Last week marked the 9th year that I have been blogging. I started the blog as a way to keep in touch with my family in America as I was pregnant with Ellis. With each season of my life, the blog changed and morphed - from documenting our early days in parenthood, to exploring my creativity, to being a crochet blog full of patterns and tutorials, to being a portfolio of my broad work, a promotional tool, to becoming a task on the to-do list of the thing I "should", but didn't necessarily want to, do.
Its that last evolution that I found myself in recently. Dutifully I would write "Blog" on my daily task list, never quite making eye contact with it and hoping inspiration would strike so that it would feel less like a chore. From the sparseness of posts the last few months, you can see how successful that was.
There is a certain irony to the burden that blogging became - I purposefully have never taken on sponsored content precisely because I never wanted the blog to feel like work - but it still did. My head was filled with all of the shoulds "You should set up a regular schedule" "You should analyse your traffic to see what your most popular posts are" "You should create how-tos and tutorials to bring traffic" etc etc. All of those things are undoubtably true, but the truth is having 100s of thousands of visitors a month is great, but it is nothing if you just can't face getting yourself to the computer to write.
And so, I took some time off. I laid in bed and drank tea. I planned our veg garden. I baked up a storm. I played Uno with the kids. I hung out with friends. I worked 9-4 three days a week and only did work that would fit in that time. I spent endless hours watching swimming lessons. I spent A LOT of time on Instagram. I even let my domain expire, thinking I would just quietly let Slugs pass into the night.
And then yesterday, I stumbled across one of my favourite Mary Oliver quotes:
"Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it."
— Mary Oliver
I used to cite this as my blog mission's statement - forgotten somehow in endless redesigns. With its rediscovery, I found myself back at my desk thinking of all of the stories I want to tell and the love letters to my family I want to write.
In the last 9 years, blogging has changed beyond anything I could have imagined. In those early days, most of the blogs I read told stories of our families or shared our makes with other like-minded folks. We have moved into a world of aspirational lifestyles, DIYs and curated feeds - things I love, but very different from the personal tales of life that used to fill my reader. And as much as I love to read them, I have come to recognise that those kinds are posts are not something I do particularly well or enjoy creating.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy - and for me this is so painfully true. Not because I get wrapped up in what other people have or are doing, but because I feel like there are things I "should" be doing. I try for awhile, then get so fed up, everything stops.
I feel like I should end this post with announcing grand plans of what is to come in this space for the next 9 years, but the truth is, I have no idea. There will be posts or there won't. There will be photos. There will probably be pie and gardens and the adventures of three not so little people. And making, always making.