Sunday, July 1, 2012

5 Thoughts on Blogging

Whether you've been blogging for a few weeks, a few months, a year, or a few years - we all know it's a wet and wild blogosphere. I love blogging. I love the friendships I've made. I've learned more than I ever thought I would - so here are a few thoughts I jotted down, 5 Thoughts on Blogging.

1. Blogging is like a 1000 piece puzzle. We've been teaching our daughter, Sheila, the strategy for doing a puzzle. Her puzzles are only 20 pieces or so, but I thought the analogy of a puzzle was quite appropriate to blogging. When first starting out, you know you have to start somewhere so often times finding that corner piece is the best place to start. It may take a while to find the pieces to fit into that corner piece, but eventually after some searching and some thought you find the next piece. And then after some persistence and some hard work, you find more pieces. You step away and think "wow, I've gotten a lot more accomplished then I thought". You may need to step away from that puzzle longer than you think and not for any specific reason, but you just need a break. And after that break, you come back refreshed and you are able to tackle the next quadrant or corner of the puzzle. Anyway, you see where I'm going with this. When starting a blog, it's slow going and sometimes it can feel really lonely. But you have to want to blog for you and feel passionate and confident about wanting to blog and share your thoughts. After a while, you may have grown your following a little bit and that gives you the boost you need to keep going. I try to remember that no one has this blogging thing completely figured out. There is always something new to learn or technology to change things up a bit. It's fun and it connects like-minded individuals who share common interests or connections - who would have thought that would've been possible?



2. Reach out and comment. If you read a post that makes you feel a certain way, leave a thoughtful comment. Tell the person why you liked the post, what you were able to connect with, a similar experience or thought you've had on the subject, or just something that would contribute to the conversation that extends from the writer's thoughts. It may be difficult to comment on every single post that you read, but reaching out every now and then to let that person know that you're reading and enjoying their posts means a lot to a blogger.

3. Blogging takes dedication. Those of you that write a blog know it. Blogging takes a lot (okay a TON) of dedication. It's hard. Really hard. I tried to post every day of the week when I first started my blog, and it got to a point where I couldn't do it anymore. I wanted to be confident about the content I was putting out there, and cutting back on my posts has been the best thing I've ever done. More on this in another post...

4. Friendships. I've made genuine friendships through blogging. I could count on at least 2 hands (I would probably need many more hands) different people who I would love to have a cup of coffee or glass of wine with in a heartbeat. That is pretty amazing. We've bonded through decorating and design, and the friendships have grown through the personal stories and details that we share both on the blog and offline in e-mail chains. It's wild isn't it that the blogosphere can bring like-minded people together?! I'm still fascinated by this and forever grateful for it as well. I'm thankful to be able to learn from so many talented people and I'm in awe of the generosity and kindness of so many people that visit West Pear Avenue every day. Thank you.

Side note: Has anyone been to Blue Bottle Coffee? Looks like a place I would like.

5. Connect outside of the blog. If you ever have a chance to meet other bloggers in person, I would highly recommend it. It's such fun to be able to connect in person and share some stories and advice. You can also connect through other social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest just to name a few. I really enjoy Twitter - it's a quick connection and is a nice way to keep in touch outside of the blog.

There is so much more to share but this at least a start.

What would you add to the list?

Hope you're having a great weekend.

17 comments:

  1. Great post!
    LOVE your analogy of a puzzle, Holly. Blogging is like a never-ending puzzle. Sometimes you do need to step back and see what kind of 'picture' is showing, too. Where is your blog heading? What does it look like today? etc.
    Blogging is hard work, but sooo worth it if you find a passion you love.
    P.S. are you coming out thrifting next week for part of the day?

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  2. I second everything you said Holly. I never thought of blogging as a puzzle, but it really is. Sometimes you find a bunch of pieces that go together quickly and easily and other times you need a break and a fresh look at things. I also think sometimes not posting everyday can be good...it's better to have a quality post than to just throw something together....this is something I'm working on.

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  3. Blogging is like a puzzle! I was just teaching my almost 5 year old how to do sudoku, how to figure it out one row or column at a time and I think blogging is the same, every time you discover one thing that has repercussions in other areas.

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  4. What a fantastic, thoughtful and honest post Holly. I struggle a lot with finding the time and energy to blog as consistently and thoughtfully as I'd like to. It's often quite a dance (or puzzle- great analogy by the way) to juggle blogging with the reality of my daily life, but when I do, there's a sense of great satisfaction. Ultimately it's a creative outlet that is mine alone, and I love it.

    You've done an amazing job reaching out and growing your blog in the last year. Here's to many more!

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  5. Great post Holly. I agree with all of the points you make. Besides the creative outlet, my favorite aspect of blogging is the incredibly supportive community of bloggers and am still amazed at how connected you can feel with someone you have yet to meet in person! One day we will get together for that cup of coffee or better yet...a glass of wine:) Cheers!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your encouraging and informative thoughts, Holly. I agree with Erin, you've done a great job growing your blog the past year. You are truly one of the most supportive bloggers, your sincere and thoughtful comments you leave for everyone are always appreciated. Great advice!

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  7. Hi Holly! I couldn't agree more. Something I had no idea about when I started blogging last year was that I would make genuine friends. It really is so nice to connect with people this way. And meeting them in person when possible is such great advice. I know Camille of the Vintique Object and I will be friends for a long time and we would probably never have met if not for this blogging thing. And she only lives a half mile away! I know the rest of the internet is not this way but I love how supportive the design blogosphere is--such a great community.

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  8. Yes, yes, and YES to all of this. Blogging is definitely a step by step process, and I've loved every minute of it! One thing I've yet to do is meet another blogger in person, mainly because none of the bloggers I've befriended live even remotely close to me! I'm hoping to one day make that happen at a conference (probably) but until then I'll continue to enjoy these cyber friendships! You know I'm right there with you on the time it takes to blog! If it were up to me, I would post every day, but the real world won't let me do that :(. Maybe one of these days! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Holly!

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  9. Holly, I love you puzzle metaphor! It's genius -- and so true. And, I absolutely agree with you about meeting other bloggers. It's so fun, and they understand what you do on a level that non-blogger family and friends will never get :)

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  10. so loved reading this.. i couldnt agree more. great job!!

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  11. Great post, Holly! My thoughts exactly. I feel lucky to have met you and gotten to know you. You are certainly one I would love to sit down with and have a glass of wine. Keep up the good work!

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  12. Hi Holly,

    I find it endlessly fascinating that there are other people out there like me -- people who obsess over how to style their mantel and get excited every time a new issue of HB comes in the mail. So as you said, blogging helps us to connect with these people whose passions are so specific, it would be rare to find them in real life.

    Glad to have found you among them!
    Camille

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  13. These are great blogging thoughts! I share the same as you and am also in awe of the friendships made and the talent out there to learn from! You should be very proud of the way your blog and business has grown. You are a true talent and a constant support to your blog buddies! :)

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  14. Holly, this is such an awesome post! I've pulled back on my blog a little lately, and for the very reasons you've written about. And wouldn't you know, today, the day I read your well written piece, is the day I celebrate my 2nd year anniversary... birthday... what is it anyway? of my blog! And that's 352 posts later!!! I'm grateful every single day for the world blogging has opened up to me, and yes, you are one of the people I'd love to meet in person. Maybe one day that will happen... so here's a toast to you for being a great supporter and blogger extraordinaire :-) xo Sheila

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  15. What a great post Holly - so well said. I love your puzzle analogy. Blogging for me has been such a wonderful journey, learning experience & a great outlet for what I am passionate about and also a huge wealth of information, inspiration, and connection. I love what is going on right now in the blogging world with the new honesty (The "Things I'm Afraid to Tell you Movement" thanks to Jess Constable) and with SO many blogs out there, a real figuring out of what we want from our blogs. I, like you, started strong posting 5-6 days a week and then ran out of steam. I pulled back and then tried to find the right balance of writing consistently but not at the expense of other things (quality content, time with family and most importantly ... SLEEP). It was the same with reading and commenting - at first it was all consuming and I spent far more time then I could afford reading and soaking in everything I could and also trying to connect as much as possible by emails and comments. I have learned finally to find balance in all of this somehow and although I would love to have more time to read and comment on the plethora of amazing blogs written by such talented people it is not possible right now and so I try to check in with the blogs I am most familiar with and sadly I do not comment as much as I wish I could. I think the best way to describe how I feel right now is ... SOOOO many amazing and talented blogs ... sooooo little time.
    Thank YOU for always seeming to find the time to leave such nice and thoughtful comments - because we all know that is what keeps us going! xo

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  16. Well said Holly. I've just recently returned from a break in blogging. I still struggle with where my niche lies and I guess it will be a continual work in progress. Love all your thoughts especially the ones about the invaluable friends we make from blogging. I just had lunch with 20 ladies in Vancouver last weekend that I know from our blog group. Such an amazing group of like minded friends!

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  17. What a great list. Very good advice. Thanks for sharing.

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