... George W. Bush was President
... Bobby Brown & Whitney Houston divorced.
... Wii was the hot Christmas gift
... Justin Timberlake bought Sexyback
... Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man's Chest was the top movie
... Steve Irwin was killed tragically
... American Idol was the top TV show - which was the year Taylor Hicks won... which may be the reason that was the last year American Idol was the top show
... & I STARTED BLOGGING!!!
I can't believe it has been 10 years TODAY. A full decade. Wow... where does the time go.
& you dont have to waste your time looking back - here's my first post
This is my first time blogging! I'm excited because I have an idea to show how my life goes. I am going to take pictures of things I see every day that I think are beautiful or amazing. I want to look back and see what draws my attention. A lot of it will be my knitting because it amazes me that 2 sticks (sometimes more) and a string of yarn can make something beautiful.
Exciting stuff, huh?
It's funny because I actually started this blog because I wanted to document my knitting. Hence the name, Knit by God's Hand.
I thought it was a good way to acknowledge my knitting, but also my love of Jesus. I also had the line that went with my blog name that said, "The Bible doesn't use the word KNIT for just any reason"... I have been corny since the beginning apparently.
It's funny to look back at my beginning posts because they were honestly like a few sentences - maybe a paragraph or two. Who knew how windy I could get. #dontaskmyhusband
But man, doing this for so long & seeing my own blog, I've seen so many changes happen over the years.
PEOPLE COME & GO
I have seen so many people who are big bloggers - great bloggers. I get so invested in their lives & their story telling & then they just slowly disappear. I am always so sad when that happens. I really tend to see that when people have babies. (Dont be scared new moms out there) I know life takes on a busier lifestyle & blogging gets pushed to the side - totally makes sense. But I know I love seeing blog friends, especially ones who have wished & prayed for a baby for so long, its so exciting for me to see them go through the pregnancy journey... & I get so sad when blogging slows down after that.
NEW WAYS TO CONNECT
Back in the day (I'll probably say that a lot here in this post - its well earned) there was no Instagram - Facebook wasn't even that popular & if you "Tweeted" you'd probably have to say "Excuse me" right after. There was no other place to connect other than Blog World. I have to say, even when people stop blogging now, it is nice to connect with them on Instagram & Facebook & Twitter. You see life as its happening & in a whole other format through those outlets. I am a picture person by nature anyways so I adore Instagram & love reading all the descriptions. Its like a mini-blog to me. So if you ever stop blogging, make sure you still Instagram or Tweet so I can make sure you're doing OK. Please... I worry.
FRIENDS... TRUE FRIENDS
Over 10 years, I have to say, I have developed some real, sincere, true friendships. It really is amazing how you can connect with certain people via blogs, just like real life. Those people that you are drawn to because you can tell they are honest & true. & the emails become more frequent & the personal messages on Facebook go into a text & then you may actually talk on the phone & you send packages & mail to each other to surprise someone. & you rely on their prayers when you are in need, & you text through shows like Dancing with the Stars & Big Brother & Survivor - basically any reality show you want to laugh with someone about, & you check in on their family - including their dogs - & you talk about what book they are reading & on & on & on... it just become a true friendship. Blogging actually does that. It's amazing really. I wouldn't trade these past 10 years just for that reason alone. I love my blog friends something fierce. My family thinks nothing of the statement out of my mouth, "Yeah, my blog friend...." when that's a normal sentence in your world? You know you have gotten to this level.
Anyone else remember Google Reader? There was no other way to stay on top of blogs that posted new posts. Unless you put them on the side of your blog under a "RollCall" sort of list. When Google said they were taking their Reader down - I remember the panic that ensued. Funny how you think there's never going to be anything that can take its place. A life lesson in that. Thank you Bloglovin' for stepping up.
This was something that seemed really big awhile back - I never understood it. & I'm not hacking on anyone that did it, still does it, or sponsored blogs. But apparently, you'd pay another blogger a fee to be 'featured' on their blog & for them to carry your "Blog Button". That always was strange to me. Obviously, I never jumped on that bandwagon. I dont see as many posts like this anymore. Those sort of posts not only kept me away from the person paying to be featured, it usually turned me away from the blog that charged other bloggers a fee to be featured. That to me isn't what a real blog relationship is about. Now... granted... I do love a shout out from bloggers about another blogger. I have found some of my favorite blogs that way - but to charge them? ... um... no...Not for me.
REAL LIFE GONE?
I think my biggest issue with blogging now is it seems like those real life posts are fewer to find. I see so many sponsored posts. & again, if you do that, no offense. It's the way blogging has turned for the most part. I for one have never stepped on that train. Mainly because I feel like seeing the back side of blogging, where I have been contacted to do sponsored posts, I feel like even if they ask for an 'honest opinion' - its hard to really give a negative post if someone is paying you or giving you a product - at least for me. I know I do review books (because girlfriend ain't ever gonna turn down a free book) & I have felt HORRIBLE when I dont like the book. I can't imagine how I'd feel if someone gave me a bunch of products or was a big name brand & I didn't like the thing.
I just miss real life. 10 years ago, that's all the blogs were about. How life was going. How their families were doing. How happy/sad/frustrated/angry/excited the blogger was about their own life. How their house was decorated. How they were celebrating the holidays. How their dog looked riding in the car. Just real life.
Now? Things are just so fast. Its like things are broken out in fast reads.
I just think that a lot of people don't take the time to want to read long posts... like this post right here. Half the readers probably already checked out 3 paragraphs before.
We live in a world of 140 characters & then move on to the next thing. I think the blogging world has turned that way a bit... & it kind of makes me sad.
I miss the real life posts.
And I actually do still follow some amazing blogs that tell about their life & share how they feel about things & just post whatever they want. There are some out there - & those are my favorites. If I comment on your blog daily - you are probably one of those blogs to me. Keep doing what you're doing. Keep being real.
I just told my blogging friend Ashten that we need to turn the tides of blogging. Bring real life back again. Share more. Goodness knows we all share on the social media outlets. Why not share in a place where you can really make it your own?
Another big change I've seen are these amazing blogs that look like something out of a magazine or something that is worthy of a Pinterest pin. GORGEOUS pictures. Beautiful photos of their dinner or their kitchen & home or how they made their food. Or stunning pictures of their make up, or these gorgeous lighted pictures of books. I love looking at them, but again - THE PRESSURE. I can't keep up. & I'm a photographer. The irony of that is not lost on me. Again, I'm all about real life. If my cell phone doesnt take a grainy picture & its sort of in focus, I consider it a blog win!!
That used to be a bigger thing than it is now too. Now, its just flat out a full production. Vlogging used to be where you'd sit up a camera & talk instead of write. & they'd be that same grainy look I was telling you about. Now? You need a full set up with camera, lighting & editing software to do a video for your blog. I do good to do a 10 second Instagram story. I do love videos - seeing people in motion - hearing real voices. But man, I'm not sure "vlogging" even exists anymore. Now, its all about getting followers on YouTube & production levels are vastly different than before. ... no hate from me about it - I love watching the videos. Its just that I think the term "Vlogging" is a past thing now.
NO BLOG CAREER FOR ME
I get that most of the blogs out there any more are all about business. People actually make CAREERS out of blogging. BLOWS MY MIND. I've been doing this for 10 years & I've gotten maybe 20 paperback books? Can I call that a career? ... dang it. Nope. I've just been writing & typing for 10 years for fun. That's what blogging is to me. FUN. An outlet. A place to vent, share, just be me. A real life diary in the progress of life. I don't see a career coming from my blog. & I do think its amazing that people make a career out of doing the same thing I do. If I got paid, I'd take the time to step up my game as well! But until that ever happens, Real Life... that's what you'll see here until someone pays me enough to stay at home in my PJ's & take fancy pictures of my veggie burger. (Any takers? Anyone?)
I know blogging has changed in the past 10 years. Heck, I've changed in the past 10 years. My grey wasn't as thick. My knees didn't hurt as bad. I wasn't a grandmother 10 years ago & now I have 3 grandsons & 2 Grandbuddies. My best friend was still alive & living down the street from me. Wow... just thought of that. My grandfather was alive. My brother in law was still alive. Sydney & Buffy were still around. (how I miss my girls) I had visions & dreams that were totally different for my life now. I hadn't shot my first 'real' photo session. I had never ran in my life & never dreamed I'd do a half marathon, much less quite a few of them!!!
... but I did still love Beauty & the Beast, Steven Curtis Chapman AND knitting.
Life changes... so does blogging. I'm sure it'll evolve again as everything else does... & like everything else, some things work for me & some don't. I just want to stay true to who I am. I want to keep my memories around so I can look back one day & read a post & say, I remember when that happened.
That to me is what blogging is about. Sharing life. Letting others share it with you. Making friends along the way. Encouraging others & being encouraged.
Here's to another 10 years...
What's your favorite thing about blogging?
What is the best thing / worst thing about blogging to you?
What do you wish there was more of in the blog world?