I turned 40 last year – I wrote a little bit about it then, but recently I have realised that turning 40 changed me in more ways than I at first realised. I have discovered that I care less about some things that I used to think were important, and I care more about other things that never even made it to the surface before.
For example, money: these days money is not at the top of my list, it is not even near the top of my list. It is not that I don’t need it, or think about it, or even worry about the day to day of household budgets or anything like that, it is more that my decisions about how I live my life don’t factor it in — it is no longer a reason to do or not to do things. I find if I don’t have enough money I just live a little simpler that week, we eat leftovers or use up what is in the pantry, if I am running low I don’t buy new clothes or go to the hairdresser – I save the money for the big important things and live simpler day to day. I know for some people money is closer to their mind because of need and for others it is because of greed, but for me money is just a side issue to what is really important in life.
Another example, what people think about me: of course I do still fret about this and I do care what people think — it is probably why I get so nervous public speaking, why I am shy at parties, why I hate small talk, why I am such a homebody … but as I get older, what people think of me or what I think they might think of me is no longer a deciding factor in my decision making process. These days saying ‘f*ck that’ is way more likely! I don’t hang out with people who suck my energy, I prefer to be with people who I can exchange energy with, who make me feel alive, and that is just as important with internet relationships as it is with real life ones.
I have been musing over these two points these last few days, in the aftermath of the f*ck quilt project and the ‘N’ quilt and reflecting on what it all means for me and blogging. How people’s reactions affect what I might choose to post or say here on my blog. I want to discuss advertising on blogs — yes I have a few advertisers on this blog, and it pays for the running and hosting costs and the various things that go into the IT support of the blog, that little bit of cash is nice, it is nowhere near to being close to an income, I don’t think I put enough effort into marketing and managing ads for that to ever happen. So when a few people in the comments of last weeks post asked me whether I had considered my advertisers before posting a guest post, it stopped me in my tracks — no of course I didn’t — why would I? What my advertisers think of each post was not and has never been a consideration of mine. When a business chooses to advertise with whipup they do so because of the large and varied craft audience, because of the longevity and reputation and because they get value for their money. But when some mean folks got a bee in their bonnet and decided to email my advertisers and tell them that their loyal customers might not return if they didn’t stop advertising with whipup this issue became real. Should a blog tell their advertisers what they will be posting in advance? Of course not — But when advertisers come into the mix the situation gets sticky. Maybe bloggers do pander to their advertisers, maybe they do think twice in case of offending advertisers, maybe some blogs are consciously or unconsciously being not so confrontational or real because of a perceived notion of what folks want — it is like the pastelisation of the home/craft blogging world — maybe I sometimes do that too?
If you add up the standard reasons people blog and continue to blog year after year (building a platform, selling a product, discussing a project, sharing a life) and then you remove the items that either no longer or never did apply to you, what do you have left? Once you and your blog evolve past a certain point, it is time to reflect on what/who/why you are doing it all for. For me, after blogging for going on 8 years, I think that my blogging style has evolved considerably, as have the reasons I blog and continue to do so — despite the hard work that goes into it, the soul searching, the writing, the answering of the emails, the behind the scenes maintenance — all of that — despite all of that — I still continue to enjoy blogging — sharing and being a part of this craft blogging community that has evolved with, and alongside, whipup.
This is all to say that whipup is not going to go through any drastic changes, it is a mainstay on the craft blogging scene – an essential component of a thriving and exciting blogging community. Whipup will however continue to evolve and this is just one little step on that evolutionary path to enlightenment. So while I am not sure exactly what form these changes will take, I know there will be a few, but I will continue to post what is real and raw in the craft world – I have no idea where that may lead — but craft activisim and the intersection of art and craft is more prevalent than ever before and I will continue to seek out the interesting, bold and new. But I will still be posting what is important to me and to you in the everyday craft making realm too — crafts for your kids, home and self, crafts for health, for practicalities, for creativity, for charity as well as those crafts that are purely for the joy of it too!
So thank you to readers who have supported whipup over the years and will continue to visit every now and again. This blogging thing is a bit of a roller-coaster emotionally (sometimes) but it is rewarding and it does come with its benefits, so I will be sticking at it for a while yet!