Tag Archives: Blogging

The past, present and future

You may have noticed that I have been dusting off my lovely blog space. In the spirit of the fast approaching new year I have been doing some thinking….what to do next? As I had a browse around this little space of mine it occurred to me just how much I have changed over the time and how this blog has adapted to change with me.

The beginning

When I started this blog I was so, so, nervous of the scary would of the web. It took me ages to work up the courage to start . Once I had got over this fear then I had to think about what on earth I would write about, then the name, then the look……Oh it was endless. In the end however the name that I chose summed it all up pretty well. I started off writing about running, knitting (and a bit of crochet). The trouble was it didn’t stay as simple as that.

The focus

In the beginning the main focus quickly became the wire jewellery that I was making. I was very driven and aimed to produce 1 piece per week. I then started to add to the running pages – race reviews and simple advice. As I was going along, I learnt a lot and so decided that I would start to include how to regarding blogging hence the page entitled blogging tips. See, very organic.

Moving on

After a while I was invited to blog for a local jewellery shop and so was making a lot of jewellery…….jewellery then became the big focus with some knitting and running thrown in for good measure. More recently there has been a bit of sewing thrown in too.

The slow decline

When I started this blog I wasn’t working but was bringing up my lovely children. I have since started working again, gradually increasing my hours each year until I am now virtually full-time (in work time if not contact). This is the reason the blog has slowly started to fade away. I simply do not have much spare time. I do still knit, crochet, sew, run but, it seems, not blog.

So where now?

I honestly don’t know. This little space doesn’t feel like me anymore and a lot of it is out of date….. so….do I do a major overhaul? Start again? I have no idea. The one thing that is clear is that I am very passionate about what I do. I also believe the benefits that running/knitting/crocheting and sewing can have on individuals is huge. I have a lot of knowledge and it feels right that I share it. On the other hand I am no expert. A somewhat smaller point is that I love the community that I am ‘occasionally’ part of. There are some awesome people out there and I don’t just want to fall away completely from everyone. One friend suggests that I just go to Facebook – easier and quicker to update?

The future

If I strip everything back I get back to the beginning – what I want to write about is running, knitting, crocheting and sewing (I am not at all averse to jewellery making either but it is just not that high on my list of priorities right now). The blogging tips are probably way out of date now, as are the links to knitting and crochet tips although I haven’t checked. Does this mean that I should simply overhaul the blog? Probably.

My Idea

The one thing that I do know I want to do (although how doable it truly is, I am not sure) is that I want to share my coming marathon journey with everyone. I want to show everyone that I am simply an ordinary person like them. I do not find it easy, I have loads of obstacles that are in my way all the time but I am just far more stupid than them. I want people to see that they could do what I am doing. I suppose I also want people to understand why I do it – what the positives are that I get from it as well. The big questions is how do I get all this across?

Vlogging

Someone mentioned to me the idea of vlogging. I really like this as what better way is there to show everyone what it is really like other than seeing what a mess I get into and what the emotions are that I go through at the time? I just am not sure whether I can really do it. I know that I haven’t got time to edit it but then would that matter? I am not after a polished thing as I really want people to see everything, warts and all otherwise there isn’t really any point. Am I brave enough? I really don’t know.

Help!

Do you have any insights? What is the best way to achieve my aims? What do you see as the answer to the future of this blog? Come on you lovely people…….give me your wonderful ideas. What would work for you? (My children are horrified of the idea of me vlogging which kind of makes me more determined to do it!!!!:))

 

 

Where will blogging take you?

I have been blogging for just over two years now and I can say without any doubt at all, it has changed my life. It is no secret that when I started off I was determined to hide my true identity from the whole of social media. Plain and simply I was scared. It didn’t help that I had been a very shy teenager and young adult.

Source

Gradually my confidence has grown. I have ‘met’ loads of amazing people that have inspired me, supported me and encouraged me. Most of them I have never met, nor will I, but that does nothing to lesson the part that they play in my life. I am eternally grateful.

During my time blogging I have tried to enable people to join the party with my tips for blogging. I really try to give something back. Gradually, my confidence increased and when I had a nasty mole removed I felt able to share my story ..

I still have tried to keep my true identity a secret but that ends today, right now. Regular readers will know that I was lucky enough to get a ballot place for the London Marathon. I then decided that I wanted to take this opportunity to raise money for

 following my experiences with Post Natal Depression. Again, I wanted to give something back.

Sharing my experiences on here was OK. It was relatively easy as I feel really comfortable and will not have to meet anyone face to face. Then I had a message from Emma Higginbotham, a writer at my local newspaper. Would I allow her to do a feature? hmmm that was a bit harder as it is local, people I know would read it……Nervously I said yes.

It. Was. The. Best. Decision. Ever.

I am so pleased that I did it. It was published yesterday and I couldn’t have been happier. Emma did an amazing job. You can read it, in its entirety here (and see what I look like – I hope I don’t disappoint!) Without my blogging this would have never happened.

Newmarket News masthead

I set out with the aim of helping just one person. I am now getting greedy. Please share this, to help get the word out. It is not something to be shamed of and you can recover. I never thought that I would….but I did. I have never felt judged when I managed to admit it. It is my way of saying thank you to the people who helped me. I want to return their favour and help others. Together we can be stronger and get rid of the stigma.

Thank you. x

 

A Virtual Hug

I have just read this post from Notsogranny. At the end I wanted to give her a huge hug. I so recognised the feelings that she was experiencing, in fact I had been so caught up in my own ‘problems’ that I had failed to see how she was feeling. (Bad, bad friend).

source

It is no secret that this has been a tougher than usual week for me and, yes, I had let myself get a bit melodramatic and caught up in it but perspective is a funny thing. I view Joanne’s life as a real achievement, something that is to be aspired to but failed to recognise that her life, like mine has its ups and downs too. Yes she has a wonderful family, built up an amazing business around her teaching, designing, tech editing and producing but there are times when burn out happens to her as well.

Not So Granny

Source

We all get so busy, caught up in all sorts of amazing, exciting opportunities that sometimes it is hard to step back and remember who we are and what is truly important to us. My illness should not really come as a surprise as I had been saying for a little while that something needed to give. It turns out that this is my health!  I am a firm believer that everything that we encounter makes us who we are. I may have started today morose but I am not going to end it that way.

Last night I got out my wire and had a go at doing some wire hearts. I had a play and enjoyed myself. I relaxed a bit.

This is the biggest heart.

This is the biggest heart.

A middly sized heart.

A middly sized heart.

A tiny heart.

A tiny heart.

 

That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed everything that I have been doing recently. I have. A lot. But I do push myself. Constantly. I am always trying to learn new things and take on something new. Even this week, when I was ill in my bed I ‘took the opportunity to have a go at Viking Knit’. Hmmm yes, even when ill I am pushing myself.

The beginnings of a Viking knit

The beginnings of a Viking knit

So, going forward I am going to try to step back a bit, and take a bit more time. I am writing this here so you can all remind me. Starting from now. I don’t think that I am going to defer my marathon. I may not be preparing in quite the way that I expected, or even, be able to quite achieve what I wanted to but I am not an elite athlete. I am going to go out there and enjoy myself. It is an experience that I am going to enjoy. I had a *cough* big birthday this week. Life is for living in the best way possible for you in the here and now. I am going to try to remember this. Always.

Source

If you are having a wobble for what ever reason then please accept a hug from me. Life is busy, it even gets in the way but whatever you are doing try to enjoy it. xx

So that was 2014……

I cannot believe that I am sitting here on the very last day of 2014. In equal amounts it seems ages, but also no time at all since I did this a year ago.

2014 the year that saw

a break in blogging (boo, far too much work :()

a very nasty chest infection (which caused me to miss running the London Marathon 😦 )

less crafting than I would like ( again I blame the work).

On a more positive note it saw:

Probably the thing I am most proud of in 2014.

In my eyes my biggest crafting achievement of 2014.

Another thing that I am very proud of was this headline that appeared in a local newspaper:

How teacher Alice, of Burwell, battled postnatal depression and won – and will run the London Marathon for Mind

Source thanks to Cambridge Evening News

I was finally able to talk about my experiences with Post natal depression.

Here are a few more:

I also learnt how to knit colour strand using both hands (something else that I am proud of.)

So what about 2015?

– more blogging (I hope).

– more running (I need to do the marathon this year or I lose my chance)

– I need to get on top of WordPress as during my break they changed things and I am not sure that all the posts I have written have actually been published :()

– dressmaking

– a bit of knitting and crochet along the way.

Here’s to a lot of adventures and great things for 2015,

Enjoy,   Alice.xx

2015

Adding links into your posts.

DaniellaJoe has asked me how I put in the direct links within my posts. I figure that others may not know so thought I would do a quick post as it is something that is really useful to know how to do. It is also easier to explain with pictures rather than just words.

1. Highlight the word you want the link to appear in.

2. Click on the chain-like icon.

link copy

3. This screen then pops up. Simply paste your web page address and click on the add link. It should then work. 🙂

paste

Note:

If you cannot see the link icon make sure that you have highlighted part of the text. If you still cannot see it then you may need to click on the kitchen  sink icon:

kitchen

Finally, if you want to break the link then highlight the ‘link word’ and click on the ‘broken chain’ which appears to the right of the link one.

Really hopes that this makes sense – please ask if you need any clarification. Hope this helps DaniellaJoe?

Blogging Buddies

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who responded to last weeks post about my proposal regarding supporting people with starting blogging. It seems that there is interest, or at least some people have some questions which they would like answered. I am really sorry not to have got around to you all, but I will try to. These two weeks are supposed to be my ‘holiday’ although I cannot keep away totally 😉

Last week I did say that we would not start until September when everyone (in England) would be back from their holidays and possibly back into some routine (which includes me). There are two weeks until the start of September but for those of you who are starting from scratch there are two things that you need to start thinking about now as they are crucial to the rest. The first of these is what are you going to call your blog? The second is which theme you are going to use?

Source.

So how do you choose a name? This isn’t completely crucial as people do change their names successfully but it is worth some consideration. I know I didn’t find it that easy to finally plump on something. For one, it seems to be such a big thing when you are starting out, so final and  totally important.  When I wrote about this the last time I summarized the points about choosing your name in the following way:

When thinking of a name –

1) think about what you will be writing about (it doesn’t have to be linked but is definitely a good starting point).

2) Check to see if the name is already in use through Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.

3) If you wish to keep your real identity a secret then consider opening an e-mail account under your chosen name.

4) It may also be a good idea to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr account under the same name at the same time. It depends what you think you will use but it saves your name being taken by someone else in the meantime. You do not have to do anything with them to start with.

I still stand by all of this. One of the comments on Twitter last week was that not knowing what to write about was stopping a blog being started.  I can understand this despite my subject matter being pretty clear to me (although it has evolved over time). I started out wondering if I would be able to find enough to write about. Turns out I have more than enough now I have got going!

Two things happened to me today that made me really determined to carry on with this project:

The first was a blog post that I read by an amazing person that I have been following since I started blogging. Running thriver is a truly amazing person. The lengths to which she went to in order to push her body to the limit were inspirational. This was all really in response to an incident in her history that she overcame (or was getting over). Over the year and a bit that I have followed her she has changed a lot. She is now in a happy place and I couldn’t be more pleased for her. I am still filled with admiration for her. She has used her experiences, been very open about them, written about them and is now helping others to ‘survive’ themselves and not just through her blogging. Her post today was a reflection on her journey and a thanks. It was brilliant to read. Blogging has helped her and I have no doubt helped others as well. I just wish I could be so open about some of the events in my own life so I could also maybe help others.

The second incident was a piece on the radio about people being bullied at school. Many of us will have been in that situation but this one bloke was able to put a positive slant on it, looking at how it has helped him as an adult. It made me stop and think about my school life and what I gained from it. It stopped me thinking that it was a part of my life that I would rather forget but a part of my experiences that has now made me what I am today.

All this is my rather long-winded way of saying that we all have had experiences, have skills and knowledge that can help others make sense of their own life. They may not be dramatic as in the Running Thriver but to someone your knowledge, experiences and interests will be helpful and of interest. It is worth writing it down. There are blogs on weight loss, bringing up children, teaching, travel, politics, craft, poetry, music, food. You name it, it will be there. (Google it.) Try searching for blogs about something that interests you – maybe that will help? If you are still stuck I know that WordPress has prompts for you to write about as well as others who provide something similar. Your life will have something interesting to someone out there, even if it highlights how different it is to their own.

Source

Finally Alanna from Freebleed shared her concerns with me about whether her blog hasn’t got enough focus. (I will reply in detail to you Alanna, I promise) but for now I will say that I recently  I had this panic. I wrote a whole post on it and the feedback was amazing. Basically people said that it is more about me rather than the subject matter. it comes down to relationships. If you are with friends you don’t just talk about the one or two things you have in common do you? You cover a range of subjects and, in a way blogging is similar. Be genuine and true to yourself. That is the best advice I think that I have ever read about blogging.

Source

For more advice about choosing a name have a look at this.

If you have a blog already how did you choose your name?

If you haven’t yet got one what are you considering? What are your options and what are the reasons behind them? If you share them we can all give you a bit of feedback which may well help with a decision – we will not be at all biased.

If you would like to write a post on your own blog about the story behind your blog name then please share with the link below:

Please Help Me.

I have a bit of a conundrum about this blog. As you are the ones that read this (and for which I am very grateful) I thought it best that I share this with you and allow you to share your views with me.

In the beginning…

The name of this blog is knitnrun4sanity. I started out writing about my knitting, crochet and running. Simple and fairly self-explanatory. Occasionally I would write about something completely random but mostly I stuck to the identified topics.

Then….

A few months ago I took the step to write about blogging, how to set it up, tips that I have learnt etc. Nothing to do with the title directly but, according to the feedback and comments, something that people found useful.

Now…..

Even more recently I started writing the Blog for a bead shop called Spoilt Rotten Beads. In order to write that blog I have been making jewellery. Not knitting, not crochet and not running. I aim to write three posts a week for both blogs. Something which most of you will be aware takes a lot of time, especially when you consider the time it takes to make, photograph and research items and subjects for each of these posts.

So the problem is….

  1. I have spent a lot of time building up this blog. I enjoy the relationships and interactions that come from this and I am reluctant to stop.
  2. I also am enjoying building up the other blog and want to give it my full energy and effort that it deserves. (I am not being paid but, in a way, I feel like it is a paid job.)
  3. The summer holidays are coming up and my time will be way more limited with three children running around all day.
  4. I have come to write my Handmade Monday post and have not got nearly as far on with my broomstick Crochet as I would have liked to. This makes me feel sad and as if I am letting people down as the content is not really as it should be.

So do I……

  • Go for more of a crossover between the blogs? This is something that I have been trying to limit as far as possible because :
  1. I am worried that my content is becoming too broad and therefore the readers will start to feel that they are no longer getting what they signed up to get.
  2. The name no – longer reflects what I am writing about.
  • Change the name of this blog so I can write about all the things without feeling that I am duping anyone e.g: knitnrunnbead4sanity? (except for all the wonderful people who have already signed up to follow me before the change.)
  • Do nothing and carry on as before?
  • Change the name to an umbrella term such as Uniquely Alice which is the name of the shop that is almost, but yet to open? (I have also just got a load of business cards with knitnrun4sanity all over them)
  • Reduce the number of posts I do? (which feels a bit like neglect to me).

And Finally

I follow a lot of blogs….a lot of very interesting blogs that I enjoy very much. There are a lot more out there that I would like to follow but, at the moment I am struggling to keep up with all the ones I am already following. In short I am spending too long doing all this ‘blogging’ but am unable to see (or unwilling) to know what to change. Maybe I don’t really need to do anything.

I cannot be the only person who feels like this, or has been through this before. Can I?

I would really, really love to know what your views on this whole conundrum is.

Before I go this is the progress on the broomstick crochet diary cover. The broomstick crochet is all done (I really enjoyed that part). I am now on the more mundane part of trying to fit it onto the cover of the diary.

The front.

The front.

The inside

The inside

I also made a bracelet for a christening but that is not crochet, knitting, running or blogging so not sure if I can show that on here yet 😉

I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour where there are people who know what they are doing. I shall now spend a happy hour or so catching up with their makes this week. Fancy joining me?