It has been months since I have posted here and I've had a few "are you OK?" messages recently from readers, which lit a fire under me to finally explain why I've been MIA (and why I have found it so hard to find the words to say why I've been absent from posting on my blog, as well as commenting on others, etc).
The reason why is two-fold:
1) Time. I've no childcare this summer and my husband works really long hours (sometimes really, REALLY long hours). So I don't have the time to myself to sew, let alone document it in photos and text, as well as do all the other things you must when you have a blog that a few people read — respond to comments, read others' blogs, sort through spam and delete it, field strange requests to review things that have nothing to do with what I blog about.
But I don't want to complain about the fact I never get a single moment to myself to sew, blog or even sit on the toilet without my kid yelling a question at me under the door. I'm happy my husband has a job, and I'm really lucky to have this time with my kid during the last summer before she starts full-time school. We have done pretty much everything you can do with kids in NYC this summer, and it has been really fun. I'll have time to myself again in September.
2) The Internet is full of creeps and criminals. I have been really disheartened over the past year to see what search terms sometimes send people to my blog. Most of the time it's normal things like "how to draft a hood pattern" or "Wisconsin heart string art." But frequently near the top of the list will be two or three innocent words that when grouped together are really inappropriate. And these words never appear next to each other on my blog, but apparently anytime that a word appears on a page with another word somewhere, a search can pull your page up. And even though the person searching for those things would no doubt be disappointed to find himself at a sewing blog, it upsets me to think about what it was he was really looking for.
I tried to search my entire blog and revise it in places to make it less likely to get pulled up by pedophiles. I deleted whole posts. And I even considered shutting the whole thing down, I was so bummed out about it.
And then someone alerted me to the fact that a website had used a picture I posted in a questionable way (and it was a picture of my kid, so I was pretty upset). The site took the picture down after I contacted them, but it was eye-opening.
If you want to grow a readership, you need to be public and searchable. But if you're public and searchable, you put yourself at risk of being used in ways you would not condone. I'm not sure the way forward for me on the Internet. I may start over from scratch.
But not until September — at least.
Anyone out there dealt with this before? What did you do?