Shifting. Changing.

Sometimes, even the nicest activities get a bit tired and over the years I’ve found that when that happens, one of two courses of action are open to me.

Take a break, or go harder.

Either option can inject a bit of life into the activity that’s feeling a bit frayed or weary. Lately I’ve felt that way about blogging. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t. It’s made me question the blogging experience and what’s interesting is that I’ve found I’ve asked myself not if I want to blog but rather how.

elijah - window

It was all a bit muddled in my mind. Then I read a post that helped me to think about it a bit more. On her sixth anniversary, Lolly Knitting Around wrote a little about her thoughts on reaching that milestone and how blogging changes.

When I started blogging in 2006 it was because I read a lot of knitting blogs and I wanted to be part of the fun. A little later on, I discovered there were many ways to write a blog. I spread my wings a little tried some essays and some photography, food blogging, personal blogging, reflective writerly blogging. I love them all but I’m never sure how far to take the wing spreading. Is it possible to write a consistently good blog if you spread your content reach too thinly? Isn’t it better to have a mostly single focus?

Fairytale mushroom
I love writing a largely knitting focused blog but I don’t know if that’s what I always want to do. Sure I veer off topic once in a while but lately I’ve found I haven’t felt able to as much. And it hems me in. To impose a rule on myself about having to keep up a largely single focus means there are lots of other things I’d love to write about but don’t.

The only time I really break out of the mould is when I join in the daily blogging activities. When you’re writing daily, you start scrounging for material and amazingly, when you give yourself to the exercise, the world opens up. I find that every single time.

There’s always talk that blogging is coming to an end but I really think that it doesn’t end, it just shifts and changes. And many many blogs start then die off. It’s the way of things. I’ve watched lots of knitters finish up and just stick to posting their stuff on Ravelry and I think that’s a natural step. Not everyone wants the pressure of maintaining a website. Ravelry and Flickr are a great way to be part of a community without the pressure of writing. But for those of us who love to write and who love to communicate, blogging continues to be a vital and exciting creative outlet.

I’m not stopping.

snowdrop

But after for years I’m asking for some understanding as I try and figure out where to from here? To begin with I’m going to challenge myself to a fortnight of daily posting – a month feels too much right now – to see if I can get the juices flowing again and to see where it takes me.

I can’t imagine not having this outlet and the connection and the discipline, but maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit.

Let’s see how it goes.

Bells

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35 thoughts on “Shifting. Changing.

  1. go the daily blogging! I love it! It’s such a huge part of my life now I can’t imagine not blogging

    and I agree it’s definitely coming to an end or a fad! I sat in a social media 101 meeting today and it’s definitely the way forward and the way we communicate and brands will get out there etc etc. I always thought social media was just twitter and facebook but it’s so much including blogging, flickr and more

    keep it up
    Corrie;)

  2. Phew! I thought that you weren’t going to write anymore! I enjoy your posts for the way you write and your photos are lovely. 🙂

  3. I am glad that you are not stopping as I love reading your blog. You write so beautifully whilst I am a bad blogger – as & when I feel like it.

  4. I’d be interested to ready anything you write. You do it well, and you often make me think hard about what’s going on in my own head.

    Stretch out, I’ll bet we’ll all come with you.

  5. it’s all been said above, but basically you could write about paint drying and make it interesting. personally i enjoy blogs that cover a wide view of a persons life, generally of things that i am interested in (ie. knitting, cooking, domestic life, the arts, etc.) but i also enjoy being introduced to new things. bloggers are like my imaginary friends, and i love making new friends and finding our more about them as they reveal different aspects of themselves, their likes and interests. but overall, i think your blog should be for you, more than what you think other people expect. go bells!

  6. Pingback: Slow Creativity « Bellsknits

  7. I’m another who’s very pleased you’re continuing to blog – though I think it would be awful for you if you felt it had become a ‘duty’. I agree that blogging every day somehow frees you to be less precious about what you write, so I’m looking forward to the next fortnight. I’ve been interested in the comments from people who’ve stopped blogging because because they felt it became a one-way communication. As someone who’s notoriously bad at keeping in touch with others, I’ve found blogging actually helps in maintaining my relationships.

  8. Oh dear – you have taken the words right out of my mouth! Well, except they are much better explained and written than I could ever have done!

    I think you are right, every blogger gets to this stage at some point (and sometimes many points) through the life of the blog. Its almost facing a crossroads, where you feel you need to make the decision about the direction you want your blog to journey to. I often thinks its funny that often a blog is the one thing in which we have ultimate, totaly control over, yet we are so habitually conditioned to impose “rules” on them.

    I think when we find so many readers that like our initial content, we get worried that if we lead them off the defined path we may lose them. I certainly feel like this every time I write a post thats not really infitting with the blog. Sometimes I will just press “publish” and be done with it, other times it will sit in my draft box for ages, or for ever as I am just not confident enough to publish it.

    I think expressing ourselves in different ways is valuable, and just adds another dimension to the online person that we know. Sometimes I don’t like a post or idea that a blogger might present, but I will usually hang around as I have become enagaged in the personality of the blogger, or the originaly content that they used to provide.

    So I can’t wait to see what happens here next!! 🙂 Good luck with the blogging every day, I think a fortnight is a great start, maybe I should do the same? I am so lacking motivation at the moment!!

  9. I especially enjoy it when you include pictures of your country. I always wanted to see you country. Its just not in the cards. Your creations are awesome.

  10. I enjoy reading your blog because of how *you* write. Sure, I like reading about your knitting (I’d guess that’s how I found your blog when I moved to Canberra a couple of years ago, from another knitter’s or from Ravelry) but I really enjoy your style, your point of view, and the way you help me look at the world through a different focus. Thank you for being prepared to share part of yourself publicly (I find it hard to get up the courage to comment a lot of the time) and I’m glad you’re continuing. I look forward to your ongoing blog, I hope you continue to enjoy it, and I don’t think you need to ask for our understanding: it’s *your* blog. Your rules 🙂

  11. I have to say that I don’t really understand the angst some people feel over their blogs. If I don’t feel like blogging, I don’t. Just walk away from it for a while, give yourself some space, and if it feels right after a break, come back to it!

  12. I am glad that your still blogging. I read Lolly’s post during the week too and have to agree that a lot of knitters have stopped their blogs and joined ravelry. One of the things that I love about reading blogs is that it feels like chatting with a friend, you get to know some of their personality and lifestyle and on ravelry it isnt quite the same. I dont think you just have to blog about knitting, it is just one aspect of your life and it is your blog so you can talk about what you want to and I am sure all your readers will still be happy that your blogging, I know I will!

  13. Very glad you aren’t giving up the blog. I’m sure whatever direction you decide to take, it will be interesting, and we’ll all enjoy it.

    Happy continued blogging!

  14. I can only second what so many above have said on how much I enjoy reading your blog, but… if you don’t love doing it anymore, it’s ok to stop. We’re grown ups – we’ll be alright without you. I imagine that having a successful blog with a following must bring some pressure along with it to ‘be there for the readers’. I’ll miss you if you decide to stop, but I’ll manage. However, I am looking forward to a fortnight of posting!!

  15. Best of luck, Bells. I always enjoy reading your blog whatever it may be about. I think we all take something different from blogging but, I believe, that once it’s not fun anymore, why bother? Hope you get through this and find whatever it is that makes it fun for you.

  16. I keep thinking about quitting entirely. Like snoozen–it’s really aggravating me lately how a couple certain particular family members are lurking around on my blog but hardly ever talk to me (or even email). The communication is all one way, and it bugs the heck out of me. Not sure if I should let that stop me from blogging… but it just might anyway. Sometimes I’m exhausted by the sheer amount of information on the Internet, too, and the idea of dropping out of it altogether is inviting.

    But it’s your blog, and you get to do what you want with it! As we all do. It’s not a job, nobody’s paying us or telling us what the expectations are. And thank god for that. 🙂

  17. I really enjoy reading your blog and for a minute there I was worried you were posting a goodbye. I’m really glad that isn’t the case! Good luck with your daily posts.

  18. This is so interesting because since my extended “break,” I’ve been thinking that blogging might be easier if I had a single focus, like ” just knitting,” for example. Then I wouldn’t have to dredge up something and could just talk about what I was knitting. Funny, huh? Guess the grass really is always greener!

  19. Yeah, what they said. Don’t quit! I enjoy all your posts. Just because it says “Bells Knits” up there at the top doesn’t mean you have to only blog about knitting. At least you get comments. I blog and blog and only rarely does someone comment, but I enjoy sending my words out there and so I keep on. You keep on too.

  20. Are you afraid the blog-police will lock you up if you go off topic? If you just post a week’s worth of photos we will all curl up and die? If you decide to share your haikus for a month we’ll quit reading? Silly girl! I check in because I like you and want to know what you’re up to. Did you know that there are no rules for blogging? NO RULES! Where else can you write so completely freely? God knows My blog is all over the map. Knitting is the least of it.

  21. i really like the attitude of “let’s see how it goes?” – no rules or expectations…just let’s see 😀

    good luck to you Bells, hope it is what you need. I know I’d miss reading you musings if you weren’t around 😉

  22. I agree with Donna Lee. You are such an amazing writer (and knitter and person, no doubt) that you have a following. I read your entries whether they are about knitting or not.

    Your title and the first 90% of your post scared the bee-jeebers out of me. I was terrified you were saying your farewell! I was so relieved to find out you haven’t given up!

    You have true writing talent, though, so I have to encourage you to follow your writing heart.

    For me, the blog is more about community than writing. I was a newspaper reporter/editor for 25 years, so I just go into journalism mode. Well most of the time. Occasionally I actually craft a blog post. But I have to admit that for the most part, I direct my writing energy toward the novel I’m working on and the occasional poem. It’s all about finding the balance that works for you.

    In the meantime, I’m looking forward to hearing from you on a daily basis!

  23. I think the knitting content was a good springboard for an introduction of yourself. Now you can feel free to explore all the things you like to write about. You knit (beautifully) but you also do lots of interesting things. And you’re observant of the people and life around you.

    Write about what you feel and people will read it. People change and if they’re honest, their blogs change along with them. So, go on. Write about things that mean something to you.

  24. having read your blog for a long time I can say that I have never been bored . Knitting , travelling or cooking , I enjoy all of it . I especially liked the stories about the stone remains of cottages around Canberra and your words recently on remembering why I was knitting helped me finish a sweater for my mother . I look forward to whatever direction you may take .

  25. I stopped my blog as people stopped communicating to me as they knew what was happening in my life through my blog…Goodluck

  26. Always checking out what you have posted, knitting, writing, family, whatever comes. Writing about what you are interested in makes it an interesting read. Taking photographs of whatever interests you and posting them here adds an extra dimension. Your photography has such a wonderful feel to it. You just need to do what you need to do, whatever works to keep you happy blogging.

  27. No I wouldn’t mind either, but I understand that instinct. You are very good at daily blogging, I think it will help you get your mojo back. Looking forward to it.

  28. Perhaps you should write suspense stories, as I thought for a minute there you were going to say you weren’t going to blog any more!
    Phew! Glad that didn’t happen!
    For what it’s worth, I don’t think you should feel constrained to only write about knitting or knitting related content on this blog – I’m sure readers won’t mind reading about other things that take your fancy to blog about from time to time! (I certainly wouldn’t mind!!)

  29. As someone who is new to blogging, both the reading and the writing, I learn a lot from experienced people. One thing I have learned is that the variety of personalities present in each of us really comes out when we aren’t too rigid in our focus.

    I enjoy your escapades in the kitchen every bit as much as watching the new knitted things for Alice (she’s not really a baby anymore ;-( ) come to fruition. When you add in your husband and sisters and more rarely your brother I see a fairly well-rounded individual who has a lot of valuable things to say.

    However you do it, please keep blogging. You have a faithful following no matter what the topic.

  30. I loved Blogtober last year, it really showed me how much I loved my blog!! I think it is an excellent idea to take stock and try fourteen days of posting. A month can seem daunting. For me, it’s all about The Labradors, and then whatever else might be happening. I quite like The Ravelry, but I don’t so Facebook or MySpace or Twitter, I’m old fashioned in fast world and I like my blog!! I’m looking forward to your fourteen days!!

  31. I love the way your write. And being so far away from everybody, I always find what you post exciting and fascinating. I’ve been going through the same process… only, I seem to have fallen off the bandwagon. Maybe I should try writing everyday for a month (or a fortnight) to get back on… But I will be content to hear what you have to say, and the stunning photos you have to post, as you blog evolves. 🙂

  32. Good luck – I hope it works out for you!

    I enjoy writing my blog but the second it becomes a chore or I feel hemmed in I’m totally giving up and doing something else. I hope you feel free to write what you want – I’ve always felt this blog was about you and that a lot of your thoughts were about knitting. I like knitting too but I’m still interested in all the other Bells-stuff.

    Anyway, good luck.

    I’m sure I put that badly.

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