18 August 2014

Why I write - and a blog hop

Do you ever wonder how a blog post comes to life? Sometimes it's as easy as words flowing like silken water onto the page or incredible mind-blowing photos that accompany every single post. And yes, I'll admit some days are like that. Other days it's a hard slog and you backspace more than you type, and you critically find yourself wondering whether it's even worth hitting the Publish button because is anyone going to be even the slightest bit interested in what I've got to say?

 



I was tagged by the effervescent and talented Miriam at Create Hope Inspire whose own creative processes you can read about here. I have had the pleasure of meeting Miriam on a couple of occasions and she is the spunkiest breath of fresh air you can possibly imagine. She and her family are currently experiencing an expat life in Adelaide, and I love how Miriam has already embraced finding some wonderful, unique places in the city. Her weekly series on Learning Together and Becoming the Mama I want to Be are just two examples of the amazing love and time she's willing to put into growing great human beings. Oh and did I mentioned how handy she was with a sewing machine? I didn't? Well she also Makes my Week here.

So over to me to think about how and why I do what I do:

What am I working on?


This may be obvious (or not!) but lately on the blog I’ve pulled back from posting 4-5 times a week and some weeks I'll be lucky to do three. Since I’ve been upping the ante with getting out for photo shoots around Wellington most weekends, something has had to give if I want to spend the time editing and processing all the photos I'm taking to a decent standard!

At the moment in life in general I feel like I have more creative stuff that I want to do than I can possibly handle and definitely not enough time to do it! Don't you hate that?! So here’s what’s on my want-to-do list:
  1. Set up a dedicated photography website – all I need to do is buy the domain name, start up a self-hosted wordpress site and use one of the great template designs I found specific to having a photography website. Sounds simple right?! Simple in principle, but requires some time investment for sure. So that'll be done in around 2018 at the rate I'm going!
  2. Sell some prints (set up an online shopping cart system through Etsy or Shopify). That can't really happen until I do point 1). So the ETA on that is 2023....(jokes!).
  3. Print some photos on canvas and/or other mediums ready for the Thorndon Fair (some friends and I - we call ourselves the Creative Chicas are going to have a stall at the fair on the first weekend of December). Exciting and scary at the same time!

How does my work differ from others in the genre? 


In terms of blogging I’m not entirely sure what makes my work unique other than the fact the design is my own and I think the sheer volume of landscape photos of late have expanded the overall feel from just being a family, travel, and sometimes crafty blog.
 


I’d still like to think my voice on my blog is unique – even if it is a mish-mash jumble of landscape photography, things I’m loving, portraits of the boys, reviews, crafts and recipes. One of the things I do is try very hard to focus on the positives for the most part – and whilst some might say this gives a warped impression of life being 'all roses' at our end which is far from the truth, I think it's important to keep perspective and that stopping to record the moments in life that are positive breeds an attitude of gratitude for this one wild and precious life we have been given.


Why do I write what I do?


I write about my boys week to week as I want to remember all the funny moments and special achievements that might otherwise easily pass me by. I write about my experiences while out taking photos of my gorgeous city, and I hope that the love I have for my home town shines through in these posts.
 


I have been so inspired by the creativity that abounds in the blogsphere and there are so many creative things I've been able to try myself as a result that I have then shared here. Who would have thought that my How to make a Death Star Pinata would be my most viewed post - with 15,000 views. Apparently there's a lot of Star Wars fans out there!
 



How does my writing process work?


I try to stay ahead of myself so I’m never faced with an empty week with no blog posts planned – that way if something unexpected crops up in the family schedule which invariably happens I’m not stressing that I have nothing to post. I used to mix it up and have a fairly set schedule of what types of posts I would do on a given day but now I just go with the flow for the most part – that in itself has been quite a freeing experience and has taken the pressure off.

 



Writing a photography based post is a bit different as the photos are the main course and the words more just like the sauce on the side to go with it. Even so, sometimes it's hard to come up with words to describe the places I've been and things I'm seeing without just saying 'hey look another nice sunrise' or 'wow more scenery!' but I try to tell the story of how I happened to be there on this particular day and how I captured my shots.




I am a bit of a perfectionist though so where some might be happy just to tap away, have a quick read through and hit 'Publish', often my posts are a bit more like write something....come back to it later and write some more.....edit....re-edit.....check...check....check some more.....hit Publish...and then WAAAAAH I can still always seem to find a mis-spelled word afterwards!! Or if not me, my Dad always does!

I'll often have a few drafts sitting as ideas in my posts to finish off at a later date, but if I come back to them and find I can't remember where I was going with it, I'll just delete at a later date. And I find myself composing blog post sentences in my head sometimes too.....do you do that too or is that just me?!

Either way I find the process of taking jumbled thoughts and crafting into something resembling a small essay, or at the very least a series of bullet points an enlightening experience. It's not always masterful or colourful or even that interesting to anyone but me I suspect, but I love it nonetheless. I guess that goes without saying as why else would I have written 1075 posts these past seven years?!

Anyway, it's time for me to hand this baton over to some lovely people whose every post I get so much enjoyment out reading. The first is the lovely Leonie over at Sunshine x 3. You certainly won't find a more talented creative mama whose delight and joy is her three girls and making beautiful things for the people she loves. I also love the fact that she is still very much committed to capturing her journey on her blog (when others have fallen by the wayside lately - ahem!) and her weekly Show & Tell links are a veritable feast for the craft senses. Most of the time I simply gaze in wistful awe of the things she creates - like gorgeous personalised quilts for her girls. Plus she has this amazing ability to make me smile on a Friday morning with links to great music that are usually previously unknown to me like Geronimo by Sheppard - a new family favourite in our house!
 
Another lovely lady I'd like to nominate is Sophie at Little Gumnut. Sophie writes the most beautiful heartfelt thoughts on her faith, she manages to write so eloquently about what's on her heart and every time I read a post I have come away feeling challenged or refreshed and usually both at the same time. One of my favourite posts so far, her post on believing God for the impossible in 2014 gave me some amazing insights into the things that I could be trusting God for if only I can scrape up a little mustard seed of faith. Also Sophie is on a health journey that I know all too well and it's nice to have another bloggy friend out there who knows what it's like with these challenges! I'm especially interested to hear how Sophie manages to come up with such beautifully written, spot-on-for-my-soul thoughts.

Last but definitely not least is my dear in-real-life-but-also-bloggy-friend Marie over at It's Marie Made. I've known Marie for a good few years now, and I have loved watching her creative talents simply blossom. She hasn't even been crocheting a year and unlike me who learnt one weekend and promptly forgot, she has been creating the most amazing creations ever since like this beautiful blanket that I got to see in progress being created, all of which get gifted to lovely people around her. Her transformation to creative queen has been quite epic and I'd love her to tell you what inspires her to write about her creativity!

So over to you lovely ladies now.....

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