Welcome to a new year my friends! I’ve had a very much-needed yet still busy break during the holidays and I hope you’ve enjoyed your holidays as well.
I don’t normally do this, but I’m feeling a bit reflective tonight so I’d thought I share. I went and pulled up my top 10 most viewed posts from 2014 and SURPRISE (or not really a surprise), they were all crochet projects.
1. Cozy Infinity Scarf
2. Crochet Rug from T-shirts
3. Olaf Amigurumi
4. Star Ornament
5. Baby Mary Janes
6. Double Strand Infinity Scarf
7. Basketweave Coffee Cup Cozy
8. Owl Pouch
9. Flower Coasters
10. 5-Petal Flower
Here’s my reactions, aka me talking to myself.
:Well, duh. Readers come to see your patterns. Plus, traffic is good!
:But all my other poor projects! whiiiiine.
:Remember what Dan said at Blogging Concentrated: 80% of your traffic comes from 20% of your posts. So true, so true.
:Stop whining! You can still do all the other fun projects, but now you know what drives the traffic, so focus a bit more on the “moneymakers”. FOCUS!
:Sigh. You’re right, you’re right. No whining. More crocheting. … with movies and fun drinks and Milano cookies.
So there you go, my inner monologue.
This is probably the point where I should come up with my resolutions for 2015…
… but to be honest, I don’t want to make any. Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the business of blogging and always rushing to the next trend, the next trick, the next fad, the next social media channel that we lose sight of what we enjoy about the creative process. It’s so much work to be the CEO and to think and do everything, many of us face burn-out, often.
We offer our products for free – our patterns, our tutorials, our insights, our hearts, our families, our lives. There’s so much support and friendship in the blogging world, but there are the naysayers as well, and those bits hurt. A lot. I was recently accused of stealing a crochet pattern that I created all by my lonesome, and holy hell, I could not concentrate for days, I was just so mad and upset. I was put on the defensive and somehow could not convince the accuser that I really did not even know about her pattern, let alone steal it. I’m not sure what upset me more – that I was accused in the first place, or that I couldn’t convince her of the truth. But either, it put me off the idea of blogging. I still posted, but I definitely lost a bit of the heart that goes into it.
It made me step back, a BIG step back, and made me think about why I do this blogging thing anyways. I couldn’t help but think why do this if you’ll have to deal with all sorts of maliciousness – accusations, copyright infringement, pattern scraping – on top of the usual work of writing, editing, photography, marketing and social media. I mean, ugh, why bother? With a full time job, 2 crazy kids, and a commute I have yet to get used to, why not just give it up?
But you know what I remembered? I do this because I like CREATING. And I like SHARING my creativity, because what’s my creativity good for if not shared with others who might be inspired by it? Despite the ugliness that exists, there are SO MANY wonderful, supportive, amazing readers who make the journey totally worthwhile. The friendships that I’ve made are priceless. And if I didn’t blog, I just wouldn’t be who I am today.
I am so much more open to talking to people and making friends. I’m not afraid of asking for help, or pitching an idea. I think maybe I’m just less afraid in general. (Except for spiders. Still terrified of them.) Because I started a blog on a whim, I am now working as a social media manager on a marketing team. Would ya believe it? It is such a blessing, and a relief, to be able to earn a steady income doing what I love, as I just don’t think I’m cut out to be an entrepreneur trying to make a living off of blogging alone.
Resolutions for 2015:
No ebook or speaking at a conference or making a certain amount of money or hitting a certain viewership level. Just being grateful for what I have, being honest about what I can accomplish and enjoying the journey.
• More crochet – Google Analytics and my readers don’t lie. Plus I have all that yarn! So, more quick gifts and amigurumi. Maybe I’ll even get enough guts to do some videos! ooooooh. And just for full disclosure and to out it all out on the table, I don’t think I’ll be providing PDFs of my patterns, nor do I think I will ever start selling patterns.
• Use what’s in my stash. I have so much stuff that I’ve bought for projects that never took off. Well, it’s time to get those projects up and rolling, instead of going out and getting more stuff. Just looking through the boxes this week has ignited some serious inspirational flames. Now I just need to find the time (and daylight) to execute, execute, execute!
• Projects of value. With us now being much tighter on space, functionality of projects becomes that much more important. If not functionality, then at least much less expensive projects or using what I have on hand, so I won’t be so heartbroken when said project gets destroyed by little hands and stomping feet.
• Blogging in the moment more. I’d really like to do less obligatory posts or filler posts and really spend more time on creation. And if that means I post less, then so be it. It doesn’t mean that every one of my posts will be some epic project, since sometimes, the quick crafts are the most fun, but I don’t want to be crafting and posting for the sake of publishing something.
• Same goes for social media. With every social media channel changing up their algorithms to force more organic content, why not be more organic? If I don’t schedule something, then I don’t. If I don’t have a constant Twitter or Facebook feed on my page, then oh well, I don’t. I’d rather spend time being with my family than trying to figure out how to get Facebook to show my posts to 2% of my readership instead of 1%.
Granted, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to be paying attention to the latest trends, fads, and blogging business tricks. I’ll be doing plenty of that at work. But after a whole day of blogging and socializing, the last thing I want to do when I get home is more of the same for my own blog. Which is why I’m really hoping to pare down my own blog to nothing but the good stuff, because to be honest, that’s all I have time and energy for!
I hope you’ll stick with me this year as I navigate this road. It all sounds familiar yet feels very different to me, so I don’t really know how this is all going to turn out!
Great resolutions….you’re going to have a fabulous 2015!
This post resonated with me in so many ways! I feel the same. exact. way. about my crochet posts. I mean I like them, but what about all the other great stuff I do – no one cares about that? As you said, whiiiiine. 🙂 Good luck in 2015, ChiWei! You are a rock star!
Keep doing what you’re doing!
Side note: I tried checking out that cute coffee cozy pattern, and the post is missing on that page 🙁
You had some really great projects this year! I agree that blogging can be tough, but you’re right: it’s about the creativity! (And the awesome unicorns!) I love your idea of using your stash. I’m going to have to work on that this year too. Hugs!
Thanks so much Bethany! It really is a marathon, right? But remembering why we do it helps so much too. Have a great year!
Thanks Monica! The site was down for a bit last night so you just need to refresh your cache to see the posts come up. The issues have been fixed.
Aww, thanks Alexis! I know I shouldn’t whine, but sometimes, crochet is just not what I want to do, especially with this huge stash of craft supplies, you know? But, I’m a big girl, and I get it 🙂 I hope you have a great year!
Thanks Marilyn for all your support always!
I’m looking forward to whatever you have in store. I don’t even crochet.. so I’ll be here for those other neglected projects! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll be fab at WHATEVER you tackle!
Just remember for every reader who says something negative or critical, there are a hundred of us out here who appreciate your blog and patterns and think, “She is so generous to share all this with us.” Thank you for your creativity and taking the time to share.
I just want to say that you are totally amazing in all that you do and don’t ever forget that!! Crafting and creativity is what we need more of, if it is crochet, or knitting, or clay, or paper whatever! Something you feel passionate about, put it out there, I adore crochet, but I like other crafts too!! Thank you for sharing your creative spirit with us!
Oh girl, I can totally relate! Crochet is what brings most of my readers too, and while I love it, there are other crafts I enjoy too. 😉
I can honestly say I have never been in a place in my life that I had as many friends and while some of them I haven’t met in real life many of them (like you) I have been blessed to be able to see and squeeze their necks.
This business of blogging is tangled mess of emotions, one minute you are excited to share some fantastic new creation and the next you are bummed because it isn’t as well received as you had hoped it would be. At the end of the day we wouldn’t have started the whole blogging thing if we didn’t love to create things, and hope that just one person would be inspired to try something they haven’t tried before.
I’m with you on the resolution thing I’m finding it very hard to settle on resolutions this year……I keep coming back to the word embrace. I want to say that I can embrace myself, my faults and my talents, on and off the blog. It’s a tall order and one I have been working on for a while but for now that is where my heart tells me I need to work.
Oh and working from my stash more! I have so much yarn! Time to get busy on making some things. lol
AW, sad you felt that way but totally understandable. I love your thoughts most- and your projects are great too but it’s your writing that drew me in. Boo to people bringing us down. Thanks for a great blog and an even better you.
Thank you Kara! It makes me really feel so much better inside when I think about all the great people out there who love what I (and other bloggers) do. Thank you for being a great audience! 🙂
Kadie, thank you for being one of those awesome friends whom I can’t do without in this whole blogging business! I love the word embrace, what a wonderful thought for the year. I’ve been trying to think of a word to really encompass this idea of being honest and letting it go (too much Frozen, I admit) and not letting the business part suck me into a dark place. “Embrace” is the perfect word – it can mean so much, to myself and whatever comes my way. I’ve only recently come to terms with the fact that this will never be my “full-time” job, that I will never use my blog as my sole source of income like so many others we know…and that’s ok. Embrace indeed. Thanks friend, and hugs!
Thank you Joy! I totally agree, we just have to put it out there!
Thank you Karen, for lifting me up. Why is it that we get so bothered by the few instead of being appreciative of the many? Thank you for your awesome reminder!
Thank you so much Kim, and I’m so glad to know you in person and be a local friend! Hugs!
More power to you sister! I’m glad you are focusing on what matters! I wish you the best, and look forward to seeing your talented creativity in your future posts!
Thank you for sharing. I just love the little white shoes on top.
Can you share the pattern or is it for sale; how much?
God bless you plenty.
Hi Maritza, the pattern for the shoes is at : http://www.1dogwoof.com/2014/09/double-strapped-baby-mary-janes-crochet-pattern.html Thanks!