Throughout my childhood my mother was a newspaper reporter for the Washington Post (you can read one of her more controversial articles here). My mom is someone who wants to get to the bottom of things, to say what nobody else dares to say, to make change in the world with words. From her I learned the rewards of digging deeper and finding the story, no matter where you are.
This blog is my own independent news outlet. I've logged hundreds of hours here this year questioning, reading, researching, writing, and editing blog posts. I've explored topics related to the craft industry, sewing, blogging, mainstream publishing, and being self-employed. It's been worth every second.
Here are the five blog posts I'm most proud of in 2013:
Etsy Redefines Handmade: Authorship, Responsibility, and Transparency (October 2, 2013)
This was the first time I covered breaking news. I happened to be on Twitter that morning and saw someone mention that Etsy was about to make a big announcement. I was just on time to tune in and worked on this post late into the night so that I would be one of the first sites to cover Etsy's policy changes. Following this post, Etsy contacted me and we recorded a podcast that's been downloaded over 5,000 times (and busted my bandwith limit). Working on this story helped me see myself not just as a craft blogger, but as a journalist.
Why Isn't There a Site Like Ravelry for Sewing (July 16, 2013)
To write this post I had to do extensive research. I learned about how Ravelry worked, how it began and developed over the years, and why people love it so much. Then I thought critically about why there's no real equivalent in the sewing world. This post provoked a fascinating discussion, including a response from Threadbias that in turn generated more debate. We never arrived at a real conclusion, but it helped to really examine how we got here as a sewing community and what we might need to bring us together further.
Why Nobody Commented on Your Blog Post (April 5, 2013)
I think this post really hit upon one of the biggest frustrations bloggers face: posting and getting no response. This post has all of my best concrete tips for improving reader interaction. I've really enjoyed the meta task of blogging about blogging this year. I'm now a regular reader of blogs about blogs and have a heightened awareness of what makes some blogs great. I've got more to say on this topic.
How I Made Exercise a Part of My Life (June 28, 2013)
It's super icy in Boston today, but that didn't stop me from going on a morning run. I've been running a 5K four days a week for a year and a half now, despite not being athletic in the least, and I love it. Here' s how I did it. Also, in this post I tell you how much I weigh (gah!).
The Real Truth About Crafting for Charity (June 14, 2013)
This is a topic that nobody else in the craft blog world had covered. I felt like the real effectiveness of crafting for charity needed to be discussed openly, and that we needed some experts to help us understand what goes on behind the scenes at charitable donation centers. I interviewed the Vice President of Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, as part of my research because I wanted to be sure I was telling an accurate story. I'm really glad I brought some of the complexity of charity crafting into the daylight.
As I go through my day I try to notice times in which I think, "That's interesting." Those moments are the kernels of ideas for new stories and I have those moments all the time. I'm looking forward to another interesting year of curiosity, investigation, and discussion with you.