I'm back from my trip! I had a wonderful time, though my plan of posting about it while I was there fell through because, well...every trip, you forget something. It's generally not anything imperative, and if it were, you can generally replace it. I usually forget my pajamas. Not this trip. This trip, I forgot a two-to-three prong adapter - an essential item for me to be able to re-charge my laptop. Thus, computer usage was limited to one full battery for the whole trip, not counting my time on the airplane (which had chargers at each seat - how cool is that??)
More about the trip in future posts. That's not today. Today, I celebrate a major milestone. This is the 100th post in this blog! I've debated a lot about what to write here, and I find I still don't have a damn clue what I really want to say in this post. But that's never stopped me from opening my mouth before...
I technically started this blog in early September over on the Hive, but within a couple of days, I decided to port it over to a blogger blog instead. At the time, I'd previously made two attempts at keeping topical blogs - one in 2007, about the Wheel of Time series of books, and the second earlier in 2010, about the New York Mets. Both had died quick, quiet deaths. My other blog, a personal blog on LJ, had seen periods of heavy and light use, but for the past couple years I'd been lucky to manage one post a month. As such, I felt that my potential for sustaining a blog long term were pretty damn poor. I even started the very first blog post of this brand new blog with a semi-defensive apology about my chances of succeeding at this task.
My thinking has changed so much since then that it's rather fascinating. Then, I was not looking at the craft business with much optimism. I enjoyed it, and I had a few patterns out there and a few friends who bought my photography cards occasionally, but anything termed "success" seemed like a pipe-dream, and I had only vague ideas how to build a following for a FB page, a blog, or my work. I had joined Ravelry only a week before, and had just joined the Hive, too, and it was starting to look like increasing my social networking potential might be a good way to proceed if I was serious about this. But I can't say I had much idea what I had in mind, only that this seemed like another way to really try to grow my tiny craft business.
Since then, my idea of what I want and what I'm doing has really solidified. I want to make this in to a profitable business. That is far from saying that I want to make this in to a business that is my livelihood. Instead, I just want to make a steady, consistent amount more than what I spend on it. I want to keep building a web presence. I want to be one of the small fish in the amigurumi ocean, someone who people might even think of, and have some idea what my work looks like, even if they have never considered buying from me. I want to keep making new online (and, I hope eventually, real life) friends, and continue to build this feeling that I am a part of a community of awesome, interesting, talented people that I can aspire to be like.
This blog has turned out to be a major part of these efforts. I'd say, before I tried to do this, that I thought that running a craft business was mostly about crafts. I thought that if I could make a nice enough product fast enough for little enough money, success would follow. I knew there was more to it than that, but I had only a vague idea what that more was. Now I understand that balancing this online interaction is almost as important, and I find that I really enjoy keeping this blog. I think about what I can do future posts about, not just about what I'm currently working on or have finished, but about other things that I think will be useful. I actually keep a private, unposted post with ideas for future posts (hence, google is telling me that this post is actually my 101). It's changed my thinking in other regards, too - while I was on my recent trip to Bali, I encountered a few unusual and interesting craft-related things, that perhaps 6 months ago would have been only of passing curiosity to me, but now, knowing that I keep this blog, I spent more time with these things because I knew that a post about these things would be interesting (and it will be my very next post, in fact!)
It's more than that, though. Keeping a blog helps me craft more and craft better. I so look forward to sharing my work with others, and receiving feedback (negative or positive!) I love taking inspiration from the work that these friends have done, too. Sure, it takes time away from doing the actual work, but I feel that the support that I receive makes up for that.
As to the future for this blog, well, it's more of the same. Continuing to discuss the crafts and photography that I'm doing. Continuing to try to get up the occasional educational posts (they take a lot more time and energy, so when I get busy I stop doing them, but they're in the works...). Continuing to share progress and set-backs and newly released patterns. Continuing, in a general sense, to consider how I can use a blog to help support my business. And I'm looking forward to it!