Main Nav

Rae, Lauren & Karen

Why I Blog

Over the years, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with blogging. At times, it feels like a chore. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laid in bed, unable to sleep, pondering all the things I want to write on my blog. It can be a bit overwhelming. And there’s the whole “invisible ladder to nowhere” thing. You know – what’s it all for? Unless you’re blogging simply to keep in touch with family members and share photos, others will often wonder why we bloggers spend so much time curating, collaborating, designing, writing and editing. (Don’t even get me started on checking analytics!)

So lately I’ve been wondering – why do we do it? Why do we move all the furniture out of a room just to get the perfect angle for a photograph of our Christmas stockings? Or paint entire rooms to create the perfect backdrop for photos of our kids wearing our creations? Or stay up until 2am just so we can schedule that SUPER IMPORTANT post that we know everyone’s going to just LOVE?

The holidays bring so many questions from curious/skeptical/well-meaning family members and friends: “Why do you do it? When do you have time? Do you make any money? How do you make money? Do you feel bad posting pictures of your kids? Don’t you feel exposed?”

And others have no filter at all: “You’re wasting your time. Your priorities are wrong. Blogging is pointless.”

Well, dear friends and family (and the occasional stranger), I beg to differ. I’ve given this topic a lot of thought, and I’ve determined that for me (and for countless others I know), blogging enriches my life every day.

Through blogging…

I improve my skills. 
I used to feel like I had no goals as a stay-at-home mom. I mean, there are the assumed things: keep kids alive/well/fed/clothed, make keep husband happy/fed/clothed and keep house moderately clean/intact/smelling decent/from falling in, etc. But with my blog, I’m able to set other goals for myself and actively document my progress.

Photography is a great example. I am still quite terrible at it. But I get lucky sometimes. And having this blog as a place to post my photos helps me get better and better. I go back through my posts and find the ones with stand-out photography, and I work to re-create that look. I check the camera settings, look at the white balance and consider my styling. Through my blog, I get better and better as it – and the “lucky” photos get more and more commonplace.

And there’s sewing. I have been sewing a long time – about 25 years. But you know, until I started blogging, I wasn’t really that great at it. I took shortcuts, and I didn’t pay attention to detail. My work was often sloppy, and I usually wasn’t pleased with the end product. As a result, I didn’t love sewing as much as I do now because I wasn’t really making things I wanted to wear or have my children wear.

But now, when I’m working on a project, I’m always thinking about how I’ll photograph the garment and what details I want to highlight. Because I know my work will be on display on my blog, I strive to make it better. Since I’ve started thinking this way, the quality of my sewing has dramatically increased. I feel proud when my daughter wears things I’ve made for her, and I don’t feel the need to point out all my errors when someone compliments me on a hand-made garment.

I discover opportunities.
Before I had children, I went to college and got a degree. I went on to graduate school, and I had a career with a salary and a company car and business suits and all the things. I was surrounded by opportunities – opportunities to impress my boss, to do continuing education, to get new clients, to get promotions, to change companies, to make more money, to collaborate with other professionals, to win new business, etc.

That’s not to say there aren’t opportunities to excel as a parent. Of course there are. But blogging helps me maintain my individuality and the ability to pursue selfish goals (rather than goals related to helping others). And I think that’s really important.

For example, my blog has given me the opportunity to network with other creative individuals – other bloggers, sewing pattern designers, knitters, and conference organizers. Through my blog, I am able to create relationships with these people that lead me to opportunities to collaborate on designs, to attend events, to market my services and to discover new hobbies.

Not only that, but my blog gives me the opportunity to make money and perhaps even create a job for myself once the kids are off to school and more independent. I don’t make much now, but the occasional few bucks from a pattern sale or affiliate commission is great. (And I definitely plan to release more patterns soon and ramp up this side of things!) Because I do the design/programming/marketing of my blog myself, I keep up-to-date on social media trends, CSS/HTML, web design and the crafting industry in general. These are all skills I could potentially use if I choose to re-enter the workforce (or start my own business) when my time frees up in a few years.

So thank you, blogging…the ambitious side of me loves you!

I have ownership.
As a mother, I often feel like nothing is my own – not even my body. At any given time, I have an infant attached to my breast and a two-year-old clambering up my leg. The time I wake up, eat, sleep and leave the house is pretty much dictated by my children. But my blog? It is completely my own. I feel proud when I like the design I’ve implemented or the photos I’ve taken. I decide when to post, what to post and how often to post. It is MINE.

The beauty of feeling like I have something all my own is that I then feel like there’s more of me to give. If I’m able to dedicate an hour or two to my blog without interruption, I am then able to shut my computer and give my family complete focus. Otherwise, I find my mind wandering – “Did I respond to that nice email? Will I ever finish that quilt? Do people like my new design? Do I have a purpose anymore? Is changing diapers all I’m good for? Do I really have to read this book for the 14th time today?” I’m much better able to put that all out of my head and be present with my children when I’ve had dedicated creative time.

…and the best part:

I make connections.
You see that photo up there? The one of me with Rae and Karen? That meeting would never have been possible without my blog. And those ladies? They are awesome. To call them friends is such an honor. In fact, the connections I’ve made through my blog have been some of my most fulfilling.

In fact, before I started meeting my blog friends in person, I felt somewhat isolated and lonely. I found it quite hard to find friends with common interests and values, and I sometimes isolated myself as a result. But blogging has taught me that I don’t have to be JUST LIKE a person in order to be their friend. I have blog friends who are single…who have different religious/political viewpoints…who have no children…who live in other countries…who work full-time…who are younger…who are older… But the one thing that binds us together is our desire to CREATE.

And isn’t the desire to create a part of human nature? So perhaps we ALL have this in common. Just think – creativity could be the key to world peace.

So the next time someone asks me why I blog, I will tell them, “Because it makes me a better person, and that makes me happy.”

I’m curious… what drives YOU to blog? 

,

  • Jenn AJennuineLife

    This is perfection! I love the new design, by the way – the header is actually really similar to what I am hoping to design for my pattern line – could I work with you to create my logo?

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Possibly, Jenn! It really just depends on when/what I have going on at that time. But let’s definitely chat about it!

  • Rae

    This is great Lauren. Such good thoughts here!!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Rae!

  • vstraylor

    Very interesting points!!! I hadn’t necessarily viewed my blog that way, but you are absolutely right as it helps us grow! I know I have! :) Although, I do think mothering in and of itself is an amazing thing and definitely “enough” with or without a blog! I think blogging in balance is a great thing!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Yes, balance in everything!

  • Rae Gun

    I love this!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Marissa!! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  • Sew Charleston

    Great thoughts! Glad blogging gave me the opportunity to find you! Maybe someday we will get to meet!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Yes, exactly! Our “meeting” is a perfect example! :)

  • Frogginette

    What a great post! And now you’ve reminded me that I need to make the time to start blogging again, in spite of the Baby Armageddon we’ve got going on over here :)

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      What? Wait, I am behind!! Hopping over to your blog now…

  • justine

    I feel like you really hit the nail on the head about why I love blogging so much! So well written….

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Justine! I think a lot of us blogging moms feel this way…but it’s so hard to articulate!

  • Kathleen Driggers

    excellent post!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Thank you, Kathleen! I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • Renee //nearestthepin

    Thank you so much for this post Lauren – I see a lot of myself reflected here. I’m new to blogging, but oh how I love having something that is all mine in my child centred world.

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      “Child-centered world.” Ain’t that the truth?!

  • http://foursquarewalls.blogspot.com/ Andrea B

    Having a blog definitely encourages me to sew MORE (as well as sew better, like you said), because I know there is a captive audience who will enjoy seeing the final product and will appreciate my narrative about the construction details and fitting woes. When I don’t sew, I don’t blog (like these past couple months) and I miss both equally. At this point, I can’t imagine one hobby without the other!

    I don’t get to talk about sewing very much in my everyday life, so I love having an outlet where I can connect with like-minded people and maybe even serve as an inspiration to others. There is something very gratifying about playing “sew-and-tell,” receiving feedback through my blog helps validate all the time and energy I spend on making garments, even if it means I have to put more time and energy into photographing and writing about it.

    Great post!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      I don’t get to talk to many adults AT ALL, much less the ones who have sewing as an interest! So I totally agree…we need our blogs to have someone to talk shop with!

  • rebecca holmes

    Thank you for sharing Lauren! It is good to know that I am not the only mama who feels crazy sometimes with mith my blogging and sewing. I am just now reading this, at a time when holidays, family, and life in general have taken over. This comes as a welcome reminder as to why I started this whole blogging endeavor to begin with. I am so glad I found you…and…Southern OR isn’t all that far from you ;) maybe someday we can meet!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      I would LOVE to meet! Meeting other bloggers is SO much fun! If you are ever around SLC, let me know. :)

  • Charity

    I love this post so much that I’ve already come back to read it twice since the first reading! =)
    I feel that all of my creative endeavors have made me a better person. I’ve learned skills that are transferable to other areas and that make my family’s life better. I’ve also become better at learning itself.
    Thank you for posting this!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Charity – I am so glad you liked it!! I love those kinds of posts – the ones that you want to read over and over. :)

  • http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/ Tilly

    Just found your blog recently and I love this post! I don’t have kids, but so much of what you said resonates with me. I find the process of producing a blog post – and a whole blog – so fulfilling, for me blogging is just as creatively rewarding as the craft I’m showcasing. The sense of ownership that you mentioned has been a real confidence booster for me and has enabled me transition to self-employment. Meeting other bloggers – whether online or IRL – is also wonderful. It’s so great to connect with people who really understand why sewing is so awesome!

    Wishing you a happy new year.

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      Tilly – Thank you so much for your comment! I am actually thrilled that you, someone I admire and consider to be a leader in our little blogging world, would read my thoughts! I’m glad you liked the post. :)

  • Ashley Drudge

    I just love this so much! I am a mama to a 2 1/2 and 3 month old and when I don’t have time during the day dedicated to creativity, I find that I go bonkers! I love my little ones to pieces but I can definitely relate to feeling like nothing is my own, including my body. I’ve dabbled into blogging a little over the past couple years but I would really like to make it a priority in the new year just so I can have a little space all to myself, even if it is only on the interwebs :)

    This post was very affirming for me; I first read it a couple days ago and just felt like I needed to comment. Thanks for writing it!

    I hope you and your family have a great new year!

    • http://www.laurendahl.com/ Lauren Dahl

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Ashley!

  • Laura Fisher

    I’m reading this post-Christmas which is a perfect time to reflect on such things – especially after the well-meaning questions of ‘Why?’ by family and friends. For each heading I found myself thinking ‘Yup!’ – can relate to so much! x

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes