I try not to flood this blog with my self-indulgent thoughts and feelings. Who wants to hear that? Not even me, and I think you just want to look at crafts. But, I’ve been reading Diane Gilliland’s thoughtful posts about the sustainability of free over at CraftyPod and I wanted to share some thoughts and ask about why you read this blog.
As the new year begins, I’m thinking about the direction of this blog. I started The Long Thread over four years ago, partly to promote my embroidery business (now closed) and partly to give me a creative outlet. I won’t get into the psychological motivations for blogging — catharsis, self-affirmation, a desire for community, greed, narcissism, career promotion or something else entirely. It’s different for everyone and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I’ve been lucky enough to turn this into a part-time career by writing a book, contributing to publications and soliciting advertisements for the blog. But I’ve reached the point where I need a more full-time job and like everyone else, I need to make money and find fulfillment in my work.
I put a good deal of time into this blog and I’m now realizing that it’s at the expense of other work I could be doing. I’ve been thinking of several possibilities to make things work better for me, and hopefully make you happy too. One is to go full force with the blog, offering loads of free projects while accepting more advertisements. I’d need to hire some help. But my reluctance here is that I might find myself in a business model where you as a reader aren’t sure what’s motivating my posts. Right now I accept ads from independent handmade and craft supply businesses, many run by one person at home, likely with a toddler running around her feet as she fills orders. When I get inquiries from the bigger companies, I recoil. I never write posts for compensation and I never will. So I’m just not sure how to make that option work for me without sacrificing some of the ideals that made me love craft blogs in the first place.
Another option is to start work on another book. But I’m still waiting to see this one on the shelves and see your reaction to it. And this book-writing thing was a major time commitment. I’m not sure if I’m ready to abandon my family again for 6 months. I ate, slept and breathed that book. (Well that sounds kind of gross; I hope you get a clean copy.) But I do have lots more projects that I’m excited to share in a book at some point.
A third option is to pick up work where I can. Promote the blog advertisements more, work on projects for publications, or maybe do some more graphic design work, which I’ve really been enjoying lately. I’d also love to work on fabric design at some point, but it would have to be just the right opportunity.
I would really love to hear from you about why you read this blog, what you’d like to see more of, and maybe what kinds of things you do with the ideas here — make things, watch me make things, buy things, etc.
So there, you got lots of my self-indulgent thoughts today. In fact, I’m feeling a bit nauseated just re-reading this post, but thanks for listening. How much do I owe you?