Many thanks for your kind comments and e-mails after my "rally the troops" Handmade Holiday Grab Bag will-you-please-participate-plea post (say that fast three times over) yesterday. Since so many of you already have that book I'm offering the choice of my Autumn Spice Cake soap instead to the winner.
Now onto this post, which just so happens (I wrote this weeks ago) to come a day after I shared my vulnerability about hosting a Handmade Holiday Grab Bag. An unintended double whammy of blog navel gazing.
Writing about the behind-the-scenes of blogging seems personal to me, a bit like hanging old undies on a clothesline. Wait... I do that all the time and have no shame so it should be no problem to bare my blogging soul.
I'm going to get right down to it here (not my undies but baring my blogging soul) and then explain why I feel the need to do this.
Purpose & Mission
The purpose of FIMBY is to share the beauty and tell the story of our family life as seen through my lens as a mother, homemaker and homeschooler. In spite of challenges, hardships and the normal ups and downs of living, I feel my life is beautiful and I want to celebrate and be thankful for that gift.
My mission is to:
- have fun (this blog is called Fun In My Back Yard)
- grow my creative talents
- meet people and participate in community
- encourage and inform
That last point seems a bit presumptuous to say. So I want to clarify that what I share comes from my own experience. I am not an expert and I do not assume to have the answers for someone's life.
I don't have an overarching message for my readers except maybe to live life to the fullest, plant some flowers, and be kind to one another (message to myself most days).
I'd like FIMBY, but more importantly my life, to be a bright point of light in this world. Words are easily written but living is the real thing. My daily life is the true evidence of what I believe and value. What I share here, the words and photos, is just the re-telling of bits and pieces of our family story.
My first ever watercolor "painting", using our Prismacolor watercolor pencils
I am naturally driven to do well at the things I value. And I desire to "do well" at blogging. Being a successful blogger though does not mean earning money. I am a successful mother and cook yet I have never earned a cent for either of these.
Having said that, I will not categorically turn down the opportunity to earn money from the effort I spend creating this blog. But I will not earn money at FIMBY with the promotion of overconsumption or irrelevant advertisements.
We envision this blog leading to opportunities for me to contribute financially to our family, when the time is right.
I would be lying if I said I don't want more readers. I do. I don't intend to change my writing, tell a certain story, or compromise my values for the purpose of attracting more readers.
I have a career. It's called full time homemaking, homeschooling and mothering. In this current life stage any endeavor, whether it be blogging or other creative work, must flow from that foundation, not take away from it. First things first.
In as much as my participation in blogging and other writing ventures allows me to accomplish my main life mission (caring for home and hearth) I will continue to do them. I also recognize that giving voice to my thoughts and pursuing this creative outlet contributes to my well being as a mother, wife and homemaker.
You may be wondering what brought on this barrage of blogging thoughts. A few things actually:
- I finished reading the ProBlogger book and was feeling some insecurities that I haven't monetized this blog.
- After watching the success of other bloggers in my "niche" (laughable really, I have no niche) I increasingly have felt the need to be clear on my own goals and purposes.
- I am disallusioned with a lot of mommy pro-bloggers and frustrated with the rising Martha Stewart trend in blogging. I thought it was was more constructive to define what FIMBY is than to be frustrated about what it is not.
- Recently I had the privilege of previewing the new e-book, Simple Blogging by popular blogger Rachel of Small Notebook. What a treat to read the scoop before it was released and offer my feedback. This my friends, is ProBlogger for the rest of us. Reading it got me thinking yet again about what I'm doing here and why I'm doing it. I recommend her book, which can be purchased here (this is not an affilate link).
- Opportunities are coming our way because of our blogs, FIMBY and ADVENTUREinPROGRESS. It's pretty exciting but I don't want to lose sight of my purposes for this blog and reach for something I never wanted in the first place.
Earlier this fall I had an intense couple week period of soul searching about this blog and answered a page of questions I wrote to myself. Here's a sampling of those questions:
- What is FIMBY's mission?
- What motivates me?
- Is FIMBY unique? Do I care?
- What is it I have to share?
But the question I kept coming back to was:
- What inspires me?
Natural beauty, creative expression, a good story, and honesty. Mothers who love and serve their families. Families living unique and intentional lives. Relationships that are dynamic and healthy.
This might sound kind of odd but FIMBY needs to inspire me. Not because I want to write about an inspiring life but because I want to live one.
This is not a story I want to spin. This is the story I want to live.
Ironically, in all the introspection and reflection that went into writing this manifesto (five pages of handscribbled notes), I found myself back where I started. My original purposes for blogging haven't changed all that much, just the look and feel (ie: better blog design and improved photography and writing).
I'm comfortable with the statements I have made in this baring of my soul. I have done likewise here and here and I like the accountability of making my intentions know to myself and to you, my reader. But I am giving myself permission to evolve in my blogging purposes, artistic expression, and professional aspirations. My family is growing and situations change. And I am open to the opportunities that will come along with that.
I want to thank you for reading along. This would not be the same rewarding experience without people reading and contributing. Your participation means more to me than I care to admit. Thank you.