Twelve years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Blogspot was brand new, and I’d never heard of wordpress. Or blogging.
I opened a new draft and wrote “Let’s see what this does.” For these 12 years, that’s pretty much been what’s happened here.
I’ve written, and learned. I’ve shared a lot of crazy words, a few good ones, and a lot of living with the web. And it scared me sometimes. Writing is an art. It’s one I’m very much still attempting to master. But I’ve learned a lot in 12 years. Enough to know that what “blogging” meant 12 years ago is not what “blogging” means today. And enough to know that in 12 years, it’ll have changed all over again.
A part of my heart resists the changes. I miss the old days of long newsy posts. Of comments instead of likes. I miss the days when blogging wasn’t about all the rules, or about trying to make a living, but about making connections.
And as time went on, I found that I didn’t think I could do it. I couldn’t follow all the rules. I couldn’t keep up with all the latest trends. I just wanted to write, but words started to trickle instead of flow. It was all fog and fragments.
Life got hard and personal. I lost people I cared about. The things I wanted to say couldn’t be said in public places. And I was so tired of always trying to find the balance between sharing too little or too much. Tired of the fog and the fragments. Tired of trying to figure it all out when it came to directions and this bloggy space.
The thought of walking away from writing was a crazy one. But I considered it. I stopped opening up pages only to spend hours late at night staring at the empty spaces with everything to say but nothing to write.
I stopped because I realized that my blogging journey had been good, but that in order to continue, I had to reinvent my blog. I had to take a step back and stop trying to force myself and my blog into the mold without accounting for the fact that along with blogging, I’ve grown and changed too. And that is how it should be.
I needed to figure out where I wanted to go from here, and what I wanted now from my blog. I needed to figure out how to make writing a part of my new life and to align with my current seasons and focuses instead of it just being one more thing that I thought I needed to do.
Words–they have and always will be a part of my life. But how blogging works, and how it looks for me can’t always stay the same.
So in January, I did something a little crazy. I took the last 12 years of me “seeing what this did” away.
Not because I’m ashamed of my journey. I’m proud of how I’ve grown, and unspeakably grateful for the people who have been a part of my life for so long, and the opportunities God has given me along the way.
I took it away because for me, after 12 years very little is the same in my life. And because now I know more about blogging, there are some things that I would do differently–that needs to be different than it was back when I started. And I needed a fresh start.
I was a bit scared and sad to remove so many pages of the history of my blogging journey, but I felt instantly relief. I could finally start figuring out what I needed to do and not be held back by what my blog use to be like. I knew I’d done the right thing.
That was January 1.
Since then, I’ve let the dust settle. It’s done a lot of good. As I continue to work hard on growing as a Virtual Assistant, and to reach the place that our little family needs so much right now, I needed blogging to work with me and not be just one more thing going in a completely different direction. I needed a place for an outlet, but I needed to be able to focus my energy a little more, too.
And finally, I think I’ve started to get some of the clarity I’ve been waiting for. I think I know what I need to do and what my blog will be like for this season. I’m excited about it. It’s been far too long since I’ve had a direction for this blog.
So what’s changing? Well, maybe not a lot of obvious stuff.
But I’m excited to write more about books (because I’m not going to stop reading, anytime soon!), and sharing more about some of the things I’m excited about and about some of the journeys we’re taking right now towards our dream of living more self sustainable lives, and of my work at home dreams. Because really, all I ever wanted to be was a farming family. And I’m willing to do what it takes to get closer to that dream. Because we really need it.
So…12 years after my first post, I’m hitting publish again and thinking, “Let’s see what this does… Again.”