do it? When I do
Why feel guilty about it? When I don’t
Why do it at all? When I’m thinking about it rather than actually doing it.
Surely, I can’t be alone in this?
There are so many different ways that we can connect over social media; What role does a blog play, especially one visited so infrequently even by its own author?
When I first started this blog, and I surprised myself when I realised my first blog post was back in January 2011, 8 years ago, I didn’t record what my ‘vision’ for the blog was. My first few posts were travel related and although I had published knitting patterns by that stage they were mainly free, recipe style patterns. You know what I mean, a lot of us shared our one size, ‘this is what I did’ style ‘patterns’ for others to replicate what we’d done. It was the early’ish days of Ravelry and we were still building the online community and blogs were a big part of that. It wasn’t until the October of that year that I published my first ‘paid for’ pattern, my Wraparound Eyelet Shawlette. Which reminds me, it’s due an update: I’ve multi-sized it, it has followed the current trend and grown from the shawlette so popular then, to a fully fledged shawl, and once I have some new pictures that I’m happy with there will be an update.
So anyway, here we are 8 years on and I’m still asking myself the question:
What role for the blog?
There are so many other forms of connection now, social media has become so much a part of our interactions. Platforms have come and gone and however erratic I am here, I’m loathe to give up the blog because actually, over that time I have developed and ideal of what it could be, and what I’d like it to be.
I think simply put, that is a place of reflection.
All too often our interactions and our experiences are immediate, we act and react in the moment. Even when experiences have a longer term impact, perhaps we don’t always take the time to fully appreciate this and intentionally integrate it into our thinking. I fear that in a culture of immediacy we, I think it’s beyond just me, fail to really appreciate how experiences, thoughts and learning, shape and re-shape us. Perhaps we curate different parts of our online life, but what about our actual selves, do we make the same time for that?
A case in point. Last October I was incredibly lucky to be able to go to Shetland Wool Week, not that you’d know unless you follow me ‘in the moment’ on Instagram because it never made it onto the blog.
I had a series of amazing experiences, one practically falling over the other, it was fabulous as we packed so much into the week, from the rough crossing there, to the rough return crossing, it was just incredible.
There was the landscape, the yarn, the heritage, the people – lots of pictures were taken but other moments, like for example, Niela Nell’s discussion of how place influenced her work, are just happily etched in my memory.
I loved every minute of it. I was pretty overwhelmed by it, again, and again, and again. It took a long time to process. It was bloody amazing, and I’d really love to share that with you here, and yet I never did.
Of course, there are other barriers beyond taking the time to reflect and share, that impact on whether things actually make it onto the blog. For example, a really annoying perfectionist streak that often leaves some posts not quite finished or polished enough in my mind to hit publish.
Then there’s the sense that perhaps things need to be current to be relevant. How long after an event, that everyone has been talking about is it OK to be still, or only just, blogging about? Last year I posted about Edinburgh Yarn Festival 8 weeks after it happened – you see how I won’t even count they delay in months there?
The amount of questions in this post so far should be a pretty clear indication that I don’t have the answers here.
But hang on a minute, this is my blog, do I have to have all the answers?
Maybe I could just make it up as I go along…
Write about things when the fancy takes me…
Banish all notions of a statute of limitations on when one can or cannot blog about something…
There are a lot of changes going on in my life at the moment, all good, not all smooth, some exhausting and some pretty challenging. They involve a lot of bureaucracy in two languages and it’s easy to get caught up in the detail and lose sight of the big picture.
In fact, I think I’ve been so focussed on the detail since last summer than I’m only just seeing the wood for the trees.
It really is happening.
We really are moving to Italy!
Just typing that released a flutter of butterflies in my stomach.
So you see, I have a lot to share really, I hope you like pictures of building works, and pomegranates, and Italian landscapes and all the other things that may be coming your way via this blog in the next few months. There will be some knitting and yarn too but who knows when, or in what order.
I hope to see you again soon,