As some of you know (from being subscribed to my email list), I have taken a bit of a break this summer to refresh and refocus. I have had a lot going on in my personal life these past few months – and I was also in the middle of several commitments – and I just began to feel overwhelmed at the idea of keeping up with this blog.
Simply put, I was putting way too much pressure on myself to grind out a particular number of posts each week. And, every writer knows that when you have a deadline (even if it’s self-imposed), it can be extremely difficult to produce quality content. I felt like I had all of these wonderful post ideas, but I would run out of time to write them well. I wasn’t completely happy with some of the posts I published because I wrote them in haste. I don’t like that feeling one bit!
After much thought and prayer, I decided to take a break from hitting the “publish” button. I would continue to write as I felt inspired, but I would tuck the drafts away for later use. I just needed some time to sit back, enjoy my summer, spend time with family, put 100% into all of my commitments, read an insane amount of books…and, well, breathe.
So, in a nutshell, that is what I mean when I say I needed to “refresh.” You may also recall my use of the word “refocus,” and you may be wondering why I felt the need to refocus…
When I first started blogging, my purpose was to use this little corner of the web as a place where I could share the lessons I am learning in my walk with God. Over the years, however, I began to take notice of what other bloggers were doing, and I felt like what I was doing was inadequate. So I began to explore opportunities and do what other bloggers were doing.
Long story short, I experimented with sponsored content, reviewing products and accepting freebies in exchange for reviews and giveaways. It was fun at first, but I began to feel cheapened by the process. While I meant every word I said in those reviews and giveaways, I wondered if my followers really cared what I had to say about those products or services.
And then I began to ask myself: Why am I blogging? Why do I do what I do? What’s the purpose of this? Am I happy with the content I am putting out there for the world to read?
I realized that I don’t want to be the sort of blogger who posts about all these brands on a continual basis. Promoting the products of others is just not what I am here for. I have no interest in making money from blogging itself. (I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m saying it’s just not me.)
Once I realized what I didn’t want to do with blogging, I naturally had to ask myself: What do I want to accomplish by blogging?
After playing around with different types of (non-sponsored) content, and after a break from publishing anything at all, I came up with the following answer:
First and foremost, I am here to encourage you. Anytime the Lord lays a lesson on my heart, you can bet I’ll be right here share it with you. It could be about love, dating, marriage, family, trials…anything at all, really. This has been true from the moment I began blogging, and it will continue to be the case as long as I am blogging.
Secondly, I am here to inspire you to live life well, no matter what season of life you find yourself in. I aim to accomplish this by sharing my life with you – this includes sharing my life’s big moments with you, encouraging you to make your house a home, inspiring you to read more and helping you have some fun/not take life too seriously!
When I write these lighter types of posts, I simply draw from things that inspire me and speak life into my soul! Farmhouse decor, jazz music, coffee, Jane Austen, silver teapots, shabby chic furniture, British period dramas… these are all things that I love and want to share with you.
Lastly, I am here to share my skills with you. I am a graphic designer and I own an Etsy shop. You will find that I use this blog to promote my own work from time to time. BUT, I have absolutely no desire to make you feel pressured to buy my products (or even visit my shop, for that matter). As a small business owner, however, I need a place to share what I am creating with the world. I hope you don’t mind.
If any of that sounds remotely interesting to you, I want to thank you for being here. For sharing this little corner of the world with me. And, most important, for waiting as I took my break this summer!