Friday, May 13, 2011

to blog or not to blog...

...well, that IS the question.

It's been two months since I put anything new in this space. Why? I'm not sure. I've certainly thought about it a lot in that time. I've completed a few projects and thought maybe I should take some pictures and write about them. We've gone on a few outings that were fun, and I got some good enough photos where you can't see my kids' faces clearly and I could certainly post about that.

But I'm not sure I want to. My kids are pretty big now (Daughter just turned 6 and AJ is over 2 1/2) so I feel very conscious of their privacy. I don't even tell close friends and family all the quirky things they do. And I have pretty minimal crafting time due to a really messy, rambunctious kid blasting around the house all day. When naptime and bedtime come, it's a mad scramble to clean up the kitchen, straighten the house, run that last load of laundry, and then I crash. I still squeeze in knitting and sewing time, but it's not huge, and when I have that precious free time I want to use it to create things, not write about creating things (I think). Life has done a 180 with this little boy of mine...he is nothing like Daughter, who would happily play nearby while I worked on something creative. He's just not a content-to-self-entertain kid, which is perfectly normal and ok, but it limits my time to do what I want.

However! I am also crazy-addicted to my hobbies. I don't know a single person in real life who is as obsessed as I am with making stuff. I am constantly frustrated and disappointed when trying to make new friends (like at birthday parties or school events) when I cannot find one mom who likes doing crafty stuff. I belong to the local chapter of knitting guild because even though it's me and about 200 grannies, at least the meetings are filled to the brim with women who understand what I do and why I love it so. Perhaps something is wrong with me that I haul a knitting project everywhere I go. Maybe it's completely abnormal that I can't seem to pack my sewing machine away for even a few days without feeling twitchy and getting it back out.

And that's where blogs and the internet come in. I can't find my people here in my real life, so I find them out there, in cyberspace. When I stumble upon a new blog I like the first thing I do is search their "about" page to see if they live geographically nearby. Nope, never happens. So I keep going back and absorbing all I can from these amazingly crafty women I'll never meet.

Now, there are some downsides to this, for me at least. The very best blogs, or I should say the blogs I enjoy the most, are the ones where the writer posts photos of her family, her home, her projects, herself - the really open ones that tell the whole story. I love this! But I'm not willing to do that myself. So sometimes I feel like I can't hang, you know? I feel I cannot truly participate in the world of craft blogging or mom blogging without being more free with my life. I'm sure it is boring to simply look at photos of kid sweaters or mittens or sundresses with no context, really. Right? Or no? I guess I can only say what I prefer, and that's the "whole story."

Also, I don't have the latest and greatest camera, not by a long shot. So many bloggers take such amazing photos with their Nikon XXX12345 camera or their Canon blah-blah-blah with the super special lens and here I am with my 10 year-old Canon Sure Shot A40, a camera so old and outdated you can't even get the drivers without doing an extensive internet search. It's like being in high school again and not having the cool sneakers or a trapper keeper when everyone else does. I also cannot afford to create with the same high-end supplies many crafters use. $10/yard quilting fabric is simply not in my budget, nor is $20/skein yarn, and I do get jealous sometimes when people show their stash.

Aaaaaaaaaand, along those same lines, there's some real nastiness showing up in the entire blog community of late. People are having a real hard time keeping their comments kind, often showering bloggers with judgmental wrath. Sure, I judge people - really, who doesn't at one time or another? But I don't feel the need to blast someone in blog comments (or on my own blog) who chooses to live differently than I do. No one is making me read these blogs, so if I don't care for someone's page, I simply click away and remove it from my bookmarks. Easy as pie and no feelings get hurt.

So, you see, I have a real love/hate thing going on here. My life has done a huge series of flip-flops since I started my little blog as a young newlywed with a 6 month-old baby. There are days when my PTSD from losing a child and going through what I went through with my son takes hold and I have nothing good to say to anyone. There are days when I browse my blog list and just feel angry and sad that my life "doesn't measure up." Then there are days of great inspiration when I love all the projects I see and feel I am part of an awesome group of creative, obsessive, loving, busy, intense moms who I really, really wish could come over to my house for a sewing/knitting/crocheting/embroidering playdate with their adorable kids.

Um, so...yeah. Where does that leave me? I'm not sure. I know that at the very least, I've enjoyed having a place where all my projects are catalogued. I don't want to keep a crappy blog, that's for sure, but I don't know if I have it in me to create an awesome one.

What to do...what to do...


emy said...

Don't feel bad. Your blog is your own and you are free to do what you want.

I'm also guilty of going through periods where I just simply am too pre-occupied with other things in my life that blogging takes a backseat.

But I am sure your readers would understand. When something fails to be fun and ends up being a chore, you should just decide if you want to be bound by it.

Good luck!

Karen said...

Yes, yes, uh-huh, and I agree.

and thank you for mentioning the Trapper Keeper.

HangerMom said...

Oh boy. I hear you on so much of that! Sometimes just looking at other bloggers' amazing photos is enough to make me want to hang up the towel. The beauty, though, of all the RSS feed/google reader sort of thing is that even if you only post once every two months, your readers know about it. So people who do enjoy reading about your craft and family updates can, while others can move on if they choose.

After cutting back on computer time for lent, I find very little motivation to blog, not to mention finding the time.

I never had a Trapper Keeper. {sigh}

Mrs Lemon said...

Back from the ledge of deleting the blog myself, I can see that I'm happy with the community of bloggy friends that I have - I'm not working overtime to "meet" new people, but I'm also not too worried if I don't get record number of clever comments, because I know y'all are out there nodding your head. You just don't have time to comment because you've got your rambunctious kids just like I've got mine who prevent me from being as committed to other people as I'd like to be.

Oh yeah. Real life. ;)

Don't worry about being someone else's brand of awesome. I love reading your blog, and would definitely grieve. And after all, what would Caroline Ingalls do? she wouldn't quit! ;)

Kerry said...

Keep it up, if you want to. Take a break, if you want to. Therein lies the beauty.

I am not crafty, but I like reading about people who are.

And I hear you on the mean-spirited comments. I have very, very few people who comment, but one of them is this grumpy stay-at-home dad from Cleveland who enjoys telling me how shallow I am. (And, sure, I can be; I love pop culture.)

Anyway, happy knitting.