Gotta get this off my chest before my bra rips apart at the seams (it’s already a tight squeeze in there). A real shit bomb has been dropped on our beautiful quilting/crafting/sewing community recently. All the negativity and meanness I’ve seen displayed recently has given me the vomits - especially when there are kind, decent and talented people being targeted in a rampage of thoughtless comments. Way too much “keeping it real” being slung. Making a disparaging remark about someone’s artwork or fabric or pattern or book or style or where they buy their fabric or technique or whatever is not ok just because it’s followed by a “just keeping it real”. Keeping it polite will make you sleep good at night.
I realize the rampage of mean and ugly comments/posts are the minority - and by speaking up… I hope to increase the love and decrease the hate. I cringe at the thought of a new blogger or a new sew/quilter being intimidated by mean comments or posts - whether it be to blog, tweet, flickr or join a guild. The overwhelming majority of quilters, sewers and crafters are really, really, really nice people. It’s so cliche, but the more the merrier.
A few of my own personal “rules of the road” when it comes to blogging (and commenting), and if it encourages just even one person to jump on board and enjoy the ride… I hope I do that.
1. I blog for me and I treat my blog as a journal and a failing memory back-up system. Getting comments and meeting people via comments I get, and most of all - the friendships born of it… that’s gravy. I could care less about “following” and hit counting. For me it’s all about the quality of my friendships, not the quantity. I blog because I like to blog, not because I have to. Period.
2. I always try to leave comments for others, and also try to read the comments left for others. When I first started blogging, it was easier to visit blogs because there were only a few dozen crafty blogs at the time. Now I have hundreds of favorites and it’s hard to keep up, but I try. I found one of my very best friends in the whole world because I read a comment she left on someone’s blog.
3. I LOVE show and tell! I think anyone who’s in a guild will agree… show and tell is the favorite part of the meeting! I love to see what people are making, what people are doing, where they went, who they saw. One of my all time favorite “field trip” reads was on Lisa Boyer’s blog when she took us to the post office. Sharing is not bragging. Bragging is not sharing. Sharing is sharing. Period.
3a. I love to see what people are working on - why I show what I’m working on.
3b. I love seeing peeks into people’s homes and where they live - why I show mine.
3c. I love seeing places people go, especially if I can’t go there myself - why I show mine.
3d. I love seeing what’s on the other side of the camera - why I show mine. (aka the good use of “keepin’ it real”)
4. I am me. I want to be positive, inspiring, friendly and polite. Being positive, inspiring, friendly and polite does not make me a phoney. It’s the same way I treat people visiting in my home, or at the grocery store, or the DMV, or that nice kid at Staples who was so friendly and helpful. To that a-hole driver who cut me off on US 101… meh, you not so much.
5. On my blog and in my 3D life… I celebrate all quilting, all fabrics, all resources. Not everything is my cup of coffee, but I’ll keep that to myself. Just keepin’ it polite.
6. Tell people that I took notice… and fixed my reader feed to show in-full in Google Reader. Seriously, I had no idea it was so irritating - I guess I needed to check my own blog in my reader sooner!
7. Tell Google that it’d be nice if they’d updated all the blogspot blogs with an email field in the Name/URL option so non-blogspot people like myself can stop being called “no-reply bloggers”. TIA, Google.
8. Continue apologizing for having an inbox that looks like an episode of Hoarders and sucking at emailing.
9. Share some damn good reads:
- Katy’s my opinions are mine and mine alone
- Amanda’s Reality Check
- Sarah’s Easter, and a Little Rant
- Krista’s No take-backs
10. Tell people my son and daughter in-law flipped a U-ie and chased down that car in their neighborhood to take a pic of the IQUILT (New South Wales) plate for me. Best Mom’s Day card ever!
Ok. I’m done. And my girls are happy now that there’s more room in the bra.
I think there might be some confusion with the way I wrote my post - but all this isn’t about me, it’s about what’s going in Internetlandia right now… flickr groups, blog posts, comments on blogs, comments on Amazon, Facebook posts and comments - it’s a whole bunch of stink in a whole bunch of places. I personally haven’t been hit (that I know of, that is!), but I take it personally that our beloved, creative and kind community has. I just can’t sit quiet while good people get crapped on, as well as all the negativity that might potentially discourage any new quilters and/or bloggers from jumping in. This isn’t about me. This is about all of us.