12 April 2016

Thoughts on blogging

We need to talk.

(Ha ha, sometimes I'll say that to Grant just to see the fear in his eyes!)

I want to start with an apology for not posting more regularly here on my blog. I do feel bad that I have loyal readers who have been returning to this little space on the web and not seeing much of anything, and I regret just dropping off the face of the earth with minimal posting for the past year.

I've been mulling over my feelings and finally it's time to explain what I've been thinking and feeling about blogging.

I've always had a need to tell my story. I used to keep journals as a child and teen, and when I discovered blogging it seemed like a natural fit. I've been blogging for TEN YEARS now!! How crazy is that?!

Over time I have enjoyed reading blogs too. I also started watching vlogs on YouTube. With time it seemed a natural progression to start sharing my story there.

Vlogging and making videos fulfils my storytelling and sharing needs, but more than that it's been a surprising gift in terms of connections. I've made some wonderful friends vlogging, and formed really meaningful connections with people around the world. It's been so much more rewarding in that sense than blogging ever has been.

I am just as guilty as anyone for not leaving comments on blogs. We are reading blogs in feed readers and on our phones, and it's a big hassle to click over, log in, and leave a comment. I totally get it. And I don't blog for the attention and for the comments. But it can be a bit discouraging to put up blog posts and get very little back in terms of connection. The stats show that people are reading, and I sometimes my posts pinned, but it's like people are talking about you instead of to you, if that makes sense.

It's not that I get zero comments - I so appreciate the few people who did take the time to comment. And I feel bad that I didn't always reply. I never knew if anyone would come back to my post to read my reply in the comment section (especially since it takes me ages to get around to replying) and not everyone has an email address attached to their account so I couldn't reply that way, so I'd end up not replying at all. I really feel bad about it (and it has always bothered me) because I know how rare it is for anyone to take time time to comment in the first place, at least on my blog for some reason (could be the lack of response??)

I'm not blaming my disappearance on you guys, please don't think that. And it's not that I felt a total lack of connection, because I did. It has always meant the world to me to receive emails or comments saying that I have touched someone, or made a difference to them, or receiving support and encouragement from readers. It's just a different kind of connection than I've found on YouTube.

But the number one reason I've stopped blogging as much is just a boring one - lack of time. Since moving into our house here in Taranaki we have had SO much to do in terms of repairs, renovation, decorating, and establishing a garden. And blogging is so time consuming! I'm realising just how time consuming it is when compared with vlogging. It is SO much quicker to talk things through and show them on camera, minimal editing, then upload. It takes so much more time to photograph, edit the photos, upload them to my hosting site, compose a blog post, and publish.

I've been feeling sad about not blogging, because I used to be so passionate about it. It's not that I missed blogging, it's that I missed enjoying blogging. I didn't want to give it up entirely, but I didn't want to continue out of obligation either. I was also feeling sad that stepping back from blogging means I've not been taking photos anymore. It's easier to capture our memories and experiences on video, but I still want photographs. I just can't always do both, so video wins, especially when it takes so much time to edit and sort my photos, and when my vlogging camera is so much smaller and more convenient to carry around.

I recently received a lovely gift from a fellow NZ vlogger and blogger. It was a T-shirt with a little speech bubble made up of faces, and the words "Blog off" on it.

 photo tshirt_zpshtejtys3.jpg

With it was a card and in it she urged me to keep blogging. She pointed out that ten years is a lot of time to spend on anything and there were people who enjoyed my blog posts.

It was just the push I needed. You guys are still out there reading what meager content I put up. That means something to me. But I can't go back to blogging the way I used to, I just literally don't have the time anymore.

So I've decided to go right back to basics. It still blows my mind that I've been blogging for a decade - for a quarter of my whole life!! - so I doubt any of my original readers are still following, but right back when I began my blog it was a place to share photographs as I learnt photography. I want to take it right back to that. It will help me to pick up my camera more often (not my video camera) and feed that creative side of me. There might not be much story or wording to go with my pictures, but hopefully my pictures will tell a story. After all, they say a picture is worth A Thousand Words (see what I did there?)

Next month we have been in our house for one year. I do plan to do a series of posts sharing before photos and current photos so you can see all of the changes we've made. We've worked really hard on our home and garden, and while we still have so far to go we have achieved a ton, and I can't wait to show you.

Thanks so much for your patience. The one thing that is certain in life is change, and a lot changes over ten years, so I'm sure you understand, or at least I hope you do. I have felt disappointed when bloggers I follow stopped blogging or changed what they do, but in the end if we're sharing our real lives then that's bound to happen because life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns.

In the meantime, if you do want to see what we're up to I post videos numerous times a week on my YouTube channel, which you can see if you click here. Thank you for reading all of this if you made it to the end! I hope to be back soon with some photos.


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