What am I doing?!???

So, I have been missing in the blogging world! I have been trying to figure out whether blogging is the right place for me! I appreciate so much all the goodness that goes on out in blogland – I have made many friends and  been influenced in so many positive ways!  So grateful am I for that!!  I am just not sure if this (blogging)  should be a focus in my life. I continually judge myself by how many views a post has or how many comments, etc. Do these things determine my worth?!?  I will continue to be M.I.A. until I determine for myself if what I am doing is what I wanted it to be and if I am being true to myself in the process.

I love creating beautiful things – but sometimes I wonder if I am just making more garbage for the landfill.  There is often a debate in my head about whether the beautiful things I try to create matter or if they are just fluff- and, if they are just fluff, then are they necessary and of any benefit to the world.  My quandary is such that I need to answer this question for myself to the degree that I am convinced that the things  I create matter – if not to others, then to me, – But then the question –  is that selfish?!?

Sorry, to post something so filled with confusion and indecision but this is honestly where I am and what questions have been rip-roaring around in my head!!  If any of you friends and followers out there have any advice on this matter – I would dearly love to hear it!! But in the end, I know that I must be at peace with myself and then move forward with my decision!!!

Thanks for listening!!  I still want to make beautiful things to show others I care –

Beautiful Things

11 thoughts on “What am I doing?!???

  1. 1
    Patti says:

    Hi Taunya : )

    Blogging can be different for each of us. I really enjoy creating cards! really really enjoy it! I’m not sure why I love it so much but I think it is something I can do that feels like a success. Not all areas of our lives feel like successes. : )

    To blog or not to blog – I hope you will arrive at the conclusion that is best for your family. But I do hope that you will not base your decisions on the amount of comments you get or don’t get on your blog instead I hope you will base your decision on what gives you pleasure because that’s ok! that is what hobbies are for : ) to give us some pleasure – be it creating cards or chatting with blog friends.

    You are a sweet woman and a talented papercrafter. I hope you will find the answers to what is hurting you and be back very soon : )

    (((Hugs)))
    Patti

  2. 2
    Lisa Swift says:

    You are not alone in these feelings, Taunya. There are so many crafters struggling with the same issue right now, me being one of them. There are so many options these days and maybe too much overexposure. It can get tiring and a lot of work, for very little response. I understand how you feel and I’m glad there are other ways to connect with you if you choose not to blog any more. You are a wonderful, supporting, positive, loving soul!

  3. 3
    Patti J. says:

    Taunya, one thing I know for sure, is that we’ve all been where you are. Blogging does take serious time away from family, housework, friends, and simply being creative. I continue to blog for a couple of reasons – it’s sort of a scrapbook of my life for our kids, and it jump starts me to be creative. I’ve tried creating on my own, and it seems that the challenges, DT deadlines, and just getting inspiration from other talented bloggers like yourself, keep me going. Please don’t ever judge yourself by the number of page views, comments, or followers you have. There are days that I have 50 comments, and days I have one. Your judgement should be the enjoyment that your family receives when you create such fun table settings, and treats for them, and the enjoyment that your blogging friends like myself receive from your sharing of them. You will need to make this decision from your heart…none of us have the answer that is right for you. I love reading your blog, but I’m just a stranger out here in blogland, I’m not your kids or your husband. Kudos to you, my friend, for taking a step back, and realizing what’s important in your life. And, remember, that there is nothing wrong with simply taking a ‘stay’cation from blogging, to stay focused on what is important. After a hiatus, you should have your answer loud and clear! Selfishly, I hope you stay, but realistically, I wish I were as strong as you, and had the guts to rethink my priorities! Huge hugs to you, and good luck with your decision! You are incredible, both as a crafter, and a family leader. I wish you the best!!!

  4. 4
    Darnell says:

    I usually don’t read other people’s comments before I write my own because my own flow is then disrupted, but I did today and I love what the Pattis and Lisa have conveyed to you. It really is such a personal decision, Taunya. It’s easy to say not to pay attention to the numbers, but it’s hard not to. And if the feedback is important to you then the time commitment is very high because I don’t think we can expect to get feedback and visits from others if we aren’t out there ourselves leaving comments. You and I have talked about that. And I see you out there.
    But the thing is, it all takes TIME to make friends to build up that following. It takes challenges and it takes commenting. For me, I like the balance of the visiting and making friends equally with the creating. Some people just truly want to create and share and don’t bother visiting other blogs and aren’t really bothered if others don’t visit them. Like anything else, blogging evolves to a personal “style” and you will know what it is you want out of blogging.
    You are also very young. I could never have maintained a blog at your age. There just isn’t enough time in the day and I am incredibly amazed by all the young women I see that are juggling it all. The point is, if the juggle isn’t working for you, this is one hobby that you can maintain, without blogging, for years to come until your home life centers and slows down and you have more free time on your hands.
    Questioning whether you even want to make cards and whether you are just creating more landfill made me a little sad. You’re an overthinker. (We do that in my family, too.) It’s not really that complicated. Do you enjoy making cards? Do you send your cards to friends and family, or do you donate them to organizations? If those are both yes, than your work is meaningful. You can’t be responsible for whether or not the recipients of your cards throw them away or treasure them forever. The only way to feel “good” about the possibility of your cards just ending up as landfill is to use recycled or recyclable products on your cards. Then, no worries. You felt great making a beautiful card and even if only for a minute, you know you brought joy into someone’s life when they got your card. I don’t see how it can be anything other than a win-win, provided you have the time and you aren’t neglecting your real life peoples.
    If you do take a sabbatical, please visit me when you can because I love hearing from you, and more than anything, please let me know when you come back to blogging, so I don’t miss your posts! As the others have said, you are very talented and very encouraging of other crafters, so you have a lot to bring to our community!!
    On a technical level, I have heard that it is best to just leave your blog open and not shut it down because once you shut it down, it’s gone. I’m not sure if that’s true, but that’s what I’ve heard. I do want to thank you VERY much for putting this post on your blog to let your friends know what’s going on. I can’t tell you how many times I have become friends with a blogger and then one day they just stop blogging. And never come back. It is quite unsettling, so I appreciate that you didn’t do that!
    And I appreciate all that you have brought to our stamping community! I wish you ALL the best!! Hugs, Darnell

  5. 5
    c says:

    Hello, sweet Taunay – and wow – sounds like you and I are traveling similar paths, for many of the reasons you’ve articulated, but the most important being the time-consumption of blogging and, in turn, of commenting on others’ blogs. Patti has given excellent suggestions about putting the purpose of blogging into perspective: the # of comments is not a reflection of the quality of our creativity or our ‘popularity.’ Reality is, if we don’t enter challenges, we don’t have the same exposure as those who do, and purely by default, we won’t have as many responses. I enter challenges for one main reason: the ‘incentive’ it gives me to create. Left to my own devices, the ‘sparks and ‘pings’ I need to fuel the creative flames don’t appear. It’s the same with other crafts I’ve tried: without a ‘pattern’, I couldn’t knit a scarf or cross-stitch even a stitch! Challenges are purely ‘starting’ points – and my decision to enter them is my way of giving ‘voice’ to what I’ve done. In many ways, my blog is just a ‘file cabinet’ of my creations, with the added incentive to write. Even though I’m a ‘former’ high school English teacher, I dislike writing. If I didn’t blog, I wouldn’t write. I know that. Part ‘album,’ part diary, part ‘babbling’ – that’s what my blog is. Where I get wound up investing excessive time is in commenting and ‘strolling’ through blogs. Such time could be devoted to other things, of course, but given the long winters and many days when I’m on my own, it’s a source of ‘companionship.’ Certainly, alternatives are to exercise (only so much can be done in a day), spending time with family (we still need our ‘me’ time), reading (still involves some degree of ‘sitting around’)….as you can see, I can defend reasons both for and not for blogging. The time I invest in sitting in front of the computer is what needs to change (and guess what – when I return to work next week, what does 90% of my job entail? Sitting in front of a computer *grin*).
    Your concern that what you make is ‘fluff’…please, please, please put that notion aside. If we distill it down, ‘everything’ can be considered fluff…hours spent baking bread, cakes, cookies, that vanish in the blink of an eye; emails sent that are deleted immediately after reading; the book read, then set aside; the on-going need to house-clean. Indeed, even my husband’s long bike rides can be seen as ‘fluff’ on some level. The alternative to ‘fluff’ – and therefore, to all that we do, is the degree of pleasure and joy it brings to us, and, sometimes, to others. My husband’s bike rides bring him pleasure; my card-making does the same for me. If others are delighted by what I chose to share, that’s a bonus. If you’re worried that your cards are just sitting (as many of mine are, at the moment), not going to anyone to make that difference we’re seeking, then we need to find an audience for them, be that nursing homes, or hospitals, or other volunteer-oriented associations. Taunya, what you create for your family and friends is not fluff; your cards are an investment of time and LOVE, and that’s what people value. The card or the project is the vehicle of expressing that love. I’m with Patti – I want you to continue to blog, but I respect whatever decision you make. I love seeing how your bring sunshine and smiles to the lives of others, which, in turn, spills into mine. Your creativity and upbeat spirit are gifts and such gifts are meant to be shared. If that’s through blogging, awesome; if it’s through other mediums, that’s awesome, too. The point is: you have creativity and love to express – and I hope you find a way to give them a voice. Sweet friend – don’t let comments be a deterrent; let your decision come from what brings you joy…the act of creating (creating for ‘self’ is not selfish in the least; many renowned artists – painters, sculptors, dancers, poets – were/are motivated by their inner needs and longings to express something from within), the act of making beautiful things, the act of sharing, the act of seeing something magical unfold under your hands….
    Keep us updated on your thoughts – you don’t need to make a decision right now, but having people here to bounce ideas off of, or to help you wade through ‘conundrums’ – that’s what we’re here for! We care about you, my friend – a whole, whole, whole bunch!!
    Hugs~c

  6. 6
    Kymona says:

    Hey Taunya!! First and foremost, NOTHING you create is crap!! Never ever say that. That is the beauty of art. If it makes sense to you as the artist, that’s all that matters. So please never say that again. I like your cards. You have an eye of putting things together. Let change other things and see how well you will do. Now on to your post.

    I totally know who you feel. When I first started 11 months ago, that is was how I felt. No one followed me, no comments and my stats looked like crap. I wasn’t sure if I was doing this blogging thing right. So, I started taking classes to learn more about the blogging world. I recommend taking Creative Live class called Build A Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles-Olin. It was amazing. I did a blog tour about it on June 3. Take a look at that blog post, you will get a feel for the class. In addition to that, we have a FB group for all of the participates in the class. Tons of information shared on how to really get your blog to work for you. After taking that class, I realized what I needed to do differently. Here is the link for the class.
    https://www.creativelive.com/courses/write-successful-creative-blog-april-bowles

    I started to participate in a lot of blog challenges. That forced me to be more creative. I had deadlines, I had to make different cards. Before that I posted whenever I felt like it and that wasn’t going to cut it. So, I bought an expensive planner and put myself on a schedule. Soon, posting and creating came natural. Then I started meeting other crafty people and that opened more doors for me. I reached out to other crafters and asked questions when I wasn’t sure of something. Everyone was so nice and had no problem sharing information with me.

    Then I decided that I wanted to be on other social media platforms. So, I decided to try Pinterest. I loved it. I thought it was the best thing in the world. Then three weeks later, I tried Twitter and I loved that. I was able to get messages to a lot of people at once. I was so hesitant to try Instagram. I wasn’t sure why but I refused to join. Then one day someone told me to just try it and I did and I LOVE IT!!!! Its my favorite social media platform. The conversations are instant and everyone’s photos are amazing. You get to see what people like and what they don’t. Instant gratification. I might have 65 likes on Instagram but 6 visitors to my blog for the same card. That just tells me that different people use the different social media’s differently. Have you tried any of these platforms? If not, just do it!! Fear is crippling and I see it now.

    Lets talk about photography!! That is big in this craft world. I learned the hard way. If your photos aren’t clear and bright, no one will pay your pretty cards any mind. You need to practice taking your photos. Now, this is what I asked for help on. I reached out to Laura Bassen and Jennifer McGuire. The didn’t hesitate, both of them responded with advise. Both of them told me to contact Debby Hughes. I did and she really gave me solid advise. Soon after that she did a blog post about what she does. Check it out here.
    http://limedoodledesign.com/2014/05/photography/
    She had another post but I can’t find it right now. I will share it when I do. But she emailed me back and answer all of my questions. I have to say, since then, my photos have really looked nice. I also took another creative live class The Photography Starter Kit and that sealed the deal for my photos. I have a better understanding of my camera and the photos I’m taking. Here is a link for that class.
    https://www.creativelive.com/courses/photography-starter-kit-john-greengo
    Once you get this down pack, you will hit the ground running.

    Don’t give up. This blog space is a place where you should have the most fun. If you love to create and I know you do, this is the place where you want to go to share what you love.

    Now with all of that said, I’m in your corner. I love having you as a blogging friend. Just stick this out. I no professional in this field, not yet, that’s my goal, but if you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask me.

    Sorry this comment is so long but I want you to stay around.

  7. 7
    Penny Ward says:

    Wowzers…I think the blogging just depends on where you are at in your life. My children are grown and gone…I would have never had time for blogging let alone card making when I was working 60 hours a week and running to this ball game or that golf tournament. My hobby started the day i retired. So where are you in your life Taunya…you decide what’s important and what’s not.
    I can tell you, from the comments I do get (and numbers don’t bother me)…yours always make me smile. You always find something encouraging to say…and who wouldn’t LOVE that !!!
    Don’t base your card making and blogging on whether or not you get comments…base it on – do you love doing it.
    The day I don’t love it anymore, is the day I will hang up my crafter hat. And that’s ok.
    For most of us, this is not a job or career…it’s just something fun to do…keeps us off the streets and out of the bars as my mother would say.
    So…are you having fun making cards? if so, make cards, take pictures and add them to your blog (as you can tell, that is what i do…I am in no way wordy on my blog, because it is the card making I like). Or don’t add them to your blog, just send them or give them away.
    Do what makes you happy my friend!!!!!!

  8. 8
    Kim Heggins says:

    Wow…Taunya. I don’t think I can say what the other ladies have said any better in your comments. I love visiting your blog and do not agree what your cards are just land fill. They are fabulous and that is one of the things I love most about card making and blogging, we all have our own style. So I hope to continue to see you here in blogland and like Penny said, do what makes you happy! Sending hugs.

  9. 9
    Annette says:

    Taunya,

    I think the responses you have gotten show what a wonderful friend you are to so many people! I’ve gone through the same questions on blogging and on creating. With blogging, I continue to do it for a couple of reasons. It keeps me connected to my family who live far away (siblings and children and grandchildren) And, it is the closest I will probably ever get to writing a life history. I used to worry about comments or traffic, but since defining why I do it, it has taken that pressure away.

    As for the creating, I think it is a very essential part of who you are. Also, you not only create the beautiful cards, but you actually send them with uplifting and wonderful words. I’m still trying to do that. When I start questioning how much time I spend on crafts or creating, I always remind myself of all the work and artistry that is put into building and decorating the temples.

    I miss you, and hope to get together with you soon. I’m sorry it has been so long!

    Love, Annette

  10. 10
    Miriam Prantner says:

    I think you nailed it in that you want to make beautiful things. And if you get job from that you should keep doing it, and if you get joy from sharing it, you should keep doing it. It shouldn’t be an obligation, or a ‘job’. It should be something you enjoy doing. Blogging isn’t for everyone, and there are plenty in the community who don’t blog, but still participate. You just have to figure out what works for you right now….might be different in six months or a year, but this is a hobby and something you do for fun, so keep it that!

  11. 11
    Nora says:

    Oh Taunya-
    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I totally get where you are coming from, though. I struggle with having time to create and then actually blogging about it. I do a lot of challenges but then sometimes don’t even get the link in because when I finally blog the darn thing, the challenge is over. I don’t write about my family because I have a kind of public job and don’t want to put a lot out there so I cannot blog about that, though I would LOVE to. It would make scrapbooking, which I also do, a whole lot easier. The journaling would be done right away, before I forget!!

    I enjoy your posts. You are sweet, honest and you are very creative. It all boils down to what you are personally looking for in all of this. For me, I would make the cards whether I blog or not. Do I like getting comments on my blog? Yup but I also know that in order to get, you need to give as well. That is the hard part for me. You are so good at that. I hope you find your answer soon. It is such a personal thing, I know. Big Hugs.
    Nora

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