I feel like I haven’t written a personal blog post in so long, one where I actually talk about myself and my thoughts instead of just things we’ve been doing recently or brand collaborations.
I find that I’m so busy in my day to day life that coming up with topics to write a blog post about is really difficult, I have lots of creative ideas for things I want to make for my craft blog and my addiction to crochet is on my mind a lot (I currently have 7 blankets on the go!) but I feel like I’ve only been doing the bare minimum with Along Came Cherry and to be honest it kind of reached the point where I didn’t feel like writing anything personal on here at all.
There are a number of reasons why I started to lose my focus. When it started it was full of horrifically awful photos and cringe inducing blog posts about being a new mum then over time my photography skills started to improve and it became more of a photographic journal of our lives but over the winter that fades to nothing as we tend to hibernate and the thought of going to take photos outside when it’s freezing doesn’t excite me which means it reduces down to sponsored content and reviews which I know aren’t the things people will return to.
The other thing that has been playing on my mind is who I am really writing for. A few years ago I was an active member of the blogging community and always commented on blogs, spent time finding new ones to read, chatting to bloggers on social media and during that time I guess I was mainly writing for other bloggers. I think the reason that happens is because they are more likely to comment so you actually have confirmation that person is reading whereas non-bloggers don’t tend to leave comments so although you can see from your blog stats that people are reading you don’t really have a clue who they are or what they think.
Over time though my connection to the blogging community has faded substantially due to the fact that I have so little free time. I have a lovely group of blogging pals who I am in regular contact with but my days of chatting to new people on Twitter are no more, as are my days of leaving blog comments, even on my favourites. Homeschooling means that I have the kids with me 24/7 and running two blogs plus making projects for my craft one takes up all my free time. I still read blog posts on my phone but rarely comment and the thing I’ve noticed is that since I stopped, my comments virtually stopped too which is exactly what I thought would happen and it got me questioning it all. I didn’t want to be in a cycle of feeling like I had to return a comment to everyone who had commented on mine. I know it’s polite and if I had the time I would love to do it but I don’t so it was just one job I had to let go. Plus I feel like my blog has changed so much in the five years since I started that people were commenting more out of habit than because they really wanted to.
I found myself wondering what the point of blogging here was, I spent my time comparing myself to others and became very critical. I’m not a writer, I left school having taken only 4 GCSEs and it’s only in the last few years I learnt the basics of punctuation and even still I know I make mistakes all the time. There are SO many bloggers out there now and everyone takes it a lot more seriously these days, people are posting regularly, promoting their posts no end and making sure they are creating interesting content for their social media channels, a lot of bloggers now even have agents to help further their careers. It’s so hard to stand out from the crowd these days without doing something really different or having a unique niche and I found myself wondering where I fit into it all.
The other thing that has put me off writing here has been feeling like I’m portraying myself to be someone that people can’t identify with or relate to. Our decision to home educate has put us in a minority and as much as I know lots of people are interested in it (as well as those who think we are mad!), there are also others who read about our choices and feel bad for whatever reason, it’s really hard to write about our reasons for not sending them to school without people thinking that I’m judging their choices, something which of course I’m not. I guess it creates a bit of a divide and it might all be in my head but sometimes I just get that vibe.
Obviously the fact we love crafting doesn’t help matters, that is one of those things that gets mentioned everywhere in a negative light.
I guess I just feel like people might see me as something I’m not, when jokes about looking forward to the school holidays ending are so popular, hearing from someone who chooses to spend every minute with her kids seems somewhat alien, I get that, but you know, I’m not superhuman. I love crafting but rarely find the time to clean my house and love spending all day with my kids but don’t always have the patience to stay calm when they are fighting.
I feel like on the one hand I want to blog about home education because it’s so misunderstood but on the other hand I don’t want it to define me, there is more to me that just someone who chooses not to send her children to school! I think my problem has always been committing to one niche, I blog about such a range of things that no-one is going to be interested in them all but I don’t think I can change that. One day I might share a recipe, the next it will be charity shops finds, the next crochet projects and the next a homeschooling update. My niche is varied because that portays my interests in real life.
Anyway this really is turning into a rambling mind dump but where I am going is that since I lost my focus and got to the point where I didn’t even care what happened to Along Came Cherry, all of a sudden my inspiration to write here came back and for the first time in forever I have a long list of blog post ideas.
I just want to go back to how I wrote at the start, in a way that was for me, without worrying about who is reading or what they are thinking. Blogging is a funny old world, I’m about to enter my 5th year of doing it so I think it’s only natural to stop and have a bit of a reassessment after all that time. I’ve accepted that I can’t work as hard on it as I would like due to the choice we made to homeschool but it’s definitely not something that I will give up, it’s part of me now. I just needed to find the confidence to be myself here again and I think I’ve done that.