Me in my denim waistcoat

The one where the blogger reflects on not blogging for a long time and why they blog in the first place

I’ve just checked and my last blog post was on April 28th, 2019 which is 1 year, 2 months and just over 1 week ago which makes me wonder whether I truly want to keep writing this blog, what and who is it for? Especially as I’ve just paid £100 to renew my hosting after my account got suspended because my card had expired and I was putting off dealing with the reminder emails.

It’s not like I haven’t been sewing in that time. I’ve made several masks, a t-shirt, boxed piped cushion covers for a campervan, a bag, a pom-pom centrepiece and nearly finished the picnic blanket.

Gallery image of my recent projects taken from my Instagram account @onesmallstitchforman

Why did I start writing this blog?

I was excited about getting back into sewing (I seem to be an intermittent hobbyist in this regard although it’s something I’ve been interested in since childhood) and I had recently discovered and begun to connect with the online world of sewists on Instagram and through reading their blogs.

I also really enjoy writing, especially creatively, and I firmly believe that the only way to get better at something is to practice it. I get to work with words all the time in my job as a lawyer and in running the marketing and advertising for the firm but writing creatively is a lot more fun obviously.

I did find, however, that I was completing a sewing project and then spending a lot of time trying to get it up on the blog and on to Instagram and I often get into the ‘it all must be done now’ mindset, which can feel intense and take some of the pleasure out of it.

I think that I had lacked a sense of purpose with why I was writing my blog posts. While trying to capture photographs of the projects during sewing I felt like I was trying to capture moments that would be relevant to a tutorial on the techniques involved. This often seemed absurd to me as I am generally doing things for the first time (or the first time in a very long time after doing a sample many years ago) and therefore was being somewhat pretentious.

If I had to pick a favourite sewing blog I follow it would definitely be Sew Andrew . I like everything about his blog from the sense of his personality that comes through but in particular how he tells the story of his projects and the ‘lessons learned’ at the end of the posts. From memory, I think he started his blog as place for him to reflect on his journey in the sewing world and to help embed the lessons learned from each project to help him in the future. Or at least I’ve invented that backstory on his behalf, I can’t find an about page on his site.

Who is this blog for?

I can’t write just for myself, I’m always thinking about audience. I know that journaling is supposed to be a very powerful tool in a wide range of situations both creatively and therapeutically but I cannot help but consider the reader when I’m writing. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this position though. Writing is a medium of communication above all.

Even as a child if I started a ‘secret diary’ (I never kept them up more than a day or so) I still had my mind on future readers uncovering them as relics of my past, or worse my parents discovering my inner thoughts and feelings!

I read sewing blogs because I find them inspirational, educational and entertaining. Sometimes (who am I kidding, oftentimes) I want to immerse myself mentally in the world of sewing when I can’t do it physically. When I made my kimono-style garment I had read a blog by someone who had used the pattern previously, or at least a review of it. I have just ordered the Fairfield Men’s Shirt pattern from Thread Theory (being printed by NetPrinter) which I’m going to use to make my first ever shirt and I’m enjoying reading blogs on shirt making and this pattern in particular in preparation for that.

I’m aware I could navel-gaze on this point interminably and I’m fairly sure it will come as no surprise that writing the above has made me feel like blogging is something that I would like to continue with but perhaps with a few ‘lessons learnt’.

Lessons learnt

  • I like blogs that tell the ‘story’ of the project and reflect on the lessons learned, try to write in this style.
  • The blog doesn’t need to go up immediately. The most polished blogs have the ‘modelled’ shots done and are the whole package. Instagram can have the little updates along the way.
  • Clear photos make for better blogs. Photograph the important stuff but photograph it well – this requires light!
  • Enjoy the process, remember it takes at least an hour so schedule it when I would otherwise just be watching TV or chilling out.

4 thoughts on “The one where the blogger reflects on not blogging for a long time and why they blog in the first place

  1. SewAndrew says:

    Hi, it’s great to hear (& read!) that you are enjoying writing creatively again. And thank you so much for your kind words – I’m sure that everyone who blogs has doubts and questions themselves from time to time, I know I do! I try and think: if I was about to make this for the first time, what do I wish I was told? And to hear that someone ‘gets it’ is the best feeling.
    I’m no expert, but if I had any pearls of wisdom I’d say; Write about what you love, write about what you’re learning. Your voice, every voice is valid. You can bet your life that somebody, somewhere is going to want to hear about how you did this or that – and your success or failure will help them with theirs! And like the gambling ads say: when the fun stops, stop! (Or just take a break!)
    Personal advice: don’t make yourself hostage to a schedule, do it in your own time as and when you like. Don’t look for followers of subscribers, they’ll come or they won’t, don’t even look at the numbers, it’s not important if you are enjoying the process.
    Keep sewing, keep writing & keep enjoying it!
    Andrew 🙏🏻

  2. tialys says:

    Wise words from Andrew – I enjoy his blog and his sewing tips and recommendations.
    I started blogging in the beginning to sort of promote my Etsy shop but very soon I forgot about all that and just enjoyed the sewing and crafting community I found myself in – especially as i don’t have that many real life sewing friends. I feel like I know some of these people even though we’ll never meet as I have no plans to travel to Australia. The inspiration, new ideas, recommendations for patterns and tools and the encouragement are valuable to me. I’m not on Instagram as I don’t feel a sense of community there and I like writing in preference to taking photos (especially of myself). Also, I love having a record of what I’ve made and seeing the improvements in my sewing generally.
    I think you’ve answered your own questions in your post and you obviously enjoy writing and sewing so do a blog post when you feel like it or have something to say – I don’t have time to blog every day and I don’t feel pressured to. Having said that, if I’ve blogged about starting a project I do feel just a little bit obliged to finish it so I can show it and, sometimes, I do need that bit of a push.
    Good luck – I’ll be watching what you come up with.

    • onesmallstitchforman says:

      Thank you very much. It is fun and I do enjoy having made something, written about it and shared it and then looking back after months / years have passed. I think I will also try writing blog posts about different stages rather than just the end too. That may feel easier and more flowing. Thank you again.

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