Today, May 18, is my little blog's first birthday. It amazes me that an entire year has passed. So many great things that have happened the past 12 months, but there are also things I would like to have done differently. The first year really has been a lot about experimenting to find out what works and discovering who I am as a blogger.
If you are a dedicated Anderson and Grant reader, you may have noticed that I've been absent from posting the past two months. I got to the point where blogging was not making me happy and it had become a chore....another thing on my to-do list. I felt like I had a lot going on in my life and I began to question where I wanted to devote my time and attention. I felt worn out and was not putting the energy and time into Anderson + Grant that it needs and deserves in order to be successful . Posts were being thrown together because I needed to share something, not because I was satisfied with the completed project. Since none of that is what I wanted, I needed to take a little time away and answer a few questions.
Did I want to continue blogging?
Is blogging worth the work that I must put into it?
If I continue blogging, what do I need to do differently? What do I need to keep the same?
Why do I want to be a blogger?
What do I have to share that people will want to learn?
Where do I want to see this blog go from here?
I took a little more time off then I had intended, but I knew that I didn't want to come back before I was totally ready and prepared....Before I was sure that I'm in this for the long haul. I reflected a lot. I embraced my time away as a time of self-discovery and really dug into who I am and what I want to do with my life and this blog.
I made plans....I wrote notes.....I thought about my goals....I thought about how I want you to feel when you visit my blog.....I thought about what I want to share with you ....I worked on designing projects, creating recipes, taking pictures, and writing posts....I studied what successful bloggers are doing and what makes my favorite blogs special. Basically, I got prepared to give Anderson + Grant my all. My blogging break is exactly what I needed.
Before being a blogger myself, I never realized what must be put into a blog in order to be successful, and I think I got a little overwhelmed. While you must continue living life, you must also spend a great deal of your time on your blog and everything that goes into it. Social media. Promoting posts. Making friends. Taking photos and then editing them. Writing. Thinking. And while we have amazing, long-standing blogs that can provide inspiration about where we can go after doing all that, those same blogs can also bring us down because we strive for the perfection that has taken them years to develop. I've spent a lot of time over the past two months coming to terms with the fact that things don't have to be perfect to be good enough.
As I said, I thought a lot about how I want you to feel when you visit. I love the idea of my blog feeling like a place where you feel welcome and comfortable. I want it to feel like when you visit that best friend's house where you don't even need to knock before coming in. There's good food, good activity, and good conversation.....And lots of sharing!
I also thought a lot about who I am and what my style is. I like a lot of things, but I've realized that while I can like something, I don't necessarily have to add it to my house or do it on my own blog. I hope that you'll see a little more focus in who I am and what I like.
Things are going to be changing a little, although it may not even be anything you notice. I have a wide variety of interests, but I've neglected so many of them. Anderson + Grant basically became about recipes and "craft" projects, both of which I love. But that is not all that I love. I'm crazy about almost everything that has to do with the home....organizing, decorating, creating, cooking, entertaining, cleaning. I want this blog to be a complete picture of who I am and what I love. There is still going to be everything my readers have enjoyed in the past, but I plan on having more variety to share as well.
You may also notice that things look a little different around here, too. I put together a new design that I worked on for awhile in my absence. I am thrilled with how simple and clean it is.....exactly what I've been looking for this whole time. I guess it is better to not over-think things or add elements just because it looks good on someone else's blog. I'm sure there will still be little adjustments made to the design and I'd love to have a logo created to bring everything together, but I finally am excited to look at my blog.
A new year is starting for Anderson + Grant, and I now feel like I am ready. It is time to stop analyzing and start doing. And I have so much to share with you! If nothing else happened during my time away, I realized that I really do love blogging and my mind never stopping coming up with ideas that I wanted to post. I am super excited to be back as part of the blogging world.
If you aren't already following along with Anderson + Grant, I'd love for you to join me so that you don't miss a thing!
For those of you who already one of my wonderful readers, thank you for all the comments and emails and for sticking with me over the past year. There are great things to come in the upcoming months!