I recently found myself fortunate enough to have a whole evening free and clear to do some crafting (a small miracle in itself), and to help make the night even more productive, I looked around the interweb for some good crafty podcasts that I could listen to whilst in the happy throes of 'making stuff'.
In my search, I stumbled upon (not too surprisingly...) a site called CraftyPod. Sadly, the very first post heading I read on the site was along the lines of "Why I'm Ending the CraftyPod Podcast", but alas, all the previous backlog of podcasts was still up on the site and available for perusal. Which is how I came across podcast #119 : Why Should You Plan Your Blog Posts Ahead?.
Immediately it hit a chord with me, because lately I've been dedicating some thought to my Shelbyville blog, trying to decide in what direction I plan to take it. Now into my 8th year of blogging, and with life veering me off on a radically different course to what I was doing back in 2005/06/07/08/09/10/11 and even 2012, I feel I need to take stock and actually apply a bit of forward planning to the ol' blog. I felt an urgent need to sit down and work out why I actually want to blog, what my aims are, and how do I move forward from here... As a designer, I don't mind a bit of strategising, so I grabbed my trusty notebook & pencil and nutted out some answers to these pressing questions...
8 years ago I started Shelbyville as a way to document and share my creative journey and goings-on. I started to write about and photograph all the best projects I was working on, and I used my blog to promote the creative events or happenings that I was interested/involved in. And over the years, all that collected data has become a wonderful record of how my creative life (and my life in general) has evolved and changed and developed. Unwittingly perhaps, I've created a bit of a personal legacy.
On this idea about 'legacy', I did read a thought-provoking quote (in a related post on ProBlogger.com):
"Act as if you’re writing to one person you respect, and think about the message you’re sending to your future grandchildren (who will see everything you leave on the web)"
And it's good advice. And an interesting thought.
From these musings I realised that that's always been my aim for Shelbyville: to document & record all the good creative stuff; to share my projects & learnings & useful information with my friends/audience; and to create a legacy for me and my family >> this is the journey of my life, it will be online for future generations to see, and will ultimately help tell my creative story when I look back on it in years to come.
It was good to take a moment to renew my perspective on blogging, and it helped reaffirm the incentives to continue dedicating time to blogging - which will be especially necessary (and difficult) in the next few months when life will be taken up with both a newborn baby and an active toddler! I'll need all the incentives I can get!
So, once I'd established the fundamentals (i.e. my aims & the blog's reasons for being), I spent an hour or so mapping out some future posts, based on the tips offered in CraftyPod's podcast (and a few other linked blogs/sites too). And now finally I have a clearer view of where to go from here. Ah, moments of clarity, aren't they such beautiful things...?!
It makes me want to jump right in and start working on my next post, here and now!... And I think I just might ;)