Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Four Years + Some Thoughts

illustration by cake with giants
Four years. This post makes 1,499 posts. Whoa.

Four years ago today I wrote my very first post and although that post makes me cringe a little, it was honest (terrible to look at, but honest). And that's one thing I've tried to remain over the past four years in creating and recreating this space. I've tried to remain honest to myself and to you. It hasn't always been easy especially the part about being honest with myself as there have been many moments when I've questioned why I continue to blog.

One of the biggest changes that occurred for the blog this past year was that I stopped monetizing it. I'm currently not accepting sponsorship and there are no paid ads or affiliate links on D&OC. This change has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. If I miss a few days of posting, I no longer feel guilty. There was a time when I needed supplemental income from the blog but that is no longer the case and I'm grateful for that because I'm starting to find joy in blogging again. I realize that this may seem rather backwards to some of you as many bloggers aspire to blog full time and making money is often a gauge of success but that is one of the ways in which I am, perhaps, atypical as a blogger. I have a 8-5 job that I enjoy (YES, THAT IS POSSIBLE!) in a niche field in which my expertise is valued. This blog, although important to me and certainly a labor of love, is a hobby.

The downside to the blog simply being a hobby is that I don't have the time or the funds to network, attend conferences, market the blog, etc. The blog itself feels stagnant and as I watch other blogs grow and blossom it's hard not to feel insecure or worse, to feel like a failure. Although D&OC is a hobby, I often wonder what it could be if I could simply devote more time and creative energy into the content I post and into the social media that helps drive traffic to the blog. And it's this letting go of what could be that has been my biggest struggle over the past year. It's the acceptance of certain failures and the celebration of other successes, no matter how small, that I'm learning to fully appreciate right now.

So as I move into my fifth year of blogging, I think I'm finally beginning to understand this whole balance thing. And it's this understanding that I'm hoping will lead to some practical implementation of what actual balance looks like but let's not get ahead of ourselves. One step at a time. Right?

I'm still as passionate about budget-friendly design as I was four years ago. And I'm as passionate about connecting with you as readers as I was four years ago. It's this passion that I'm hoping will keep the blog going for another year, or two, or three. Who knows? The sky's the limit.

11 comments:

Rhianne said...

I've been wondering whether to write a post about my 4th blog birthday but I don't think I need to now, you've written it for me :)

Its been an absolute pleasure reading your blog and getting to know you through it, every time I worry about blogging, you seem to be there with me, worrying about the same things, so thank you.

I love having my blog as a hobby too, I don't want it to be my job, how will I enjoy it as much? I can imagine that we'll probably be the ones around in the next 5 years still enjoying it :)

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

Happy 4th anniversary!

Claire Kiefer said...

These posts of yours are my favorite: the one with a lot of words. You have so much to say and you're so sharp and I love hearing from you. Four years is a long time!

WinnibriggsHouse said...

Well I have enjoyed many a read here, and I hope your decision means you will now enjoy talking to us too! Good luck. X

Micaela // Drifter and the Gypsy said...

Congratulations on your 4th year of blogging! I know the blogging insecurities and stress that comes from maintaining a blog all too well. I think I'm finally starting to find a balance as well. It's funny, I had in mind to write a personal post sort of like this tomorrow!

Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

I'm so happy and proud of you for sticking with it for 4 years, all the while having an actual "real" life - a total package that I certainly have not been able to juggle. I've enjoyed reading your blog so much over the years, and hope that you continue writing for many, many more. Congrats Christina! XO, Marsi

gina said...

D&OC was one of the first blogs I ever read. I love what you have done with this space. Congrats on four years!

Diana said...

Still one of my faves years later. I can't wait to see what's to come.

Audrey - This Little Street said...

Would, could, should....I think you're doing the right thing - doing what's right by you, and not others. Happy anniversary! :) :) :)

alona said...

i recently stumbled upon your blog and have very much enjoyed it. i regularly look at many different blogs but yours feels very well curated and has an honesty and bite that makes it a pleasure to read. don't worry about the quantity of the readership but rather the quality of it and enjoy your life rather than measuring it based on outside metrics that don't actually indicate whether you feel balanced and happy and fulfilled.

drollgirl said...

girl, well said. i think we have been blogging for a similar amount of time. i don't blog as often as i used to. sometimes i feel like blogging is dying, but that is not true. and even if it were true, who cares? blogging is a fab hobby. :) i would like to make more money at it, but i don't put enough time, energy or creativity into it to merit being paid much for it. whaddya gonna do. trying to find balance in life is key, and we do what we can. :)

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