Refresh my Blogging Heart (The Story of my Blog!)

Stories. I just love them. There's something to personal, real, encouraging, empowering and freeing about sharing our stories. It makes us brave, keeps us going, and lets us know we're not alone. Blogging is a way of sharing stories.

I was telling my husband the other day that without realizing it, I'd sort of boxed myself in as blogger and made myself feel limited and discouraged about this blog. Although I love sharing my painting and business journey with y'all, there's so much more! I want you guys, my sweet readers, to find something here that inspires you and makes you want to come back tomorrow. I know I want direction for this space, but I also want freedom! I have decided to make some changes around here and I'm really excited about it! 

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been working through my purpose in blogging, what makes me excited to blog and what my plans are for S&W Blog 2014. I am feeling my passion for blogging return along with my writing gumption! ......and I want to share this journey with you- my incredible readers! So, today I'm sharing my blogging story. This is another place I desire to be intentional. So, I'm starting with this survey.

I found this blogger's survey on Honeycomb & Co. Blog and decided to use it to share where I'm at with my blog and where I want to go! Feel free to take this survey too and link up in the comments!

1. When did you first start blogging and why?
Everyday in college, one of my very best friends and I would meet early to start the day in the art school computer lab. (We would also sneak in giant Dr.Peppers, but that's a story for another day.) We would pour over beautiful blogs and share our latest finds. 
One day my friend suggested I start a blog and an Etsy shop! I was nearing the end of my college career and I had no idea what my next step with art would be so I decided to try it. As it turned out, I enjoyed sharing little creations and personal bits about my life! 

2. When did you become serious about your blog?
In 2010, things started to pick up with my etsy shop so I decided to blog more about my new business. Then in 2012 I introduced a new branding design and felt like I was ready to get serious about this space. I wanted to offer sponsorship and track my analytics and make my blog a bigger part of my business.

3. What was your first blog post?
Ha ha! My first post was about a performance art piece I did with my friends in college. Yes, really. You can see it here. Looking back through my first year of blogging I have to laugh. I love how simple and straight forward I made my vision... "I want to share my heart and art with you here."

4. What have been your biggest challenges blogging?

My biggest challenges recently have been narrowing my blog topics too much and loosing sight of my vision for this space. I'm looking forward to making a change!
(oh and photography is always a challenge... especially since I dropped my camera and it's currently being fixed.. iPhone photos until then! oops!)

5. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

Wow, this question makes me giddy! I can't tell you the beautiful relationships that have come from blogging and the opportunities! The idea that I could inspire someone or make them smile or help them see the beauty where they least expected... that's why I want to do this! I want to make a difference and shine the hope and joy of Christ here!

6. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?
I can easily answer this in the worst possible way.. *sigh* When I am distracted by checking my stats, numbers, followers, comments, etc. and when I get caught in the comparison trap (there are some seriously amazing blogs out there!). This post recently challenged me to remember why I blog and to shop worrying about these things (although it's still a struggle.)

7. What is your blogging dirty little secret?

Ha ha! Well, as much as I'd like to say I'm always on top of things in this space, to be honest, for the past year, I've mostly thought of a topic/blogged on the day I posted. This is something I am excited to change this year! I am currently keeping a list of topics, tips, ideas and inspiration that I can't wait to share with you! This way I have time to plan things out, think about them and give you my very best! 

8. What is your current goal as a blogger?
For 2014 my goal is to go back to the vision on my first post... to share my heart and art on this blog. I want to inspire my readers with fresh ideas and beautiful inspiration that brings the joy & hope of Christ (author of beauty!) and makes you feel brave! Ya know the feeling you get when you open a beautiful magazine? I want my readers to be so excited to "flip the page", make notes, try new things and do something creative! You guys and your stories make this world beautiful! 

This year, expect to see posts about DIY projects, sewing ideas, cooking ideas, links to pretty things, tips for all kinds of things, free printables, stories from creative entrepreneurs, the stories behind paintings and more!

9. Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise?
I'm sure lots of things, but a few that come to mind are: branding and packaging design, writing articles for publications, beautiful & meaningful photography, and connecting with my readers!

Thanks for letting me share my heart today, I can't wait to see what this year brings! If you want to follow S&W blog, click here! If you're new here or if you've been reading for a long time, I'd love to "meet" you. Please feel free to introduce yourself and leave your email address or blog link in the comments! :) 

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