Now, I would love your thoughts on how you're getting all this "press". :D The design challenge work, the design teams. Are you just stumbling into this? I know you're pretty well known in the crafty blogosphere so I know you are working hard for it. I know it is a lot of work to put together a blog and with your extra feature of your fun novella it is even more work. This work is maybe why I don't still have a blog even though I have dreams of starting one up again some day.
So maybe more what I'm looking for is your experiences of doing your blog (the several incarnations), the relationships you've formed through this, and how you're getting recognized by some of the companies out there... Hero Arts, Ellen, etc... Maybe food for thought on a new blog post perhaps!
Thanks for the questions.
I used to blog almost every day. I wrote about my personal life, particularly about taking care of my mother and a bit about my childhood. I posted every card I made and I made 4 or 5 a week. Most of them were dreadful. The blog was a great escape. Three years ago (today), my mom died and I scaled back writing about my life, in part because there isn't much to say (trust me, that's a good thing).
Now that I am no longer taking care of my Mom (or my son) and have retired, I have a ton of time to craft. I'm not in a hurry anymore. I'm more careful with what I make and what I post. I am a very slow crafter. I post about a quarter of what I make, because most of it does not turn out well. Nevertheless, there are still times when I post something and regret it. I look back and sort of shudder.
I'm better (still make mi$take$ though) about buying products that work for me. I see what someone else made, love it, and buy that stamp set, only to have it leave me cold. It took years for me to figure out that I can love a set and not be able to do a thing with it. Now I try to buy what I love and what works with my style.
It appears that most of the action in online paper crafting now appears to be on Instagram, and to a lesser extent, Facebook, rather than blogs. I suspect that Instagram is the most efficient way for companies to quickly see a ton of work using their products. Some companies, like Hero Arts, also have a Flickr group or look at Pinterest to see who is using their products.
With respect to Stamping Destroyed My Life, it is time consuming, but tremendously fun, to write. For me, writing is a thousand times easier than making a card, although there are similarities in the process.
I know where the plot is going (spoiler alert -- M is a mess!), but the first draft requires a ton of editing. Like stamping, a lot of what I write ends up in the trash. The best part of writing that story is that I become "M" while I'm writing it. I start thinking like she does: I am on top of the world, I am a genius, I rule the industry. Or, I will get rich making cards, etc! And then there is the side of M that is lonely, and just looking to fit in, to find her own thing. We can all relate to at least some of this. Luckily, I can press "save" when I'm done writing, and go back to just being myself!
In many ways, despite the title, Stamping Destroyed My Life is my love letter to an industry that has given me so much -- a connection, friends, and a creative outlet. What more can we ask of a hobby?
I hope I've answered your questions. Would love to hear other bloggers' experiences!