Updated on September 8, 2016
A Love Letter to John & Sherry
I have been trying for years to get this blog going. I’ve tried to find a theme, I’ve tried to treat it like my old LiveJournal, I’ve tried to do a lot of things that just didn’t work. And that’s all right. Clearly it just wasn’t the right time for it to work.
When I began planning my X-Files Rewatch project, one thing I thought about a lot was WHERE to do it: here on this blog, on a subdomain, should I get a whole new domain, or maybe do it on Tumblr? There were benefits to everything, but I decided to just integrate it with my main blog because I hoped that if the XFRW posts started to draw a consistent audience, then maybe they’d be interested in other things I wanted to blog about. If, y’know, I ever wrote anything else.
Which is where the love to John & Sherry comes in. They run Young House Love, a blog about home DIY renovation and more, and ran it for 7 years until September 2014, when they stopped and stepped away for a whole year. They now will post occasionally, and they’ve started a weekly podcast. This week’s episode (#14) was dedicated to a speech they gave at a recent conference, talking about why they quit the blog for a year, and how others can maybe avoid having to do that themselves. Now, I am not running a blog that posts every day — or even consistently every month! — but some of what they said really hit me as someone who is starting a long-term blogging project. Especially as someone who gets easily discouraged when I don’t get the hits or comments I’d like.
They talked about deciding your purpose for doing it, and keeping that in mind when things get difficult. About how your goals of hits or comments or whatever can be good and even important, but that you should be feeding your purpose most of all. That you should be selfish, not worry quite so much about what your readers want, not if those things make you unhappy. They reminded us to be more than the blog, and allow ourselves to exist beyond the words on the page.
It’s an important reminder to me. My purpose with this project is to revisit a show I loved. Period. If I get to talk to people about it, then that’s great! But ultimately, this is something I want to do for me, to give myself something to post consistently. It’s a way to write consistently, too, without the pressure I feel of having to Be A Writer. It’s about helping find fun again. (Perhaps it’s no coincidence that I probably had my most fun as a writer in XF fanfic.)
J&S reminded us to experiment and stretch ourselves creatively, and to let that guide our path. This project is different than anything I’ve ever done, and even writing up the posts I’ve already done has been a self-inspiration to want to write other posts, too. Like this one! Maybe this will help me write a post about the Riveters that Joe at Blueshirts Banter has been pressing me to write.
So, I thank you, John and Sherry. I’m not a DIYer, I don’t even decorate my apartment. But I’ve been reading your blog since Clara was a little bean and you lived in your first house. I’m glad you’re found your purpose again, and I’m grateful for your willingness to share your successes and mistakes and help your readers (and now listeners!) to make their blogging lives as smooth and satisfying as possible.