A woman asked me to remove her from my mailing list a few weeks back, (right before I took a pause on my mailing list) She was a long-time subscriber and a name I remember emailing with or messaging with a few times at some point.
She explained that her severe form of seasonal affective disorder made her feel worthless and terrible when she read my newsletters. Although she loved seeing what I was writing about, she was viewing me as this awesomely creative mom, always doing art projects with my kids, writing books, etc. etc. and comparing how she was feeling to how she was envisioning my life.
While I recognize this to be her problem- not mine- the email struck a deep chord with me and sort of underlined what I haven’t been liking about the corner of the blogging world I’ve been hanging out in for a few years.
I’ve been trying for an embarrassingly long time to get back to something I lost- a love for my online space and for blogging in general.
You see, my art projects are what get my blog a lot of traffic, thereby making me some money in ad revenue, thereby helping me contribute a little money to our family. I crave that.
But the art projects haven’t been fun for me in a long, long time, causing me to resent my blog, overthink every step of it, and avoid it in so many ways: Target, wine, naps, cookies, driving aimlessly, podcasts, classes and webinars, social media, you name it.
I am SO GOOD at forcing myself to stay with something long after it’s grown stale, stifling my intuition like a freaking boss.
So I didn’t post much this past summer, and it felt great. I sent out a lot of newsletters with links to old content. Luckily I have a lot of old content to reshare, and that gave my brain a respite.
I recently stopped my newsletter as well, citing burnout, which probably surprised a lot of people, but many times we are mulling over decisions in our heads long before we act on them. I was actually surprised by how many people contacted me, supporting my decision and wishing me well and generally being really nurturing. It was a pretty great feeling.
This made me realize how much I crave the connecting-with-other-people part of blogging. The humanness, the rawness, the weird similarities you discover by spending time online. I am not the type of person to jump into the public spotlight and make myself heard. I’m a quiet, introverted, careful, sensitive little flower, and I prefer to lure my people in in this style.
I posted on Facebook Wednesday night, which was one of my favorite posts I’ve ever done, and got so many people seemingly enjoying the fuck out of themselves with cyber-yelling.
Why not? It was totally fun. And cathartic.
So anyway, back to the email from the woman. Her issues aside, I don’t want to be one of those online people who looks like she has it all figured out. I’m a freak, basically, just like everybody else. And I like the freak part of people. I like it so much that I want to explore it and celebrate it.
All the pretty blogs are fun to look at, I admit. I pore over Pinterest like an idiot. Ultimately, the prettiness is inspiring and lovely, and it satisfies my visual needs, but what really nourishes me is the people, and the stories, and the feelings, the talking through really big, cool human concepts and experiences.
And then taking all of that and laughing about it? That is gold, right there.
So what is Craftwhack destined to be now? I’m exploring that – probably really awkwardly since that has been my modus operandi all along. I’m just going to post a bunch of stuff that I want to, when I want to, maybe fire up the old newsletter again pretty soon, and see who comes and who goes.
I’m leaving the stress of getting the social media numbers, the page views, the pleasing of people all behind me, and going back to blogging old-school-style, and I’m so excited to be going backward I can’t even believe my mind.
Now here’s a photo of a radish.