Blogging: it’s where I started 10 years ago, sharing my crochet makes (can you believe?), wedding DIYs and then sewing. Soon after that, social media became a thing (ok, I’m giving away my age a bit- but who remembers before Whatsapp? MSN messenger and dial up internet!?)

What happened next was: I started posting more and more on Instagram, and less and less on my blog. It was quick, easy and people started commenting, interacting and following me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an incredible few years on Instagram and I still can’t believe how many people follow my account. I love the community Instagram has helped build- from the friendships made, to the practical sewing help/advice you can find (I don’t make a pattern without checking out the hashtag beforehand). It’s also a great place to have really interesting conversations and I love hearing peoples view points and learning so much them. It’s also meant that I have learnt about photography, styling and editing. But… (did you guess there was a ‘but’?), something has changed in the past year. I thought maybe I was the only one who felt it but it sounds like a lot of you have feeling the same. There’s been a shift in tone and the way we interact with one another. Sometimes there’s even been tension- from sharing of differing political views, #Ad controversy to eco-policing.

From a personal point of view, I’ve also felt a little pigeon holed.

Yes, I love sewing, and yes- it’s the craft I feel the most at home with. But my crafts have always rolled with the waves of my life, as has my commitment and time spent on them. Even before the pandemic, I was struggling to find the time to sew. After the pandemic, it wasn’t just time I lacked, but the energy and motivation too. I started to step back and refocus on why I crafted- for myself, for my mental well-being, to relax. I started doing ‘couch crafts’ – crafts I could flop on the sofa with at the end of the day, when I couldn’t bring myself to sit at the machine. Crafts that gave me something else to think about when the world (and my work) revolved around the pandemic. But with sharing those there became a shift in the way people responded to my posts. There were the occasional comments about me not posting much/re-sharing older makes. But quite frankly, those don’t bother me. I’ve never been a prolific maker- it doesn’t suit my lifestyle, the time I have to sew/create- or even my ethos. I’m a proud ‘slow sewer’ (or more like, a ‘sometimes-sewer’.) But generally it felt like people didn’t seem to like me talking about anything else?

And therein lies my issue. Reflecting on things, my issue was not that people didn’t engage or seem to ‘like’ my posts/what I was sharing or that they unfollowed me (you know I’m a big advocate of using the unfollow button…quietly). My issue is that *I* had noticed all of this. I had subconsciously fallen down the slippery social media slope and had started noticing the ups and downs of followers/engagement/likes. All that horrible stuff which we’ve been sucked into thinking matters. The ‘Algorithm’… Groan. And then alongside this, Instagram itself keeps reinventing it’s platform- from posts, to stories, IGTV and Reels pushing us further and further in a different direction. It feels like a job in itself to keep on top if it all.

I appreciate that for people who work off Instagram/run business on there, it’s a different situation. But for the average person like me, I really needed to reflect on it’s impact on my ego and self confidence. Last week I found myself feeling jealous of other people’s makes?!? I don’t want to feel that towards other people! And then how many of you have been excited to share something and then feel the come down when you see ‘only X amount of people commented/liked it’? In really simple terms, I don’t want my happiness to be tied to the number of likes a post gets. That’s not the reason I’m posting.

So I’ve had a rethink of why I’m there. I’m posting more general things and trying not to overthink it. I am a multifaceted person and it is my space after all, so it makes sense to do that. I’m posting because I enjoy it- not because I feel pressure to.

But this reflection has also made me yearn for a different way to do things. To have the freedom to write what I want, on a platform controlled by me. To have the space (and characters!) to just muse away. To have a place to record my makes, my successes and my failures without that feeling of pressure. And then it hit me- duh! My blog.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to be posting everything here and nothing on Instagram. I still love the platform! I know blogs aren’t for a lot of people- who has time to check in on a blog when Instagram has everything in one place? But isn’t that the beauty of the blog? That it’s there if you fancy it. If you don’t, then don’t read it! The control is with you as a reader. I’m still in two minds about the Newsletter thing- on one hand I like the idea of having that route of communication without having to rely on social media (and I know a lot of you are feeling the need to also step back for your own reasons) but also am 100% guilty of signing up for a newsletter and leaving them unread in my inbox. Sigh. It’s a balance right?

Anyway, from a personal point of view- you might see me pop up here more often from now on. I just want to take a step back and remind myself of why I loved blogging. After all, it’s where I started!

Love,

30 replies on “It’s complicated

  1. So great reading your blog posts, and I definitely feel a similar about Instagram. I’m thinking about starting a blog, more so recently with wanting to write and share more than just a snap shot. Also to share things that aren’t just crafting…gardening pursuits, baking, walking/hiking trips. I certainly enjoy reading your posts and really love to dive into a good blog post

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    1. Thanks Yasmeen, it’s definitely a different type of writing and is just so nice to have a space to muse. I’m sure you’d love it! Just dive in!

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  2. Hello, I recognise what you’re saying completely! I’ve only been on Instagram for a few months but I’ve already felt like I ‘should’ be posting, and making, more. Thanks for the timely reminder that social media is to be enjoyed – whatever, however it suits you.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Rumana! I 100% can empathize with how you’re feeling in regards to social media. It’s so easy to be swept away by things that feel like they matter, but don’t (likes/comments/engagement/etc) . I found myself nodding to every sentence in your article and it reminded me a lot of what I’ve been feeling as well (and have also documented on my blog for similar reasons 🙈).

    Keep doing you! You are awesome and a total inspiration ❤️

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  4. I am happy that blog posts are being written! I really enjoy seeing mentions of new blog posts on IG, and then coming over to the blog to read more. Also, I am sure I am one of many who are happy to read what you write, whatever the topic.

    My own blog (and IG!) has been very neglected the past year and a half as first a burn-out/depression was followed by the pandemic. I have also not had the extra anything to make or post anything. I am hoping there will be more posts on both platforms soon, since posting (for me) is generally a sign that I am doing well, making, and wanting to share.

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    1. Oh I hope so to! I think thats the great thing about blogging- you write it for yourself, if anyone else wants to read it thats nice bonus. But it’s really just for you. Hope you make you’re way back there soon!

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  5. I very much feel this post. I was never good at the whole documenting my makes thing, but recently I notice I keep stopping myself from posting anything that isn’t up to my entirely made up social media standards. When I do, I spend more time asking myself why xyz got more likes than me. Is it that my make is not as pretty or is it the algorithm? The thing is, this logic doesn’t belong to me – at all. It’s not my mindset and doesn’t suit me. I don’t recognise myself thinking these thoughts.
    I like blogging and love reading blogs (more than watching vlogs) but since the demise of bloglovin I struggle to keep track. I know I like blogging more because the only “competition” is with myself, I can’t check against anybody else’s blog engagement.

    Instagram is more fun these days because that’s where the interaction is… but the external pressure to compare myself to others kills all the fun. I heard in Australia for instance IG has removed the like count from public view, and are planning to make it optional elsewhere too. I can’t wait for it to happen – I know I would find it so very refreshing.

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    1. Yes I’ve heard about the removal of like counts! And I love your description of blogging- not being in competition. So spot on!

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  6. Laughing to myself as I read this, in Feedly, for all the reasons your sharing. I like Instagram in so many ways and am also exhausted by it and trying to keep seeing what I want it to be.

    Using a blog reader has been a decade long practice for me to see when the blogs I choose have something new for me to read when I’m ready. Separate from my inbox full of things I should or need to do.

    I’m looking forward to meeting you more here and seeing your couch makes from the margins of life and energy.

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    1. Thank so much! I feel like you might have cracked it with Feedly- need to check this out. I’m excited to share more!

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  7. I took my own step away from Instagram this year and added your blog to my feedly. This was a great post to see appear there — your considerations all resonate. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I am looking forward to reading future blog posts from you! 🙂

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  8. I hear you! I still review Instagram but I don’t post to it anymore. I do feel weird about consuming it only in one direction, but that’s what makes me feel best, so there it is. It’s too creepy & annoying w the ads, etc.

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  9. I’m so happy that you plan to blog more! I really enjoyed your blog back in the day and while I followed you to insta I really miss your longer form posts.

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  10. I look forward to reading more on the blog. I stumbled across your Instagram and loved seeing your projects but also reading what you have to say. I’m just starting out with a blog and likewise trying to figure out if I want to be sucked into the social media rabbit hole or going in the direction of Pinterest.

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    1. It’s a hard one- I think social media and blogs compliment each other, but it is hard not to get sucked into on over the other. Especially when social media is designed to keep us on there!

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  11. Hi Rumana. I’ve followed your blog and Insta for a while (without commenting until now), and I think it’s great that you’re thinking of shifting to what works for you and your approach to crafting. I actually prefer blogs to Instagram and I’ve really been missing all the sewing/crafting/lifestyle/philosophy/rambling (!) blogs I used to read that seem to have petered out with the rise of social media. I enjoy hearing all the details of how and why people make things and you just don’t seem to get that on Instagram. I hope you rediscover your blog-love!

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    1. Hi Emma! Thanks so much for this. I only realised how much I missed it after I wrote the blog post. It’s a completely different space. They can definitely compliment each-other but I think we’ve generally seen the scales tip to Instagram. Hopefully we’ll see them tip back! Thanks for the support!

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  12. I’m happy to read what you write wherever it is. I enjoy the instant gratification of Instagram, but also the deeper articles on your blog. So glad I found you from GBSW.

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  13. I’m thrilled you’ll be blogging more. I’m tired of the endless scrolling on Insta and am going to my blog feed more – excited to read your thoughts in this slower and more engaging format.

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