I've been enjoying the heck out of this whole blogging adventure.
I decided about two weeks ago to stop trying to plan a blog and just jump in and do it. That was a great decision for me. Everything I know about computers, I taught myself, and I was confident I could teach myself about blogging as well. So far, so good. In fact, after I was well on my way, I came across these posts from At the Picket Fence called Ten Things I Wish I'd Known About Blogging and Ten Tips For New Bloggers. After reading these excellent posts, I realized that I'd taught myself most of what they explained there. I could have saved myself some time and effort by reading these blogs first, but learning it on my own was an adventure that I don't regret. So I was feeling pretty smart and patting myself on the back. My blog wasn't Young House Love or anything, but hey, it wasn't too bad for a brand newbie.
Then the other day my daughter sent me an email telling me some of the photos on my blog were showing error messages instead of photos. All of a sudden I wasn't so smug and smart. I was upset and anxious to think that my blog might be seen as anything less than professional, and I scrambled to fix my mistakes.
What struck me afterwards was how upset I was. I was really stressed out by this little mistake. Just how little a mistake was it? I only have ten followers. I'm pretty sure no one is reading my blog. That little.
And all of a sudden I realized I had not taught myself everything that At the Picket Fence suggested I might want to know. I had skirted over the most important lesson there: Ten Reasons Why Women Should Blog. I hadn't considered really deeply why I wanted to write a blog and what I wanted out of the experience. No matter what a person's reason might be, writing a public blog is an intensely personal expression of who we are, and that means our motivations for writing it deserve to be very well understood.
Once I understood my motivation, I realized that my real mistake had been in trying to create a blog styled on blogs I love, rather than on who I am. So when I made a small technical goof, my reaction was, "The Lettered Cottage would never make a mistake like that!" and I freaked out. But I'm not The Lettered Cottage, I'm The North End Loft. And, hell, I make mistakes ALL THE TIME! I'm impulsive and don't always think things through as well as I should, and I make mistakes.
So I took At a Picket Fence's advice and figured out why I'm writing a blog. I decided my blog is a record of who I am and what I do. I decided I want to find my own voice, portray my own life, and be able to make mistakes without freaking out. No "keeping up with the Jones," no comparing myself and my blog to others and their blogs. Making a commitment to myself to do these things and to keep it real has been strangely liberating, like giving myself permission to make mistakes and not be perfect.
So this is my first post as the "real" me. It's about taking Tucker for a long unhurried hike up in the hills without planning my next post in my head or wondering how I can entice new readers to my blog.
We're heading for those hills up there.
It's about standing still for ten minutes listening to the wind in the trees while watching an eagle circle way above me. (That's not lint on your screen, that's an eagle.)
It's about wearing hiking boots instead of high heels.
It's about coming home and making a big pot of this corned beef soup for my family.
Because the most important things in my life are my family, my dog, and being outdoors. My blogging adventure is a creative outlet, an expression of who I am, and it's for fun, not for being perfect, and not to stress over.
And while I'm at it, my craft table looks like this a lot of the time.
Not like this
And the other side of my loft behind my loveseat doesn't look like this
It looks like this
Just keepin' it real. : )
I thought I knew it all, but I was really just beginning this blogging adventure. Everyday is a learning experience, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait for whatever comes next.