10/20/16

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A woman asked me to remove her from my mailing list a few weeks back, (right before I took a pause on my mailing list) She was a long-time subscriber and a name I remember emailing with or messaging with a few times at some point.

She explained that her severe form of seasonal affective disorder made her feel worthless and terrible when she read my newsletters. Although she loved seeing what I was writing about, she was viewing me as this awesomely creative mom, always doing art projects with my kids, writing books, etc. etc. and comparing how she was feeling to how she was envisioning my life.

While I recognize this to be her problem- not mine- the email struck a deep chord with me and sort of underlined what I haven’t been liking about the corner of the blogging world I’ve been hanging out in for a few years.

I’ve been trying for an embarrassingly long time to get back to something I lost- a love for my online space and for blogging in general.

You see, my art projects are what get my blog a lot of traffic, thereby making me some money in ad revenue, thereby helping me contribute a little money to our family. I crave that.

But the art projects haven’t been fun for me in a long, long time, causing me to resent my blog, overthink every step of it, and avoid it in so many ways: Target, wine, naps, cookies, driving aimlessly, podcasts, classes and webinars, social media, you name it.

I am SO GOOD at forcing myself to stay with something long after it’s grown stale, stifling my intuition like a freaking boss.

So I didn’t post much this past summer, and it felt great. I sent out a lot of newsletters with links to old content. Luckily I have a lot of old content to reshare, and that gave my brain a respite.

I recently stopped my newsletter as well, citing burnout, which probably surprised a lot of people, but many times we are mulling over decisions in our heads long before we act on them. I was actually surprised by how many people contacted me, supporting my decision and wishing me well and generally being really nurturing. It was a pretty great feeling.

This made me realize how much I crave the connecting-with-other-people part of blogging. The humanness, the rawness, the weird similarities you discover by spending time online. I am not the type of person to jump into the public spotlight and make myself heard. I’m a quiet, introverted, careful, sensitive little flower, and I prefer to lure my people in in this style.

I posted on Facebook Wednesday night, which was one of my favorite posts I’ve ever done, and got so many people seemingly enjoying the fuck out of themselves with cyber-yelling.

Why not? It was totally fun. And cathartic.

So anyway, back to the email from the woman. Her issues aside, I don’t want to be one of those online people who looks like she has it all figured out. I’m a freak, basically, just like everybody else. And I like the freak part of people. I like it so much that I want to explore it and celebrate it.

All the pretty blogs are fun to look at, I admit. I pore over Pinterest like an idiot. Ultimately, the prettiness is inspiring and lovely, and it satisfies my visual needs, but what really nourishes me is the people, and the stories, and the feelings, the talking through really big, cool human concepts and experiences.

And then taking all of that and laughing about it? That is gold, right there.

So what is Craftwhack destined to be now? I’m exploring that – probably really awkwardly since that has been my modus operandi all along. I’m just going to post a bunch of stuff that I want to, when I want to, maybe fire up the old newsletter again pretty soon, and see who comes and who goes.

I’m leaving the stress of getting the social media numbers, the page views, the pleasing of people all behind me, and going back to blogging old-school-style, and I’m so excited to be going backward I can’t even believe my mind.

Now here’s a photo of a radish.

radish

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8 Comments

  1. 10/21/2016 / 3:05 pm

    First, why did she have to tell you this? I am sorry but Just unsubscribe and move about your damn day.
    Also, your blog has never given me the feeling of OMG I AM SO FUCKING WORTHLESS. AND I have Seasonal Make You Feel Like Shit Disorder too.
    Listen, you make me laugh, you’ve never made me feel like a piece of shit because I haven’t done a craft with my kids and I don’t even really like art and I still really love to read your blog, so there.

    I was really sad when you said you were taking a break. Like REALLY sad. Because I feel like all of the good bloggers are going away and we are left with these assaulting blogs that hit you with subscribe windows and FUCKING ADS ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE and recipes and shit.
    Sorry.
    Anyway, please don’t stop blogging.
    Otherwise, MY S.A.D. will go out of control if you do.

    • 10/21/2016 / 7:39 pm

      I won’t stop blogging! I can’t. It’s in my blood now, girl. It’s funny because blogging has changed SO MUCH since we started, right? I got caught up in it. All the changes and weird arbitrary rules that people were/are spouting, all the bloggers posting their monthly income reports, selling courses, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to make an income doing this because as you know it’s a shit-ton of work and time, but I think there’s a way to do that without all the sponsored posts that feel wrong, and without desperately chasing the Pinterest shares.

      I love that you just got so worked up about this- I also love that you are a blogger who has stayed SO true to yourself and your voice and you’ve kept plugging away at it. Love.

      Now, about the woman. I don’t know. I suppose it’s a little passive aggressive to email me like that, but I also know that sometimes depressed brains cause you to act differently sometimes. KWIM? I don’t feel angry or annoyed- I sort of feel sad, but more than anything I hope she can get some relief from the depression.

      Also, just for the record, “Seasonal Make You Feel Like Shit Disorder” has an acronym of SMYFLSD. In case you were wondering.

  2. 10/22/2016 / 8:12 am

    Thank you for being transparent and sharing your heart. I struggle with this whole blogging thing and mostly for the same reasons. I guess if I could I’d give a hug and say, “enjoy blogging when you want and how you want, girl.” I’m so there. BTW, I really enjoy and blog! I love your ideas. Blessings to you as you move forward. 🙂

    • 10/23/2016 / 8:37 am

      Hi Sarah, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Blogging can be a major struggle, and it can easily creep in and overtake everything, so it’s nice to be able to take a mental step back, definitely. And I’ll gladly take your hug and words of encouragement. <3

  3. Katie
    10/22/2016 / 9:33 am

    I love knowing that other people are freaks, too. I do love the inspiring, beautiful, posts from all the beautiful, perfect, bloggers on the interwebs, but I definitely do get a little inadequacy complex from them. I find myself freaking out because my house is a freaking mosh pit of five highly-creative home-educated children who are here all the time, moshing. And there was just that perfect instagram photo of a livingroom all done up in shades of white and so clean and lovely and… not real life.

    • 10/23/2016 / 8:35 am

      It’s so lovely to be able to have the balance (in what we see online) between perfect eye candy and real-life mosh pit with kids, though, isn’t it? I feel like I’m forever picking up and cleaning my house in order to have that one moment of taking in how it could look, before it all just falls apart and gets messy again, and that’s how we live most of the time. I hope you’re photographing your chaotic kids doing all sorts of chaotic things in your chaotic home! Those will be fun pics to look back at. 🙂

  4. 10/25/2016 / 2:57 am

    Thanks for writing this. I love to hear your thoughts on things. It’s sad that the woman felt that way and then wrote to you about it, which could have made you feel guilty and somehow a cause of her depression. I’m glad you know it’s her issue.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do next!

    • 10/25/2016 / 8:39 pm

      It’s kind of fun to let yourself evolve with your site after you get past the fear of change…. so I’m feeling good about it. Thanks for your comment, Megan. I feel like in a way I can understand why she wrote that to me. I just hate seeing anyone suffering.

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