Friday, June 17, 2011

Philosphy Friday: Lightbulb Moment

One of my favorite friends ended her blog the other day. She called her post "Expiration Date."  I totally understand her reasons. Blogging takes a lot of thought and a lot of time, time that could be spent doing other things: family, friends, sewing. Ah, sewing. As much time as I spend thinking and dreaming about color, fabric, and quilting, and actually doing some sewing,  I spend nearly as much time dreaming about writing about it: blog titles, content, pictures. And time "staging" pictures, taking pictures, downloading pictures. Wow, it all takes a lot of time. And that time is such a precious commodity.

Reading Anne's post has made me do more thinking, thinking about why I blog in the first place. I know a lot of people have written about this topic. There is even a button for "blogging without obligation." And I understand all that. But why, I asked myself, do I blog?

There are times when I consider stopping the blogging treadmill myself. When it all just gets to be too much--when what I really want to do is just sew, not think about sewing, not think about what to write about sewing. And not share it with anyone else.

But then I had one of those lightbulb moments, one of those moments when something just "clicks."

I used to be a scrapbooker. I have invested lots of $$$$ in scrapbooking supplies. Printing out pictures. Documenting those pictures. Then a couple of years ago I realized I didn't have the time, or the desire, to devote to traditional scrapbooking anymore. My passion was quilting.
I wondered: Will Aaron, our son,  even care to have the scrapbooks of the cruises Mark and I took? Maybe.... probably not...Maybe Charlotte and Levi will think it's cool to look through some of them. And a lot of what I was scrapbooking were the same things that our daughter-in-law Christa is scrapbooking--the kids growing up, shared family events. It seemed a bit redundant.

That paragraph might sound like I just digressed. But I didn't really. My point is that blogging is my way of "scrapbooking" the passions in my life, quilting, my family, Lakeview Cottages.It's a place where I can record the creative journey I'm on. I don't mean this to sound self-centered but maybe it's really about me, for me. It's my diary--the "live out loud" version. And then by extension, it's for Charlotte and Levi, and the new baby coming in September.

We live in such a techie age now. My grandchildren have absolutely no fear of technology. It's all they have ever known.
I hope they will look at this blog in the years to come, scroll through the blog posts, kind of like I turned the pages of my grandmother's scrapbook, and learn a little something new about me.And that is my lightbulb moment.

So tell me. Why do you blog?


05 08
Anne at Film and Thread said... #

Maybe it's something in the water, but one of the things I'm working on is getting rid of all the scrapbooking stuff I accumulated over the years. Like you, I am done with it.

I like your idea of your blog being a diary for your family. I have kept journals of important times in our lives and lately I've been keeping a watercolor sketchbook journal and that is where the real stories of my life are kept, so that is why I decided to quit blogging. The sketchbook journals have also kind of gotten me out of photography, so it might be time to break down the darkroom and sell the enlarger.

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said... #

You hit the nail on the head for me too!! Sadly I don't have anyone in my family who is doing the scrapbooking for me though. I really should be doing some of it since I have so many supplies and a little one. But - like you, quilting is my passion. It's hard to take time away from that to scrapbook!

Elizabeth Dackson said... #

I couldn't have said it better - that's how I view my blog, as a diary of the crafting side of my life. I've always been a diary-keeper, and for me, blogging is something I look forward to. Not as much as actual sewing, but I've always loved to write. :)

Jill Chapman said... #

I started blogging to meet other quilters. As a young engineer I don't come across many people who sit down and sew so it was a great way to reach out to other people in the world.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said... #

I am not a scrap booker, nor a diary keeper. I also am not sure that my kids will ever leaf through my pages of blogging (sadly).
So why do I blog? Because as a beginner quilter, I found a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, support, helpful suggestions, tutorials and a whole lot of other people that share my addiction to buying and storing pretty fabric...that's normal here!

ConundrumChum said... #

I also blog for myself and by extension for my children and family. I started with a cancer blog and wanted to start a blog that is the fun part of my life. I want to share and remember all the funny, interesting and creative things we do. This day and age when families and friends are spread apart, it helps them keep up with our day to day lives. I had hoped to use it to show all my quilt projects, but my quilt projects are few and far between right now.

Needled Mom said... #

And.....that is the perfect reason to continue. I notice many giving up their blogs too. So sad.

Jennifer said... #

This is such a great post!

Why do I blog? Hmmm... while taking my blogging break I got to reflect on this quite a bit. I do it as a sort of creative journal. Everything about me, my job, my personality screams logic. So I started my blog as a way to connect with my creative side and share this piece of me with others. Chaney loves looking at my blog, Steve reads it to see what's going on with me ;), and I've gotten to share my creativity in ways that I never imagined. And the absolute highlight has been meeting some of the most genuine and creative people that I have ever known!

I do think that there is a balance and I hope that I have found that recently. I'm not putting the pressure on myself to blog everyday or to constantly be finding new content and it's been nice so far.

But anyways... I'm pretty sure you didn't ask for a multi-paragraph answer so I'll stop now. LOL

Jennifer :)

CitricSugar said... #

It does become like a scrapbook, though I like to think of it as a collection of time capsules.

I like being part of the community. And I missed it when I was too busy to think about anything but school.

Plus, I love to hear myself talk. haHA! (Mostly kidding.)

Lee said... #

Great post! I completely agree with you. Blogging is for ME, first and foremost. All the connections I've made and inspiration I've found has been a wonderful side-benefit, but it's primarily a crafting journal of sorts. My degree is in journalism, and I have a separate private blog all about my kids, so apparently I just have a thing for documenting things, LOL. It's just me, I like to do it, and it makes everything else I do in life feel more complete, somehow.

Rene' said... #

Hmmmm, good post and good question! I was so sad to read Anne's Expiration Date post as I just love her but completely understand where she is coming from. Anne and I have exchanged several emails about this topic, and instead of commenting here on my reasons for blogging, I will save them for discussion at our retreat in July! ;-) That should keep the conversation going the entire weekend ;-) Looking forward to it!

Poppyprint said... #

Great post, Cindy. I started blogging so that I could be part of the online community. I was enjoying reading blogs so much, I wanted to participate and share the work I was doing, too. I love photography and was just starting to see the potential on Flickr and it all sort of came together at once and very quickly! Flickr, blogging, swapping, bees, amazing new friends. Oh my!

Asiyah said... #

I began blogging as a way to share what I was doing with other people. At the time I was part of a mom's support group and I know they were sick of me posting pictures of my quilts...LOL!

So, blogging is a way for me to create art, share with other quilters and remember all I've done over the years.

Funny thing...recently I too had to decide whether I wanted to continue blogging. In the end, I decided that this sacred space was mine to do what I wanted with it.

So, I unsubscribed from most of the bloggers with marketing connections and actively sought out new blogs where creativity really jumped off the page.

It's not the number of followers or giveaways that make the's the woman (or man) behind the blog that draws me near.

Doris said... #

I read Anne's post, and I agree wholeheartedly about some of the items online that get the attention, when other amazing work goes unnoticed... but that's the way of life, I guess.

I see it as a journal for myself and my loved ones as well, and yes, it's public, as I figure if I inspire or encourage someone I've never met, well, good enough. If not, that's okay too.

Doris said... #

And, btw, I'm looking forward to that retreat conversation, Rene!!! Perhaps Anne would care to come?

Grandma G said... #

Hmmm... why DO I blog, anyway? I've asked myself that question quite often lately, especially when it's seemed like an obligation.... and now it's been going through my head since I first read your post early this morning.

It started out over 3 years ago purely for fun. It's become a way to update family and friends that live far away on what's going on in my life (and my granddaughter's, as she seems to take up a majority of the posts). Though I'm not a quilter, I do sew and usually post my latest sewing project.

Is it worth my time? That's the question, especially when I get really busy with other things that I'd rather be doing. So I consider quitting. But I guess I'm not ready to give it all up yet, so I'll just settle for a few less posts when I need the time for something else.

(And besides, Mark told me I can't ever quit! ;) )

lindaroo said... #

I started blogging to push myself out of depression-induced isolation. Then I started quilting, and its creativity was a lot more effective in bringing me out of depression than writing about fighting depression! So I deleted all the depression writing, started posting pictures of what I was working on, and other things I was doing, and invited family and close friends to view my blog. Their affirmations continue to build my confidence, and I sometimes feel guilty when I allow long lapses between posts, and get nudges to post something new. I have the "Blogging Without Obligation" button on my blog to remind myself that the blog is a tool for communicating about significant stuff, and is not the significant thing, itself. I sometimes want more readers, to justify the amount of time and energy that goes into blogging, but I know that's a catch-22! I truly appreciate blogs like yours; open-hearted, focused, consistent...and I hope we, your readers, give you more appreciation than obligation!

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said... #

I blog because I love sharing quilts. I enjoy hearing from other quilters and I know that they know what goes into making them etc. So basically for sharing and communicating with other quilters. I also appreciate every single person that reads my blog because I am not articulate, I don't take the best pictures, I don't share much about my personal life. I go through spells where I have no desire to blog so I step away and come back when I'm ready. I love being apart of the quilting community, blogging just seems to be the tie that binds!

samantha said... #

I don't feel bad about not scrapbooking for my little ones, we have tons of pictures in a box like my mom did for me! Maybe an album someday!

Even if you think your kids or grandchildren don't care about what you have to say now they will someday! I wish so much I had something my mom or grandmothers had written. They are gone now and there is no one to ask, Did I do this when I was a kid? Why did you hate gardening so much? How did you feel about this? What did you like to do? I have child's view on alot of these questions and would love to know more. so continue blogging for as long as you love it, and know that right now you have fans, and someday your kids will be also!

Terriaw said... #

I was sad to see Anne shut down her blog too. She always inspired me with her cool quilt projects and fabulous illustrations.

I love blogging so I don't know if I've ever had a moment when I was sick of it. If I feel unmotivated about it, I just don't publish a post. I've never had a desire to scrapbook because I would rather just take pictures and put them in a photo album.

Now a days, I love keeping a sketchbook as I learn new art mediums, but not to keep as a diary.

I started blogging as a way to connect with like-minded people which I wasn't finding in my neighborhood. I've developed some fabulous friends that I couldn't live without, so I'm staying!

Cheryl Arkison said... #

What a great perspective. I never thought of it that way.

To be honest, I love the external validation of blogging. I am totally that kind of person. But I also love to share inspiration, push people to challenge themselves, and incite discussion.

Pinkadot Quilts said... #

Wow you are so right...a scrapbook really is what a blog is all about. I do find some days it is harder than others.....I keep telling myself this is for me and if people like it, great! If not I will not be missing any sleep over it!

Letterpress said... #

It took me a while to think about this question, as it is one I ask myself a lot. Is it to gain an audience, of a place to share--like a virtual quilt group? yes. Is it a place to record my thoughts for posterity? yes. Is it a way to work out what I'm thinking? yes. And when I did that post about Quilt Sleeves--it was a way to record some information so I don't always have to go hunting for it on the web.

I read through all the other comments posted here and these threads seem to echo these ideas--or true to internet/blogging form--I'm echoing them. I like that we seem to have the same zeitgeist among readers, of similar interests popping up and building off of each other.

Thanks for asking such a provocative question!

Elizabeth E.