Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Do I Blog?

I was asked an interesting question by a fellow quilting instructor the other day.  I was asked - why do you blog and give everything away for free??

Well, I was so surprised that I gave a really short answer that really doesn't reflect how I actually think so I thought that I might blog on it to clear it all up.

I teach quilting classes and I love to teach them!  Yes, I get paid to teach these classes.  The participants in the classes pay to be there and learn the subject matter.  It is a lot of fun and I get a lot of satisfaction from this.

I also, however, blog about various things and offer tutorials, tips, tricks etc etc.

So, the questions was, in a nutshell, why do I give all this information away for free on my blog?  Why don't I make a class around it and charge for it since I don't make any $$$$$ by blogging about it?

The answer is multi-faceted.

One - I enjoy blogging!!  I LOVE the friends I have made through my blog, from around the world, and the fun we have.  I love meeting new people through my blog.  I have enjoyed support from my readers and given support in return.  I've asked for help on my blog and given help in return.  There is a give and take that makes me very happy and keeps me blogging even after 6 years of it!

I truly think that we need to "pay it forward" in this life and give to the universe to get back.  The more people that find a solution to a problem on a blog - the more people we have quilting in this world.  More quilters = more new products and fabrics and patterns and ideas in the world and that is NEVER a bad thing.

That said, I also use my blog as a reference point to send my students to answer questions that I get alllllll of the time!  Case in point, my mutli-part binding tute.  Instead of demoing corners or sleeves too many times to count I can direct them to my blog - easier for me and way easier for them.  Win win!

Also, who would you rather take a class from; someone generous and giving like Bonnie Hunter or some other, cough cough, less than generous quilters or pattern designers out there who refuse to share what they know and jealously guard their knowledge so that only they know the technique and won't be threatened by some other up and coming quilter out there.  Come on - we've all met or experienced these quilters (luckily I think there are more giving quilters out there than non-giving).  Now ask yourself - do you want to pay to take a class from this person?  For my part - no I don't.  Bonnie Hunter's publishing and teaching job doesn't seem hurt at all for giving it all away - she's booked until 2016!  So, I try to model myself after the teacher that I would like to take classes from.  I often fall short - but I try!

I try to offer inspiration and tips and tricks and just plain knowledge on my blog.  However, I also have always wanted people to see the real me - mistakes and all!  Why?  because I get as much affirmation and support back as I try to give.  I want everyone to see that every quilter has a process and suffers from indecision and makes mistakes.  It's all real.  There are some big name quilters out there who never show their process and I don't find them very inspiring b/c I think (probably mistakenly) that they never have any problems or make any mistakes - where is the learning in that?

Also, purely selfishly I get a lot, and I mean a lot, of information and inspiration from other people's blogs.  Where would any of us be if no one shared?  Um, I wouldn't be die-cutting that's for sure!!  Without the fabric die-cutting blogging community I would probably still be floundering instead of currently teaching and writing about fabric die-cutting.  Without the generous videos put out by people like Ebony Love where would many of us be?  Did Ebony's videos and blog posts stop her from putting out a very successful book on fabric die-cutting?  Nope! Indeed, I would say that because she is so generous her Kickstarter campaign was more successful than she could have imagined.

The more I learn - and share - the more I am inspired by people who have taken what I shared as a jump off point.  And then they share and I learn!

So, wow what a long-winded post, I blog and give lots of information away for free because it makes me happy to be a part of the blogging community that is generous and inspiring and supportive.  We couldn't have that if we didn't all participate!  So, give it away and have fun - next thing you know you will be on to the next thing anyways ;-)

Thank you all for continuing to inspire, create and share your creations!

Any thoughts?


Brenda said...

Thanks for a thoughtful post. sometimes I wonder why I blog too, but my answer is along the lines of what you've said here: I blog because I like the cooperative side of blogging, where others far away help you out. I've met amazing people through blogging, worked on group quilts with international participants, and been the recipient of much generosity.

sewfunquilts said...

I totally agree with you on the Paying it Forward thing in our life. Blogging to me is my Cyber Quiting Bee.....and quilters just share. That's all there is to it!

paulette said...

WOW!! VERY well said!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Amen! I agree I look at it as a online quilting bee too. Paying forward is something we should all embrace there is so much greed and selfishness out in the world, who has time for that!

Sandy D said...

Good Blog Katrina.With the blogs I go to you also feel as if these people are your friends.You learn a little about their lives.You cheer for them when they have something good that comes to them and offer support when they need it.

Gene Black said...

You make several excellent points. I have been chastised for not trying to sell all of my designs instead of just showing them for free on my blog.
Also, I can't do my full time job and teach too. So sharing it through blogging is a way for me to practice in case I do start teaching at some point.

And yes the friends are absolutely the best part. And a generous teacher is the one I want to take a class from also!

Suzy said...

Well said! I agree with you 100%. :o)

Impera Magna said...

I'm with you on the "paying it forward"... sharing ideas, skills, and tips is how we keep quilting (and other things) spreading and moving into the future!

Material Girl said...

Great post Katrina, I enjoy learning from all of the quilters out there that teach and share their ideas. I have a blog but I just can't seem to find the time to keep my day to day work up and my job and take time out to sit and quilt, so I just don't keep it up. Besides that I'm still learning this hobby and I have a lot to learn in the quilting world before I feel comfortable posting demos etc for other, I don't want to mess them up. Plus I'm not very good at putting my thoughts and ideas in cyber space for everyone to read... guess the other reason is I don't have much to talk about I guess... lol

All your bloggers and quilters just amaze me at how much you get done all the time!

Marguerita McManus said...

Blogging is definitely a journey of self discovery and self development - your journey is a lot like mine. I'd be in a dark closet without some of the sharing folks I've met through blogging. Thanks for sharing your story :)

Four dogs and one quilter said...

Great post. I don't blog but I enjoy and learn from them every day. I was a new quilter when I joined a traditional guild. Wonderful people but I never learned anything unless I took a workshop from one of the nationally known quilters that would come to give a class. There was so many talented quilters in that guild but no way or, perhaps, inclination to share their knowledge. Then I discovered blogs: It was a revelation. On the blogs I found the "guild" I was looking, hoping, for; everyone sharing their ideas and showing their work, and encouraging others to do the same. If bloggers use their blogs to generate some income, great. I am happy to support their efforts and reward their generous sharing and am thrilled for their success when they publish patterns and books.

People with real talent and a passion for what they do are never afraid to share their knowledge whether they profit for it or not. We all reap the benefits of the blogger community.