Today’s post will be somewhat different than the usual ones. I won’t talk about design with numerous photos to make my point…instead, I’ll share with you some of my thoughts, concerns, a few quotes I love and a bit about how I ended up blogging and what I wish to achieve. Let me start off with a brief personal intro (this may also be a good time to read about me and Te Esse if you haven’t already done so)!
I’m a mom of two lovely children – a son who’s nearly six and a 14 month old daughter. I began blogging about two years ago while still working as an engineer and designer. I blogged with lots of reservations, very humbly and shyly… My family was my first priority and my work was next. I was still setting up my blog, testing the waters sort of speak when I stayed pregnant. Unfortunately, I had unexpected pregnancy problems that required me to stay in bed for many months and therefore, my blog came to a standstill. I had already two miscarriages (one of them literally just before my daughter) and the possibility of a third one seemed to me horrifying.
It was a difficult period mainly because I saw my son’s anguish about the whole situation and was unable to do much about it. You see, he was old enough to understand that there was something very irregular and troublesome about all this. But as my pregnancy progressed, our hopes increased and towards the end of my second trimester we decided that we had to carry out our home addition project that we had on hold (a new bedroom and bathroom for myself and my husband since, we were going to turn our bedroom into a nursery – I’ll post about this another time). That was a project that took me three weeks to complete (having the know how surely paid off)! I gave birth to my daughter about a month after completing this project. But the road to a complete recovery was still long. As a matter of fact, it seemed endless at the time. All this had taken a toll on me and my body; my hormones had thrown me off balance, the sleepless nights and breastfeeding sessions were the last of me. My physical stamina had vanished into thin air. My psychology hit rock bottom. But there was one thought that kept me going – that my daughter was a fighter and if she made it then so should I. I didn’t want to disappoint her or my son for that matter. I had no choice but to pull myself together and to get back on my feet asap.
My husband, my son, the rest of my family (my sister, parents and parents in law) as well as a few friends did their best to support me and I’m very grateful to them for that. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without them. So, this path to recovery, turned me into a stay home mom…for now! I have no regrets, but believe me it is a challenge and it became an even greater challenge when I decided to pick up blogging all over again.
Let’s fast forward though to last September when I decided to start working on my blog again. I started writing posts at a greater frequency and naturally I saw a much greater response. Once my daughter began to have a norm sleep routine at night (since last December), I finally got the chance to get a six hour night sleep which is not bad. This allows me to squeeze about 3-4 hours of work, in intervals, every day, while prepping for a post. I scout for trends and then filter all the info. Next, I try to find the necessary imagery to illustrate my points. Writing and editing a post takes me another couple of days. So, the bottom line is that it takes me about 4-5 days to write a post that is meaningful to me and interesting enough to read. This translates into one post a week. I’m hoping to manage to get two posts a week in due time. Still that’s not a lot, right? But, if you think about it isn’t better to have ‘one or two good posts per week than five posts a week that are meaningless or just a repetition?!’ I want to make quality posts rather than quantity posts. Other bloggers might argue a post a week is not enough to continuously grow an audience and keep it engaged. Maybe they’re right but there’s one basic difference to their argument that makes me uneasy.
I’m blogging to satisfy my craving for inspiration on design, but with a clear loud voice not just to echo. That’s the only way I can think of, that will build me a real audience. This is partly why I didn’t start working on my social media tools until recently.
Social media can help anyone to get ideas, thoughts etc exposed to a very wide audience. No one can undermine the power of that. They are tools that can generate traffic to any blog, if you know how to handle them and believe me I had no clue how Facebook and Tweeter worked. I loved pinning pictures way before Pinterest came into existence, only now with that tool it’s a lot easier and definitely more manageable. I also love Instagram’s concept. (For some reason it reminds me of Valentine’s and Wish You Well grams from way back in school)! You’re probably thinking now ‘my gosh! she’s a dinosaur!’ LOL!! Anyway, my point is that I need social media as much as any other blogger, but since everything is about choices, I chose to start out quietly – very quietly! As a matter of fact, as I type these lines, I have no official Te Esse Facebook page yet, only a profile!!! Why? Because I’m hoping to grow an audience that I can relate to and bond with… Perhaps I’m going about it the wrong way but sometimes, you just have to follow your instinct and do some things your way! Just like in the quote below: I like going against the current because I get to learn so much more the hard way, especially about myself.
I’m putting myself on the line trying to build ties, links, bridges, bonds with people who hopefully and truly appreciate simple, honest, everyday life design (not the kind you find in museums) instead of a nameless crowd of followers (no offence meant). It’s a risk I’m willing to take for myself. (I wouldn’t take a risk like that with a client). Don’t get me wrong though, should my audience grow to a point where it’s simply not manageable then, I will have to move on to a FB page and build a whole new strategy like all those blogger experts talk about and then I’ll worry about SEO (which I still don’t understand or should I rather say refuse to understand), my site’s ranking, mapping, or switching to wordpress and all those web strategies. One thing though is for certain, I will stay true to myself and continue to blog for myself, because it has helped me see design from another point of view and I find that fun and fulfilling especially when I share it with people who take the time to read my posts and engage in them. So, YES by all means I do want your feedback, your comments, your views and impressions… It gives meaning to what I’m doing after all.
There’s no easy way of being a stay home mom and a blogger, but it is well worth it. At times, my mom frustration takes the best of me, trying to squeeze everything in 24 hours (breastfeeding, meal prepping, laundry, cleaning, etc.). But I try to step back a little and change my perspective and re-evaluate a situation in order to handle it better. It works…Sometimes! Moreover, my blogging approach is different this time, mainly due to the different mindset I have now (that’s why I redesigned my template’s layout last January). I love design, any form of it for that matter, but especially home design. After taking that time off due to those pregnancy issues, I felt the need to talk about design and express my views stronger than ever before, and blogging became the most sensible way to do so.
Blogging actually helped me redefine design in my eyes all over again. Meanwhile, I have recently began designing and building prototypes of the first few bespoke decor artefacts of a home line I plan on launching in the near future. I have also just taken up a home decorating assignment due early September. So I think it’s only fair to say that I’ve been keeping busy…Sorry, I have no blogging tips to share with you today. It is still a mystery to me how the blogging community works, partly because most bloggers can’t pin point exactly really how blogging worked out for them. I believe it is a combination of right timing, consistency and marketing their product the right way that did the job. In any case, it is a full-time project for me and in order to cope I must stay organized and focused and my focus is to make enjoyable, easy to read, full of inspiration posts about design, architecture, art or anything that I truly have something to say about, hoping to “awaken” people’s sense of creativity and share with them the fascinating world of design.