I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂



Fourteen years of blogging – why do I do it?

British lifestyle blogger

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.

British creative lifestyle blog

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.

blogging for a long time

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.

British bloggers over 40

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!


Linking with #saturdaysharelinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb.



Musings and ramblings, Writing,

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Christine Tomlinson

Helen I love reading your blog and I also look forward to watching your latest Youtube updates. I guess there are a lot of readers like me who enjoy hearing about your week its like having a letter from a friend Ive never met! I’m sure you have more readers than you think and are either too shy (I am one of those) to post a reply or perhaps think their comments are not interesting enough. It must be rather soul destroying to not receive the feedback you deserve I understand that and I’m guilty of not doing so before now. Keep going Helen and I wish you a Happy Anniversary 🙂 xx



Hi Christine, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment, I really appreciate it, and it’s lovely to know there are people out there enjoying my blog and my youtube channel. Thank you!!!


Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies

Hi Helen, I think the only thing that has increased my numbers are key posts that bring in numbers every day. The same 4 posts bring most of my views! Getting ranked highly in google might be the only thing you’ve missed out on. You blog looks fab and you obviously write really well! Congrats on your blogversary that’s a huge achievement xx



Hi Maria! Yes it’s funny, my review of a paint roller is the one that brings in a few views regularly! So it’s down to SEO and that tricksy google algorithm. Oh dear!
Thank you for stopping by and the kind comment. 🙂


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