What happens when the girl who loves to document gets lost in thought? Well, it seems that she just abandons the keyboard altogether. Oof!
I guess you could say it was a whole lot of nothing and a ton of everything, all at once.
Firstly, we moved to a more rural community (read: the internet speed here is the pits!). Without a good reliable high-speed internet connection, editing and posting videos became a task I couldn’t sustain. I absolutely love teaching by demonstration but slow uploads just took all of the fun out of that aspect of CreativLEI. Fast-forward, right now four of our children are home for virtual instruction while we wait for the schools to fully reopen when safe.
Speaking of said children…
My kids started growing up!
When I first began blogging in 2006 (good grief that was the prehistoric age of mommy-blogs), I only had three children. They were young, I was knee-deep in the physically exhausting aspect of parenting, and sharing our stories was an amazing creative outlet for me and an excellent way to keep our family and friends clued-in to our daily life. We had a handful of more children and life got busier but we continued to share our stories openly.
But when more than a few of my children started getting old enough to create and manage their own digital footprint (and their lives started being more complicated than curriculum choices, extracurricular activities, and favorite hobbies), it became more important to me to preserve their right to be the primary sharer of their own stories.
If you’ve ever tried to talk about parenting without oversharing your kids’ potential blackmail fodder, you’ll understand why I could no longer “just” write about life.
Why don’t I just share art tutorials?
That would be the easiest solution, wouldn’t it? Well… If I’m being honest that would end up being pretty unsatisfying to me because I truly do enjoy writing. I’m a story-teller. I’ve kept diaries and journals for as long as I could remember. The challenge I have is to figure out how to write about life without sharing the aspects that should be preserved for the kids to tell.
Building my digital platform became unimportant.
For years I attended blogging conferences and webinars about how to grow.
Grow my following, my income, my reach.
However, each “right” step I took felt less and less like “ME” and became just plain exhausting.
Plus, with our move to a new community, some of my children started entering the local school system, I started spending more time helping at the local dance studio, our family’s schedule started getting fuller and more spread out. There just wasn’t as much time to sit at the laptop to write, edit, and post.
We became busy with life.
The funny thing about an evolving life is that you end up with a ton more to write about and infinitely LESS time to write it!
Face-to-face connections are irreplaceable.
I cannot tell you how much I value the ability of the internet to make the world a little smaller and connect people who might not ever meet “in real life.” But, there are some things that truly are best shared between intimate friends. Friends you see on good days and bad. Friends that pass the tissues when you’re crying. The friends that show up when you can’t leave the house. The ones who know the worst parts of your story and are your biggest cheerleaders anyway.
For me, this meant relearning how to invest in my “real-life” relationships during face-to-face encounters. A VERY tall order for an introvert who much prefers the self-controlled conversation that a blog provides. It’s ugly, but it’s true.
It is time to find a balance between the two worlds.
One of the (many) perks of two-thirds of my half-a-dozen kids now being teens (and one graduated from high school) means that they are more independent and require less of the physically-there momma.
This new-found flexibility has allowed me to explore more opportunities to grow my art throughout my community, to teach at the dance studio, and to build new and deep friendships. My next step is to get reacquainted with my keyboard. I have so much I still want to share with you!
More of our story (as much as my family is comfortable sharing), more of my art, and more of the tutorials that help YOU create art!
How did you first find CreativLEI?
I want to know more about you! Are you here to learn lettering (or other crafty things)? A young mom looking for a light to guide you through the exhausting tunnel of lots of little kids? An older mom looking for camaraderie among the like-minded?
Tell me a little about you in the comments!