My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bringing back the thoughtfulness into my blog.

I often get asked why I write a blog. (That sometimes follows, "What is a blog?" which catches me by surprise that people still don't know about them!)  

The last time I was asked was in a 'formal' interview situation.  I was asked why I started my blog, why do I keep blogging and what do I enjoy about it?  

My answer was about how blogging has introduced me to so many people, given me heaps of inspiration and given me a boost when people tell me that I've inspired them or helped them.

But I've kept thinking about the question of why I write - I guess I'm having some contemplative moments - and I wanted to expand my thoughts here.

Our contemplative cows.
It sort of started with this comment that I received on my blog:

I just want to say u are a lovely woman and mother and person.I 've been reading your blog since 2010,when I Googled calcivirus and a pic of the same needles that we were giving my cat came up.I clicked on it and it turns out u ad posted it due to the disease being let loose and were planning on vaccinating your bunnies at home.
I love reading about your crafts, planting, children, u just sound like such a great woman.
I live in pretty city-like place in the States, near New York, and always wanted a mom to teach me things like u do but my mom was not around, my grandma raised me,and she wasn't interested in that stuff,NOR were her friends. 
Anyway,she passed some time ago.
I love seeing your beautiful quilts,I've always wanted a real quilt,and you seem to make them with so much care,love,and ease.
I love your little pouches too, perfect for odds and ends and, see,u could do zippers! They really are so cool.Store bought has nothing on your lovely things.
Well Ma'am, I just finally had to put this up. 
You're an inspiration to me.
Thank you for your beautiful blog,and all the nice things you post pictures of.
You are a really cool lady. 
Sincerely, With Respect, 

Not only is that the longest comment I've ever had on my blog, it's probably one of the most ego-boosting too!  But beyond that, it made me think.  

For me, walking and thinking go hand in hand.
Crystalina probably had no intention in her comment other than to let me know she was reading, but she prodded my thought processes.  Who is Crystalina?  How different is her life from mine?  How much have I unknowingly influenced or inspired her?  And who else has read my blog and found something to help them, inspire them, make them laugh or scoff at?  And what makes me blog different from others that she would read mine, rather than someone else's?  

I feel that over the last while my blog posts have become less thoughtful.  I think they have become more 'diary-like' and less 'journal-like'.  What's the difference?  Well, to my mind, a diary is purely a written record what you have been doing, whereas a journal is exploring the meaning of what you have been doing and thinking.  I think a diary can be useful too - it allows you to keep a record of your successes and mistakes and serve as a reminder of what works for you.  It can help you pay closer attention to your actions - like a food diary - or help you keep track of your behaviour and responses to certain situations.  

I asked some of the other 'twilters' (twitter uses who quilt) why they blogged and here's what they answered:

Jackie replied, "I started to document my quilting, finding the social aspect was a big plus and I loved it.  I didn't expect the social would become such a big part of my quilting life."

Amy said, "I began to journal and share our family experiences with family who lived far away.  Then it got crafty. :) Multiple blogs now."

Nonnie replied, "Track my SLOW progress on my projects > connect with people

JayeL responded, "I started to practice writing.  Now I use the blog to keep track of my projects.  I love my readers and their comments as well."

And Sandi commented, "To connect with other quilters and share things I've learned."

Can you spot the common thread through all of these responses?  Everyone wants connection with other people.  But for me, connection with other people means giving something of yourself to connect with. Not just a few pretty pictures, or a log of what I've done over the last week.  But pretty pictures AND what they mean to me.  Or a log of what I've done over the last week AND what I've learnt and what I'd change.  I know I sometimes hold back offering something to others.

So I'm going to try and bring some of the thoughtfulness back.  Don't worry, this isn't going to be a repository for my deepest, darkest angst!  I've never written those sorts of things here (I'll keep that sort of thought processing for a paper journal so I can burn it if it gets too horrifying).  But I am going to try and provide 'more' for my readers.  More of the mistakes I've made and what I've learned, more of my work processes, more of my thoughts about life, quilting and child raising.  And hopefully I can keep being an inspiration to Crystalina.  

contemplation: a calm, lengthy, intent consideration (wordnetweb)
done or made after careful thinking (Mirriam-Webster Dictionary)
Showing careful consideration or attention (Oxford Dictionaries)

Caveat:  I am not making a comment on how other people choose to write their blogs!  This is purely a commentary on what I want to offer, and how I have been feeling about my blog and my thought processes.  We are all different and unique and we all have distinct styles - imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same ;)


  1. Hello Charlotte,

    Lots to think about in your post. Thoughtfulness is a good thing, I say just go with the flow. Some days you may feel like writing more some days less.

    Have fun is the major thing with blogging.

    Happy days.

  2. Lovely thought provoking post.

  3. Your blog is always interesting and an inspiration! Love reading and thinking about it! Keep writing girl!

  4. Thanks for this post. I know I have, at times, fallen into the trap of needing to post something - ANYTHING - and sacrifice quality and thoughtfulness. I'm sure Crystalina has no idea how moving and inspiring her comment has been, to you and now to your readers. It makes me want to write better.

  5. Really lovely and it's good to do some retrospective every so often. I have been reading you for years and feel like you are my "friend across the ditch" and I may not tell you often enough, but I would really miss your little stories and tips and insights into another life. Thanks for the reads, Tanya x

  6. I read this post with interest as it seems to mirror my recent thoughts. You have expressed it perfectly. I've been feeling a bit like I haven't been putting enough of myself into my blog recently. It's also because I've had mine for years and maybe I've slipped into the 'diary like ' posts you describe. I want to follow you and put more thought into my posts.

  7. Why indeed, hey? Mine's about to become more diary-like, as if it wasn't already, time for resurrection....


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