[Photo: cleaning up the studio, another slow-but-steady process]
With all of the photos of the newest fabric collections beginning to surface online, I am reminded of a wicked little truth about blog land. Everything appears to happen instantly. One minute someone is casually posting about their life, and the next minute – bam! – they are showcasing their new book or fabric line or online magazine or… whatever.
Sure, sometimes this is because of contractual obligations. I know many designers and authors would love to share more, but their hands are tied. And even when a person can divulge what they are working on, it doesn’t make any marketing sense to show people the goods too early. The last thing anyone wants is to bore everyone with a long build up only to have people ready to move onto the next thing by the time your product launches. However, I’m really interested in the trickle down effect to things that aren’t purely commercial.
Even on personal blogs, we sometimes act like the latest decorating project or tutorial or column idea just sprang up overnight. I know there are some people who are just really speedy. They think up an idea, make it in the next minute, and have it all documented by the end of the day. Me? Well, not so much. Yet, most of the time I present things as if the project just magically came together overnight.
As blogs get more and more common, there is inherently more competition, and some people out there have really raised the bar. In one way, I think this is fantastic. I love that we all have free access to so many great ideas and inspiration. On the other hand, I hate to see how that can discourage people who wonder why their project didn’t come together quite so quickly. (Here’s a secret: nothing is instant. People plug away quietly, usually offline.)
I think this is sort of the other side of the “blogs are artificially pretty” conversation. I get why people complain about blogs being a bit unrealistic, but I don’t mind this. I cannot bring myself to photograph life’s messes. That is just not something I want to document or re-visit. By the same token, I don’t think we really want to know just how long some things take. I know you don’t want to hear about the project I’m working on 7 days in a row. My husband doesn’t want to hear about it 7 days in a row! Writing about all of the great stuff that I’m thinking about doing or doing but cannot talk about does not make for really good content. But what do you tell people while you are working on that one thing that takes 7 days? (And if we’re talking about a fabric line or a book or movie or art installation or redecorating your house, then you can just multiply that 7 days and turn it into weeks, months, years.)
I am grateful for people who share the process, but sometimes even that is packaged up a little too neatly. And while I want to read blogs authored by people who care enough to put their best foot forward, sometimes it can be a bit over-worked if you know what I mean. I am guilty of this, too.
Anyway, I’m curious what you all think about this. Does this fact of blog life bother you? Or do you appreciate seeing everything all packaged up and polished before people share?
Continuing the Conversation… (a few good links):
- Juliette of Zuhause in Germany wrote a great post called “5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog” with some great tips about improving your blog (if you have one). I am in the midst of a pretty big site overhaul which is most definitely not an overnight project. My husband and I have been working on this together with what spare time we have in between family commitments, secret projects, and you know, life. Her tips are great, and I’ll be re-visiting them as I work.
- Holly Becker of decor8 hosted a live chat on Facebook yesterday, and I really appreciated her comment: “ I think the difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t (in any field in life) is that those who are successful keep knocking down the walls before them until they reach their goal, no matter what.” Holly has done a lot to debunk the “overnight success” myth, and it’s refreshing to see someone who has achieved so much be so refreshingly real about it!