Happy Birthday When I Grow Up blog! Yes, if you can be bothered, you can click on the ‘Archives’ button over there on the right and see my first feeble offerings beginning on the 7th April 2004. I don’t know anyone who’s been blogging that long! We didn’t even own a digital camera then, so none of the posts have photos to go with them for a while! Many people talk about needing a creative outlet as their reason why they started a blog. Well fourteen years ago I had recently done my A-level Art and was on my second year of a part-time degree in Creative Writing with a novel about to be published; so I can’t really site that as my reason. My kids were eight and five, but ‘Mummy blogging’ wasn’t yet a thing, let alone a thing that occurred to me to want to do, so talking about parenting wasn’t my impetus either. At the end of the day, I suppose it all boils down to the simple love of writing…..
Two years ago I made a bit of a big deal about the anniversary of my blog and even made a cake! I had decided to really make a go of it and was full of excitement and enthusiasm for the year ahead. In the following twelve months I updated the design; completely reorganised the categories; shot the photo of me aiming to look whimsical and dreamy for the top banner; changed the title of my blog to fit better; blogged every day in October and two to three times a week all other times. I read books about blogging; listened to podcasts and bought an online Creative Live course on the subject, and tried to implement the advice given. I’ve learned (and am still learning) Lightroom and have rekindled my passion for photography to make my blog posts pleasant to look at as well. Shall I tell you the result of all this, this time last year? My daily views went up by about 4 people a day. Yes; I can actually count them in single digits – that’s how low my numbers are.
I won’t pretend this hasn’t been a huge blow. The thing that really brings tears to the eyes is when I’m listening to or reading advice about how to be a successful blogger and they mention the fact that most people give up on their blog in less than a year and it’s those who persist who become successful. Really? Why hasn’t fourteen years brought me success then? Clearly I’m doing something majorly wrong. I’m not one for giving up, but I needed to earn some money, so having more-or-less abandoned my clothing business, I went back to it again last year, and the blog, although still updated regularly, wasn’t my main focus. I think I needed that break from it actually; I needed to take the pressure off and remind myself why it is I wanted to blog in the first place.
Last Christmas, when we went on a family walk that my Mum assured everyone was a short one(!), my niece asked me why I write a blog. On the spot, this was my answer: “Because I enjoy writing.” It wasn’t ‘because I hope brands will send me free stuff’ or ‘because I’m hoping to get some free days out or holidays from it.’ It wasn’t, ‘I hope to have so many readers I can make a living from it,’ (although this is probably secretly true) and it wasn’t even ‘I hope sales will go up for Threads of a Fairytale‘ At the end of day, when all is said and done, ultimately it boils down to the fact that I just enjoy writing. I like sharing little reviews that people might find useful; I like having a reason to put a proper outfit together and maybe it will inspire someone’s style; I like taking and editing photos of our travels for people to enjoy; I like interviewing other crafters and finding out how they work; I like rambling on about random subjects, and aren’t I lucky to be in a position to be able to do that? Does it really matter that only a few people read it? After all, I’m still doing the things I love doing.
In the Creative Live blogging course I mentioned earlier, there’s a whole section about what to do if you’ve run out of ideas to write about. This is not a problem I have at all. I have a notebook (naturally), which is chock-a-block full of things I want to write about and I would dearly love to blog every day so that I can catch up on all those ideas. Sadly, no-one is paying me to do so, and blogging does take time. So, in the true spirit of the name of this blog, and as usual being undecided as to what I want to do when I grow up, for now I’m going to swap things around again! I’m going to put Threads of a Fairytale on the back-burner once more and focus on blogging again, and really try and grow my audience. No matter how hard I try and tell myself it doesn’t matter if hardly anyone reads it, I can’t get rid of the notion that if they don’t, then what’s the point?
So on this year’s anniversary I’m feeling more positive again than I did a year ago. I’m going to celebrate the work I’ve put into this blog over the last fourteen years and look forward to continuing to create content I’m proud of. Cheers to that!
If by chance to you have stumbled across this blog post and have read this far, any feedback or critique of my blog would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!