Pondering the Archives

So here we are at the start of another lovely week. There’s so much promise in a Monday…or at least that’s what I try to tell myself. Positive thinking and all that… I’m off to New Mexico this week for public meetings. Thankfully this project doesn’t seem too controversial, so I’m hoping everything goes smoothly (fingers crossed)! This past weekend was spent prepping for my week-long adventure and catching up on my blog reading. I’ve fallen sadly behind on my reading, so it was nice to catch up (smile).

archives, screenshot

When I first started reading blogs, I would spend hours sometimes (although perhaps not all at once) going back through the blog’s archive. I loved getting to know the blogger and learning about various things. It seemed like such a great way to practice skills (writing, photography, crafts, etc.), to meet some really cool people, and to share something with the world. I thought it was so cool, in fact, that I started my own blog (or at least started to take it more seriously), and I love it! Sadly, however, it does take a fair amount of time (and I’m just small beans really), and so I find that I don’t often have time for archives any more. When I find a new blogger that I enjoy, I add them to the feed and see their progress going forward. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing out. So this weekend, I took some time to travel through the archives of some of my recent fab finds (smile).

The blogs I spent time with this weekend are well established and, I must say, to see where they began and where they’ve evolved was really, really cool – and really, really encouraging! As a newbie, I know that I’ve made some missteps. I have so much to learn and so many decisions to make that sometimes it just seems overwhelming! Do I want to get a custom design? Do I want to try sponsorships or accept sponsored posts? I’m not sure. I’ve all but decided to wait until my official 1-year blogiversary in August before I make any major decisions. Going back through “time” with these other blogs gave me a lot to think about it terms of growth and (especially) content. It also gave me some much needed reassurance that it’s okay to grow at my own pace!

It’s also really nice to know that it is possible to blog long term and still remain true to yourself. One of the blog posts I read discussed “baby bloggers” and how they seem to want to run before they crawl. The initial sentiment seemed a little harsh until I thought about some of the blogs that I’ve come across. There are a lot of newbies that jump in whole-heartedly then seem to flounder. Where’s the fun in any activity if you leave so little room for gradual growth? What do you have to look forward to? I love the fact that people actually like my blog enough to stop by and read it once in a while [I thank you again & welcome!]. I love it even more when a post inspires someone to take the time to comment. But I also really love the idea that I still get to learn how to switch from WordPress.com to .org; that I get to pick out a design that I love; that I have so many choices in my future without all the immediate stress. I can let this little piece of the world I love so dearly grow at it’s own pace – dare I say organically – without the pressure to write x number of posts in x amount of time. I can choose my topics and I can choose to spend hours online promoting myself or showing other bloggers some love because they’re cool. It’s a lot like photography (my other favorite hobby). I could put more effort into it and probably make something out of it, but I’m in no hurry to make a job out of a passion – I need the outlet more than I need immediate success, if that makes any sense at all.

This is turning out to be more of a rant than I intended. What I’m really getting at is twofold – 1) If you find a blog you love and/or respect, spend some time in their archives. It’s a great way to learn more about the blogger and to learn a few tips and tricks for yourself. Just remember to pay ’em forward! 2) Don’t be afraid to grow at your own pace. Leave some room to enjoy what you’re doing (assuming of course that you aren’t in this for the money – totally different story there). Make mistakes, make apologies, and make it better moving forward. Oh, and as a bonus – 3) be nice! It’s just good karma (smile).

By the way, if you happen to be one of those new bloggers who jumped in with both feet and your whole heart, please don’t be insulted by this post. I sincerely admire your enthusiasm!! Just please don’t forget to slow down once in a while and enjoy the ride! I love growing with you, and it’s always sad to see someone burn out too soon.

To all of you lovely, well-established bloggers out there that have come before us “baby bloggers,” I just want to say thank you for showing us the way and being so often willing to answer questions and help us out. I joined the blogging world for the community, and I’m very happy to say I haven’t been disappointed (smile).

chihuly, desert botanical garden, phoenix, arizona

Chihuly at Sunset (Because there should always be a pretty picture at the end πŸ™‚ )

5 thoughts on “Pondering the Archives

  1. I agree with you that it is easy to try to grow too quickly and perhaps most people are guilty of this. However, I think the bigger issue I have is that too many people just do what they see others doing at a very early stage (copying design & post styles, starting link ups, trying to get sponsors when they are still very small, etc.) as it begins to feel very unauthentic and I often lose interest in the blog as they stop doing the kind of posts I initially enjoyed reading. Ditto for placing ads everywhere!

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    • I agree completely! Sometimes it’s difficult to not feel like those types of things are the only way to grow a blog and reach more people. For me personally, it took a great deal of effort not to do exactly that, but considering how much I’ve learned in just the last year, I’m glad I waited. Reading through the long-term bloggers’ archives, it was encouraging to see that not every one of them jumped on the bandwagon all at once. Those are the ones that are fun to read – as well as the other β€œindependents” out there that are consistent and genuine πŸ™‚

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  2. So much promise in a Monday…that’s exactly how I feel but you said it better than I always do. πŸ™‚ People often grumble at work about it being Monday but I always say it’s one of my favourite days of the week because it’s like a fresh new start and each week we get one.
    I’m also glad you posted this as it’s just what I needed to read. Have been pondering my own blog which is barely over a month old and I have to constantly remind myself to stay slow. Slow and steady and build it gradually. I’m hardly crawling yet, let alone ready to run! πŸ™‚

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    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels that way about Mondays! Most people look at me like I’m crazy, but if you start off a new week with a bad attitude, you’re dooming yourself before you really begin! That said, don’t get me started on Tuesdays… πŸ™‚

      I’m also happy to hear that this topic resonates. I was a little hesitant about posting this originally, but it’s something that I seemed to come across again and again. It’s a reminder to myself and hopefully an open letter to those other new blogs on the block that this is supposed to be a fun ride! Thank you so much for the feedback πŸ™‚

      P.S. I love your blog name!!

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      • Sounds like we also have the same idea about Tuesdays. πŸ™‚

        Thanks! Took a little bit for me to come up with the name but now it feels like it just fits and I couldn’t imagine another one. I’m so glad you stopped by my blog for a visit.

        Have a VERY happy Monday tomorrow. πŸ™‚

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