'Tis the season for fresh starts, resolutions and thoughts about the year going forward, isn't it? I've got a few things to share today that have been rolling around in my head and heart: some blogging-related, some project-related and some house-related. It's a bit of a mish mash, but I'll try to be concise :).
Over the past year, I've been feeling especially frazzled and frenzied when it comes to writing this blog. I wouldn't exactly call it stress, but it has made this whole thing less enjoyable that I'd like it to be. There have been times this year when I've felt totally uninspired while feeling pressured to publish/produce content, and even thought about giving the whole thing up. I was feeling that way when we were living in DC (we left in May, for those of who are new around here), but I thought it was due to the fact that I had run out of projects to do in our itty bitty apartment and that we would be homeless for three months over the summer (not literally, but we were living in other people's houses and therefore no real projects/decorating/DIYing could happen), but the feelings continued when we got to Philly even when I had a whole.new.house to decorate.
Obviously, something else was going on.
When I took some time to reflect on why I was feeling that way, I realized a couple of things:
- The year I started worrying more about page views, creating "Pinterest-worthy" content and how I would monetize the blog than enjoying it for the reasons I started the blog in the first place - as a creative outlet.
- Posting felt more like a grind than anything else, which sapped my energy and sucked the fun out of writing and making things. I often wondered if what I was doing was a waste of time.
- I wasn't getting as much feedback from readers as I would've liked. It's hard to keep something like this up when you feel like you're speaking to an empty room. I'm not speaking to an empty room based on the page views I have, but when all I hear are crickets after hitting the publish button, that can make me a little sad.
Yuck, right? Aren't you glad you're reading today's post so far? ;) Told you we'd be getting into the nitty gritty today.
Ok, so rather than just push forward and discard these thoughts as "just a phase," I've been assessing why, despite all the reasons above, I love being in this place for a few days each week.
Here are a few reasons why I want to stick around:
- Creating things gives me such pleasure, and I love contributing my creativity to the blogging world.
- Connecting with y'all, my dear readers, is a major highlight, even if it doesn't happen as often as I would wish. A recent encounter reminded me of how important that connection is to me. On our road trip back home on Saturday, my husband and I stopped at Chick Fil A. While we were waiting for our food, I heard someone say, "Excuse me, sorry to interrupt..." from behind me and it turns out it was a gal who follows May Richer Fuller Be (Hi Erin!) and recognized me from my picture. She introduced herself and told me that she really loved my blog. That totally made my day! Of course meeting "in real life" is an anomaly, but the excitement of meeting her reminded me of the importance of y'all.
- Connecting with other bloggers is really, really fun too. I collaborated more with others in 2014 than ever, and some of my favorite projects and posts came out of those times.
- Posting here keeps me accountable on getting things done. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do half the projects, organizing or decorating I do now if I didn't have a blog.
- Blogging also forces me to flex my creative muscles. I love learning new skills and I want to grow as a designer/DIYer/writer - being here enables that.
So, what's happening at MRFB in 2015 you might be asking?
First and foremost, I want to be purposeful in the projects I do and the posts I write. I don't want to do projects just to have something to post or write just so that it looks like I'm posting a bunch. I want to be authentic and enjoy what I'm doing. This may mean fewer posts, or maybe more? I'm not going to be prescriptive on that one. I want to remain consistent, but I really want to avoid making this place feel like a grind. Fun is the name of the game here :).
Also, quality over quantity is the idea I keep coming back to - and I'm sure that's something y'all appreciate as well!
When it comes to content, a big theme will be continue to be making our little row house into a place we love and a place that functions well. I want to get rid of clutter and simplify things, so get ready for some posts on organization. I also want to make things pretty along the way, so there will be plenty of decor posts as well. And finally, a skill I want to continue to work on and share here on the blog is graphic design. I've learned so, so much, and I just got a new toy that will hopefully give me even more freedom and help me grow in that area. More to come on that!
I'm going to try and be patient and let things evolve as slowly as they need to. Since my husband's a student for the next 18 months (and we rent), disposable income for projects is small. We'll see how things go! Ultimately, home isn't about how magazine-worthy it is, it's about how it feels and how we welcome others into it. In the words of the Nester: it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I don't want to fret about how good or bad something looks - I want to enjoy it for what it is. And I want our home to be a comfortable place where people feel like they can put their feet up and relax.
This brings me to my word of the year: wonder.
A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable (as defined by Google dictionary).
Last year, things moved too quickly and there was always too much going on in my brain. This year, I want to carve time out to just sit back and observe - both in blog land and offline. I'm excited to breathe life and the world around me in and let the beauty of those things both surprise and inspire me.
I think I'll leave it at that today, friends. I wish I could give you each a big hug and thank you for being here. Onto more projects next week! Slowly. Er. We'll see how it goes!