Blogger A. recently had a long email conversation with Blogger B. After reading through the correspondence several times A. decided to share parts of our their conversation. Bits of this conversation may resonate with some of you.
Blogger A. had weaned herself from the info-crack machine and was able to get productive and creative with that extra time. Blogger B. asked A. about this process and shared some craft/blogging angst that she had been experiencing. Blogger B. – “Your January has been so productive, and I’m just trying to get in a better place emotionally around craft-blogging. I find I’m still on my meandering creative journey and still searching for the purpose of my on-line existence – what’s the purpose of my blog? What am I hoping to get out of my blogging, creatively? Why have I become so emotionally attached to blogs that they affect me sometimes in a very negative way? For example, I love Blogger C.’s blog, and Blogger C. herself, but her recent interviews with artists sent me off the deep end emotionally. It’s silly, but I felt like the outcast from the popular girls’ table in the school cafeteria. I know it’s silly to feel that way because I know what I make isn’t anywhere in the league of the makers she featured, (editors note: Blogger A. does not agree with Blogger B.’s self assessment here, but A. digresses) but that overwhelming emotion was there nonetheless, and boy was it a creativity killer. I’m also trying to figure out why I have this compelling urge to create things with my hands from cloth and paper? and need those things to be well made and pleasing to others?”
Blogger A. responds – “I’m still struggling with every issue you brought up. As a way to help me sort it out though I’m starting to ask myself similar question as those you brought up. Such as “Do I want to spend all of my free time on the computer looking at other people’s creations or do I just want to be creating? Is my blog for me or is it for other people? Why did I start blogging in the first place, and are those reasons still valid and important to me? Who in blogland do I want to maintain contact with (this is a constant struggle, because I’ve made a lot of connections that feel genuine and important. However, just like face to face friendships it takes a lot of time, and it’s impossible to keep all of the balls in the air!) Do I want to zoom through my blog list or take the time to pay attention to a few? That last one depends on my emotional landscape at the time, and which blogs I think might leave me feeling inadequate. And if I’m honest with myself – 2008 feels like the most selfish year of my life, and because of blogland I’ve neglected quite a lot around here.”
Blogger A. continues (because she’s wordy like that), “When you spoke of feeling like the outcast from the popular girls’ table it hit me like a ton of bricks. I go through those same emotions every few weeks! When it feels like everyone else I know is being interviewed or opening their own etsy shop or fielding oodles of comments on their blog/flickr. I think emotionally it’s a harder fall after I’ve had something well received and I’m emotionally elated only to come back down to earth hard the very next week. And that part feels very unhealthy to me! The thing is, if the girl at the outcast table came to me for advice I would tell her to forget about it, stop pinning her emotional and creative energy on outside, perceived, acceptance or rejection. She would be wise to understand that blogs are not static, they are constantly in flux. The hit tutorial, or photo, or craft, or brilliant post of today will be replaced just as quickly by something new tomorrow. So she would be better off listening to herself and her own guiding instincts. I’d tell her that yes I understand how important it is to get feedback and validation from others. That many of us wouldn’t be pushing ourselves or challenging ourselves if we didn’t have this forum for sharing. For example would I really feel the need to buy that Nikon D60 if I weren’t photo sharing? It all needs to be kept in context though. And one more thought little outcast girl. Not that I think my blog is all that, but I wonder if other people feel the same way about my blog, and B.’s blog too. That when we link, and reference so many things, or display our creations do other people feel like the outcasts, etc. It makes me sad because that would never be my intention. It’s probably not the intention of Bloggers A-Z either.”
Just a few more thoughts from A. If you are feeling like you are sitting lonely at the loser’s table – 1.) You are not alone. 2.) Not only are blogs in a constant state of flux, but there are new blogs popping up daily. Come on, if an ad for an Oscar Meyer product can use the words “Blog-worthy” then you know everyone and their dog has a blog, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with everyone. 3.) Blog because you enjoy it and for the reasons you want. (think about looking back in a year, what things do you want to look back on in your space.) 4.) Blogging feels like a competition sometimes, but it’s NOT! Don’t forget your real life in the real world! 5.) Think about all of the movies about the “populars” and the “dweebs”. Realizing that most people are rooting for the “dweebs”! Take it from Blogger A. who has been a “dweeb” most of her life.