10.09.2014

Let's Get Fresh

Beautiful print by Yellow Button Studio.

So it's been almost 9 months since I last hit that "new post" button. Almost enough time to incubate and birth a baby, which, I think, is pretty fitting for today's dialogue.

Some of you might remember when I participated in a wonderful blogger challenge called "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" back in 2012, championed by Ez of Creature Comforts. That post (which I would love for you to read, including the wonderful responses) was so very freeing for me to write, but it was also a catalyst for the long period of silence that began this past January (totally unplanned, but, I see now, very necessary).

In that space in 2012, I felt I could finally express my dissatisfaction with what blogs have become. To name a few things (backed up by several of your responses and continuing conversations I have had with so many other young women), I feel a lot (not all, mind you) blogs have become:

Self-esteem-suckers
If only I could be that put together. If only my house were that pretty. If only I could afford those Anthropologie pillows.

Unrealistic
The wonders of everything being shot and styled by professional photographers.

Unauthentic
I got SO tired of reading something only to find it out was a "sponsored" post.

Self-Involved
Look at me! Like what I like! Love what I love!

Creativity-Killers
Reading DIY after DIY, and totally loving them, but then after a while you start to feel like people are just DIYing everything and now there isn't a reason for you to tap into your own creative juices because that other person already did it and it was way cuter than what you were thinking, so why exercise that part of my brain?

Now, as I mentioned before, I don't think all blogs are this way, and I'm sure there are people out there who don't agree with anything I just said, and that is just fine. There is certainly space for everyone's thoughts. But for me, for the next year and a half after that post, these feelings grew, and I gradually stopped reading blogs. Then I started to lose interest in my own, because it just didn't feel like "me" anymore; it felt like a shell of the other blogs I wanted to be, so of course I was uninspired! Finally, I decided that, until I could find my voice again, and have a clear picture of what I wanted it to be, I just needed to let it go. And I did. And it felt great.

Afterward, I focused all my energy on the brick-and-mortar store, which, I am happy to say, celebrated its first anniversary this past September (yay!). It has been on of the most challenging, heartbreaking, exciting, creative things I've ever done, and as the store eases into its second year, I have no shortage of ideas for how to keep pushing and evolving it. And that is where we come to today's post.

During this hiatus, the blog was always in the back of my mind, and I've tried very hard to think of what I want it to be and become:

I want it to be encouraging.
I want it to be empowering.
I want it to make you smile.
I want it to inspire you.
I want it to challenge you (in a good way).
And, of course, I want to use it to share my love of vintage.

All that said, I have some ideas that I'm really excited about, but it's a fruitless effort without asking for — and open-heartedly inviting — your feedback.

So, go on; let me have it. I want to hear what you love about blogs. What you don't. What inspires you. What's important to you. What you love about vintage (or if you don't know anything about it!). What keeps you going back to the bloggers you've come to love. Issues (especially as women) you feel strongly about. Anything you can think of that you want to share!

In the meantime, I'll keep brewing ideas, too, and we'll see what comes out of the oven. ;-)
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