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Deuce Cities Henhouse


Sometimes I have a love/hate affair with blogging. I usually love it. I love preparing and planning tinkering with code and taking photographs and editing them.

Lately I have started to despise blogging.

I put a lot of stresses on myself that shouldn’t be there. It’s become less about the act of blogging and more about measuring the successes of my projects and my posts in the eyes of readers. I’ve been trying so hard to bring in more readers that I get disappointed when it doesn’t perform the way I was hoping. I become depressed and anxious, which, I guess is part due to my personality. Lately I’ve been spending way too much time comparing how well-received the blog is compared to others that it’s negatively affected my mood and life. I have become overly dependent on checking my Stat-Counter, comments, and Facebook likes. It is not cool of me at all, not healthy for me and honestly, I’m embarrassed that I care so much.

I think I need to start a new approach to blogging so that my crazy obsessive nature doesn’t take over what I really love to do.

First, starting today I’m going to block myself from checking my visitor stats. Secondly—and maybe the most apparent change—I am breaking my schedule of blogging daily. Although on most days I enjoy blogging daily there are those days where it starts to feel like a chore, and I dread those days. The next time I start to feel like blogging is becoming tedious, I’ll just take a day off and come back when I feel like I have something good to share.

For realz though, I love the blog.

It has kept me sane over the last few months. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through my first winter of taking care of 3 kids without having blogging and projects to look forward too. That’s why I love it. Plus I’ve been blogging since 2006; I can’t imagine just stopping now. It’s part of my life. I also have been really enjoying all the new faces that have shown themselves over the last few months in the comments or elsewhere. I really enjoy chatting with the people that take the time to comment on the posts. It’s pretty great that that can just happen.

Anyway, just thought I’d share with you and get this written down for myself too.

in My Life

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28 comments… add one
  • Kristin June 11, 2012

    Been reading your blog for almost two years now. But this post made me want to get out of the lurker shadows and comment. I really enjoy your blog–particularly the realism and humor. I am the mother of a toddler who has just gone back to work full time and we’ve been renovating our shotgun house for almost a decade (!), and I’ll tell ya, blogs can be tremendous inspiration–or they can make you feel like the biggest failure ever. But your blog never makes me feel the second way. I understand that you can’t keep up the daily posts, but keep posting! There are people reading and enjoying what you do!

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I wasn’t fishing for motivation but this is exactly what I needed to hear. I want the blog to inspire others in just this way, and I want to come across as the person I really am. I think I do a pretty good job, minus the fact that if I was really gonna speak in my true voice I’d be swearing a hell of a lot more :)

      Seriously, thanks!

  • Julia June 11, 2012

    I don’t know how anyone manages to blog every day – it would drive me crazy. I only blog when I feel like it so there are sometimes long periods of time when nothing new appears on my blog. But I’m ok with that, and I’m also ok with only having a few followers. As long as I feel I have a connection with the people that comment, that’s all that matters to me. I think your blog is great and enjoy stopping by for a read. Keep going with it as long as you want to and on your terms. x

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Julia, I don’t know why, but I never realized you are a blogger too. I just took a look at your blog. That recent afghan you crocheted is lovely. I’ve been wanting to take on a pattern like that for awhile now. All those loose ends look like a bear though, boo. Anyway’s, I’ll have to keep checking in on your projects.

      I think I will still be able to blog most days, I just hope that when I don’t feel like it, I just won’t do it. That’s really hard for me, to just let go.

      Thanks for the pep talk!

  • Mieze June 11, 2012

    I will be back soon… some crazy life events have gotten in the way of being able to enjoy your work lately. Just know that your blog really is cool and krafffftyyy, and that there are readers out here following your projects!

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Thanks Mieze! That’s sweet of you to say so.

  • jessica June 11, 2012

    I totally feel you. I mean, I don’t have a blog but anything that you feel you HAVE to do can be a total bummer at times. I love that you update every day but will also continue to follow you no matter how often you post! Keep up the good work.

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Thanks Jessica! I hope to keep it up most of the time, I just gotta know that it’s okay if I can’t make it a day too. Thanks for the support!

  • Laura June 11, 2012

    Hey Alison!
    I’ve been a reader for awhile now … first time commenter!
    I just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. We have an old home too … and you’re such an inspiration to me. Especially when I get really discouraged with fixing things up here.
    Thanks for all the great posts … for sharing your creativity with us!

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Hey Laura! Seriously all these comments are making me feel pretty amazing. It makes me so happy that people like you are finding inspiration from stuff I’m doing. So awesome on a lot of levels! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  • Sam June 11, 2012

    Hi Alison,

    It was so lovely to brunch with you and Nicole the other day, I really hope we can meet up sometime for a playdate with the kiddos. I really like that you are being really honest, it’s hard to find that kind of sincerity in the blog world. In this hyper-connected lifestyle we are all living (whether we like it or not) it’s here to stay.

    My husband showed me this video the other day, I’ll have to send you the link, and the speaker focuses on this exact situation — being hyper-connected, addicted to technology, etc etc.. It is truly and addiction, even the strongest succumb to the weakness of checking e-mail frequently, facebook, twitter, online shopping, blah blah.. He had a great idea though, one day that is “media-free” – no phone, tv, internet, radio, etc… Just family time with no interruption. Brilliant. We started last weekend and it ruled. Didn’t miss any of this crap. What I liked most about his talk is that he mentioned that technology is really hear to stay, he wasn’t trying to pretend to throw it out the window, but to take the time to manage those “lull” periods where you would whip out your phone or internet surf… to have media-free time with the family.. We are only human, but it’s crazy how it has become an addiction like smoking, it’s during those periods of boredom we all get a bit crazy.

    Sorry for the super long post – but just wanted to share these ideas with you. :)

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Hey Sam!

      Brunch with you and Mari was lovely as well. It was really nice meeting some other ladies that are deep into being creative women (and moms) in the twin cities!

      I really love that idea of having a media-free day, and I would like to try incorporate it into our life. We, just like so many people, are compulsive about checking our instagrams, facebooks and twitters. It’s seriously ridiculous and I can see how it can become an addiction. More than that it’s like a nervous twitch. I’m gonna try really hard to make this happen in our lives.

      Thanks for sharing that with me, please send the link when you find it. :)

  • Emily June 11, 2012

    I’m feeling blah blah at work right now after a weekend spent home in bed, but I’ll just second what everyone else has said. Love the blog, but I would rather you post less often than it become a chore for you. Keep up the great work, and enjoy this kick-ass weather we’re having!

    • Scoops June 11, 2012

      Hey Emily,

      I forget that this is not just a blog problem, but an everyday problem. This is a feeling that happens to almost everyone who has a day-to-day routine and isn’t exclusive to just blogging. I need to remember that when I’m feeling overwhelmed my bloggin’ in the future.

      P.S. totally sleeping with ALL the windows open tonight, it’s gonna feel great!

  • Meg@ourwaytoeat.com June 11, 2012

    I totally get you! I just took a few weeks of for travel, and then travel recovery, and I’m glad about it, but I’ve been a little anxious about losing ground after a long silence. Where to start? Will I be back to zero readers? Ha. I have to not take myself so seriously. These little blogs can be such a fun outlet but when you are producing high quality work and you want to publish frequently, it can be a grind and a source of stress. I don’t need to see a new post daily to keep coming back. You have evolved at warp speed and you get a ton done! I get great ideas here and enjoy your voice. Keep it fun for yourself– it is better that way.

    • Scoops June 11, 2012


      So sweet of you to say. Yes, we are all in it together aren’t we. Relationships are such an important and great reason to blog. Plus it helps us to have an outlet, you are right. Just because we take vacations, or a day or two for ourselves, doesn’t mean we are losing the relationships we have built.

      I think a big part of the reason I stress myself so much out is just because daily blogging was a goal for me. I was hoping to do it every day for a year. I usually don’t come up short when I set a goal for myself, and it’s hard for me to admit “failure.” I don’t feel like I’m failing at the blog but I feel like I am not finishing what I set out to accomplish and that feels like a failure. I just need to learn to let go.

      Anyway, sorry for the novel there. I’m so glad I get to meet friendly people like you :)

  • Sarah June 11, 2012

    I agree with some of your other commenters in much preferring occasional substantive posts to churned-out posts every day. Not that you are at all in danger of the latter–I think your content is pretty uniformly inspiring–but I guess I don’t really understand why the norm is for bloggers to try to post every day. So many people read via Google reader and the like nowadays, it seems unnecessary to keep people in the “habit” of visiting one’s site every day. Much better to speak in your own distinctive when the spirit moves you, as it were–hey, how about a Quaker blogging movement?

    I can definitely understand how easy it is to become obsessed with comments/stats/etc. though. I fall into that trap a bit myself (and I have a teeeeeny blog, it is really silly to worry about stats!). I try to remember that I want my blog to be a tool to help me live a better life, so all those comparisons are really pointless. Though, I also want to connect with like-minded folks, as I imagine you do too, so I think it’s natural to wonder who is reading and whether you’re making that connection. I went to a lecture last weekend that offered the following statistics: during the Iranian election protests in 2009, the protests were the subject of 25-50,000 tweets per hour, representing 6-12% of Twitter activity. During the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the protests were the subject of 186,000 tweets per hour, representing 0.13% of Twitter activity. Yes, all those decimal points are in the right place. It seems to me that blogging has probably grown similarly. With so much noise it is hard to get noticed! But, perhaps on the other hand, with so many people looking online for this kind of connection, perhaps kindred spirits are bound to bounce around and meet up eventually.

    • Scoops June 12, 2012


      I know, right? When I first started blogging I wasn’t at all serious abut it, but I do remember that no one posted on a schedule. You just posted when you felt like you had something to say and it didn’t matter if it was at 10pm or 5am. Now it’s all so regimented. Having a schedule makes you some sort of pro (and I goes that’s what I was trying to be). I get it, I’m not trying to dis on those who do, but it doesn’t need to be such a grind.

      I am one of those who checks out my blog subscriptions via my google reader, but I also make a habit of manually visiting my most favorite designed blogs. I like to see how those blogs are looking, and if they’ve added any new cool features.

      That stat is pretty interesting, it’s hard to be a small fish in a big sea, isn’t it? Especially when that sea gets bigger by the minute.

      Thanks for taking the time to share!

  • Janelle@5053 June 12, 2012

    Alison, I love coming over here and chatting with you and, I love when you comment on my blog too. I think we all just want to know that other people care about what we’re interested in. I can’t believe you can post everyday with 3 littles! Take a break girl and enjoy this awesome weather we’ve been gettin’ here in MPLS!!!

    • Scoops June 12, 2012

      It’s true, we wouldn’t be blogging if we didn’t want someone to care. Like I said in a previous comment, I wasn’t fishing for it, but it’s nice to hear such positive encouragement from people I have built relationships with via bloggin’.

      Your blog makes my garden jealous, I love seeing what another Minneapolis girl is up to with her old Minneapolis house :)

  • Keelin June 12, 2012

    I have been lurking ’round you site for a few months now. It started out because I miss the Twin Cities (I went to college at Macalester) and I miss the architecture of homes in the area. BUT I have stayed reading becasue I love your content! I’m sad on days when you don’t post, but understand the need to stay sane!! Do what you gatta do, lady!

    • Scoops June 12, 2012

      Don’t worry, I’ll still post almost every day, and on the days I don’t it will just be because there is an even better post in the making. Like a fine wine, right?

      Seriously though, thanks for letting me know that you depend on me :)

  • heidi June 12, 2012

    Word. I have totally been feeling the same way. Even considered taking a few months off. This post makes me feel so much better! That sounds pretty selfish– I guess I’m just glad I’m not alone. Hang in there!

    • Scoops June 14, 2012

      It’s good to know we’re not alone. Strength in numbers!

  • Belinda June 13, 2012

    G’day Alison,
    2 year lurker and finally making my first comment! I’m from Australia and love your blog for its honesty, freshness and being genuine. I love your projects, watching your design ideas develop and I especially love the cute pics of your gorgeous boys (I have a 3 yr old boy and 1 year old girl so I can relate! I’m also an ex-graphic/web designer who is trying to redecorate in mid-century modern style). I’d rather wait for your genuine quality content and enjoy those posts and lovely photos, than read average posts everyday. Not that your posts are average! Just sayin’ that you can’t always churn out top quality posts every single day if your not feeling inspired or if your a bit burnt out. Hope that you find a balance that works for you and I’ll be happily reading along whatever happens.
    Enjoy the sunshine…
    bXx :)

    • Scoops June 14, 2012

      Hey Belinda!
      Nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for the support. It’s so cool to know someone is reading my blog half way around the world. That Internet sure brings people together ;) Sounds like we are very similar, your mid century house sounds cool, if there were more mid century houses in the city I think we would’ve got one too.

      Thanks for dropping a line !

  • Emily @ Peck Life June 13, 2012

    Good for you! I know I definitely feel this way A LOT and it’s hard to strike that balance…and keep up with blogging daily. I started cutting one weekday out (so I usually do 4x a week) and that has helped a lot! We will still love you, even if you only post when you feel like it. :)

    • Scoops June 14, 2012

      Hey Emily! Glad to know I’m not the only one. 4 days a week sounds totally manageable to me. Maybe that’s what I should shoot for. It’s nice to hear feedback from someone with the same sched. Thanks!

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