‘What have you gone and done now Annie?’

Hydrangea

Confused? I expect you are. Same domain, new name. Can I do that? Is that a doable thing? I don’t see why not.I have yearned a change for a while. It’s completely impractical and some would say barking mad to toss aside my mammasaurus domain but honestly it’s not a name that I’m happy with. I wrestle with the whole name thing far more than I actually need to, it’s daft really it is.

I have loved Folklings, the calmness, the name, the people. I love what it represents. People sharing the things they love ‘just because’. My world needs more of that in it. So I’ve picked it up and brought it here where it will sit next to my own blog. My blog, my tales are Fable and folklings is now Folk.

Between you and me I feel really ‘meh’ about blogging at the moment. Not about the actual act of blogging, I am enjoying that more than ever, but about aspects of wider blogging ‘thing’. Comment rings, sharing threads, more and more advice on what we ‘should’ be doing are sucking the joy out of it for me, personally. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things per say, I just feel that more than ever there’s a great sense of smoke and mirrors, people sharing and commenting on things in a way that they naturally wouldn’t have and well, it all seems a bit off balance, too much’me’ and too little ‘us’. I used to view these things as bloggers ‘supporting each other’ but I’ve grown to see it as an amplification of artificial noise. It’s only recently that I’ve stopped to wonder just how the people who love and tend their blogs feel about it all, who would so love to increase their outreach but lack the inclination or the time that taking part in these reciprocal things use.

And that’s why, more than ever before, I wanted to change the way I blog. I’m feeling disillusioned with many aspects of it if I’m honest, but the most important parts, the love of taking photos, blogging and surrounding myself with good-hearted people is intact and stronger than ever. Blogging is what you make it and if you aren’t happy with how things are going in your corner of it there’s only one person who can instill a positive shift, and that’s you.

If you want to drive yourself into the ground, checking stats, traffic, which of your posts are the most popular, commenting rings, sharing rings, analytics , social share share share then that’s cool, that’s your choice and I’m not going to tell you that I think you are wrong for doing so. But, long term, the happiest people, those who feel rewarded, the biggest sense of personal value are going to be those people blogging for the love of blogging. Those people making true friends, real connections that are not based on any ‘agreement to reciprocate’. Those quiet people that are blogging with soul, shine and stand out amongst the opportunity-getting pro bloggers and the most beautiful thing about it is that they don’t even realise it. Honest, not contrived, soulful and not an ego in sight.

So yeah, in short, mini-crisis, change in outlook, name change, merging Folklings and naturally don’t worry! In other news, Helloitsgemma, one of those soulful sorts I just described, has been celebrating her 5th blog anniversary this week with a really positive series of posts, the perfect pick me up after this post of lame angst – do take a look at the post: Five, Celebrate, Wisdom & Gifts.

0 replies on “ ‘What have you gone and done now Annie?’ ”
  1. I hear you. I struggle with comment rings and links. I add to one’s that interest me sometimes and comment on posts that catch my eye and then made me feel like I wanted to comment… but I find the whole I’ll comment on you and you will comment on me and say something like "oh how lovely"..and then I am meant to say something back as you aparently shouldn’t leave a comment not replied to…and tbh it all seems so fake sometimes.

    I don’t think many people read my blog, but I keep it because I enjoy it and that is more important to me then stats.:)

    P.s I like fable and folk… I think it’s fine to change the name but not the domain 🙂

  2. Confession time! What the heck is a comment and sharing ring? Haha! I’m so behind the times it’s not true…… But beautiful post as always and I for one am embracing your new name and blog. x

  3. What can I say. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ so many people are feeling meh. What happened?!! Staying true to yourself and on track is so tricky, while everyone around you shouts and pushes and shoves to be at the front. On top of it all. I’ve felt like the blogger that time forgot, the one that thought she was ok at it all but actually she isn’t. Keep reminding myself, it’s all ok. It’s all ok. I nearly wrote a very similar post this week but decided to let the words of others fill the gap instead of my ramblings of confusion. Good words Annie. Good directions. Good vibes. Good ❤️

  4. I absolutely love this post Annie. You’ve put into words exactly how I feel. I love blogging and love people – genuine people. I feel sad to think that some oriople only read and comment on my blog because it has a decent DA due to it’s age. I don’t like it and refuse to fall into the trap myself. I now avoid comment rings and reciprocal commenting. I read the blogs I like and comment accordingly. And as you say, there are so many wonderful blogs out there that continue to do there thing regardless of what anyone else is doing. I love those ones the most. I’ve also made a momentous decision not to be involved in the awards next year – I just feel they can sometimes create unnecessary nastiness and ugly competition, something I don’t want a part of. I know not everyone feels like that, it’s just me. Well done on your new blog name and style. Look forward to reading more. X

  5. I’ve always loved your blogs, your fantastic skills with both imagery and words. I agree that there seems to be a lot of blogging noise and it can be a bit much. It’s lovely to blog just for the love of it and not feel put off because you’re not trying to be part of the competition.
    I hope you never lose your love for your craft xx

  6. As someone who battles with blog names, I feel your dilemma and understand why you made the decision. For what it’s worth, I think it was a good one 🙂 A few days ago I decided to remove myself from it all – the noise – and focus on what I’m passionate about. I’m glad I did because it put so much in perspective. Pretty much everything you’ve said here.

    I very rarely comment on blogs these days because I don’t feel it anymore, the joy. Even my own blog has lost the ‘me’. Thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking, and much more eloquently than I ever could.

  7. I am totally with you on the whole ‘how I feel about blogging’ thing – I’m the same. Someone leaving a 2 word comment just so they can get a link boils my p*ss. But I love how my friendships are stronger, my interest in photography is growing and my love of writing is STILL there, even 5 years on. I totally get the name change. Devoted ‘fans’ will always stand by you x

  8. Love this, I think you speak for many bloggers who’s attitude to blogging has shifted lately. It all seems rather fake at the moment, too many links, too many awards, just too much superficial blogging if I’m honest.

    Writing for oneself does seem the way forward, even attempting to keep up with whatever trend is the latest fad seems like too much work.

    Wise words Annie, thank you for sharing

  9. Miss you Annie.The last year has been harder to find an audience after my first blog took a huge technical nose dive.Building it up again with a second blog has been a huge struggle, with a house move and just life doing what it does and having to deal with the behaviours of others online.Getting others motivated has had me and others more focused, it may not seem like collaboration but sitting back reading how everyone was feeling, moved me to help.I seem to shout the loudest but have nothing worth listening to.I’m not a me person, just someone who likes to boost others, which I think never comes across well at all online.Anyway, What’s the betting you change your name again? Take care

    1. You know me all to well Aly 😉
      I always find it hard to know how actions are perceived online, always feels like sharing personal stuff in a bit of an impersonal way.And you must know I don’t mean any of your stuff here x

  10. You know I’ve been feeling this too for some time now and having stepped back into the World of Work I have taken one more step away from my blog but the good news is, I now go through my inbox and delete everything I don’t want to ‘waste my time on’ anymore. Things I thought i should be doing.
    I can now focus on what I really want to do and accept invitations to those events I am really interested in attending.
    It has been truly liberating and I can’t wait to see how the next six months pan out to discover the other changes I will make to my blogging life.
    Much love as always xx

    1. Ah Mari – how is the new job going? You seemed super happy on your first day which is always a good sign. Sometimes a break away from the norm can be a really good way to re-evaluate things. Muchos love Mari x

  11. I love your attitude, Annie. And I love your new name. No wonder you want it just for yourself. I take the occasional dip in confidence with blogging but on the whole I love it. I’m naturally quite commercially minded but I think I mostly stay true to myself and my style – bright photographs and sweet stories. I do find that there’s a lot of ‘noise’ in the blogging world at the moment … I’m not really one for much promotion, sharing rings, stats, stats, stats and there’s a lot of that around right now … but if that’s what others want to measure their success by, whatever works for them. Good luck, my dear. You will forever remain one of my favourites (and Cerys from Mascara and Mud who I think is the most beautiful blogger out there and completely fits with what you want to achieve).

  12. To be fair lovely I know many commercial bloggers who write beautifuly and whose work is precious tothem and well tended and who share and promote their work to drive traffic and increase opportunities (travel/producrts/paidwork) .

    They are soulful sorts too and have many friends in the blogging world. In my opionion no one is ‘better’ or ‘more soulful’ than any one else here just some write for money and some don’t. I still hope what I write makes a difference, reads well and is interesting and inspiring but in the interests of putting food on the table I promote it. I do this a lot …..but it doesn’t wear me to the ground and I am happy Annie love and I have outstanding true bloggy pals (including you) and true, important supportive connections in this community. I love that I make a living writing about something I feel passionate about . It’s just commercial sense that drives me to share my work and care about stats , a wish to earn a full wage so I get to be with my kids a lot more than I would if I had stayed social working. I value love and tend my blogs and adore this fabulous, flexible job I have found that pays the bills too.,It is not ego at play when I promote my writing I’m just earning a living.

    1. Thanks for commenting Becky 🙂 It’s really interesting to read this. I think we all look at promotional content differently and I’m sure there’s some age old debate over whether sponsored content can ever be truly soulful. I personally very rarely read promotional content on other blogs, if I am honest I avoid it. I do do it from time to time myself though, like you, it’s nice to earn a bit of money and afford to be able to stay home with the children. I think a lot of how we feel individually about all this sort of thing very much depends on the people we are and our outlook and drive (I’m shockingly un-commercially minded for example!) x

      1. Oh I am an alright person despite being a commercial blogger hahaaha! I didn’t mean sponsored posts are necessarily soulful I meant the people writing them are still soulful people and their writing can be really fab too and their blogs as a whole are both valued and valuable.

        I do it to make a full living wage not a little bit of money. so promotion is cruical. But even when I write commercially i write with care and ethics. For people wanting to learn about saving money, whether or not my posts are sponsored, I write with the hope my post are useful and valuable.

        Many people are paid to write but still do it beautifully (I was paid to write my book but still poured my heart and soul into it and I promoted it widely) The people that read my stuff might be interested in doing up their home or managing their budget but no they probably aren’t other bloggers. That’s okay by me. It practical stuff i share and its important too, I want lots of people to read what I write, I do care about it even if its paid and hopefully it will lead to more work the more people read it. I don’t think that has any reflection though on the friends or connections i have in the blogging community or whether I’m a soulful person.

        I think we are all aces and fabulous and lets just love and appreciate and make space for each other. We all have our reasons for doing what we do and many are unknown to others.

        Love your new name and love you x

  13. Oh I so get this, I go so swept up in it all last year and it made me so unhappy, there were so many people wanting to tell me where I was going wrong and I lost my confidence. I have now surrounded myself with the loveliest most supportive bunch of ladies who all have the same thought plan as me and I blog about what makes me happy, and I am getting my confidence back. I am who I want to be not who I am expected to be, I still do links because I feel i have too, but have backed of so much a probably will more and just keep doing my favourites, this post has made so much sense thank you, and I love the name x

  14. I’m one of those who doesn’t chase the stats but this doesn’t get me many opportunities either, although I was at River Cottage and so grateful to get the gig! I really don’t like all the reciprocal stuff and feel left behind a lot of the time because of it, but hey ho, it is what it is and we all have a choice, we either do or we don’t or sometimes we do some. I see so many bloggers getting some fabulous opportunities, paid, travel, food, etc and wonder if there is some wonder list I need to be on but my stats just aren’t good enough, but I am (even if I say so myself!) x

  15. I love Fable and Folk as a new name, it seems very you (and I can spell it!). As for the blogging conundrum I think there have always been people who blog with heart and soul, some of whom earn money for it and some of whom don’t, and I don’t think that will ever change. Interestingly in the crafty blogs community, especially knitting blogs (which is where I started back in the day) there just isn’t this pressure or assumption that you are trying to get money/free stuff from your blog; I nearly fell off my chair the first time I went to a conference and there was a presumption that that’s what I wanted, or that that was what successful meant. Interestingly enough, knitting bloggers don’t have awards or a ranking system, I wonder if that has something to do with it.
    A little while ago I came to the conclusion that I will never make top 100 lists for my little corner of the internet, not because it isn’t any good (personally I think it’s awesome!!), but quite simply because I have children who don’t nap and a full time job and other hobbies that I love with a passion and therefore not enough time to promote myself enough.
    I do join in some linkys but only because I love the topics, and I try to get around most of the other posts because that’s the fun of it for me, there’s no expectation that they’ll ever read back.
    I don’t think that the genie is going to go back into the bottle in parenting blogs, but if you’ll allow me to completely jumble my metaphors, a flower with poor roots isn’t going to last!

  16. What a wonderful post! I agree with every word that you said. I love blogging… I really do. But sometimes it is so easy to get bogged down by the competitive nature of blogging. Where you are on TOTs, who has been contacted by such and such a PR and who has shared your post! All this matters so much to some bloggers. In many ways, I wish I had never become aware of this side of blogging. As it constantly puts pressure on me to write more and to share more. And to write posts I don’t believe in that will do well. I wish I could return to the days when I just blogged when I felt like it and I was happy as long as my mum read my post. Those days were simpler. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and letting me know that I am not alone. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  17. Hello! Long time fan here – I completely agree. I actually took a three month break from blogging this summer for these exact reasons & made some changes when I returned a few weeks ago – also a name change like you funnily enough!
    I hope you’ve fallen back in love with your blog again as I have. I agree, it’s important to remember why we blog and stay true to that, not get lost in the noise. x

  18. I like that you have moved folklings over here, makes sense. I have a lot of catching up to do on your posts and the rest of the blogger world I love and have missed over the last few months. I have grand plans of getting my blog back on soon, and can definitely sign up to this kind of approach!! Much love as always xxx

  19. A fabulous post. I’m nodding along furiously. I love blogging too but yes, the whole feel of the community and what we’re told we must do really does grate on me. I’ve been pulling back on lots of things since January to try and find a happiness in blogging because I was running myself into the ground. Loved reading this and love the new name

  20. Oh Annie darling – you’ve just managed to put into words what I’ve been grappling with all summer! The kids being at home all summer and me crafting so much more meant that I refocussed totally and my blog has started to shift with that. Whilst I love (most of) the people I’ve met via blogging I hate the vibe that goes with some of it if you know what I mean. I’ve slowed right down and blogging just isn’t like that for many. Instead though I’ve gone in search of those that share my slower lifestyle now and I’m so much less stressed as a result and loving it all so much more. And I have so much more time to craft which is where my heart is right now!

  21. Annie… You can’t possibly imagine how well timed this post is. I’ve been feeling a little down lately. I love my little blog… It’s my pretty space, my honest little corner, and I have a lovely little following… But I’ve been feeling the pressure more and more to conform, to rake in the big stats, climb up the tables and be posting "advice" type posts and I just did not want to! Im in awe of those who can do that, and keep their heart and soul in it, but I just can’t… I don’t have time to be writing what I love AND promoting on all the platforms and that’s OK. I’ll just stick to the writing! I’m so glad I read this before I gave in and went down that route because I love my little blog just as it is, and want it to stay that way. Thank you for always being willing to go the road less trodden, and take us with you! Muchly love xxx

  22. As ever, lovely Annie, you speak sense. Your words really resonated with me. Me, I try to strike the happy balance still. I will get there…one day! Gradually I am seeing what matters to ME and what doesn’t. And I am happy with that!

  23. I have never written for anyone else other than me on my blog, I write for my family and friends about my life, I was initially surprised as to how much interest i had from other people. Since moving to Dubai I’ve joined in with several linkys and the traffic to my blog has increased which has brought in offers of sponsored posts which I’ve rarely been offered in the past, I turn so many down now as they don’t fit with the feel of my blog, they would be forced and I really hate reading blog posts from others that are like that, especially when it’s the same people going to the same events or reviewing the same products time after time. With regards with the wider blogging and back to the linkys, I’ve really enjoyed HDYGG, Animal Tales and Project 365, It has given me a purpose to have something to do and to try new things, such as gardening, sadly some of the other linkys have fallen away or been hijacked by more successful bloggers and I’ve pushed to the sidelines. I join in to interact and not for hits.

  24. I have never written for anyone else other than me on my blog, I write for my family and friends about my life, I was initially surprised as to how much interest i had from other people. Since moving to Dubai I’ve joined in with several linkys and the traffic to my blog has increased which has brought in offers of sponsored posts which I’ve rarely been offered in the past, I turn so many down now as they don’t fit with the feel of my blog, they would be forced and I really hate reading blog posts from others that are like that, especially when it’s the same people going to the same events or reviewing the same products time after time. With regards with the wider blogging and back to the linkys, I’ve really enjoyed HDYGG, Animal Tales and Project 365, It has given me a purpose to have something to do and to try new things, such as gardening, sadly some of the other linkys have fallen away or been hijacked by more successful bloggers and I’ve pushed to the sidelines. I join in to interact and not for hits.

  25. This is precisely the reason I’ve deleted analytics. I started out blogging because I love it… then at the beginning of the year I just got WAY too het up in all.
    A good friend then gave me an ever better slap and reminded to do what makes me happy!
    Love this post – and well done you xxxxxx

  26. I do a bit of everything, but ultimately my blog is what I want to write because that’s what I set it out to be, before I’d even heard about the parenting blogger or general blogging community, or that people made money from blogging.

    I do some commenting/share things, because I do want to get my blog read and out there to some potential longer term readers, although I also tend to view it as somewhere to immediately find lots of blogs I might enjoy reading in one hit, rather than hit and miss all over the place to find the ones I like (I’m rubbish at getting round to reading my bloglovin’ list, unless I subscribe and get email reminders of blog updates). But I go through busy periods of doing those and not. It kind of gives a boost for a short time.

    What I find disappointing is when blogs I used to love for the personal aspect, all of a sudden change and I struggle to find the personal parts, and it’s all reviews or sponsored. The occasional I don’t mind, but that’s when I find them become samey and not what I enjoyed in the first place.

    Enjoy the new name. Sounds like it’ll suit well

  27. Aaah so wise, Annie.

    I’ve been getting a little bit cross about all the ‘blogs for bloggers’ recently. There are so many blogs — even fairly new ones — that tell you how to get a gazillion followers, how to get better stats, more reach, better traffic. It’s self perpetuating and eventually some bloggers will forget why they started writing in the first place.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m a little guilty of it too — I co-host a couple of blog link ups but I love the community it creates. I don’t want to be a lone voice in the world wide void, I want to reach out to others and make connections with people. Blog hops are a great way to do that — as long as everyone is generous with their time and interest and it doesn’t end up being a soulless link and run.

    Love this post and love the new name. Still one of my faves, even though you’ve had a facelift 😉

    Caro x

  28. Yes! I really agree with all of this. I have been feeling very disillusioned lately and I’ve only been blogging for a year. There are times when it feels very vacuous – especially when I try and do too much. I have taken a step back lately – only posting when I have something decent to say. Which isn’t all that often at the moment…

  29. I love your new name, it suits you 🙂
    I am also feeling a bit meh about blogging at the moment. I started blogging because I wanted to write and that is still the bit I love most about it. I have tortured myself to try and get better at the other stuff – promote my posts more, share comments etc but it just took the soul out of blogging for me. So, I’m just going to keep doing my thing and if people read it, lovely. If they comment, I’ll be over the moon. But I need to get back to basics with my blog because the stress of trying to keep up almost made me stop completely.

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