Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Creativity & Blogging..

'If we are open to our art, our art will seize every opportunity we give it.' - Julia Cameron

I think I've been writing this post in my head for the past six months.  It's so big, there's so much to say, every time I go to put it on paper (or screen) I go totally blank and get overwhelmed by the enormity of the conversation.  Even now, it's taken me all day to find the right words for this post.  It's a little long, so thank you in advance for taking the time to stop by.  I'll pop the kettle on.  

For a while now I've been trying to find my place in the blogging world.  I've been writing for what seems like forever and it's been so fascinating to see how much things have changed over the past six years.  The technology, people, the whole business of blogging, it's a whole conversation in itself and lately, there's been times I've totally worn myself out thinking and analysing it all. I love to blog, even when I first began, with my generic blogger template, random sized photos and blurry header, I felt like I finally had a place to call my own.  I love to write, I love to take photos, I'm a maker, a doer, it just all seemed to fit.  That was 2008, when blogging was all brand new.  These days there are so many blogs out there, most days I feel like I can't keep up.  With so much change happening, so much talk of the future of blogging, branding, business, blogging workshops & e-courses, 10 ways to get more readers (you know the drill), I find myself getting totally overwhelmed, when all I've always wanted to do is write, take photos and be part of a community. 

At some point in about 2011, I thought I wanted a 'big' blog.  I was posting twice a day, interviewing fellow bloggers, running a weekly meme, organising guest contributors and by 2012 I was totally and utterly exhausted. At the very same time, life came crashing down around me and gave me the most important wake up call of all.  I'd been so caught up in work and blogging, I was putting myself under so much pressure to improve my stats each month, I wasn't actually really living my life the way I wanted to. 

When I came back to blogging a few months after we lost Cohen, I knew I had to start over.  I slowly found my voice, wrote from the heart and shared what was important to me (as I still do today).  I knew I only had about half the readership I had previously, but I couldn't turn back, that kind of blogging just wasn't for me.  Fast forward a year and a half and I find myself here once more, pondering the future of blogging and what next. 

Recently in between moving, mothering, rediscovering my creative self and just trying to get enough sleep, I wondered why I was still blogging at all.  It seems like there were so many people who also like what I like and do what I do, I feel like my little unique nest on the Internet, that I'd taken so long to make warm and cozy and just me, at times isn't so unique after all.  

But then I began to look back through my archives. For me this isn't just a blog, it's a time capsule of my life for the past six years.  And those six years have been the most amazing, challenging and heartbreaking I've ever experienced.  So I decided, as I was hanging the washing out the other day (that's when I do most of my blogging thinking) that there was no way I was going to let this precious time capsule go.  Although those memories will always be in my heart, those moments, those emotions will be forever captured here, in photos and words and that's something I want to fight for, embrace and keep for a long time to come, no matter what happens out there in the world of blogging.  

For me blogging has always been about creativity and community and these are the two things I keep coming back to me when I think about where to next.  Recently I was talking to a few blogging friends about how much I wanted to get back to the old days of blogging.  Before it all got serious, when it was just for fun.  I loved seeing what everyone was up to, making new friends and feeling like there there was no pressure to create 'content' and have 'schedules'.  There was such a wonderful community spirit, there were pats on the back, celebrations, pin cushion swaps, handmade giveaways and heartfelt conversations.  Sitting down to read my favourite blogs used to be such a wonderful part of my day and I loved sharing the everyday stuff, what was on my desk and what I'd been up to on the weekend, without feeling the pressure (I've often put on myself) to post everyday or make my life look like something from a magazine.  

So where to from here? Well I'm bringing back the happy good days of blogging! More than ever I'm inspired about posting what I love, when I want to, because it brings me joy. I want to give creative hugs, I want to share inspiration (in a real and honest way, not a perfectly curated Pinterest board kind of way). I want to celebrate doers and makers creating great stuff, have meaningful conversations without worrying what people might think.  I've decided that the world of blog monetizing isn't for me (although I am completely understanding of and honour those who choose to monetize their blogs). So now on my side bar you'll find fellow creatives who I trade ad spaces with and small businesses of dear friends who I love to share and support. 

Most of all I want to reconnect with my blogging friends and connect with new to me blogs that I love.  Inspired by Ronnie's fabulous post today I'm going to really make time to comment more, engage wholeheartedly, to visit blogs (rather than reading them through Bloglovin) and honour the love, time and effort taken by each blogger to carefully put together their post. I want to celebrate all the wonderful things about blogging rather than analyse and worry about what's to come.   

Thank you so much to Steph, Ronnie, Gaby, Pia, Kate and Katie for inspiring me and giving me the courage to write this post. And thank you for your support and friendship over the years.  The connections I've made through this little blog continue to amaze and inspire me everyday and I'm so grateful that you take the time to stop by.  In true blogging serendipity Katie and Reuben have also written an amazing post tonight about what's next for them.  I'm so excited about this new blogging chapter!

How are you feeling about blogging these days?
Do you remember the good old days as fondly as I do?
Were you a part of Kate's pin cushion swap too?

Much Love 
xxx

58 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post and beautifully written! Blogging to me has always been a marketing tool for my businesses, and while it was something I enjoyed there was always pressure there. This year I started a new blog which was just a place for me to write and I love it! It is hard not to want to build it and turn into one of those big blogs because I'm so used to worrying my numbers and stats. But I trying to just breathe and enjoy the community and creativity you talk about. So here is to happy, pressure free blogging!

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    1. So wonderful Elle! You are such an inspiration. You do an amazing job of juggling so many fabulous projects. Happy blogging is so good for the soul and so enjoyable too. X

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  2. Hello Lovely,

    I for one love my little dips into your world, I don't always comment but I do always read. I never ever think about blogging, well not in the sense of what I'm going to blog about anyway. I never know when I'll post, and I never know what I'm going to write until I'm writing it. I like it this way, no pressure, very laid back and easy. No big grand plan, just me and what's happening in my life really on that day. If one person reads, if one thousand people read, it doesn't really matter.....I do however love the interaction, the inspiration. I love this community and I'm selfish in that I get far more back than I put it!
    Keep doing what you do, if it's real people will love it! :) x

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    1. Thank you so much lovely lady! It really is about the inteaction and sometimes it's so easy to forget that's why this type of platform works so well. Thank you for stopping by, I love your philosophy on blogging. Xx

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  3. yet again this is a beautifully and heart felt post. I have been following you for a few years know and always feel inspired by your spirit and hold on life. I have never had a blog, though have thought about it a few times. I really enjoyed the earlier days of blogging before the hype and competition, I just wanted to see what other people were doing, crafting, collecting, cooking whatever, a glimpse at real life, to feel like part of a community. I have always been hesitant in commenting, thinking that no one would want my thoughts, but I am gradually getting past that lol. Keep it pressure free, enjoy it as so many of us enjoy reading it, tell us your story, share those wonderful pictures of your home and your adorable daughter.

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    1. Awwww thank you so much Jen, so sweet of you. It's comments like your that inspire me to keep blogging and sharing. And you're so right, it's the hype and competition that makes blogs not as enjoyable. Here's to the everyday and thank you for stopping by. X

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  4. Firstly big love and cuddles to you my sweet. I started blogging on my first blog after we lost Elle and Meg I just needed somewhere to pour out my soul and pain. My first blog never had a huge readership but those who did read I was very connected with. As my dark days turned lighter I saw how people were using their blogs to follow passions, show their creativity and inspire others. There was so much out there happening that was speaking to my creative and collectors soul. Hence why My Vintage Childhood was started (originally My Vintage Vow) I fumbled and fell getting started with a second blog. But I got there, I've made some truly amazing friends both on and off line through blogging. Friends I can't imagine life without now. I'm in a place where I do wish to do something with my blog but I've long wanted my own business long before blogging. Thankfully I have my business now and my blogging seems to have become secondary to that but is complimentary (funny how it swapped around). As for blogging I'm still about things being authentic and organic for me, if I have to push too hard for something in blogging I take it as sure sign that it's probably not in my best interest. I have no idea where my blog will end in overall scheme of things, and I'm fine with that because despite what I think I'd like to do with my blog it pales in comparison to the friendships and the connectedness I feel with others. I'll take that and the beautiful lives and stories of my friends through blogging then anything else.

    Sorry epic response. Sending love and looking forward to seeing you live out your journey whatever it may be, wherever it may take you. X

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    1. Oh you are amazing Trudie! I have adored getting to know you through the blogging world and am so grateful for the opportunity to share very important moments with you. I love your authenticity and passion and you inspire me everyday to follow my heart and be true to my voice. Big Love xxx

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  5. The biggest of hugs for you Soph. You have such a big heart, and I always feel so peaceful whenever I visit your beautiful space...
    Ronnie xo
    p.s. Miss our little boys. xo

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    1. Thinking of you dear Ronnie. Thank you for all your love and inspiration. You are an incredible soul. Much Love xxx

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  6. I love visiting your little world here Sophie! I always leave feeling happy and inspired by all your goodness and colour and your ever smiling gorgeous baby :) Put simply, your blog feels like "home" to me. I still consider myself to be relatively new at this and perhaps not as ambitious as those Big Blogs that pull in numbers etc. I'd love to earn money doing what I love but I also want to love the life I live and live it consciously. There are weeks when I feel inspired to share a few times during the weeks and other times when life takes over and that's okay. I read Ronnie ' post tonight and I couldn't agree with her more! Let's bring the love and joy back!

    Sophie xo

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    1. Oh Sophie, you are so fabulous! I love your crafty world and I'm always inspired after I visit. And you're so right, it's about living consciously and remembering that it's ok to step away. Wishing you a beautiful week. xxx

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  7. This is beautifully written. I think everything you do is lovely, and I look forward to reading your new posts. I know just how you feel about monetizing. I still do it, because it's part of my income stream as a freelance writer, but I prefer to just write from the heart.

    Jo
    http://www.womaninreallife.com/

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    1. Thank you so much Jo, it is tricky as a writer isn't it. Writing is so personal, so much from the heart, it's hard sometimes to put a price on things. Keep doing what you love and I think the words will always be true. xxx

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  8. What a great post! I've been blogging for a very long too. There have been times where I tried to follow that outline of the type of posts I should be writing and see what the "bigger" blogs were doing so I can be as awesome as them but yes, it does get very exhausting. I still see a lot of the "sameness" going on but every once in a while I'll come across a new gem of a blog and it excites me. I've let go of how often I post a week (I don't know how you managed twice a day!), and write what moves me. If I can schedule some ahead of time, that's great but I can't force it.

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    1. Thanks so much Marilyn! Yes it's interesting that you write about 'sameness', I think for a time there it seemed like the way forward, but the real beauty of blogging is in each unique voice and exactly what you said, what moves you personally. It's wonderful to hear that you write from that place and it inspired me to continue doing it too. xx

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  9. This is a brilliant. I totally agree about the sense of pressure there is today. I started blogging in the hope of being able to share creative ideas I had and meet others with the same interests. My first blog was around 4 years ago and I quickly learnt that the blogging world was a quite a lot about competition. I got caught up in the number counting, the need to great ideas and the constant pressure to keep readers. This comes with bad sides affects. I found myself thinking about posts instead of enjoying things with my friends. Also, when I didn't get big (which I didn't) I felt a sense of disappointment in myself. I started a new blog this year. I'm going through the process all again and i've decided that I want to post when I like about what I like. Still, the numbers are there. I'd love for my blogs to be like those I admire. I find much more enjoyment reading unique blogs which tell their own story opposed to blogs which seems to mimic what everyone else is saying. Reading blogs for me holds a similar fascination to people watching. It's so great to glimpse into other people's lives and realise the similarities we have all around the globe. This
    post has encouraged me to focus on adding to my own time capsule. Can't wait to read your next post!

    www.prettynostalgia.blogspot.com

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    1. Dearest Helena, thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate you honesty and I very much feel the same way. It's hard when you are your own worst critic, to look at the number, to not compare yourself, when it feels like that's the way blogging is going. But beyond all of that is the real essence of blogging, friendship, creative ideas, unique voices and it's those bits of joy that really make sitting down and being a part of the blogging world really satisfying. I hope you're finding inspiration and in your new blog.
      Much Love xxx

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  10. What an insightful post! It's interesting to see the differences between blogging 'back in the day' and now! I started blogging initially in 2008 and it was very much a community - everyone had a blogroll and there were regular opportunities to link up - My Creative Space etc. When we faced a budget crisis at home (well, it was a choice between kids' swimming lessons or the internet), we cut off our internet connection and I deleted my blog… didn't think of going on a sabbatical then, it was all or nothing. Blogging again, it's harder to make the connections. I wonder about it sometimes, but it's a place for me and I'm happy with what it is. The time capsule/diarising capacity is also a bonus. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Wow, thank you for your comment Lucy, you really have me reminiscing about the good old days, of My Creative Space and blog rolls, when it was a real joy and also really easy to catch up with everyone. It's interesting that you have felt like it's harder to make connections, it's something I'm fascinated by too. I think it's time to bring the old blogging days back. Thank you for inspiring me to make more connections, to embrace that wonderful sense of community. xxx

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  11. I have followed your blog for many years, life is never static. I would say ditto for the above comments, how different it was when I began six years ago. Sometimes I ask myself why do I keep blogging? With only thirty followers, that must be a record for the least followers. So I don't worry about stats even took off the follower button and now can't figure out how to put it back. I blob because I like to record my life, and when I get to it I create a Blurb book for one year, so far I've made three, I'm a bit behind. Thant you for you post.

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    1. Thank you Christy! You are so right, it really is about recording life's little moments. It's just fascinating to think that others might like to hear about them too. I often wonder why I keep blogging and I think it's because it really has become a part of who I am. I'd love to create a blurb book too, such a wonderful idea.
      Sophie x

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  12. This is such a beautiful post!

    I am with you. I am enjoying blogging as time and inspiration allow and enjoying the process. My pictures aren't perfect, my posts aren't the most regular, but I am enjoying documenting life and "meeting" other interesting bloggers in the process!

    Thank you for sharing!

    P.S. I love that you said "sharing creative hugs" in your post. That is such a beautiful word picture.

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    1. Oh Sarah, you've got it in one! It really is about meeting people and just sharing moments. And it feels like sometimes all of that natural good stuff is taken away a bit, so it's definitely time to bring it back! Creative hugs to you! xx

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  13. Hello Sophie!
    So beautiful when a blogger opens her heart and write everything that comes from it. Thanks for sharing! I started blogging in 2006 or so to promote my handmade stuff, then I closed it to live in USA one year so I decided to start a new one to tell my friends and family my adventures in the states. By that time I had no clue about the interaction between bloggers that this world creates and that there's a real community among us.

    I started blogging for real one year ago, when I found your blog. To be honest is one of my favorites and no matter how many times you update it, I will always be here Reading your words. You are the only mommy blogger I know that doesn't post like crazy about her kid, thanks for that. Not that I'm not interested and I believe when you have a baby your life changes and you are with this small person long hours but it's pretty annoying to read baby posts related all the time when you followed this blogger for other reasons, other commun interests. I love the way you write, your photography, your creativity and colorful soul and life.

    But you are right, blogs are losing their personal touch because mostly of people discover it's the new industry and you can earn good Money with this biz. But there are really good blogs out there, you just have to be selective enough and when it becomes comercial simply delete it, no attachments :)

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    1. Oh Marta, thank you so much for your comment, reading it back now reminds me why I blog, why I sit down and feel like I want to share. You are so sweet and I truly appreciate the connection we've made through blogging. Thank you so much! xxx

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  14. such a great, honest post. as you know, i've been having so many of the same thoughts lately! but it came down to the same thing for me - when i look back on the last 3 years' worth of posts i am so glad to have documented everything i did. i think it'll be amazing for clementine to be able to look back and see so many little details from her early life that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. of course, striking the balance between that and also keeping our lives private is the hard part! but for what it's worth, i think you've always done a really good job at finding that balance. i love your blog and will keep reading no matter what you write about xx

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    1. Oh Gaby you are the sweetest! I'm so glad we've had the chance to meet through this wonderful blogging world and you're so write, it's the little moments that would go unnoticed that are the most wonderful to capture. Here's to real, honest and wonderful blogging!
      Much Love xxx

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  15. Fabulous post, I enjoy visiting your world and watching your life grow and change, thats what blogging is all about
    Thank you
    Melissa

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    1. Thank you Melissa, yes I think you are so right, it really is about capturing those moments, the ebbs and flows of life and I feel so blessed to have people like you join me in that journey. xxx

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  16. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately too. I started blogging back before "blog" was a word, when Livejournal was all there was! I've been blogging steadily since then - sometimes more, sometimes less - but I've always stopped before making the big leap into monetization, aggressive growth, etc. So many of my friends who begin blogs these days do it as a business - and honestly, it all sort of exhausts me! I, too, miss the old days, when blogging was just about sharing heartfelt thoughts and connecting with like-minded lovelies.

    Thanks for this post. It's got me pondering...

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    1. Oh wow Cindy, thank you so much for your comment. It's amazing to think back to those Livejournal days, I had one of those too, I was just never quite sure what to do with it, hehe. And I totally agree, sometimes the commercial side of blogging seems so exhausting, it's so nice to just blog from the heart. And I really think it's possible to bring those old days back, by doing more of the good stuff, sharing and connecting just like this. Thank you xxx

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  17. Hi Sophie! This is Victoria, from Argentina. I follow you on Instagram. I have just read this and I HAD to comment! I went through a similar situation on my blogging path. I started to blog in 2005, a blog where I would only write about thoughts and observations of daily life, in a sort of humorous, ironic way, then in 2011 I opened a new blog, this time I was excited and determined to make it "a big blog", as you said it. I wanted to share inspirational content, things I would find surfing the web, together with my own pics and other suggestions, I took sponsors (only a few arrived), I was posting daily, trying to keep up with this blogging trend, i learnt a little about designing blogs and embellished mine (and others too), I had fixed sections and a few months later...I started to feel tired. As if I was running a marathon to get nowhere. I was feeling guilty because I did not have fresh or interesting ideas, i was not getting many comments, and that saddened me a little, made me wonder: who am I blogging for? am I being true to myself? is this what I wanted to do with my blogging? I didn't want to plan my posts nor schedule anything. I wanted my blog to be as spontaneous and "me" as possible. So... on January last year I took a break, then I came back and started posting when I wanted, not daily. Only when I REALLY felt like I had something worthy to be shared. I lost many readers (the ones that are looking for the latest DIY or a recipe, things you will hardly see on my blog) and some new ones arrived. And I don't care. I don't want to feel the pressure of obligation, the routine. Blogging should be pure pleasure for me. I also stopped reading/following LOTS of blogs, made me terribly anxious and sort of blocked me. I was looking at others more than doing and that felt quite frustrating. I always say: "my blog is mine", and it should reflect what I am at the moment I'm writing. So, I completely understand and share your thoughts on this post :)) and now you made me want to keep reading your blog. So, here you have, a new reader, on the opposite side of the world :))
    have a lovely day!
    Vix

    PS: I would love to have you as a pen pal! Let me know if you are still accepting ;) (I'm subscribing to new comments on this post right now, so I will know if you reply!)

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  18. I really enjoyed this post and can definitely relate to how you feel about blogging. I go back and forth with my own little blog, trying to decide what the purpose of it is, if I should post more, try to promote it more, etc... But really I just know that I enjoy posting when I can, sharing when I want to, and don't want to make it something I feel like I have to do. I've only recently discovered your blog, so I'm looking forward to reading!

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  19. You are spot on - your blog is a time capsule. Very importantly it is also a time capsule for your little girl. My children are grown up now and even though I have lots of photos it is so easy to lose track of the details and funny things that are said and done. For your daughter it will also tell her about you. When my Mum died about 15 years ago I remember having this silly notion in my head that I wished I could have watched the movie about her life. But she wasn't famous so there wasn't a movie and I realised there was so much about her that I didn't know. As a very mature aged Mum for her time she grew up in such a different time (born 1921!) to me so I really regret that I didn't know her story.

    Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading regularly and I never tire of it. I was so sad for you when you lost Cohen and I admire you for coming back and sharing your story.

    In time you will get busier with work and maybe other babies but I hope you can still blog at least once/ week! x

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  20. Such a well written post Sophie with so many of my exact thoughts (I've had a similar post floating around in my head for months)... I've just returned to the online world after a month of being screen free, a time during which I wondered whether to continue blogging, what I wanted to get out of it etc. for me, my blog is all about writing, sharing, connecting and having a creative outlet. I've been blogging since 2009 and like you, have decided my space is not one for sponsors etc (not that I have a problem with others going down this path), it's just that for me, I want this to be purely my little space where I celebrate and record the simple things that make my life what it is. It's all about balance and taking time to actually 'live life' is important for me... xx

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  21. Oh I'm so relieved to read this! I though that you were building up to say goodbye... please don't! Just write when you feel like it. We'll lap it up no matter when/what it is! Your genuine posts are always so refreshing.
    x

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  22. Yes. Thank you Sophie. I've followed along on your journey for a few years and have always looked forward to your next post. I've prayed for your and your family when sadness filled your lives. Very very glad you are carrying on being you. Hugs.
    Joy

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  23. I am s happy to read this Sophie! I completely know what you mean about how blogging has changed. I too used to attempt to write daily, buy reality set in. I now write when I have the time, and I now wrrite about the things that I love, not what i think others want to read.
    I'm glad I have stayed following your blog for all these years, looking forward to your next chapter x

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  24. Great post Sophie...it is a funny thing isn't it? I love your blog in all of its changing forms. Just like life...our blogs change and evolve too. My blog is very simple but I love it and I plan to keep it that way. It should be fun, right? I hope you are having a great week x

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  25. I love your writing and am so glad you're continuing x

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  26. Thanks for sharing Sophie....I am looking forward to following your journey on your blog. I have absolutely enjoyed my 3 years of blogging. It's still just about what I love. I do struggle with getting personal on there for various reasons. I find that once blogs become monetized I tend to switch off & read them less. I'm not sure what it is....maybe the advertising & product posts. I totally respect bloggers who want to earn some money from blogging, but I don't think that's really for me. For me blogging is like a visual diary, & the chance to maintain friendships all over the world. Kind of like a modern day pen pal I guess. All the best to you. Xx

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  27. Sophie you have managed to write so eloquently what I think a lot of us Bloggers from way back when are thinking! I started blogging on whim and found myself immersed in a wonderful community of like minded crafty/mothering/stay at home/gorgeous inspiring women. Now it has changed, and whilst I still love it, I try not to compare myself to others, to make it "work" but more, like you said, as a journal. I love the fact that I changed blogs, documented the journey of our build and living our life in the country. I love it, and if people do, thats great…if not…well I'm not phased. I love your little place here, always have and find you very inspiring, honest and humble. Congrats on knowing when to pull back and re-prioritise where blogging fits in with that.
    By the way, I have been meaning to email you about a possible ad swap…I'd love to do that. I have a wee shop in the progress phases at the moment, but when it is up and running would love to do a trade!
    Keep strong and be filled with light and love
    Bren @ 13 Acres xx

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  28. Seriously Sophie, get outta my head! ;) I think the blogosphere is in a state of flux and a lot us are reassessing things at the moment, but I have always really admired your approach to blogging, your creativity and your beautiful spirit. You're an absolute gem. Can't wait to watch the next chapter of Her Library Adventures unfold. I suspect it is going to be the best yet! Much love xx

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  29. Finally someone putting it out there! I've had these thoughts ever since I relaunched my blog a year ago. I've been on Blogger since 2007, and after a long break because I felt blogging just didn't fit me, I relaunched with a new blog and new ideas. But as an editor where deadlines are a part of my work day, I was reluctant to get sucked into the world where you have to blog twice a day and get a ton of feedback to have a blog that matter. What matters is that we blog about what we love, how and how often we want. Thanks for sharing these liberating thoughts! You make blogging fun ;)

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  30. Hi Sophie,

    I could have written this exact same post from the very first sentence. I, too, have a Post floating around in my head but it's such a big conversation as you say and I keep putting it off. I feel exactly the same and have said as much on about 10 blogs this week. Something is definitely in the air! I touched on this subject a year ago in a Post "thoughts on blogging after 2 years" too. I've never even considered monetising my blog because my blog is a special place of my own to write my own thoughts and stories and document our life and connect with others on a meaningful level. I haven't been blogging as long as you but I think I would have loved the old school blogging days.

    Mel x

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  31. This captured my thoughts perfectly. I have been blogging for 5 years. It is a personal blog, and one I started to keep sharing stories and photos with our family as we traveled the globe from California to Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Singapore, through Europe, and now we live in Hawaii. I've always struggled with the numbers and comments game. It would be nice to see support every once and again, but really...why did I start writing? For me and my family. So that we could keep track of all the fun little memories. And that is why I shall continue.

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  32. Hi Sophie,
    I've found your blog from a friend and have read it first up today. Wow, a wonderful, raw and honest post, thank you! I started blogging mid last year after suffering a chronic illness. I love to cook and decided to start taking photos with my phone and document my kitchen and the beginning of our families simple life. I'm so grateful to have started it as it really helped get me off the couch and create. For awhile, I was trying to blog everyday, and the past few months have seen me step back and re-assess. I too thought of stopping as I felt like I didn't have the best photos or the best content, but I have now changed my thoughts. This is me. I can't compete with amazing photography or content, I can only be me. It's really taken the pressure off (stupid pressure we only put on ourselves!) and like you I have 'met' some lovely, positive like minded people, and that feeling of community is like a warm hug.
    I look forward to reading your blog :D
    Warm regards,
    Jan x

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  33. I have just looked at my Blog feed in over 2 months, I found it interesting that I came across this and I totally understand. Since having my second child my Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat in place of life. My Blog is mainly crafty projects I have done, and I still do them. I just never get a chance to take photo's or get time to just sit at the computer. I've found Instagram to be great as a little bit of tiny blogging, a quick pic of a project, or what I'm up to. I think I will try and do a bit more Blogging, but I am feeling like life will always come first over trying to get a post up. I love this post you have done as it is very true.

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  34. This post was great! I am actually pretty new to blogging but I have felt the need to compete to create a "big blog" and getting as many followers as possible and it feels depressing and like you are a failure when you don't reach that goal and it's sad how something that started as a pleasure thing to share pictures and words with the world suddenly becomes a draining stress in your life, when you find yourself constantly checking on how many people saw the post, etc. I have been thinking a lot about this recently of how different it is from what I thought it would be, I guess my idea of blogging was based on what it used to be rather than what it has become. I am quite sadden that I missed out on those good old days but I guess I could create them by bringing my blog back to what I wanted on the first place and stop with the stress of schedules, competition, and perfection. The other thing I have been struggling with is how much of life to keep private and how much to talk about in the blog, I guess every blogger goes through the same questions...
    thank you so much for your inspiring post!
    Luzmaria Palacios

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  35. Hi Sophie, you always manage to hit the nail on the head! I love blogging, in the past I have felt a pressure to blog and then there was the blog guilt if I hadn't blogged in a while. I've learned to blog when I can and about the things I love. I would never blog about something that wasn't real to me. I'm not keen on advertising, i've been asked my many to do it but I'm in it to be inspired, make friends, find creativity. Blogging is a passion and a hobby and I love looking back on my own previous posts, it's like a creativive and personal diary xx thanks for sharing this post, keep blogging! I always love how you write! and your beautiful photographs xx

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  36. These Are the types of blog posts I love to read as they make me think of my own erratic blogging and why I never chose to take flight. I am settled in my decision to remain small and cosy & post content as I want & of what I want.
    I loved your blog in the old days the most, around the time TinnieGirl started blogtoberfest & the community was thriving and people made time to stop and comment. When everyone started blogging to schedules and for money, they lost a little of their magic & I stopped reading. Or I couldnt keep up with the daily posts, when everyone is writing daily and the blog reader has 300 unread posts. It is easier to flick thru like a magazine rather than read every single post. And thats when you miss posts like these - the honest ones that have their magic.

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  37. Your post is so poignant Sophie. I started my blog back int eh early years for nothing else but to share experiences, a place to think "out loud"...to read of other's experiences and be inspired. blogging also filled a void in my creative life, I was juggling two small children and loved reading other bloggers experiences. I too, like all of us witnessed the changes of blogs over the last 7 years. The simple creative, family and crafting swops (OH I had almost forgotten about these) were written no agenda except to engage. The new redefining of writing a blog to a 'Blogger' or a 'Mummy blogger' then of course the advent of making money, having a very professional 'magazine style' look. For me it became overwhelming, I felt like I couldn't keep up or in fact didn't want to. So to read your post today has done what blogs did for me years ago in 2005/6, Inspired, reinvigorated the idea to post with an open honest voice. As Cat also said above and many others to name who have commented, "the magic is definitely in the honesty" and so refreshing to read this today. Thank you xxx

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  38. I read your post a few days ago and have been thinking about it ever since. I used to love blogging when it was about having fun and sharing your hearts fancies. When stopping by to say hello was the norm and it felt unkind to read someones words and not leave a little note in return. I've become a spectator and not a participant and I really am sad about that. Thank you for reminding me that the community is still out there.

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  39. My word, this is so intensely encouraging. I have truly been feeling the same way for so long! I am so inspired and desiring to get back to the fun of blogging as well. Thank you so much for your honesty :)

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  40. Your world is a little haven. You speak from the heart and we all adore you for it. May you share your lovely ways always. Much love beautiful friend :) xxx

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  41. This is really timely. I have loved blogging in the past but it just hasn't felt right since Isaac was born...and then I had this guilt thing about how can I blog about happy things when my baby has just died and life is crumbling around me. But the bit about your blog being a time capsule...it's true. Maybe one day I'll get back into it. And yes I was part of Kate's pincushion swap...I got the most RAD pincushion....I use it to this day :) xxx thanks for the food for thought

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  42. All things that swirl in my head too, I love the inspiration of all the online imagery in small doses, then head to my thrift stores to get my hands dirty. So many amazing women connect in this world, I've always enjoyed your posts!

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Thank you for stopping by! ~ I just love receiving your comments! I'll be sure to pop by your place too. Much love ~ Sophie x