Tuesday, 9 September 2014

We are all Connected..

I've been thinking a lot lately.  Maybe because it's Spring, maybe it's the full moon, maybe it's all the walking we've been doing, that's given me time and fresh air to ponder. Whatever it is, I feel like I just have to get it out of my head and onto the page.  I've been thinking a lot about blogging, sharing, connecting and finding time to fit everything in.  And it's the fitting everything in that's got me thinking the most, because honestly, I'm just not really sure how to do it anymore.  A few months back I wrote a post about blogging (it really only feels like yesterday, where did July and August go?) and in it I talked about reconnecting, bringing back the old days of blogging and for a little while I really tried. But I soon realised, I hadn't changed my old habits and I was still just running out of hours in my day, to really make meaningful connections, the way I once did. Now that Tallow is getting bigger, life is getting busier and the nap time I do have (if all goes according to plan) to sit down and to make those wonderful connections, just seems so fleeting, And I'm left feeling like I have never done enough.

And it's those connections that bring me back to blogging, every time.  There have been many days I've over the years I've just felt like letting blogging go.  It's those friendships both online and now in real life that I've made through blogging, that keep me coming back.  It's finding someone that you really resonate with, someone who inspires you. It's sharing ideas, feeling a part of a community, receiving a comment or email that makes your day, that stays with you for weeks and even years later.  To me that's what makes blogging so special. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that over the years.

So in all of this, I just have to wonder.. is it possible to find time to fit it all in? Over the past few weeks I've spent a little more time away from the computer than usual and on my return last week, instead of feeling connected and inspired, I honestly felt disconnected and overwhelmed by everything I'd missed.  There are just so many wonderful blog posts to read and beautiful new to me blogs to discover and not enough time to connect with them all.  Once upon a time I felt like I was on top of things but these days, it's almost seems impossible.  And then I'm reminded that once upon a time, in the 'good old days' of blogging, the rest of the social media bandwagon didn't exist.  It was simple to connect and in the simplicity there was only a few ways to get in touch with that lovely new blogger you discovered.  Now the connections seems endless and each requires it's own time and care to nurture it. And while I don't want to blame Instagram, because I love it so, I think it might have a part to play in the changing nature of blogging, time and making these lovely connections. On the flip side, I've found amazing people through Instagram who don't have blogs who I've really enjoyed getting to know, so it's all a bit complicated. And of course the obvious has to be said, it is oh so much easier to quickly comment to a photo on Instagram than it is to go through the sometimes lengthy and weird process to replying to a blog post (I get so sad then I write a lovely long comment and for some reason it just disappears because I have to sign in somewhere or prove I'm not a robot).

I feel like I need a plan, so I can get around and visit everyone, stop by and say hi and enjoy all the wonderful posts out there.  I want a way to get back to the simplicity of blogging that I love, but I want it to be organic and natural and not have to fit into allotted schedules and feel like a 'to do'.  It's tough isn't it? And I suppose it's the nature of these being so connected, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with options.  Sometimes I think it would be so much easy to just open my front door and invite everyone over for afternoon tea! Shall I pop the kettle on?

 So I'd love to know, how are you feeling about it all? How do you find the time to stay connected, to visit, comment, keep up to date? Do you have a plan or do you wing it? Do you use apps? Do you have lists? Perhaps we can help each other to find ways to reconnect, to once again find the simple beauty, community and inspiration in blogging.

Much Love
xxx

PS. Thank you so much for stopping by.  It really does mean the world to me and it's when I reflect on this whole experience, that I realise that this blog is so much more than just a bunch of words and images, it really is a part of who I am.

PPS. The gorgeous print is by the very talented Lauren Merrick.

24 comments:

  1. Honestly, I felt the same earlier this year and made the decision to leave blogging for a while. Closed up shop, stayed on social media but took the blog down. There are days that I miss it, but I find other creative outlets and still enjoying posting on Instagram and Twitter. I guess it all comes down to why you began the blog in the first place, and what motivates you to continue. For me, the first reason had slipped away (a distraction while I studied) and the second became a question that I couldn't answer.

    That said, I still love reading beautiful blogs like yours and would be sad to see them go!!! Blogging still holds a special role in our new modern world. It has been such a privilege to meet lovely people online, and feel like part of a community.

    More likely than not, I will return to blogging one day, for the feeling of connection above all... Perhaps blogging + some sort of real world get together once every few months with like minded souls!

    Keen to see what others say! xx

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    1. Oh Emily, so lovely to hear from you! I miss your blog. I loved it and hope you get back to blogging one day. You're write though, it really is about why you blog and that feeling of connection really plays an important part doesn't it. I think real world get togethers would be so great. And not just in a blog conference way, but just a hey, nice to meet you way. Hope we get the chance to meet up one day. xx

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    2. Thank you Sophie, it would be lovely to meet you too one day! For now, I'll keep enjoying your blog and our social media connections :-) xo

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  2. Dear Sophie, Even I don't post comment much I read you and I find your blog very inspiring. Sometimes just a photo can do it well, so don't push yourself for long posts. I have a blog also and I know it's very hard to find time with a baby for blog, for this I generally prepare a couple of post when I can find time and pre-programme my posts. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much Eren, so sweet of you to comment. It's interesting, because for me it's easy enough to create a post, well simple ones at least, I have lots of complicated ones in my head, I only wish I had time to write and photograph. What I find challenging is taking time to visit other blogs, to read, comment and interact the way that I want to. It's the bit I really love about blogging and I just wish I could find a way to do it with more ease. Wishing you a wonderful week. Thanks again for stopping by. Sophie x

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  3. It really is a tough one isn't it, there is so much distraction with all the other social media platforms that it's hard to keep up with it all. I'm always super impressed you manage to write all the blog posts that you already do! It can take me days or sometimes weeks to compose one post, in and around family life and sorting through all the photos that I want to include. In my heart of hearts, I am a writer, and blogging will always be something I strive to keep up with and commit to. I want to write more regular posts but it's hard to fit it in without resorting to writing an empty post for or the sake of it, you know?

    After reading about your writing process recently, I've made friends with Evernote, and I jot down ideas and bullet points for posts on whatever device is close to hand, and revisit it when I have the time. I'd like to use a calender to plan posts, as I keep reading about other bloggers who say it's essential, but it does feel a bit 'business-like' to me.

    And as for the vanishing comments, I now type my comments in Evernote, then copy over into the comments box... just in case! Xx

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    1. Yes indeed Karen, I found myself nodding all the way through your comment. I think it is the writer in me that keeps me coming back to blogging, wanting to commit to penning those thoughts, those moments. And I so here you about empty posts, they are something I decided I would never do again. Sometimes I write things though and I wonder, is anyone reading, should I just be putting this in my journal instead. And I remind myself that I haven't been keeping up reading and commenting like I want to, so I've decided to make that a priority.

      I'm so glad you are enjoying Evernote, it's great isn't it. I really must remember to use it more myself. I love the idea of using it to write comments, so great!! Maybe I can keep track of blogs I've visited over there too. Lots to think about. Thanks for stopping by lovely xxx

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  4. i'm with eren, i'm not a big commenter, but i do find your blog an absolute pleasure to read. it perks me up and inspires me!
    i've been reading maxabella's posts following problogger and i've found them quite inspiring about how to fit blogging in where you can. for me that means a little more planning... but i'm getting there.
    xo

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    1. Awww thanks so much Nicole, so sweet of you! I've really enjoyed Maxabella's posts too. I must go back through and see if she has written about commenting and keeping up with others blogs. Yes, I think you're right, it is about planning, but I'm hoping to do it in a more natural, less business like way. Wishing you a beautiful week xx

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  5. I have felt the same way! You'll find a balance :) it changes in different seasons of life. It's not a bad thing to step away from online interaction to invest in face to face - those are the people we can count on in a crisis.

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    1. Thank you so much Faith, yes it really is all about balance isn't it. And I totally agree, that face to face time is so important. In saying that, when I went through the most difficult time of my life, the outpouring of support here on the blog and the connections I made through my grieving process were truly amazing. It just goes to show how incredible the online community can be. Thanks so much for stopping by. Much love xxx

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  6. Something is in the air. Almost every morning, after Kiddo is packed off to school, I sit down with a cup of coffee and catch up on my blogroll; a ritual I've come to treasure. This morning two of my favorite blogs, each vastly different from the other, announced that they were leaving the blogging scene indefinitely.

    I find that fall is a time for reevaluation. A time to decide what is working for us and what isn't. About a month ago I had a blogging breakdown of sorts and was unsure how to approach that blinking cursor anymore. I'm feeling a little more centered about the whole thing, but the dynamic of blogging has been on my mind. I so appreciate your insights.

    Here's to finding balance, and the courage to take the necessary steps to finding it.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Sarah and how interesting that those two bloggers have chosen to move on. I think it is telling of the nature of blogging and social media in general. Sometimes it can just become totally overwhelming. I totally know how you feel about the blinking cursor. I love that everyone is talking about finding balance, it really is the most important aspect, to loving and embracing with form of self expression and communication. Thanks so much for stopping by. xxx

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  7. I've never commented before but this is something that I have been thinking about a lot too and I couldn't resist writing something here...
    I've had a really tough year and that has made it feel difficult to blog, not because I want to pretend that bad things don't happen but because my blog was started as a place to record the happy and nice things that were happening in my life, a reminder of good things, a gratitude diary and I don't want to fill it with misery...at the same time, the time I have spent away from it has made me think a bit about my motivations and although I have missed the connecting, the friendship and the inspiration, I must admit it has also been a bit of a relief to step away and to let myself take a break from the constant nagging in my head to "check my friends posts", "see what is happening on instagram", "to reply to comments", "to always be in touch!"
    I haven't really found a solution or decided what to do but I do share your desire to retain the connections I have made whilst having a bit of time to myself and to actually do all the things I am inspired to do when I read what my friends have been doing! I guess we just have to do what feels right, use the time we have available and maybe just go a little bit easy on ourselves when we don't manage to do it all quite the way we wish we could!?

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, means so much! I really understand what you mean about finding it difficult to record aspects of life when things aren't happy, it has been a real challenge for me too. And I can feel that sigh of relief to step away, it's so important isn't it. Yes we really do need to go easy on ourselves and look at all the good things we are doing, rather than what we aren't. I so appreciate your comment, it's really helped me to think about how I can make things work. xxx

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  8. It is a tough one Sophie, I think there are just way too many options & things to keep up with. Right now I am working hard on staying away from Facebook & only checking Twitter occasionally. I am not on IG because it is a distraction I just don't need. But, I love reading blogs so I make time for that. I rarely add new blogs to my feed these days unless I find something REALLY awesome/meaningful. If I added everything I loved I would never keep up :) good luck x

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    1. Oh Jane, you are the sweetest, I just love your insights and I think you are so right! I think it really is about limiting options and making time for what you really love. I am really thinking about whether I need twitter and facebook, I don't really care for either of them all that much. I love IG because it's easy to use at 3am when I'm up with Miss Tallow and it's connected me with some amazing like minded souls. I'm really thinking the way to go is just to do what feels right, who needs to be everywhere right! I am always so inspired by your commitment to stopping by, to connecting and you've really helped me to see that it's all about those awesome/meaningful moments. Thanks so much Jane and we really should catch up when you are down sometime! Would love a coffee and chat at Fine and Sunny. Much Love xxx

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  9. Blogging really ebbs and flows doesn't it? I don't know whether any of us ever fit everything in, particularly when kids come along, but the space remains for you to do with it what you can. Love coming to visit, so keep up the great work and thanks for making the connection through my blog!

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    1. Awww thanks so much Lucy! It does ebb and flow and things are always changing. But I think the most important part really is the connections, the sharing and it's so worth making that time for, when I get to meet wonderful people like you. So lovely to connect with you, can't wait to see where your adventures take you next. xxx

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  10. Oh Hun I know these feelings well. The reality for sure is with kids this blogging thing is a juggle. I've been blogging with kids the whole time and I've kept adding kids to the brood. But for me blogging is simply something I can't walk away from it's the friends and connections but not only that it gives me a force and direction. I started blogging out of grief and needing to give that story a voice. Blogging went on to give me such joy starting a second blog (my current blog) to share my joys and passions. It truly has become part of who I am, and I'm not willing to say goodbye to it. Because I'm determined to keep blogging for me I just keep trying to make it work but I look to keep balance with the family.

    I personally do a lot of writing, reading and commenting when I'm sitting down to breastfeed Fraser, but in time I'll need to find new and other pockets of time around the kids. But still with everything else it can be a juggle. I recently went to ProBlogger and meet the amazing Bron from Maxabella Loves, I know you love her as do I. She also spoke at the conference about fitting it all in she spoke from her heart but gave practical advice. She followed up after ProBlogger with a post on her blog with all the apps and what not that can be used to help manage your time and leave you feeling happy about it all.

    Finally hugs mumma I know how hard nap times can be, I'm thankful that Fraser naps most days but after having Sarah who never slept it's sweet relief.

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  11. This post hits so close to my heart, and it's really beautiful. I've been truly struggling lately with blogging + fitting it all in during a day. I visit so many blogs run by amazing people, but between the emails, social media, and all of the 'to do's' that go along with blogging, sometimes I wonder if I'm leaving connections loose-ended. But the connections that we all do find through blogging makes it all worth it. If you ever figure a way to have blogging be completely organic + natural filled with connections, I'd love the tips :) I think we all could benefit from a smoother path through blogging to lessen the feel of another 'to do'.

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  12. Life balance is an elusive thing to achieve, Ive battled to find it over the years and have come to the conclusion that balance will find me. One day.

    I have been studying recently so blogging has been sporadic and Ive felt the content hasnt been there, now I have all these free hours ahead of me, my motivation is lacking. However I know the mojo will find me and I will find my feet and go forward.

    As for community and comments, I find the more I follow the less time I have to comment. To alleviate this I. Have been weeding my blog reader - removing the blogs that no longer appeal to the me I am today and I have been trying to read and comment daily (though something has gone amiss, my last count was at 70 unread)

    Good luck finding your balance xx

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  13. I find it funny how easily I can get tangled up in such little stresses and strains, even with something like blogging that has always supposed to be nothing but a hobby and a way to channel my need to scribble...

    I always try to remind myself that I write and share only for myself...but it's so easy to forget that sometimes!

    It's only very recently that I've started leaving whispers here and there on other people's blogs. There are many beautiful blogs (like yours!) that I've followed in the shadows for many years, but have always been to shy to properly say hello. But if I keep coming back (and if I've started to join in the conversations just recently) it's because of the honesty and integrity with which you weave your words together mean they often resonate very deeply with me.

    I love the way blogging allows me to peep through little windows into other people's world...thank you for drawing back the net curtains of yours xxx

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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