Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"The Porch" - A Jennuine Life

***Today, I am thrilled to have Jenn from A Jennuine Life here on The Porch, a series where I have talented friends and bloggers come. sit. and share. from their hearts. It was inspired by my Gramie Ali and I've loved getting to know all these amazing bloggers lately!***

Welcome, JENN!!!!

Wow!  I'm so honored that Vanessa invited me to be a part of this great series.  I'm excited about the opportunity to just sit down and have a chat - no project, no tutorial, heck I'm only including two pictures and one is of me - not something I share very often!  If I were sitting with Vanessa having a nice cuppa coffee I'd probably talk about something we have in common and has been on my mind a lot lately - the ups and downs of creative blogging.

I want A Jennuine Life to be inspirational and get to a wide audience.  I'd also like to be able to bring in a small income to offset some of the costs of doing this - what could be better than a hobby that pays for itself, right?  I do all the things I know I should: having consistent content, linking up, commenting, being present on social media, submitting my posts/designs for feature, and participating in competitions or sew-alongs where I can.  I see  s  l  o  w  steady gains in reader connection and traffic, and then bam! - somebody notices one post and I get a big feature on a site with massive readership and my numbers go through the roof - for a short time.  This happened just last week with a post that was featured on Apartment Therapy.

It seems that my blog goes through a cycle of highs and lows and for some reason my creativity and productivity follow along with it.  I'd like to say that I am unaffected when a post I love doesn't seem to be noticed, or when I lose a competition on an entry to which I think voters will really respond.  But that's not the case.  I guess I need to get a thicker skin.  So I'm going to do the things that are within my power to control - try to encourage and comment on other's posts to give them attention and notice.  To keep on keepin' on and try not to sweat the small stuff.

I'm not complaining - really I'm not.  I chose to dive into this world and I know there's a ton of bloggers doing basically the same thing I am and trying to stand out among them is difficult.  What I'm noticing lately is that I am being included in circles of similarly and larger sized blogs - maybe I'm starting to be considered part of the "club"?  This invitation from Vanessa is part of that - have you seen the other great bloggers who are contributing to the series - wow!  I'm in some awesome company.  I'd really like to be able to attend a seminar or local (I'm in Michigan) event to connect face to face with other bloggers.

Hopefully you'll be seeing me around - love and hugs (with pats & rubs since that's how we do it around here) from A Jennuine Life!


***OKAY! YES! Thank you SO much for bringing this up and you are totally right! We would have talked about this! This truly IS something that every blogger struggles with, myself included, and we all have different goals with blogging and ways we handle the "stress". The truth of the matter for me is that I realized that I was trying to turn it into something big, climbing up some imaginary ladder of success!? (Not that this is wrong to desire!) And personally for me, I realized I HAD to get more laid back about my blog and NOT try to make money with it right now. Could I? Yes, but there was a taxing on my family and with having small children I realized I needed to enjoy them more and be in the online world less. I've been much more slack about my blog this year, and it's true that my numbers HAVE gone down, but through prayer, I've been able to trust that this is God's will for me and my blog right now. I've HAD to focus on our family & husband more lately and there are days in the last month where I go without really blogging and sewing and there are times when I wonder if I will lose my "cool" status among my readers and other blog friends?! (Which I kind of laugh, because I'm not sure I'm really "cool".) But, you know what I mean! 

Jenn, I think that you have an amazing blog and are such a talented mother and sewist and I want to encourage you to delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart! I think the absolutely worse thing we can do is compare ourselves and I struggle SO much with this. At those times, I have to step back and realize that maybe I need a little break from reading other blogs. I realize this isn't what the "IN" crowd in blogging does, but I have to wonder are they truly happy always trying to seek the next biggest best blog post. The best advice I can offer is to NOT let your blog stats reflect your worth. Find that in Christ alone! Let me know when you want to talk more about this, because I love talking about this struggle and I've had to email several "bigger" bloggers talking to them about this struggle. They offer amazing advice and I know they will be an encouragement to you! I've loved having you here today, Jenn! You are awesome!
 Find more amazing-ness at A Jennuine Life!