Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dear Dreams: Thoughts on Blogging

Grab a cup of coffee or tea. I have some deep thoughts to discuss with you.

~Most recent Jazz shop photo~

I have been blogging for over four years. Even though this Jazz blog is a newbie (shop open almost a year, blog since last summer) I had a blog previously which was about a different topic altogether. I found that I kept gravitating towards my love of vintage home and decor and would often feature such content on my other blog (where it didn't really fit.) Once we decided to open a vendor space in an antique shop, I eventually stopped that blog and started this one to help spread the word about our shop, as well as supporting small towns and small businesses.

In the past 3 years of reading blogs, I have seen many blogs go from zero to hero, from newbies to blogs with multiple sponsers and magazine mentions, and so on. It is very exciting as there are so very many talented individuals out there who are more than deserving of such recognition!

I realize that not everyone has this particular goal with their blog. I'm not sure I do, if I'm really honest. I worry about this as I truly ask myself, what is our goal here? I remember when one of my favorite blogs went "big time." It was weird clicking over, it wasn't the same look and felt so commercial. It wasn't home. I didn't find the connection that I'd felt as I could be one of 20 commenters per post, rather than one of 200. I eventually realized the integrity of the blog was mostly the same: that particular blogger's original content, their photos, their home, their ideas and creativity. After all, that is what attracted me to that blog (or any blog) in the first place.

As we set goals for our little hobby and our little blog, I often think about these things. I wonder where blogging is going for us, and myself. It certainly is time consuming- the energy to really put into doing a blog well is immense, as many of you know. For me, this blog will hopefully help us connect with customers and future customers, as my ultimate goal is to open a a little online shop. That is very scary, too. Who knows if others share our vision or want to buy any of our things?

I think it is about taking a risk- giving it a go. Dreams can't happen if you don't believe in them in the first place. Then you have to try to make them happen. I think back to the beginning, when Tara and I had a vision and were just selling our stuff at garage sales under my Nana's carport, talking about doing a flea market downtown, then exploring renting a vendor space. Who knew that almost a year later we'd be where we are now, with a space in a store where we sell a fair amount of treasures and get a lot of compliments on our merchandising. And we are still enjoying it! Whether this is all we ever do or more, I never want to lose the feel of just being two girls next door doing something they love.

Maybe as I approach my BIG birthday and Jazz's one year anniversary, I am just doing a lot of reflection and over-analyzing, which I am pretty good at! I've just always known I've been meant to have a lot of creativity in my life, and until this past year wasn't sure how to best express it. I think it's starting to come together.

Regardless, I'm curious to know your take. Have you met your goals, whether it's with your blog, your store, or your online shop? Was it is hard as you thought, and what key elements really helped you make it happen and keep you grounded throughout the process? Any regrets? Suggestions?

Thanks for listening, and thanks for sharing yourselves with us!! The wonderful thing about the blogging community is that we are always very supportive and inspiring of each other.

Dream on!




Prior said...

Your line "I've just always known I've been meant to have a lot of creativity in my life, and until this past year wasn't sure how to best express it. I think it's starting to come together." is very similar to how I feel, but at this time for me, I've realized other things are priorities, but that is ok, creativity can be satisfied in lots of ways...and I am open to them. Good Luck! Lezlee

Desert Rose said...

Ya know...you LOVE writing and I think this a great way for to continue to hone your skills. But don't be surprised that a year down the road you may need another break from blogging. I was so busy this past summer I did not have the time to blog as I had been and now I am finding it hard to get back to where I was although I still have so many "topics" just ready and waiting to write about. However...I now have a "new" creative progect and find myself going that way more often than my own blog writing! Good luck with your journey...it's your life!

trash talk said...

I stumbled over here (I didn't leave a trail of cookie crumbs so I don't remember how) and read this. I recently did a post on this same subject, filled with very much the same wonderings and came pretty much to same conclusion as you. I'm not at a place in my life to dedicate the time necessary to become a McBlog or even a Happy McMeal.
I started blogging to create an "identity" for myself/our business and discovered I love to write. This is more of what I concentrate on now and I'm satisfied. At the end of the day perhaps this is what is important...to have the satisfied feeling "Hey...I done good today!".
I didn't mean to leave you a novel, but it's important for people to share 'cause that is what blogging should be about.
Great post and I love y'alls look!

Polly said...

Oh Michelle what a thought provoking post! I have ruminated on this very subject a lot as of late (maybe since I turned the big 40!! LOL). I never had any intentions of being discovered by a magazine or TV show. I just started blogging to help spread the word about my little booth endeavor....a little bit of free advertising. It's turned into so much more as I have met some wonderful like-minded and talented women! The only regret for me is that I wish I lived closer to so many of you gals so that we could actually be friends! I've found that I have a really hard time keeping up with my blog, but I just keep giving it my best!

Your blog is definitely one of my favorites....you are a fabulous photographer and share lots of great ideas!! I always enjoy stopping by here!! And, don't worry, 40 is not too bad!! :-)



Susan said...

Hi Michelle,
What a great post! Having recently decided to blog, my intent is to connect with folks that share the same home decorating, crafting and vintage hunting interests. I really don't want to get too big and just enjoy meeting new friends along the way. Sometimes the big-time blogs do seem a bit commercial & dedicate more posts to selling. I think getting to know followers is better than collecting them.
I really enjoy your blog and would definitely visit your shop if I weren't on the other side of the country! :)
Thanks for sharing a great blog,

Lissa said...

it would take me so long to answer this post. we would almost have to discuss is over coffee. :) I've had highs and i've had lows through blogging. Sometimes I wish I could just let it go and not care so much about it. I've been taking a little bit of a break from it with becky this week and I feel healthier towards it. sometimes i think it's healthy for me to just close the computer for awhile. blogging can really mess with me! And i think if we're being honest it can mess with anyone at times.

very merry vintage style said...

Sounds like you are doing what you love and are letting it take you where it may. I started as an avid blog reader, and was inspired to put my photography skills back into regular use. I've met a ton of people with similar interests, and everyone is so encouraging and positive. The whole process is enjoyable to me. Even though I work outside the home I still find time to blog because I'm doing what I love. Enjoy the ride!

June said...

Hey Michelle,
This was a great read for me. I don't really have any goals for my little blog...because as you know I don't sell anything or have a shop, so I don't know if I have anything to add, but I do enjoy making the connection with other women who truly love all the things I do. It has been one of the biggest surprises of my life to find so many like-minded women all over the world. It has been such a joy to see how very much more alike we all are than different, and the love and support that we share. My daughter (who had a shop in Boise) is the one that got me started reading blogs in the first place, and it opened up my eyes to the talent and artistry that is in the world...and I spend so much less on magazines now!!!LOL!
I know I sure enjoy your blog and I loved your first one too.
sending hugs your way...

Bearly Sane ® said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this topic Michelle. I have a busy life like most of the creative girls in blogland and don't always get round to saying hi everytime I visit, but I love reading what my fellow bloggers are up to and like many enjoy writing and sharing photos of whatever grabs my fancy at the time.
My only advice is ~ continue following your heart and do what you enjoy...life is too short to do otherwise.
Warmest Hugs,
Sandi @ Ess D'Ess Bears and Bearly Sane Studio

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I loved reading this post. I don't think I've ever had a plan for my blog...I usually don't even have an idea about my next post, but I really enjoy blogland, and since I've been blogging, the world has definitely become a smaller place. What a blessing it is to "meet" people from all over the world.

P.S. Who is the book "Annie Jordan" by? My grandmother's maiden name was Jordan, and she had a relative named Annie.