Monday, 9 March 2015

Reflections on 10 Years of Blogging



Looking back through some of my old blog posts recently, I realised something -- I started my blog in May 2004. By my calculations, that makes over 10 years of blogging! I find it hard to believe. It happened almost by accident.

A year earlier in 2003, I'd started using a new blogging website, LiveJournal, to keep a private diary. It was the typical angst-ridden hand-wringing of an introverted single girl with an unstable job. Whether it was the cathartic effects of the diary or other factors, I don't know, but sometime later my life started to improve. Chatty posts about my hobbies started to appear, and I decided to make these public. These posts were aimed at a very specific group -- young women I worked with who had also just taken up knitting and/or had a LiveJournal -- and their tone reflects that. It wasn't until several months in that I discovered how to post photos. Other attributes considered essential now, like the banner and sidebar, came much later. Unfortunately, I've lost touch with all of those girls now, but my blog is still here.

Naturally, the blog has always reflected my varying interests. At first this was knitting, interspersed with some cooking and random filler when the weather was too hot to knit. As well as long periods of no posting at all! After a couple of years, I reached arguably the pinnacle of knitting -- sock-making. After this triumph, I wanted to do something new. I tried crocheting again and realised that I preferred it. Hungry for new crafts and techniques -- or the sentimental revival of old ones from when I was a kid -- I branched out in various directions. I tried latch hook, embroidery, applique, sewing, weaving, plushie making and art dolls. Tentatively, I branched into the arts with some drawing and artist cards. I wrote my first zine in October of 2007 and started my first art journal in August of 2008. My manic buzzing back and forth between various crafts got so hectic that I started a post series called "5-Minute Obsessions" to try and document it. Sometimes I would even order the materials for a new craft online, and by the time they arrived, I'd lost interest and moved on to something else.

In the midst of all this swirling disorganisation, I must have wanted some order, as around mid-2008, I started experimenting with releasing various series of weekly posts and and doing regular round-ups. What with working full-time however, and wanting to find time to actually do crafts, my planned posting schedules were never very long-lived. Things have continued in their slightly haphazard way until the present day. As my interests and circumstances have changed, so has the nature of my craft and naturally, the content of the blog. When I started working full-time and wanted to make sure I didn't forget my independent self, I started writing zines. I took up art journalling to challenge myself and improve my drawing. When I moved in with Husband and my nesting instinct started to kick in, I stopped making endless scarves and started making blankets and cushions. And when we bought a house together last year, posts on gardening suddenly began to appear.

I never kidded myself that many or any people would read my blog. Any changes that I've made, like the banner and sidebar, have been mostly for my own pleasure. At times I've contemplated making more of an effort -- giving it a more professional look or moving it to a platform with more options. But in the end, the blog is me. Sometimes frenetically excited, other times lethargic (it's lain dormant for up to three months at a time before). Self-deprecating. Obsessive. A little bit dorky.

I'd been knitting again for three years when I started blogging about it. In my second ever post back in June 2004, I berated myself that "I've jumped onto the bandwagon way too late with this knitting blog". I have a feeling that I've more than made up for that with longevity. 10 years is practically a millennium in internet-years. But I think there's still room in the world for a blog like mine.

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