Monday, January 23, 2017

2016: A Look Back and Lessons Learned

Before I hit publish, I just want to preface this post by noting that what I write below, may sound sappy and overly sensitive, maybe it is.....there is some for sure rambling (sorry).  It's definitely not a post that I typically share on my blog.  For perhaps, the past three years, I believe I've been trying to figure out my place and space in the super saturated world of blogging.  I've been doing this for almost 8 years now and I definitely don't feel that I have found my footing yet, but I'm getting there.  I wrote this post over a week ago and have been sitting on it.  The thoughts and words I share have been on my mind because I've just felt very stagnant about the direction of this blog.  Blogging is about a journey and about sharing and authenticity, my hope is that I always do my best to bring those into the fold.  I'm not so sure I've always done that or done it well.  My goal has been to always bring fresh, new and on trend ideas to you and simply share what I know and hope that you will leave inspired.  What I share below is just a bit of reflection.....and that's all it simply is.  I know there is another gal, mom, boss chick, out there who is possibly feeling the same as me and as it's my hope to share my passion for creating, it's also my hope that there are others who simply relate to where I'm at.  That being said, I'm glad for the new years and new beginnings and am excited for 2017!......

As I look back and reflect on how my blogging year went in 2016 I can say that I may not been as 'with it' as I initially set out.  In January 2016, I shared how much I wanted for this blog and what I wanted to share with my readers.  I was gung ho to do 'all the things' and make it work.  i bought all the goal setting books and had plans written out.....and then at some point....I hit a wall.

I know for sure at some point during the middle of the year....I was just OVER IT....over trying to make things work with this blog.  My intention was always to share all the many things happening with my party business and lots of fun at home party, craft and DIY ideas.....but I honestly struggled with another aspect of blogging that has evaded me for a while.....which was maintaining and acquire various ways to monetize this blog.  I mentioned last year that blogging isn't easy....when you want to reach a certain level of blogging, there is a lot of work that goes into it.  I sooooo wanted to get there and I just could not.  I haven't.  I could say I was in my own way....but I really think I was just not into it.

Monetizing a blog takes work, time, patience, effort.  As a wife, mother, who works a full-time job, my blog, my Etsy shop and my party business naturally has to come in last.....but my blog, Etsy shop and party business bring me great joy.  There's a lot of creativity and passion that go into them.  My family is my biggest passion and my job, my work is a necessity.  It's how our family stays clothed and fed.  If I'm going to put energy and time into the other aspects of my life with blogging, running an online shop and having a better well be worth the time I take from my family and benefit us financially.  But that's just not what it's all about, is it?

You see, I love writing, I love creating, I love making, I love cooking, I love organizing, I love planning and I love doing fun things with my family.  These are the things I want to share, these are things I want to bring to my blog and you!  Getting all of that into a post well, it takes a lot of time.  The reality is, while I want to share, I do wish to do it in the most authentic way possible.  My struggle has been trying to focus on monetizing the blog in various ways while staying true to myself.  You know, at the end of the day, the truth is....if I just stay focused on doing what I do, sharing what I know and be my most true self, everything else will fall into place.  That's where I'm at right now and where I intend to stay.  Right now, I can honestly say, I got caught up in the hype....trying to 'do all the things' that needed to be done to grow my blog and make money from it.  When I started, all I wanted to do was use my blog as a way to reach other moms who I could share my ideas and creativity....that was all.

Don't get me wrong....if opportunities arise for me to earn money to help this little blog grow and for me to keep creating ideas and content....I'm all over it....just not at the expense of making it a priority or making it drive me nuts!  I realize now after reading that beginning of the year post from 2016 and going through some of the most popular posts that I didn't really check in with myself.  I thought I did.....but I didn't.  I lived most of my year frustrated about the things that were just not working with my blog.  I (again) lost the purpose and intent of why I started this blog.  Also, my life just got in the way.....and other priorities took precedence.  I mean...that's's obvious that family, work, home and self care supersedes so much more than what I'm posting....but, this blog is FUN for me.  As I've said, I love writing, I love creating, I love sharing and if those three things combined can help someone, well....that's all I need.

When I set out to write this post, I thought, well, I'm going to list again all the great things to come for this blog.  I have it written down in a list of goals for the year and I'm adding new blog ideas almost daily....but, I feel that will set me up for disappointment.....not because sharing it with you wouldn't be something that holds me accountable, it totally's that late last year, I realized that life is about moments, moments filled with memories....and that's what I want to really share what's REAL.  I do have lots in store for this blog.....ideas I've been sitting on, posts that I have yet to publish.....and other changes that are on stand-by.  Until that time, I'll be working on preparing my posts, deciding what will work for my life and if what I intend to share on this blog that will be helpful to others.

Much of what I shared at the beginning of last year is certainly still on my radar, some things are not, but I truly wish for this blog to be a place where I can share my creativity in all the different aspects of my life and the things I love......and my hope for myself this year and for this blog is that I will stay focused on bringing you awesome ideas and creativity!  I want to stay true to myself and what I love, pray that it transcends and if that happens....everything else will fall into place as it will.

Here's to a fun, fabulous, AUTHENTIC, 2017!!!!

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